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Tempting 1961 LeSabre Bubble Top


Pegleg
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Found this 1961 LeSabre Bubble Top.

 

What a beautiful car this is :P 

 

Very Tempted :D

 

Even though i havent a clue what a nail head is :shootself:

 

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-LeSabre-BUBBLE-TOP-364-V8-NAILHEAD-CALIFORNIA-CAR/273550741265?hash=item3fb0e50f11:g:ngwAAOSwIbtb5L2c

Steve

1971 Grande

 

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I think that car could be a fairly good investment.

http://www.7173mustangs.com/gallery/1_01_07_15_8_53_18.png

 

"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!

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Pegleg,

Since I was raised in an all Ford Family, there was not  a lot of GM products discussed! :o)

But they did have some very nice looking body styles in that era. I remember the Bubble Top cars but was mostly the Bubble Top Impala's as the one that received all the limelight and praise from the GM camp. As with any other car made out of metal, those cars were good candidates for any rust bug looking for a home. "Body by Fisher" used to be the battle cry from the GM folks as if it was designed by the Gods to be sent to earth for us mere mortals. Reality is that they rusted just as quickly if not worse than anything from Ford, Mopar, or AMC!

If serious about trying to give it a home, very definitely would need a thorough inspection by someone close by there such as a Forum member. After all, rust is rust regardless of the nameplate on the fender!

 

The Nailhead name is unique to the Buick engines from that era. The name came from the vertical arrangement of the valves and their small diameter which resembled (wait for it) a row of nails! When you check the underhood pictures you'll notice the valve covers do not set at a angle like on a typical V8 engine but set level in line with the intake manifold. The engines weren't known for making a lot of horsepower but did produce plenty of torque. Something that was needed for the typical heavy Buick's.

I remember most of this from a Friend I was stationed with that inherited a early Buick from his Grandfather. Drove him from Georgia to Tennessee to pick it up and It was not a Bubble Top, but a 4 door Grandpa car. I do remember the valve covers strange vertical appearance and glad that I didn't have to drive it back!   :D

 

If not a rolling tub of bondo and rust that could be a great buy.

Steve

 

No Officer...I really don't know how fast I was going, my speedometer stopped at 140!

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Nailheads are pretty cool.

 

Strange engines - massive bearing journals in them, weird top end configuration. Some of those Buicks had some pretty advanced stuff like torque converters that would change pitch and interior features that were above and beyond their time.

 

Might be a neat car.

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Pegleg,

Since I was raised in an all Ford Family, there was not  a lot of GM products discussed! :o)

But they did have some very nice looking body styles in that era. I remember the Bubble Top cars but was mostly the Bubble Top Impala's as the one that received all the limelight and praise from the GM camp. As with any other car made out of metal, those cars were good candidates for any rust bug looking for a home. "Body by Fisher" used to be the battle cry from the GM folks as if it was designed by the Gods to sent to earth for us mere mortals. Reality is that they rusted just as quickly if not worse than anything from Ford, Mopar, or AMC!

If serious about trying to give it a home, very definitely would need a thorough inspection by someone close by there such as a Forum member. After all, rust is rust regardless of the nameplate on the fender!

 

The Nailhead name is unique to the Buick engines from that era. The name came from the vertical arrangement of the valves and their small diameter which resembled (wait for it) a row of nails! When you check the underhood pictures you'll notice the valve covers do not set at a angle like on a typical V8 engine but set level in line with the intake manifold. The engines weren't known for making a lot of horsepower but did produce plenty of torque. Something that was needed for the typical heavy Buick's.

I remember most of this from a Friend I was stationed with that inherited a early Buick from his Grandfather. Drove him from Georgia to Tennessee to pick it up and It was not a Bubble Top, but a 4 door Grandpa car. I do remember the valve covers strange vertical appearance and glad that I didn't have to drive it back!   :D

 

If not a rolling tub of bondo and rust that could be a great buy.

 

I have heard the phrase flathead on earlier Fords. Is it the same as the Ford flatheads?

I did hear that Buick were more prone to rust which is why i stayed clear of them. That bubble top is definately designed at a time when the space age was getting into top gear for the Americans. The dash in that Buick is awesome. The back windshield reminds me of the cars and vehicles on the Gerry Anderson puppeteer show. Its a car thats differant like the Buick boat tail another rust bucket. Neither are muscle cars but designed to be differant and stand out

Steve

1971 Grande

 

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It is an ohv V-8 with pushrods and rocker arms.  The flat head valves were in the block like a briggs and stratton.  The valves themselves were small and looked proportionally like a nail

 

 

 

s-l640.jpg

http://www.7173mustangs.com/gallery/1_01_07_15_8_53_18.png

 

"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!

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Nailheads are all the rage with the Riviera crowd.

73 ragtop, 1999 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue Paint, Phoenix Engine 302-335HP,  Edelbrock Carb & Performer manifold; c4 with 2000 stall and shiftkit; 3:55 auburn limited slip differential, Hedman shorties; Car Chemistry Exhaust

 

Classic Air; Tilt Steering Wheel; 1999 Chrysler Sebring bucket Seats ; power windows;

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It was a nice looking car, but not as nice as a '61 Ford Starliner with a 390, solid lifters, 3 dueces, 401 horsepower, 4-speed

13452663-1961-ford-starliner-thumb.jpg

 

 

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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Pegleg, hope we have provided you with enough Buick info to understand about the Buick Nailhead V8. As Jeff has posted, the Ford flathead V8 had the valves actually in the block. The Flat Head Ford V8 was also the only engine I ever saw run with the head off. I had helped my buddy replace a blown 460 in a Econoline van for one of his customers. His customer paid him with some cash and a old 1953 Ford pickup truck with a flathead V8. It had a cracked head but a replacement head was part of the deal.  My buddy actually cranked it up with the head off and drove it down the road!  My way of thinking back then was the head was only good for keeping dirt out of the engine and provide a place for the spark plugs!

 

The Riviera Buicks Mudbilly referenced to  were some really nice looking cars. I believe the early nailhead engines in those cars were 401 and 425 CID but never got over the 340-350 HP range, but had insane amounts of torque.

 

It's no secret about my love for the early Galaxie Total Performance cars. The picture  Don C posted is pure car porn to me! If you ever see a Starliner in person you will understand.

Pegleg, I know this is straying from your original Buick post, but I'll try to wrap this up and not let it turn into a novel. Although through a new VIP benefits package upgrade, Rocketfoot  now pays me by the word!   :whistling:

 

There was a 61 Starliner that was coming into town and handing all the the heavy duty performance cars (Roadrunners, GTX's, SS Chevelles, Camaros, Z28's, etc) their A$$ on a platter. This went on while I was in the military, so all this was told to me from those who had the misfortune of ever lining up against him. Finally got to the point no one would race him as they knew they would lose the race and lots of $$$. No one was sure where he was from or what kind of FE engine he was running.

Fast forward a few years later and I am at a salvage yard about 25 miles from home. Have gone to this location with my partner in crime to pull the powertrain from a 88 Turbo Coupe T-Bird. While waiting to pay for our loot I noticed a black 61 Starliner in the far corner of his huge shop. After a lot of questions he finally admitted to owning that car and it was the same one that waxed everyone's A$$ back then. Parked it after the cars performance reputation got to the point no one would run him.

Car started life as a 390 4sp car but parked it after blowing the 390 and started looking for more power. The planets must of lined up for him as a few days later some totaled cars were coming from the insurance auction that his dad had bought for the salvage yard. One of them was a 67 GT500 they assumed had a 428. As he pulled what was going to be his Starliners new engine, he noticed some things that were very different from a standard 428.  

What he ended up with was a owner installed two 4bl Holman and Moody sourced 427 that was evidently too much for the Shelby but was going to be fine in the Starliner!

Haven't been there in a few years but assume he still has it. I tried for years to buy it but he claims he doesn't need money and will probably be buried it it.

 

So Pegleg......What what was that Buick question again?   :D

Steve

 

No Officer...I really don't know how fast I was going, my speedometer stopped at 140!

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Great storey Steve. I see by the picture Don C posted the Starliner is also sex on wheels. Maybe worth serious consideration after the Mustang has been restored.

Steve

1971 Grande

 

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The '60 Starliner actually flows better from a side view, but I like the front and rear of the '61 better.

1037026-1960-ford-galaxie-std.jpg

 

 

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein

 

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I think that they should bring back wings on cars..........

73 ragtop, 1999 Mustang Bright Atlantic Blue Paint, Phoenix Engine 302-335HP,  Edelbrock Carb & Performer manifold; c4 with 2000 stall and shiftkit; 3:55 auburn limited slip differential, Hedman shorties; Car Chemistry Exhaust

 

Classic Air; Tilt Steering Wheel; 1999 Chrysler Sebring bucket Seats ; power windows;

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If you look at the pics closely you will see the rust through in the quarter panels over the rear wheels and on roof at windows. It is full of rust I am sure. GM used lacquer paint not enamel like Ford. They did rust even worse than Ford.

On the Starliner they are smooth for sure.

Ford actually in 1962 took the steel roof from it and made a removable hard top for the 62 convertible. It was heavy since if was steel. Why did they do that. Well the 62 had a square drop off at the rear window and just would not go on the NASCAR tracks especially Daytona. So to make it more swoopy Ford came out with the removable hard top which Holman & Moody put on the NASCAR racers. It went much faster so NASCAR outlawed it right away, lol. They did that to Ford quite often so Chevy had a chance.

It was called a "Star Lift" .

I seem to recall that Ford sent the outlawed car to Bonneville salt flats and had their next FE BB that was almost 500 CI and set several records with it. Of course the new BB never made it would have beat them all even worse.

If you ever see one of the roofs grab it would be very desirable for a collector.

Here is a scan from a Ford bulletin about the roof. Had plexiglass fillers that went in the rear side windows to match the roof line. You had to sell it to the public back then to be on the race track.

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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Pegleg, Your money, your decision if you decide to adopt a car looking for a new home. Up to your wife to decide if you get to sleep in the house or the garage!  

The biggest thing that would concern me would be engine and parts availability on a  car nearly 60 years old  in your area. I've had many conversations with Fabrice and see what he has to go through on simple things such as nuts, bolts, hardware, etc that we take for granted. He has his Chef hat on all the time cooking and restoring nuts and bolts and then has to deal with the missing or wrong hardware.  At least there are a lot of  parts sources for the Ford products.

I believe the Buick Nailhead engine was only produced through 1966, so while there may be some engine parts available here, I'm sure it would be a even greater challenge there.

The plus side on the Ford FE engines is being produced from 1958 through 1978 on production vehicles and  for another 10-15 years for Industrial and marine use. So there were millions of these engines built and parts availability is beyond fantastic for this Ford Workhorse engine!

There are also dozens of vendors that handle body and interior part for the full size Fords. I had no ideal how many until I was given the task of finding interior and body parts for our body shop Managers 1965 XL Galaxie that needed everything!

 

Both the 60 and 61 Starliners Don C posted are pure car porn to me. Either would look good with you behind the wheel. The members of a local Galaxie club had a couple of Starliners in their ranks. Everyone liked the side view of both cars but felt the 61 had a cleaner, smoother grill appearance and liked the smaller tail fins. (Which were gone in 62) . They felt the 60 had a more cluttered appearing grill and had the love it or hate it "Bat Wing" tail fins!

 

When you finish your 73 and decide you need another project (Starliner....Starliner....Starliner......)  just be sure you let us know and that way if you get in trouble you can always tell your wife it's our fault you bought it!    :D

Steve

 

No Officer...I really don't know how fast I was going, my speedometer stopped at 140!

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Pegleg, Your money, your decision if you decide to adopt a car looking for a new home. Up to your wife to decide if you get to sleep in the house or the garage!  

The biggest thing that would concern me would be engine and parts availability on a  car nearly 60 years old  in your area. I've had many conversations with Fabrice and see what he has to go through on simple things such as nuts, bolts, hardware, etc that we take for granted. He has his Chef hat on all the time cooking and restoring nuts and bolts and then has to deal with the missing or wrong hardware.  At least there are a lot of  parts sources for the Ford products.

I believe the Buick Nailhead engine was only produced through 1966, so while there may be some engine parts available here, I'm sure it would be a even greater challenge there.

The plus side on the Ford FE engines is being produced from 1958 through 1978 on production vehicles and  for another 10-15 years for Industrial and marine use. So there were millions of these engines built and parts availability is beyond fantastic for this Ford Workhorse engine!

There are also dozens of vendors that handle body and interior part for the full size Fords. I had no ideal how many until I was given the task of finding interior and body parts for our body shop Managers 1965 XL Galaxie that needed everything!

 

Both the 60 and 61 Starliners Don C posted are pure car porn to me. Either would look good with you behind the wheel. The members of a local Galaxie club had a couple of Starliners in their ranks. Everyone liked the side view of both cars but felt the 61 had a cleaner, smoother grill appearance and liked the smaller tail fins. (Which were gone in 62) . They felt the 60 had a more cluttered appearing grill and had the love it or hate it "Bat Wing" tail fins!

 

When you finish your 73 and decide you need another project (Starliner....Starliner....Starliner......)  just be sure you let us know and that way if you get in trouble you can always tell your wife it's our fault you bought it!    :D

 

lollerz  My Mustang IS my wife. I am happy to be single. Freedom is a underrated pleasure :D Would LOVE a Starliner but only 983,310 made 61-62. They go for big bucks. I agree 61-62 are sex on wheels. I think i prefer the bat wing tail fin. I was looking on Ebay and there was none for sale. That tells me it aint going to be easy to get one and if i do find one it will be expensive.

Steve

1971 Grande

 

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