1929 Buick Sports Coupe – Graham Boyce


The Buick, Sports Coupe is owned by two generations of the BOYCE family being Barry and Graham. How this Buick come to light was a life long mate, Nick Nowak had been searching for Dodge parts or cars when he stumbled across the 1929 Buick. At the time Nick had no interest in Buicks and as good mates do he passed on the find. A phone call from Nick and all of us set off to see what had been found.

The pile of junk was owned by Vic Gorham at Reids Flat via Frogmore, NSW (on a pig farm) who purchased it in the 1950s and according to the conversations of the day, the Buick had been brought new to the district and named by painting Ms PIGGIE on the radiator surround and used as a bush basher. The price was $9 for it in 1969, the original asking price was $10 and as a matter of principle a negotiation factor had taken its course. Nick topped it with an $8 Dodge taking the mickey out of Barry. At the time the Buick had no front end under it and some disc wheels welded to the back hubs. As luck has it, Nick pipes up and said no problems as I know where another one is but cut to a ute on a property not far away. We set off on another venture and acquired that one for $5. Between the two it enabled us to get the Buick mobile enough to get on a trailer setting sail for home towed by our old FE Holden. This began the searching for Buicks which brought us in contact with another great mate Keith Harvey who was a wealth of knowledge as he had a 1929 Buick Roadster. At times Keith would set off to purchase Buicks but as luck would have it, they would not suit him. Keith found two 1929 Buicks the same as ours, dumping the two at home. A treasure trove for us but not Keith with a transaction price negotiated over many bottles of plonk. From then on Keith had an excuse for demand drink by just dropping into the Boyces.

In an advisory capacity Peter Toet, who suffered from the same issues as Keith, a problem solver of the world or so we thought. Resulting from the demand drink we at time engaged another mate to resolve a restoration point in question and would call Mal Mason only to get hiswife on the phone who responded by saying “Barry, do you know what time it is?” Mal quickly says “that’s Barry pass the phone over” a quick conversation took place with a passing comment “Barry, its 3 am in the morning”. That’s mates for you always ready to help?

The restoration was completed in 1970. Hours of mechanical work, spray painting, electrical and upholstery framing was carried out by us. My mentor and panel beat was Peter Arber my cousin who is an old school panel beater who did most of the beating as a young apprentice. The woodwork in the body frame of the Roadster was completed by the late Wally Brown. The hood was a late addition, as we were unable to make head nor tail of how it was configured. Peter Withers my half brother found a restoration in the USA in progress from which we able to work out what we had to do. Most moving parts were made from bog and later caste into bronze, later sanded and chromed. The woodwork was hand crafted, later stained by Derik Sharpe.

The first rally the Buick ventured on, the Buick consisted of a radiator, running gear a scuttle and a butter box for a seat and that’s all. You couldn’t do that these days but those were good old days. Now the Buick is well loaded with accessories being wire wheels, spare wheels in the front guards, driving lights, bugle horns, back mud guard kick plates, valance kick plates, wind deflectors on windscreen, front and back bumper bars, radiator wings with Boyce motor meter, rotating spot light. The chrome plating and polishing was done by Electroplating Technology, Queanbeyan. Shane, the chrome plater (knowledge plus) and Brett, the wizard who changes a sow’s ear into a silk purse. The people who have influenced me, are Albert Neuss, Keith Harvey, Mal Mason, Nick Nowak, Peter Arber, Peter Toet, Henry Le Grand, Bill Phillips, John Thomas and Keith Blundell (my mates).

Graham Boyce