Home Car Stories Alley Finds 1963 BUICK Special Deluxe V8- Brothers, OR
1963 BUICK Special Deluxe V8- Brothers, OR PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 22:42

1963 BUICK Special Deluxe V8- Brothers, OR


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

63 buick special kee logo

The Buick Special debuted for the 1961 model year as a compact car based on the Chevrolet Corvair 'A body' platform. General Motors attacked the foreign compact car market with the Corvair. GM also responded to the unconventional technology used in the imports with revolutionary engineering. Chevrolet's sporty image car was intended to counteract the influx of compact and often sporty foreign cars.

Over at Ford, the conventional engineering and pedestrian styling of the Falcon made them the sales winner in the domestic compact market. The Plymouth Valiant was too weird looking although it benefited from some terrific engineering most notably the long runners made possible on the slant 6 engine.Simply by tilting the angle of the cylinder banks Mopar achieved a long straight fuel path to maximize performance from the inline 6 engine.

Rather than follow Ford's example, GM stayed the course of the other domestic compacts and offered cutting edge and often unusual technology when they broadened the use of the Corvair's 'A body' and allowed 'B-0-P' (Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac) to have a stab at the market.

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Pontiac went totally wild with a 389 V8 sawed in half to create an inline 4 cylinder engine using a rope drive to turn a rear mounted transaxle. Oldsmobile wasn't far behind with an aluminum engine and turbocharging. Buick came out with a really sweet engine destined to become the heart of the Grand National musclecars a few decades later but that is getting ahead of the story.

In the early 1960s all the 6 cylinder domestic engines were inline engines. Buick managed to create a V6 198 c. i. engine that magazine testers of the day proclaimed to be nearly as smooth and powerful as a V8 while offering terrific economy of operation (cheaper tune ups and better MPG).

The ALLEY FINDS 1963 Buick Special Deluxe shown here hasn't got the new V6 engine. It is powered by the V8 which displaces 215 cubic inches and gives a small car like this a decent kick.

1963 was the last year of the truly compact Buick Special. In 1964 all of the 'A bodies' jumped from a 112 inch wheelbase to 115 inches with significantly longer overhang which bumped the cars into the 'intermediate' class. All GM divisions reverted to conventional engineering after seeing Ford's sales results with the unsophisticated Falcon.

This particular Buick Special with a typical V8 and conventional 1960s domestic rear wheel drive layout differed only in size from the new 'intermediate' that came out for 1964. The burnt off paint on this Special was once a deep Maroon which survives in the door jambs of the car.

The ALLEY FINDS Buick Special shows 81,139  miles on the odometer.

63 buick special kee speedometer

Looking at the seats it seems that the Special has logged some serious mileage. The splits appear in not only the driver's seat but the passenger one as well. The door panels are starting to sag and split, too. However; the pedals aren't too worn, and both the light and windshield wiper switch are intact. The early 1960s knobs for wiper and lights are notorious for falling off or being sloppy loose after the 100,000 mile mark is crossed. It may be possible that the seats in this car were just susceptible to premature wear and it has only logged a mere 81,000 miles. The tops of the front and rear seats have lost their covers and the foam stuffing is spilling upwards and out particularly in the back seat.

63 buick special kee int

The VIN on this Buick Special Deluxe 1J2509583 decodes:

1= Buick Special Deluxe V8 (215 c.i. engine)

J= 1963 Model year

2= South Gate, California final assembly plant

509583= Sequential number. (Buick Special numbering started with 501,000)

The ALLEY FINDS Buick Special has a missing chrome trim piece on the driver's front fender and rear door, a missing headlight and front bumper and broken off radio antenna but is otherwise complete. The Buick factory radio is still inside the car; all the glass survived and even the Buick full wheelcovers are with the car. This was an Oregon car which retains its original plates.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 December 2015 17:55 )