Completely Custom 1960 Buick LeSabre Restoration

Published January 2, 2017

All too often we see restoration and customization jobs abandoned before they’re finished. In the case of Melanie Orr’ 1960 Buick LeSabre, there were many stumbling blocks trying to break her resolve. It all started when she was on the hunt for a project car of her own in 2004.1

The car itself came from an eBay auction with the body and drivetrain in less than ideal condition. She took it to a family friend that she and her husband had not spoken to in a long time. Luckily, that friend runs JH Restorations with his wife just a short drive away from Melanie’s home. It was time to get to work and bring the car back from years of neglect and mistreatment.2

This shop was able to tackle every component from the stunning paint job through new Wilwood brakes. It gets low on RideTech bags instead of coils as well as custom CNC machined 18″ wheels. These were specifically machines to carry the original look of the stock rims forward into the 21st century.7

The engine was rebuilt to maintain the vintage touch so the new 401 Nailhead is still powering the LeSabre. It has all modern ignition and a dual quad intake, as well as Flowmaster exhaust and serpentine system. The transmission was shot so a new Turbo 400 automatic was brought in and fitted into place.

The body modifications were extensive and created all sorts of interesting problems to push JH Restorations’ creativity. The sheer amount of sheet metal work here is staggering and took a considerable amount of time. They brought extra length to the upper fenders as well as the hood. The roll pans on the car are all fabricated by hand, showing off JH’s skills. The rear of the car was entirely remolded and smoothed out for an easier look.6

Last but not least is the hand created trim and the custom boot that the convertible top tucks into. The trim pieces are all one off examples created by Red Lizard Molding Co. From there, the body was ready for paint which is a special blend made just for this project. It took two House of Kolor shades to make it happen: Pagan Gold and Goldmine create an eye catching color.5

Finally, we reach the interior which had to be perfect because it can be seen from every angle. Off white pearl leather covers nearly every soft surface in the car. From the four T-Bird bucket seats through the center dashboard console. These seats are separated up the middle of the car by a custom fabricated gold console.4

All paneling inside the car is also custom made in order to complete the look of this unique car. A blend of restored and brand new controls and electronics serve as the finishing touches. Earlier this year, Melanie’s 1960 Buick LeSabre made its debut, bringing more class to the 2016 Grand National Roadster Show.3

With this car, she shows a combination of dedication, sparing no expense, and the will to show off her project. We’re glad that Melanie’s vision saved this 1960 LeSabre from continuing to waste away. Let us know what you think of this Buick’s many unique details and what you would have done differently!



James Murrell
About James Murrell

I love to research and admire all sorts of vehicles from restored classics to top shelf supercars, monstrous offroaders to weird concept vehicles. I absolutely adore any vehicle I can get behind the wheel of.

At Autowise, we envision ourselves as not just a automobile blog or an automobile news website, instead we see our website as a platform to connect all automobile enthusiast and provide them with all the information they need.

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