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Classic cars are Swartz Creek’s passion By Dan McAvoy Staff Writer The love of the road and the love of cars rebuilt by his own hands best describes Swartz Creek’s Joe Taubitz. Taubitz has four classic cars, 1969 Buick Station wagon, a 1940 Buick Super Convertible and a 1972 Buick Grand National and a car he fondly calls his “Coupe De Grape,” because of its color. The car is 1937 Buick five-window coupe. He has worked with his hands his entire life, and was employed as a tool maker at Chevrolet for more than 37 years. Before that, he worked at his father’s gas station and has been in love with cars ever since. He purchased the coupe from Detroit’s Carl Licht in the spring of 1995. The coupe had been for more than 30 years in Licht’s garage. The car had no motor or transmission when Taubitz purchased it. The interior was gone and the floor looked like lace. Taubitz said Norm Wahlfors did the chassis on the coupe. Wahlfors had previously completed three 1937 Buick chassis and was very experienced with chassis work of the car. The body and painting was started by Michigan Rod and Custom’s Greg Disberry of Flushing, who has worked on many classic cars throughout the years. It was finished by Lee and Kenny Scolert at their shop in Mt Morris. Charley Kimball of Flint did the interior work of the car. Originally, Taubitz wanted paint the car both teal or purple; but a friend took the teal idea and he chose a purple. “I didn’t want a purple purple or a blue purple, but a grapey purple,” he said adding however, choosing the odd color made it difficult to find a material to match the interior. “It turned our beautifully though. Charley Kimball did the upholstery and he does gorgeous work,” Taubitz said. The car has a 455 Buick engine with Stage One Heads, and a 400 turbo transmission with a Chevrolet Camaro rear end. “It is a gorgeous and fun car, and it is built for the highway,” he said. Taubitz drove this classic on the Hot Rod Power Tour in 2001 and has put 35,000 miles on it. He also has taken it to GS drags 4-5 times and has run high 13s at 100 miles hour. “That is pretty fast with a 2.56 road gear, it still is a blast to drive,” said Taubitz. Taubitz is a member of the National Buick Club of America and hasn’t missed a National meet since they started in 1971. He is also a founding member of the local Buicktown chapter in Flint and was instrumental in the forming of the Buick Driving Enthusiasts of America. He drove his classic to last years Buick Club of America 105 Anniversary National Meet as well to the 100 Anniversary Buick Club of America National in 2003 both held in Flint Michigan. He has traveled to California, Georgia, Colorado, Massachusetts, Florida and Canada within the clubs. Taubitz said he and his wife Bernice enjoy traveling to car shows with groups.” I have been a very lucky man because when I had six kids, and they all turned out good,” he said.


Classic cars are Swartz Creek’s passion By Dan McAvoy Staff Writer