1962 Buick “Special” Station Wagon

1962 Buick Special Station Wagon

If you’re in the market for a unique classic, may I suggest this Buick? It has been parked for about 15 years so it’s going to need some work, but it really does have a few features that make the “Special” model name fitting. In fact, the Special won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year title in 1962! It offered some innovative technology and some very interesting styling – as you can see. This one needs a little elbow grease, but I think it could be a fun and affordable cruiser. It’s located in Burbank, California and is listed here on eBay where bidding is only at $2,800 with about two days to go!

Buick Interior

The interior is simple, but there are some nice touches here. Check out that two-spoke steering wheel and zigzag pattern on the door panels. There is one small hole in the floor that needs to be patched, but after a deep cleaning and some new carpet, I bet this won’t be too bad of a place to be.

Dusty V6

Where you would normally expect to find a big V8, there’s a V6! It didn’t put out huge power, but it was a good engine that had many of the favorable characteristics of a V8. Luckily, the Special was a compact so the lack of power wasn’t as noticeable as it would have been in a bigger car.

Side Scallops

Unfortunately, that’s not the original paint. It’s an older color change and although it looks pretty scruffy, I like the look. We won’t use the p-word, but the thin areas and surface rust do seem to highlight the body’s side scallops. If this were mine, I would probably just focus on the drivetrain and interior before even worrying about the exterior. It will get old hearing the question, “when are you going to paint it?”, but with the high cost of paint today, it might make sense to leave it alone.

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Comments

  1. Van

    The best view is from the back.
    I like the luggage rack, rear window trim, the ledge over the hatch and the fins. The rest of the car needs a more something, a more interesting, grill, a hood ornament? More character on the inside.

  2. z1rider

    I don’t mean to pick a fight, but you say the V-6;

    “didn’t put out huge power…….. but had many of the favorable characteristics of the V-8”.

    Hmmm. These did not have the split pin crankshafts GM would later develop after they bought the tooling back from AMC, which meant they shook like a paint mixer. So if they vibrate/shake, and lack power, what favorable characteristics of a V-8 do they have?

  3. Randy

    While it may well have started out kind of rough the Buick V-6 went on to become one of the most produced engines in history. And since the 90 degree odd fire was basically a Buick 215 with two cylinders lopped off and that went on to become the Rover v8…..how many decades in production would that be?

    The 60 degree V-6 is considered the ‘sweet spot’ V-6 angle to work with….think Nissan VQ and later Mercedes.

    Buick V6 wiki:

    “One quick idea was tried by Buick engineers — taking an old Fireball V6 picked up at a junkyard and installing it into a 1974 Buick Apollo. The solution worked so well that GM wanted AMC to put the engine back into production. However, AMC’s cost per unit was deemed as too high. Instead of buying completed engines, GM made an offer to buy back the tooling and manufacturing line from AMC in April, 1974, and began building the engines on August 12.[1] With production back within GM, Buick re-introduced the V6 that fall in certain 1975 models — a move made possible by the fact that foundations for the old V6 machinery were still intact at Buick’s engine assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, so it was easy to put the old tooling back in place and begin production at least two years ahead of the normal schedule that would have been required to create new tooling.”

  4. Steven C

    I would keep the body looking the same and put an 80’s buick turbo fi v6 in it. That would be cool.

  5. ROTAG999

    Why would you expect a Big V-8 in a compact Buick ? not me…..lol

  6. doc

    OK not too sure about this one. They did put a 215 aluminum v8 in there cars they had lots of problems. Saw a guy who stuffed one mid engine in a Datsun 510. Pretty cool. Heck pull the v6 rebuild it and go!

  7. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    The 3.5L Buick V8 was used in many Land Rovers, as well as Triumph TR8s, Several TR8 as well as TR7 owners have dropped in a modern Rover 4.0 or 4.2 to get a horsepower and reliability increase, I bet it would work for one of these, make a sleeper.

  8. Glen

    This is an nice looking wagon. I really like this. To bad it’s about 4300 kilometers from me!

  9. Graham Lloyd

    I was beginning to think I had the only compact 61/2 Buick Special wagon. The little 215 V8 has plenty of punch and I would imagine the V6 is more than enough as well.

    Wish mine had the electric rear window like this one has. Not sure if the roof rack is original equipment or not. They are so rare, I haven’t seen enough of them to tell what is original versus aftermarket.

    Even among Buick people, these are orphans. Very few have been saved and you don’t see them very much.

    Well worth saving and getting it back on the street.

  10. Graham Lloyd

    My 61 Special.

  11. ROTAG999

    Looks good Graham these cars are much nicer build then most people give them credit for.Wagon’s are pretty rare these days from this era.

  12. John K

    Nice looking car, from most angles. At least to me.

    If I was local I’d be there this morning. If it was rust free and otherwise didn’t severely disappoint in person, I think it might be following me home.

  13. Mark S Member

    Looks like pretty strait car. First and foremost it needs the gasket kit installed to get it running. While the heads are off you get to see just how much wear there is in the cylinders. If good keep going till it runs, add Lucas engine oil stabilizer to the oil. ( I love that stuff ) after the mechanics are taken care of get a driver quality paint job on it using a single stage paint. This needs to happen before that rust gets a chance to advance. Back when these cars were built this base coat clear coat paint jobs really didn’t exist. So there is no need to over restore now, all to often you see these two stage paint jobs failing off any way with the clear coat failing more every time you wash it. It drives up the cost of painting a car and is more complicated for the do it your self guy to do. I think this idea that everything needs two stage paint is what has popularized this patina nonsense. Any way back to the car, I really like the chiseled look of the sides of this car but the grill is is understyled and quite boring looking if it were mine that might need some customizing. Nice find.

    • Doug Medeiros

      It’s more than gaskets those 215’s had a lot of cavation issues even in the mid 70’s when I started in the business……with some machining and heli arcing and modern gaskets and a new timing cover,you could be in business

  14. Ed P

    I agree about the paint. A single stage paint was original and should be used for restoration or just to preserve this car. I think the car makers save money using two stage paints. They use less color, that saves on inventory costs. The clear coat is universal and can be used with any color, saving money again. If the local shops were set up just like the factory, they would save money also, but they are not big enough to enjoy the savings the factories enjoy.

  15. J.D. Sample

    I’d like one of these to turn it into a Buick Camino

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