Rod & Custom Feature Car
Owner contact info:
David Dickinson
Benton, Arkansas
1939 Buick convertible

The stock chassis sits under that vast body, though the two were separated to thoroughly go through both. A Fatman Fabrications Mustang II IFS with Eaton coil springs and QA1 shocks now adorns the front, while the stock coils were removed at the rear and Chrysler leaf springs tunneled into the frame to lower the rear end. There's a '59 Ford 9-inch under there now, with a limited-slip differential and Delco shocks. Bob Messig, at Bodies by Bob in Furlow, Arkansas (501-352-1709), undertook all the chassis modifications. The stock Ford drums are still doing a fine job of braking, combined with a pair of Wilwood six-piston calipers and 11-inch rotors up front, ably hauling the heavy Buick down from highway speeds.

David opted to stay in the GM family and slip a big-block Chevy under the Buick's pancaked hood, settling on a '94 454 with Street & Performance intake and fuel injection, Sanderson headers, and a custom stainless steel exhaust system. Street & Performance also supplied the engine dress-up parts and accessory bracketry. Taking no chances, David purchased a new 4L80E transmission from GM, adding a Lokar shifter and hooking it to the 9-inch with a custom driveshaft from Superior Spring in Little Rock.

Wheels & Tires
Rims from a '92 Buick Roadmaster keep everything in the family-15-inch all around but with an extra 1/2-inch of backspacing on the front pair. Firestone Diamondback wide whites measure 205/75 and 235/75 front and rear, respectively.

Body & Paint
We mentioned the chop in the text-3 1/2 inches, by the way-and that means the convertible top was chopped, too, but the Buick was also channeled, receiving fabricated roll pans front and rear, and wearing '39 Ford door handles. The rear quarters have been extended vertically, the leading edges of the rear fenders have been extended down to meet the rockers, the stock taillights were lowered on the body, and the emblems and hood ornament all required modification once the hood was pancaked. All that is in addition to the body mods we've already discussed. Bob Messig was responsible for all of this, as well as the PPG "darkest navy blue on the chart," according to David.

The stock dash was altered, with a Burlwood framed insert, though the stock speedometer was refurbished by United Speedometer and refitted. A Wheel Shoppe Inc. banjo steering wheel points the Buick in the right direction, thanks to an ididit tilt column. David reclines in style on a caramel-colored ostrich leather-trimmed Glide Engineering seat with a split center armrest. More ostrich leather covers the door panels, thanks to the capable hands of Terry Holt. A Vintage Air system keeps occupants cool, while a Ron Francis harness ensures everything works as it should, including the Panasonic stereo system that Bob installed when he wasn't busy with his welder or spray gun! Not that you'll spot the stereo, as the head unit is hidden behind the hinged speaker grille.