There’s been a few audible changes with my 1972 Buick Electra “Carmen”.

The old resonator and exhaust tubing was showing its age and rotting, mostly from just before the rear axle, to the back of the car. Probably from the rear tires kicking up rocks, salt, whatever it’s had in its life, slowly disintegrating it.

Around September 2016, the exhaust started coming apart around the rear axle and so I took the whole resonator off, for safety. The result was a pretty decent noise, with no resonator and the exhaust exit about 5 inches after the center of the rear axle.

It made for a decent tone and pitch. 3 weeks ago, I put my phone on a decibel app 12" from the pipe at idle. At around the 82 db mark, it was equal to “loud music” and not bad- and that’s just idling!


Then, I noticed the heat from the exhaust started to deform the one rear light on the exhaust side. The exhaust exit is about 3 feet from the light, but the heat still caused it to deform the plastic light a touch. That’s a lot of heat, albeit 455 cubic inch V8 fumes are exiting from one exhaust hole. So let’s fix that.

Took it to my trusty mechanic, who suggested I not re-attach the resonator because it was so rotten. Instead, he would straight pipe the remaining length of the car at cost. I know it’s not stock (I love stock!), but I was promised the noise would be even better. So for $160, he essentially rebuilt half my exhaust system (picture).


The noise now is improved (yea, he was definitely right). It is a ca-chunk-a-chunk (watch the tv show Pass Time to understand) noise beast. The kind of noise you hear from an old, powerful street machine.


With the same test, phone speaker 12" from the exhaust idling and warmed up, it is a little quieter than before. Averaging around 77-78 db. But the most noticeable change was the tone and rumble it makes; the noise it makes accelerating is much finer, more honed, concentrated and less ‘tinny’ than it was before. It’s not unbearably loud, but between the mild vibrations of the floor at above 1/3 throttle, and the noise, it lets you know “I’m a big block car, let’s do this”. With a large amount of throttle, I’m sure it touches 88 db. And I know lots of tuners and imports are even louder, but it’s not just the volume, it’s the quality of the noise. It growls like a lion, not buzzes like a weed wacker. It doesn’t whine like a $90 fart can, it burbles like a beast. I don’t want it any louder- it doesn’t have anything more to prove.

Here’s a recent pic of it. Around golden hour. Still a bit of work to do on it when the weather co-operates. Thanks all!


Link to the video on Facebook below (I can’t find out how to post it on here).