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Tempting 1961 LeSabre Bubble Top
#1
Found this 1961 LeSabre Bubble Top.

What a beautiful car this is Tongue 

Very Tempted Big Grin

Even though i havent a clue what a nail head is Shootself

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-LeSabre-BU...SwIbtb5L2c

Steve
1971 Grandé
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#2
I think that car could be a fairly good investment.

[Image: 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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#3
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!   Big Grin

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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#4
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.
  Reply
#5
(04-11-2019, 02:30 PM)secluff Wrote: 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!   Big Grin

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 Grandé
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#6
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



[Image: s-l640.jpg]

[Image: 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!
  Reply
#7
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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#8
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
[Image: 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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#9
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?   Big Grin

Steve

No Officer...I really don't know how fast I was going, my speedometer stopped at 140!
  Reply
#10
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 Grandé
  Reply
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