I had exchanged a couple of emails with Ray Butcher, who restored the chassis.
One Thursday evening Ray rang me from his home in Spain.
I asked Ray if he had any paperwork with the chassis number on. He didn’t think so, but he will check when he visits England in June.
Ray said he had the old brown log book when he owned the Buick, and he used that to retain the registration number. I have not got that log book unfortunately. Ray remembers the address of the last owner was in George V Avenue in Westbrooke, near Margate, but can’t recall the name of that owner.
Ray confirmed that the engine had been rebuilt including rebore, new pistons and a crank regrind.
When the car was unearthed, the differential, one half shaft and the radiator were missing, so Ray went to America, Pennsylvania, and spent 4 weeks gathering spare parts. He even bought a complete doner car which he stripped of the parts he needed.
Ray Butcher is a carpenter by trade, and he rebuilt the ash frame on the scuttle, using timber he acquired after the great storms in 1987. His friend Alec McCloud did the metal bodywork.
Ray told me an interesting story, related to him by a Mr Beer, who said he was driving the Buick on the golf course in 1940, and was attacked by a British bomber flown by German pilots. Not sure how he knew they were Germans? Ray said he recorded this conversation, but didn’t know where the tape was now.
Hello Phill, I am not sure if you have been told but Ray Butcher died in Spain about two years ago.
He was involved in a road accident when he was on his scooter. Although he was wearing a helmet it was not strapped on securely and he suffers from fatal head injuries.
Well done with the Buick. A vast improvement from the vehicle I pulled out of that shed all those years ago.
Best wishes, Alec McLeod
yes his nephew Craig told me about Ray. Shame he never got to see the Buick finished.