I got a steal on a '56 Buick Roadmaster this past weekend. It doesn't run, needs work, but the body is sound, almost no rust, etc. I didn't need it, but the guy who was selling it cut me a deal that I couldn't pass up.

Question is, should I go stock on this, or should I just go with engine and other modifications as I want?

I can never decide until I just make a decision and go with it.

I have a '68 Camaro SS (going non-stock), and a '71 Chevy step-side (non-stock) as project cars.

I am going to have three project cars at the same time, but it is always a matter never enough time and money, and never both at the same time.

Plus I like keeping my eye out for deals on parts.

Think it is going to be a lot better now that I've hooked up with a really nice guy who happens to be a gear head/grease monkey.


So... Sock or non-stock?

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I absolutely love the 56 Buick Roadmaster. It has such great style. I'll weigh in on your question, and its only my little ol opinion, but I tend to favor a resto that honors the original lines and soul of the car, but with minor modern flare. So, for example, on my 40 Chevy, I removed most of the chrome and filled in the holes and added high gloss black pin striping on satin black paint. I kept a few pieces of chrome, but removed most of it. I removed the bumpers, flared the rear fenders just a bit to accommodate a wider tire, but its not too noticeable. I didn't lower it too much but it has a nice rake. The tail lights are modified for French tails, as is the license plate holder. I have American Racing wheels. As far as the engine goes, I'm more of a purist. It's a 327 small block from a 65 corvette. I never even considered a fully modern monster of an engine. It just doesn't suit me or the car. I believe the original engine in the Roadmaster was a V8. For me, that would be fine.

I would definitely keep some of the aspects of the Roadmaster that are recognizable, like the ventiports and the chrome sweep side trim. I also love the headlights and the grill. The Roadmaster has wonderfully feminine, but slightly bad girl, lines, and I would let that shine through. If you're looking for a way to make the car more you, I would play with the color of the paint (if you're repainting it) or the interior. I have a mix of new old stock and more modern pieces in my interior, and went with black and grey tweed. I wanted to keep original some of the interior that was important to me, like the dome light and the glove box clock (both hard pieces to find) but I have a Corvette stearing column and a Hearst shifter. My car was raced quite a bit, and was a mixed bag of parts, and I'm ok with that.

So the short answer is somewhere in the middle of stock and not stock. I'm not partial to flashy, but appreciate attention to detail, and I love when the car is completely recognizable. There are so many rad things about your car, and I would honor that. It takes much more vision and self control to not overdo a resto.

If you're willing to post photos of your progress, that would be awesome.
I will totally post pics of the process. Not going to happen for a bit. I was able to get her into the garage and out of the weather before it rained. Think I'm going to start by stripping her down a bit and getting to know her. That's how I usually work it out; they usually just start talking to me. The Buick seems to be pretty much stock. I'll be painting her. I'm leaning toward a leather upholstery. Just wish I could visualize her better. She came with an engine and transmission, but not sure what condition they are in yet.
My dream is to one day get a car and to renovate it to match the VIN, but I don't think it is going to be the Buick...



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