View Full Version : Alexander's '67 Buick!
10-01-2010, 02:29 PM
Some of you know that Alexander used to have a 1967 Buick LeSabre that he had for some time. If I have the chronology correct this is the car he had before he got his first Tbird. Some of you probably remember that he often talked about Keith, who did a lot of the work on his Tbirds. Keith "inherited" so to speak, that old Buick and it has been sitting for some time now. A good friend of Alexander's, Tom Cangialosi emailed me some weeks ago, talking about trying to obtain and restore Alexander's Buick. He contacted Keith, found out where the car was, and decided he was going to go ahead and restore Alexander's car in his memory. He talked with Julie regarding this, and she was pleased. Here is what Tom has had to say about obtaining the car and starting the restoration process.
"I was lucky enough to find the pictures Alexander sent me of the car back in 2007. She doesnít look too bad and I am looking forward to starting work. Julie has been great and will work with me to get a replacement title. My only snag has been arranging transport from Keithís house out in Mattituck, Long Island to my office here in Tinton FallsNJ07724. Itís about 155 miles one way. Keith has promised to air up the tires, pull her out of the weeds and get her on solid blacktop next week. I just need to pick her up.
It's a sharp car and I'm anxious to begin working on her. This is a not for profit venture and anyone who can help will be welcomed. I'm sure the brakes, fuel system and suspension need work. Keith told me Alexander used it as his driver until he bought the Mark VIII in 1998. I'm bidding on a spare engine now on eBay. It's a 340 V8.
I have a friend who may be able to provide his help with an auto transport trailer but the availability varies. Can you please reach out to the Square Bird folks to see if anybody has any resources? The $600 plus for a flatbed rollback to get it is money Iíd rather put toward the restoration.
Any help would sure be appreciated.
The Standard Group
If you live in the Long Island or Tom's New Jersey area and have a flatbed rollback or other vehicle suitable to transport the Buick, that you would be willing to donate some time to or provide it at a reduced rate, Tom would really appreciate it. I think it is great that Tom and his wife, also named Julie, want to restore Alexander's old Buick to it's former glory. If you care to donate further to the cause of restoring her, please contact Tom. You have his telephone number above. If you can help him, please contact him and let me know here also. Here are the pictures that Alexander sent to him before he passed away.
10-01-2010, 02:48 PM
I wonder if that "anti-door ding moulding" is O.E.?
The long one sweeping down the sides of this car so gracefully...
10-01-2010, 03:28 PM
I just want to thank you again for posting my info. Back in 2006 Alexander and I spoke at lenght during the ride to Carlisle and via emails on how he "would sure appreciate it if I would restore the old girl to her former glory" At the time we had new baby, a 2 1/2 year old and no time to do it.He was concentrating on being a newlywed and working on his Golde. All this happened before Alexander became ill. With his passing priorities changed.We think about him everyday and with my wife's support I plan to carry out his wish that I restore and keep this car.
10-16-2010, 11:42 PM
Alexander's '67 Buick is about to start it's journey back to life! Tom Cangialosi sent me this email today.
"Iím back in my office after driving 300 miles round trip to see Alexanderís Buick. After 12 years of slumber she was pulled from her spot behind Keithís garage. On the positive side she sits pretty and her body and glass look okay. All of her bits are present. Whoever bought her new sure knew how to ride in style and comfort with power to spare. Factory options include air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, speed sensor, 340 engine with a 4 barrel, 3 speed automatic, autotronic eye, remote drivers mirror and an AM/FM Sonomatic. On the not so good side the window on the driverís side was left Ĺ open for who knows how long and the carpets and a lot of the soft trim is shot. A small field of moss is growing on the floor and thereís lots of mold. Iím hoping the floor pans are not too bad. A few animals have made their home under the hood and in the frame rails. A gopher was living in the ground below her. Iím having it flat bedded to my shop on Tuesday. Here are some pics.
10-20-2010, 06:15 PM
I just received this from Tom. He now has Alexander's '67 Buick at his shop! He is checking it out to see what works, what doesn't, how bad it is, etc.. Not bad! Here is what he had to say, followed by 3 pix he took. I am gonna let this thread follow what Tom is doing to restore Alexander's Buick. It ain't a Tbird, but it was Alexander's pride and joy for some time. Here ya go.
"All is well as the Buick is now in safe hands. Itís here at my shop in NJ and spent Ĺ a day going over the car, cleaning what I could and removing the interior. Even though the she was full of water the floors and trunk are solid as a rock. I power washed the engine and body. Geez, even the headlights work!
I also found Alexanderís Wardís Ever-ready Motor Record Book in the glove box. Its copyright is from 1959! In his handwriting is a complete and detailed record from 5/3/90 at 42,333 miles when he bought it from Alexandra Oliynyk to 105,830.2 miles in 9/12/98 when he parked it. Thatís when he bought his new Collectorís Edition Mark VIII. Boy, he kept good records. Every time he got fuel or did any work, he logged it. He even marked his trips to Spring and Fall Carlisle with a special note.
11-09-2010, 01:05 PM
Here is the latest update from Tom regarding the restoration work on Alexander's Buick!
Alexander’s Buick is coming along. I’ve removed the interior and am now wire wheeling the floors and trunk to get ready for the POR 15. Next is dropping the fuel tank and some patch panels in the trunk.
07-20-2011, 06:48 PM
Here is an update on the status of the restoration of Alexander's LeSabre from Tom Cangialosi!
"Just a quick update on how things are going with the Buick. Iím about to lift the body of the frame as the engine and transmission have been removed. I completely rebuilt the spare engine the past winter and spring. It looks awesome! Most of the car has been taken apart, bagged and tagged for future reference. Let me tell you, there is little or no club support for 67 LeSabres, but many thanks to Team Buick for having a complete shop manual online for free! If you can find any body parts down there Iíd love to know.
Iíll send some pics later."
07-21-2011, 10:55 AM
Tom sent me a couple of pix of Alexander's '67 Buick work. Wait until you see the new engine that is going in her! The other pic is what she looks like as the work continues.
07-24-2011, 10:45 AM
Ray: Tom is moving along nicely on Alexander's project and it is a true testament to the passing of a wonderful man and his love for classics. I am sure we all think of him from time to time, as I know I do with respect to our site.
08-15-2011, 05:08 PM
Tom Cangialosi sent me an update and some pix of the work he is doing on Alexander's '67 Buick that he bought to restore in Alexander's honor. Here is what he had to say and the three pix he sent.
"How to Separate A Buick
Last Friday I took a vacation day, mind you, I took it at work here in our truck shop. All by my lonesome with the help of two 5000 lb forklifts, I was able to lift Alexanderís LeSabre off her frame. The prep work took weeks of lunch time labor to disconnect everything and remove the body supports. I also built roller dollies from scrap displays we had."
Not to long ago, I posted the engine pix for Tom, below this. Here is what she looks like now with the body separated from the frame.
08-24-2011, 08:07 PM
Tom sent me an update on his restoration of Alexander's '67 Buick. Here is what he had to say and a couple more pix.
"I finally brought the Buickís body in to my garage and out of the weather. After 12 years of outdoor exposure to the elements she is now on dollies next to my Corvair and her new engine.
Alexanderís wish was that she be ďrestored to her former gloryĒ and I love the original color, Midnight Blue Iridescent, so thatís the plan. Once the body was off the rust doesnít look too bad! Hopefully I can just get away with lower quarters."
Here is a pic of the Buick being lifted onto dollies so Tom can roll her into his garage, and one of her in the garage.
02-03-2012, 07:25 PM
Tom Cangialosi just sent me an update on the work going on with Alexander's 67 Buick that he is restoring. Here is what he had to say.
"Well, Iím in pretty deep but making slow progress. With the engine completed last winter I set my sights on the frame, rear and suspension. The frame has been completely cleaned and wire wheeled. I then laid down a nice coat of POR15 with some semi gloss high temp black over it. There sure was a lot of undercoating on the rear and frame! It looks great now. I pulled the rear apart and installed new outside wheel bearings and seals all around. With new bushings, POR 15 Metal Mask paint and new brake components, itís ready to install. I even put the original paint marks and the yellow ďNJĒ back on the pumpkin that denotes 2.93 non posi gears. All the front suspension stuff has been acid etched, cleaned and clear coated or painted as needed.
Also ordered new tires, (P225/75 R15- very hard to find), acid dipping the rims for new paint (backs are tan with black fronts from the factory. Purchased new fuel and brake lines plus dropped the SuperTurbine off at the trans shop. Iím pleased how NAPA seem to have so much for this car.
Here are a couple of pix he sent me to post.
02-04-2012, 08:42 PM
Didn't realize they were full frame cars - really nice work! Looks like he's doing a top notch job.
02-06-2012, 04:56 PM
I got this from Tom. I sent his request to Julie & Marianne also.
I was wondering if anyone remembers Alexander driving this car to any event or has photos. They can send them to me directly via this email.
Here is his email address: email@example.com (http://firstname.lastname@example.org)
04-24-2012, 06:57 PM
Wonderin how the buick is comin along. Any progress reports?
04-24-2012, 08:54 PM
I will ask Tom if he has any new pix to share with us since I last posted pix... It has been awhile since I last heard from him.
04-25-2012, 10:20 AM
Tom replied to me this morning and also sent me a couple of new pix which I will post. Here is what he had to say.
"Well things are moving ahead. I sold my 65 Corvair and am awaiting pickup. This will make room at home for the chassis and free up some cash. Itís been stripped, POR15 treated and Iíve cleaned, rebuilt, and painted most of the suspension components. I even did the steering box myself! I have the complete set of brake and fuel lines. The transmission cross member has been bolted in. The trans is at the shop and I did the rear myself. Once the chassis is home, my boys and I will start bolting pieces on. Check out the new tires on my refinished rims with NOS wheel covers!
Alexander's '67 Buick is being brought back to life with loving care. Tom is making good progress. Here are the pix.
05-01-2012, 04:07 PM
Tom Cangialosi sent me some information and a picture of the restored frame of Alexander's '67 Buick. Here is what he had to say.
"Here is a pic of the frame. I kinda launched it like a ship, down a ramp out of the back of a box truck.
Funny things happen on this restoration. A few weeks back I was working painting the inside of the driver's side frame box section in the front. I spied something wedged in there. After some poking, a small box dropped to the floor. It was Alexander's magnetic "hide-a-key" box! I've turned this frame upside down twice, blew compressed air through it, flushed it out with a pressure washer over the last year and never saw it, but it was there!
Here is what the frame looks like now!
06-04-2012, 04:58 PM
Tom just sent me a couple of before and after pix of the brake work he and his son's have done on Alexander's '67 Buick. He is making great progress to putting her back on the road. Here is what he had to say. "Things are moving ahead with the help of my sons. Here are some before and after shots of the suspension and brake work." Here are the two pix he sent. Before and After.
07-16-2012, 01:40 PM
Tom Cangialosi just sent me a pic of what Alexander's '67 Buick is looking like now! Beautiful! Alexander would be proud. I am sharing this with Marianne and Julie! He is getting there! Here is the current pic.
08-14-2012, 11:21 PM
Tom sent me a picture of what Alexander's '67 Buick looked like when he got it to restore. Here is also what he said he is doing to it now.
"Right now Iím just rebuilding the dash. The chrome surround was shot from the waterfall that cascaded over it for 12 years but the instruments are fine. I was lucky enough to find one on ebay from a 66 Wildcat. Same design only it was revision F and Alexanderís is revision K. A little filing here, some drilling there and I hope it works!"
09-04-2012, 11:42 AM
Tom just sent me some pix of the work he has done on the dash. It looks like a brand spanking new one. Here is what he had to say and then three pictures.
"With the chassis done, Iíve turned my attention to the instrument panel. The used surround I found on ebay is in great shape. I cleaned, repaired, and lubricated the original speedo, fuel gauge, speed alert, clock and all the switches. Alexander had a modern AM/FM cassette unit behind a false face that he built from the original. He made it look like the old Sonomatic was still in place! His quartz clock conversion quit and I tried to replace it, it failed too. I was lucky enough to find and original electromechanical movement that I serviced. Solid brass! I fabricated a new heater cable and will add a NOS glove box upper section. I was surprised to see how some of the chrome held up after 12 years in a damp interior. The air conditioning / heater controls were all salvageable."
09-04-2012, 07:28 PM
09-30-2012, 01:32 AM
In addition to being a great memorial, it is wonderful that a less common (to restore) model is getting the royal treatment. What a beautiful car. I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for updates on this one!
01-28-2013, 03:15 PM
I had several emails from Tom today regarding the status of the work being done by him on restoring Alexander's '67 Buick LeSabre. Here is what he had to say.
"Iíve stripped the body of all the side glass, regulators, trim, and rubber. Itís all wrapped and labeled. I just pulled the heater box and am now rebuilding/restoring it. I found a label on the heater core that reads ďReplaced by A. Sosiak 12/26/92Ē. I ran my memory back to the date and remember it well! It was really cold as I drove alone to Vermont to ski. He must have froze his butt off working outside. I think this is when he cracked the engine block with a bad water/coolant mix. He shows every repair in his little book but this one! I was able to source a new core and an NOS firewall gasket. Iíll send some before and after pics of the box.
My main issue now is the body. Iíll strip whatís left of the paint off (factory plus one ugly repaint that preceded Alexander) to bring it back to ďbody in whiteĒ as the manufacturers say. Butt welded steel patch panels are in place on the fenders and I have an 68 NOS driversí quarter from a sedan that will replace the lower section nicely. Iím still hunting for a passenger side quarter panel. I could get one from California, but it costs a kingís ransom. I know good bodywork when I see it, and can do almost anything else, so Iíd like to leave that to the pros.
Itís nice to know folks are following my progress. This is really a memorial to Alexander. The support is heartwarming. I only wish I had more resources and could move quicker. If anyone on the forum would like to help or contact me directly, let me know. I live in Howell,NJ 07731. My email address is: email@example.com "
If anyone knows where he can find a passenger side quarter panel for a 1967 Buick LeSabre (or '68?) in his general area, please let him know. If you have any contacts with salvage yards, Pick-N-Pull places, etc. and know where you can find one, please let him know. Tom, I will check my local Pick-N-Pull and see if they have any '67/'68 (what other year will work?) Buick LeSabra's they have not crushed. If anyone would like to become a part of this project and help Tom finish up Alexander's Buick, please email him and talk with him about this. He is going to send me some more pix and I will post them later.
Here is what Tom said he is looking for on the passenger side of the car.
"Hereís a shot of the car. I need the quarter just above the wheel arch, extending from the bumper to the door. A complete one wouldnít hurt either. Wildcat is the same quarter. The higher up the side the better. The wheel arch trim covers the drip line of the wheel well. Alexanderís car doesnít have them now. If they have a 67 -68 Lesabre or Wildcat let me know."
Here is the pic.
01-29-2013, 01:21 PM
Here are the additional pix that Tom sent me to post.
01-29-2013, 01:59 PM
In a previous post, Tom was talking about having to repair the heater box. In the first picture you can see, where he has it circled in red, where it was broken off. Here is what he said. "The heater box was a conduit for water and the top corner where it meet the firewall was gone. I reconstructed it with fiberglass sheet and resin. This is after I put new seals on the heater door."
In the second picture you can see where he fixed the break. Here is what he said. "Hereís a shot of the missing piece. The repair shows on the bottom left of the after shot." In the third picture he said, "Repaired half of heater box and new edge seal on heater core bypass door."
Ray, thank you for the updates, and please let Tom know that he is doing a GREAT job and his craftsmanship appears superior. Nick
02-04-2013, 12:18 AM
Thanks, Nick, I have passed that along to Tom and he appreciates those words. He sent me some more information and pictures of the heater box he has repaired.
But first, I went to our local Pick-N-Pull this morning to look for that passenger side fender panel he needs. They have a classic car section set aside from their more modern area. I went through several hundred cars there and they did not have a '67-'68 Buick Lesabre or Wildcat on the lot, unfortunately. The guy told me that if I found one that panel would cost $150, which I thought was pretty fair.
If anyone out there knows of anyone who has a 1967 or 1968 Buick LeSabre or Wildcat parts car with that fender still on it, please post here so I can tell Tom where he can find it at.
While I was there, I found 1 '63, 3 '64, 3 '65, 1 '66 and 1 '68 Tbirds there as parts cars. I was able to get, for the most part, the VIN #'s and Data Plate info and just registered them on the Tbird Registry.
Now for what he had to say about the heater box.
"A small step, but here's the restored heater box. New core, seals, gaskets and a coat of high temp clear. I even tested the vacuum motor that switches from heat to defrost. This side mounts to the firewall. If anybody in the club needs help with heater box rebuilds, let me know. I have few tricks to make them work and look better than new."
Here are the new pix of the restored box.
02-08-2013, 11:36 AM
Tom told me that while working on the car, he found 2 Build Sheets. Well, the one under the front seat was pretty well shot, water having gotten to it. Here is what he said. "That build sheet lived under the hood insulation for 45 years untouched. I used some paper conservation techniques to flatten it out. The one under the seat disintegrated due to the water damage. I’m so glad I have it." He sent me a picture of what it looks like. He was able to partially reconstruct what it said and put it into an Excel program. Here is the picture of the sheet. One of the things he found is that the car was manufactured in the Wilmington, Delaware plant. He is still looking for that passenger side front panel.
06-04-2013, 10:53 PM
Tom sent me three more pix and an update on the work he is doing on restoring Alexanders '67 Buick. Here is what he had to say. I see the Buick has rust problems under the battery box like our Squarebirds can.
"Iím make some progress with Alexanderís car. Hereís some photos of the passenger side front inner fender. This section is below the battery box. You can see the piece I cut out hanging on the right. The leaky battery did a job on it! To fabricate the new piece took some thought. It has a .9 inch wide by ľ inch deep ďSĒ indentation stamped from the factory to give it some strength. Since I donít have a megaton stamping press, I ended up sketching the outline of into a piece of wood. I used a router to make the indentation and loosely screwed the patch panel down to it , confirming the exact location of with a paper tracing. The next step was laying the board on solid my solid concrete floor and ďdrawingĒ the sheet metal into the form with a big hammer and flat block of steel while flowing the tracing.
My welding skills are not the best but it will look perfect when complete."
Here are the three pix.
06-05-2013, 10:59 AM
Tom sent me two more pix of the work he is doing now on Alexanders '67 Buick. Here is what he had to say and the new pix.
"Progress is slow but steady. Iíve also started on the rear body supports. They rotted out before Alexander bought her and someone did a quick ďbandaidĒ repair using whatever they could lay hands on. The newly fabricated support and template for itsí mounting plate are on the left, old repair on the right. The other photo is the hole in the trunk!"
07-16-2013, 05:57 PM
I have been watching Tom bring Alexander's '67 Buick back to life again over the last few years. Here is what he had to say today about it, and a couple of pix.
"I just purchased a MIG welding setup from Eastwoods and am finishing up fabricating the trunk supports and associated replacement panels for the trunk floor. My welding has improved drastically. This is the first one, the second came out even better."
Here is another pic that Tom sent after he finished it.
Richard D. Hord
07-16-2013, 06:40 PM
She's going to be awesome! Alexander is smiling, looking down on this project.
Richard D. Hord
08-29-2013, 02:15 PM
Tom Cangialosi just sent me two more pix of the work that has to be done in the trunk area to fix it. He is coming along...
01-13-2014, 01:00 PM
Tom Cangialosi just sent me an update and pic on the work he is doing on Alexander's '67 Buick. Here is what he had to say and the pic.
"I'm getting back to the Buick in a big way. It's time to get the quarter panels squared away. This shot shows the material that was removed. Before Alexander bought it someone cut steel from some unknown wreck, tacked it in place and troweled on 1/4 of bondo over it. What a mess! I was lucky enough to find an NOS 68 sedan drivers' quarter that will work here. Tom"
05-20-2014, 11:29 AM
Tom Cangialosi continues with the work on restoring Alexander's '67 Buick! Here is what he had to say this morning and the pix he sent.
"Hereís the repair to the passenger side windshield top corner. The entire bottom at the cowl is like this! First pic shows the rusted out section. The second the area cut out and the others the patch and welding."
05-26-2014, 11:00 PM
67 was a good styling year for most of GM. Buick included.
Best wishes for you conquering the rust. Delt with significant rust in two Studebakers and now the Lincoln. Gotta do it but yukky and no fun.
06-10-2014, 03:31 PM
Here is what Tom had to say about the work he is doing to restore the windshield area.
"I had to refabricate the entire bottom of the windshield frame on the Buick. Here's the last piece."
Here is the pic he sent.
09-29-2014, 12:33 PM
Tom Cangialosi continues with the work on restoring Alexander's '67 Buick! Here is what he had to say this morning and the pix he sent.
"I am moving ahead with replacing/fabricating the rear quarters. Here are some shots of the passenger side. Long before Alexander, someone welded patches over good metal and some rust along the lip. They then applied ĺ inch of bondo and feathered it forward toward the door. Nice! This side is better than the driver as the lower rear section is only dented. They even filled the dent with bondo when it could have been popped out from the inside the trunk! Anyway, what you see here is me welding a new lip I fabricated on the inner fender. I used the NOS driver’s side quarter I found as a template and flipped it. Plug welded from the outside, you’ll only see a tiny edge if you stick your head in the wheel well. Not original, but close. Same with the beam below the quarter window that attaches to the front lip. I need to get this car back on the frame!"
Here are a couple of pix of what he is doing.
01-02-2015, 12:31 PM
Here is the latest update and pix from Tom regarding the work he is doing on Alexander's '67 Buick. Here is what he had to say, followed by the 3 pix he sent.
I am still working on the Buick. Here's the repair I had to make to the bottom front of the driver's door. Weird double wall design with a drain that got clogged. After I welded the patch, I sealed and smoothed it out with epoxy!
01-23-2016, 04:57 PM
Tom just sent me an update and pix on the work on Alexander's '67 Buick! Here is what he had to say, followed by the pix.
All is well. We're getting hit with a massive snow storm here in NJ. I wish I was in Texas!
The Buick is coming along. I'm working to button up the driver's side quarter panel installation and fabricated parts of the passenger side. After 5 years of searching on ebay I found a repro passenger side panel but it only covered about 75% of what was rotted out. I was very lucky as they haven't made them in 20 years. Using some of the skills and know how my Father handed down, I made an outline in paper of what I needed, transferred it to a piece of lumber, cut it out and hammered a sheet steel over it to form the section. Once trimmed, I MIG welded it in place.
Progress is slow, but I'm moving ahead.
09-20-2016, 07:12 PM
It has been many months since I have heard from Tom on how the work is going on restoring Alexander's '67 Buick. I heard from him just a few minutes ago and here is what he had to say. I asked him if he had any new pix and if he does, he will send them to me I am sure.
"Alexander's car is has progressed to the point where all the body panels are installed and I'm scrapping and cleaning the dealer undercoating off the underside. What a pain in the butt! Heat gun/ putty knife and Karnak spray to get it down to the factory black."
09-21-2016, 09:39 AM
Tom is doing a remarkable job on Alexander's Buick and is a slow process:rolleyes:
09-23-2016, 10:50 AM
I have heard from both Julie and Marianne! Both are pleased to hear that Tom's work on the Buick is continuing. Julie said that she and Alexander were fortunate to have known Tom and his family and that Tom and Alexander had a special bond between them.
Marianne had this to say about the history of Alexander's Tbirds, his Malibu and the '67 Buick.
"Alexander bought his 1959 T-Bird dream car in 1981 after he graduated Columbia University and got his first real job after college. He bought the 1967 LaSaber in 1989 when the 1973 Malibu, that he was using to commute to Med school, was worn out and he needed a new car. It is funny how he bought an older car to replace the Malibu."
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