Live Auctions

401 Nailhead V8 Powered 1963 Buick LeSabre

No pun intended, but the seller nails the photos of this 1963 Buick LeSabre with a 401 Nailhead V8. They show almost all parts of it with nice, in-focus (!), full-view horizontal (!!) photos and there are plenty of them (!!!). It may not seem like that big of a deal but for those of us who have bought cars online, the photos are pretty important. They have it listed here on eBay in a northern suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota and the current bid price is $4,800 and there is no reserve.

This car isn’t exactly cheap compared to some other vehicles for folks who want to jump into the old car hobby, but this is a car that a person can pretty much work on every part of it and parts should be available, unlike some of the oddball vehicles that I’ve owned. Sure, it has four doors but that just makes it easier to haul your friends around, what’s not to like about that?

The second-generation Buick LeSabre was made for the model years 1961 through 1964 and for some reason, it almost seems like we don’t see them as often as either previous or later generation LeSabres. That’s pretty appealing to me since I like vehicles that aren’t a clone of the one that I’m driving if possible, at least for my vintage vehicles. The body does have rust on it but compared to what most other 56-year-old cars in Minnesota might look like, this one looks pristine. The rockers look more solid than most which is a good sign.

The first thing that catches my eye is the unusual seat material and red color, but it’s in good condition both front and rear. Other than some rust visible in the cracks and crevices on the doors, some warping on the top of the dash, and a cracked steering wheel, it looks decent inside. The seller says that the windshield is cracked and the driver’s side rear window is missing so that’ll have to be taken care of. Also, the factory heater fan switch isn’t working so they rigged up a switch under the dash.

The engine is Buick’s famous 401 cubic-inch Nailhead V8 which had between 265 and 325 hp depending on which version it was. The seller says that it’s a Wildcat engine so does that mean that it’s the 4-barrel 325-hp version? That would be great if it was. It needs to have the starter changed, as well as having the charging system checked out. Also, a “high accumulator shift rod” needs to be found and installed. They have included several YouTube videos in their eBay listing so check those out. Have any of you owned a second-generation LeSabre?


  1. Spitfailure Member

    This car was featured on the Vice Grip Garage Youtube channel.

    Like 33
    • Rosko

      VGG is one of the best car related channels on Youtube IMHO. Hillarious! Sometime a guy wants to learn something and have a laugh too.

      Like 23
  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Good friend from long ago had one of these as his “bar-car”. It was solid and dependable and affectionately known as the “Byu-hogg”.

    Like 2
  3. Miguel


    Derek is a hoot.

    Like 18
    • Mark C

      A guy can really enjoy watching him work and put on the shine juice.

      Like 11
      • Miguel

        I expected to see some of his Derekisms in the Ebay ad, but he played it straight.

        Like 6
  4. Jim

    I have owned 3 of these LeSabres, very reliable and very peppy. I wrecked the front end with the 2nd one, brought another to take the front end off. My first car back in the early 70’s

    Like 5
  5. geezerglide85

    A friend in high school had a ’63 Wildcat 4dr hardtop that his uncle bought new w/ a 3 on-the-tree. A different beast to drive for sure. When shifting into 2nd you had to be careful not hit your knuckles on the dash.

    Like 3
  6. DavidH

    When my wife and I were newly married the first place we rented together was from a little old retired librarian. She lived up stairs and we were downstairs. Stuffed in the garage was a two door version of this car. Only it was immaculate. We started a family and our landlady was afraid kids would be hard on the house so we had to move. I wonder what ever became of that car.

    Like 2
  7. Walter Joy

    She’s a going to town rig. Looking real nice after a few wobble pops at the bingo hall. I don’t know, help me understand.

    Like 15
  8. Bill Member

    First car I ever bought. 1962 Buick LeSabre for $500. That was in 1969. Four door. Had the 401 with a 4bbl. Previous owner had done a cheap Lima Bean Green paint job. Looked good for about a month. Car could smoke the tires off the line like crazy, which, of course, a 17 year old kid never did. I’m surprised I drove this car for a year with no accidents or tickets. Fond memories.

    Like 3
  9. Charles Sawka

    Awful lot of forgetting. As good as one of these might be,56 years of salt and weather abuse is going to take its toll

  10. Howard A Member

    When I was a kid, (mid 60’s) these were the kinds of cars you dad’s management friend( that had 3 cute daughters you were never interested in) had. Not quite Caddy material, not yet, but about as high class GM as you could get. A Buick still had some clout. Wasn’t this the car that you couldn’t feel the shifting? Dynaflow? This car? IDK again, with restoration costs exiting the stratosphere, they really have to be nicer than this for any appeal. Not many will pour money into a rust bucket, just too much to do. Stuff like this should go for $1,000 bucks tops, that way, someone could drive it, but not out the kidney fund. I’m surprised that motor didn’t put in a hotrod at some point like most.

    Like 4
    • Mountainwoodie

      Right on the mark, HoA , AGAIN!!

      Put a car in your YouTube channel, rusty as it may be with two too many doors, lots of unresolved gremlins, and ask a relative boatload of cash for it with no apologies. Its a great country!

      Even I, a professional hater of 4 doors on old iron, would gladly play with this. Not at the ask though. But it does have the highly desirable remote drivers mirror. Might make it worth the ask. Nah……..

      Like 2

    bring the thunder!!!

    Like 4
  12. LarryS

    Standard engine in the LeSabre was a 280hp 2 bbl. The 325hp 4 bbl. engine was an option (as was a 265hp 2 bbl regular gas engine). The automatic transmission was the Turbine Drive.

    Like 1
  13. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking car. My favourite year for the Buick LeSabre has always been 1963 and 1964. Assuming parts are available, and everything is solid and useable, I think this car can be restored enough to be driven.

    Like 1
    • Keith Harden

      It’s already a driver. Go to vice grip garage and check it out.

  14. Robert

    I owned one of these and loved it as a family car. The 401 loved high test fuel.

  15. LarryS

    We had a ’63 Electra when I was in high school with the Wildcat 445. Would light up the tires at the smallest provocation.

    Like 2
  16. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    My second car at age 17 was a 1961 Buick Invicta convertible with the 401 cu in. 4bbl. Talk about smoking the tires.

    Like 1
  17. Michael

    I love this car and Vice Grip Garage. Derek is a trip. You can fit lot’s of cold snacks in that trunk!

    Like 4
  18. Frozenbird

    I’m not sure about the car itself but I can speak for the ‘Nailhead’. I’ve got a 425 Buick Nailhead in my ’30 Model A with the switch pitch factory transmission that it came with back in 1966. Works awesome, so unique looking and the torque is incredible.

    Like 2
  19. Dave

    I’ll be dipped! That’s Derrick’s car from Vice Grip Garage. Wonder if he was able to fix the read end. That thing was swaying all over the place when he was driving it home.

    Like 2
  20. Russell

    I learned to drive in the same car except it was copper brown exterior and saddle interior.

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