Some dishes use fancy reductions and garnishes to make them interesting. However, the best meals just use high quality ingredients prepared well. Similarly, it doesn’t take a billion in the bank or a motor out of a stock car to make an interesting hot rod build – just a proven platform, the right parts, and some tasteful styling.
This 1928 Buick has all that, and the duration of the build – just a little over two months – is a surprisingly short time to have found all the appeal present here. All in all, this build emphasizes the aesthetic. While the parts are fine in performance terms, it’s a car that is supposed to look classy, reserved, and stylish, without being brash or over-the-top. That balance is not easily found, and far more challenging to achieve than the installation of a snarling big block. Call me a purist, but these understated builds are uncommon for a reason – they require taste.
The body required a bit of polishing to get in presentable shape – starting with the running boards and the bumper. With the running boards patched up and the front bumper buffed to shine brilliantly, the build was underway.
A Speedway Motors front axle and brake kit adorned the front end, while the rear was modified with a Chevy S10 axle and accompanying disc brakes. The back end still retains the stock spring setup and ladder bars, but ditches two leaves. With the amount of power the motor is capable of producing, some disc brakes come in very useful.
The motor – a 350 bored .030 – was fitted with a supercharger, Moroso valve covers, and some tasteful A/R fittings to complement the overall package. Compression is 9:1, and four pounds of boost give the motor a little more gusto. The blower adds a bit of heat, which is mitigated with a modern Ford Taurus fan. The beauty of an old-fashioned, exposed engine bay is that it reduces heat, but also allows for larger ancillary parts to be placed inside, rather than shoehorned in.
Turning to the interior, the brake assembly was put in place. The original gauges were oval and therefore quite hard to come by, so a dash from an M151 military Jeep was used and some standard circular gauges added.
With the vintage-style gauges added and the dash painted properly, it’s something to behold.
With the stock seats put in place, the classic wooden steering wheel and a modern shift knob, the interior is simple and immersive. It offers only what’s necessary, and there are absolutely no distractions to remove the driver from the experience.
After the brakes and wiring were finished, the 350 roared to life and pushed the green Buick out of the garage and into the sunlight. However, the tarnished fenders needed something to live up the the rest of the ride.
The weathered fenders and running boards received a coat of Rustoleum semi-gloss black, which matches the top section. It’s hard to go wrong with the classic combination of green and black, with chrome wheels and a bit of polished silver to give the darkened Buick a lively accent or two.
And with that, the build was complete. Nothing extravagant or garish, but simple, stylish, and, with the exception of the blower sticking out proudly, understated. Like classic hot rods which used discreet color combos to keep a low profile, this Buick does not need to be the center of attention, which is fine. With a supercharged 350, it would be better spinning its rear tires than turning heads anyways.