About Jeff


 

My Buick Story

My maternal grandfather, Orlyn Culp, began the Buick legacy in my family. He was a farmer in southern California who owned Electras. When my father married his daughter, grandpa offered to buy them their first car as a wedding present but my prideful dad declined. I give my dad credit for being wise enough to accept grandpa's second offer of a new Buick when I was born. Dad rightly followed grandpa to the local dealership soon after the arrival of the first grandson; me.

That car was a kidsbuick1960 LeSabre (Me standing behind Sister with a neighbor kid on right).

I still tease my dad about not saving that car for me. I love the style of the bubble top and the tail fins. Dad's next new car was his all-time favorite Buick (maybe because he bought it off the showroom floor and had to save for years to afford it). His new 1969 Riviera was his dream car; a wonderful Buick . . . the Riv had the power, the comfort, the style, and the lines. Twice a year growing up, our family rode the Riv from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles. My little sister and I still marvel at the fact that we shared the back seat of a Riviera for over 4,000 miles each year ("are we there yet?"). I've got two favorite memories of that car.

 prombuickDad let me take it to my high school senior prom in 1976. (Oh, my, . . . a matching tux and platform shoes.  Thank goodness Disco is now dead.)

What a great car for a date. The big 430 cid to jump on a green light, the smooth Buick ride to cruise around town, the sleek styling to be seen in, and the big front bench seat for "parking". The second memory was taking the Riv to 112 mph on a 2 mile straight stretch just out of town, with me watching the road and my buddy watching the speedo. I shut down before the Riv did. Dad always wondered why the water pump mysteriously went out days after my joy ride. I confessed to him about that stupid ride just a couple years ago.

It took me 17 years after my last drive in the Riv to get back in touch with my Buick roots. I was a foundation director at a local hospital which had been gifted a 1957 Special 2 door.  My board and I decided to raffle the car, so I spent the whole summer driving it to shows and selling tickets.  All that time in the '57 caused me to remember my Buick heritage.  I bought my first Buick soon after the raffle was over for $3,500 on my 35th birthday responding to a local newspaper ad. I was originally looking for a 1969 Riviera like dad's, but decided on something smaller and a convertible. A Skylark seemed to be the right size for me. Not being mechanical, or well versed in cars in general, it took me several weeks after purchasing my 1969 GS 400 Convertible to really appreciate what I had found. I was thrilled to discover its low production numbers (only 1,776 made). Months later I bought what I thought was a solid parts car to replace the rusty front fenders on the convert. By that time I had joined a local Buick Club, and a fellow member explained to me why the '69 GS California "parts car" just purchased was too rare not to restore, (only 3,574 made). Well, off we go into a full-blown hobby . . . 15  parts cars later the convert is still under constant restoration. In 2000, I bought a low mile original '69 Stage 1 hardtop from Canada and shows 76,000 actual miles now.   The 1969 GS California was restored to be a daily driver and was enjoyed for several years in my dad's garage until he passed.  That GS California was sold to a local collector.   My garage and barn is full of good used parts to help fellow owners enjoy one of Buicks best models.



Beginning in 2004, I founded a 501c3 junior golf charity; Grass Roots Jr. Golf Foundation.   www.GRGFound.org  That passion began to take over my time and the Buick stuff has had a lesser role in my life since.

Thanks to my understanding wife, Monica, the hobby survives; but will begin to be REDUCED significantly in 2017,and get out of it in 2018. She has put up with the unsightly mess, the slow progress, and the loud vocal frustrations that often accompany that last bolt which is always the worst to remove. Monica has even begun playing the role of spotter and sometimes comes home with leads on potential parts cars. Both our daughters can now spot the distinctive '68 & '69 tail lights on road trips.

 

 

familyphoto1

Jeff, Heather, Leiran, Monica (2013)

Thanks for checking out my page. Please let me know how I might help you to continue to enjoy your Buick with parts sales, information, or just conversation