Last weekend, my wife and I parked Big Blue on the car show field of the local antique festival and swap meet, and wandered around looking for things we don’t need. I came home with two Carters with Buick starter switches on them, largely because I’m a carburetor junkie, and partially because I’m always looking for spare carburetors for cars I own. I paid twenty bucks a piece, and I won’t be able to use either, as it turns out. But one of them was so intriguing that I had very little choice but to buy it.
The dirtier of the two appears to be from the larger Buick 320, which means that its 1 3/16″ venturis are not optimal for my 263, which would have come with a 1 1/16″ venturi carburetor, such as the one shown above. This carburetor was a “school” carburetor, as explained by the seller and later verified online by a guy who owns a place in Missouri called “The Carburetor Shop.” Basically, auto shops around the country would use these carburetors to teach kids about how carburetors work.
They drilled these holes in just about every part of the carburetor so kids wouldn’t steal them for future use or resale; therefore, adults have NEVER trusted kids: nothing new on that front. Unfortunately, these school carbs are generally useless other than for parts, as this hole in the throttle body is inline with the passenger throttle plate, making a tight seal almost impossible, even if a repair weren’t inherently unsafe, as explained to me by Jon from The Carburetor Shop.
It’s not, however, a total loss, as the float, starter switch, choke cover, metering rods, jets, and throttle and choke shafts are good, not that I’ll ever really try to sell them. I learned something new at the swap meet last weekend, however, and an education is always priceless, even if that education requires a drilled carburetor.