Monster of a barn find. Heard this one before? A Ford guy walks into a local, Alabama feed store for his morning cup of coffee and winds up buying a 1969 Camaro DZ 302 engine bolted to a 1932 Buick sedan with a Corvette rear end.
It wasn’t that easy, but the facts are simple. This beefed-up, barn find Buick had been tucked away since 1975. Now, the family wanted it gone. That’s where Jerry Weber got some hot coffee and a lead on this monster in the barn!
|Complete DZ 302 engine sitting between the frame rails of a mothballed 1932 Buick. Holley carb, Winters intake, and finned valve covers all correct ’69 issue.|
As unbelievable as it sounds, this Franken-Buick received a DZ 302-V8 heart transplant, 43 years ago. A resourceful, north Georgia, hot rodder scored the engine from a junkyard in 1971. He managed to yank a complete, DZ-stamped engine from a totaled, Daytona Yellow, 1969 Camaro Z28. To complete the 1932 Franken-Buick make-over, he added a Turbo 400 transmission, Rocket brand wheels, and a complete, independent rear end, including disc brakes, out of a 1965 Corvette. Hurst motor/frame mounts were also used.
|Jody Potter, Ron Kidd, and Keith Lively check out the 1965 Corvette rear end, disc brakes under the 1932 Buick.|
Really, it hits the fan
As it turns out, this Georgia, junkyard super hero was building the hot rod for his sons. Somewhere along the way, between 1971 and 1975, he moved his family moved from Georgia to Alabama with the ’32 project in tow. The Buick was road worthy for a couple of years before the sons lost interest and went away to college, around 1975.
In the name of hot rodding, or busting knuckles, so to speak, the fan blades hit the radiator. Despite successfully grafting parts onto the Buick, including a Mustang II front end, a destroyed radiator spelled doom.
That unfortunate event parked the project for the next 39 years. Blame the flex fan, if you must, but that sacrificial radiator helped preserve a low-mile, original DZ 302 engine. The body on the ’32 is also rust-free.
|Franken-Buick was hauled to his new home in as-found condition. The hood, grill shell, and other parts were removed 39 years ago when the project went on hold.|
Back to the guy who wanted some coffee. Somehow, things ran off the track when the Ford guy, Jerry Weber, was told a 1940 Ford coupe would soon be for sale. Weber left the feed store, with a phone number, ready to meet the owners and make a deal on the 1940 Ford.
Weber found out that the family, who owned the ’40 Ford, was planning an estate sale to liquidate the assets of the man who built the 1932 Franken-Buick. The family wanted to quickly clear out all the buildings, including structures that housed cars that had been untouched since 1975.
Love at first sight
The ’32 Buick Model 57 caught Weber’s eye. The owners, more concerned with preparing for an estate sale, knew it was once a hot rod. They confirmed that they knew it was a 302-V8.
Without batting an eye, Weber and his son-in-law, Keith Lively, were loading up a 1940 Ford and the 1932 Buick sedan with the DZ 302 engine.
A second lease on life for two, great American classics!
— Junkyard Life
|1965 Corvette independent rear suspension, disc brakes and differential casting #3830303 found under the 1932 Buick.|
|Original 1932 Buick rat rod, from 1975. Evidence that art imitates life.|
|1932 Buick body tag details.|
|The interior of the ’32 Buick has undergone some modifications. Wood dash is original.|
|Fisher Body construction utilized wood and steel on 1932 Buicks.|
|Must be less that 30,000 miles on this DZ 302 engine since it was rescued from a wrecked Z28 in 1971 and parked. The engine spun over freely and looked free of gunk.|
|Beautiful detail on the 1932 Buick fenders — and rust-free.|
|A Mustang II front end made its way under the 1932 Buick between 1974 and 1975.|
|A tilt steering column and aftermarket gauges were added to the hot rod 1932 Buick.|
|Large vents including front air scoop opens on redesigned 1932 Buick hood.|
|DZ 302 engines featured a Winters aluminum high-rise intake with their snowflake logo.|
|Wood panel supports center section of 1932 Buick Model 57 roof.|
|Rocket wheels and Delta 60 tires, rear, Delta 70, front.|
|An inline 8-cylinder powered Model 57 Buicks in 1932. That’s 230-cu. inches – a Buick favorite.|
|After spending decades in locked away, the 1932 Buick is moved, to you guessed it – a barn.|
|Delta 60, raised, white letter tires spread the hot rod mojo on 5-spoke Rocket wheels.|
|Camaro Z28 fans speak reverently of the DZ 302 engine, knowing it packs a 350-400HP punch, not the underated 290HP advertised.|