409 Equipped: 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne

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A classic that allows potential owners to make choices is always welcome, and that is the opportunity awaiting the new owner of this 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne. It presents well, with no panel or paint needs. Its engine bay houses a potent V8, but the seller offers an option for those desiring sedate motoring. The Biscayne is listed here on Craigslist in Brunswick, Georgia. It could be yours by handing the seller $30,000, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Rocco B for spotting this beauty.

When commencing a project build, it is preferable to do so using a rust-free candidate that retains its original steel. That is the fortunate position the seller found themselves in, purchasing the car from the original owner’s estate. It had no prior history of restoration or repairs, but with the paint showing cracks, they stripped the exterior to bare metal. After ensuring the panels were laser straight, they applied a fresh coat of this classic’s Ermine White. The underside didn’t escape their attention because it was undercoated and finished in semi-gloss black after sandblasting. The results are there for all to see, with the Biscayne presenting impressively. There are no panel or paint defects and absolutely no rust. The chrome, trim, and glass look flawless, but the wider steel wheels and dog-dish hubcaps give the car a sleeper look. Only a couple of small badges hint there might be more to this beauty than meets the eye.

The original owner ordered this Biscayne equipped with a 230ci Turbo Thrift six that had 53,000 genuine miles under its belt when the seller purchased this beast. That motor remains available as part of the deal for those considering returning the car to its factory form. However, the engine bay now houses a 409ci V8 of 1964 vintage. It churns out 340hp, which feeds to the Posi rear end via a heavy-duty three-speed manual transmission. The seller considers the three-speed a compromise because they preferred a four-speed. Some soul-searching led them to utilize the existing transmission because they couldn’t bring themselves to cut the floors to accommodate the shifter for the four-speed. That doesn’t reduce the car’s performance potential, with a ¼ mile ET of 14.9 seconds and a top speed of 129mph there for the taking. This Chevy is in excellent mechanical health, with the seller describing it as a sleeper that is fun to drive.

Its interior further accentuates the Biscayne’s “sleeper” credentials. It is a radio-delete car that features a heater as its only creature comfort. The front seat upholstery and trimmed surfaces look acceptable for a survivor, with the seller adding a factory tach to the spotless dash. However, it isn’t all good news because the back seat is the victim of significant water damage. I’m unsure whether a professional can salvage the situation or if the new owner will face replacing the seatcover and rear side trims. I would investigate that further before committing the funds to replace anything original to this interior. Otherwise, it has no pressing needs.

This 1963 Biscayne shows promise, and it will be fascinating to see what the next step would be if a reader chooses to pursue it further. It has no pressing needs, meaning the new owner could enjoy everything it offers immediately. Addressing its interior shortcomings would transform it into a car that attracts attention for the right reasons. However, the question of the drivetrain choice will leave some pondering. If you found it in your garage, would you leave it untouched, or would reinstalling the original drivetrain to complete what many might consider a faithful restoration prove impossible to resist?

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  1. "Edsel" Al leonardMember

    Nice bones…pretty rare…a definite sleeper I’d welcome to my garage…Oops..no room anymore..

    Like 12
  2. Tony Primo

    I like preserved cars as much as the next guy, but no way would I pull the 409 out to replace it with the 6 cylinder.

    Like 34
  3. Gary

    Cool car just as it sits, it’s perfect.

    Like 10
  4. Yblocker

    I wonder if it’s a Ford 3spd. Lol

    Like 4
  5. Neal Jacobsen

    Hi everyone. Is it my imagination or is that cable under the dash an overdrive feature?
    I had a 63 Bel-Air, 283 2bbl, 3 speed manual and it looks like it is in same position as the one I had.

    Like 3
    • Tman

      No Neal. It’s the parking brake release. My dad bought a new 63 Biscayne that was ordered by someone else and never came back for it, with a 300 hp 327 3 speed manual with radio and heater . No overdrive. A very potent sleeper! Easy burnouts with those skinny bias plies.

      Like 4
      • alan leonardMember

        No Tman..the parking release is directly above the parking brake pedal..

        Like 1
    • chuck

      Manual choke?

      Like 2
    • Paul R

      Looks to me like it might be the cable for the side vents in the kick panels.
      My Chevy ll had those but they each had their own cable to open or close them.
      Maybe they put a single control for both accessible to the driver.
      Old school air conditioning.

      Like 1
  6. Will Fox

    Too bad no pic of the damage in the back seat & side panels. It would be nice for a prospective buyer to assess, so they can have an idea of what it needs.

    Like 5
    • Dave

      The pix are in the craigslist ad.

      Like 4
  7. Harry

    Back when that one was new I enjoyed watching a similar one, in black, that ran at the old ATCO Dragway in New Jersey (SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!) They called it Bisquick. And it was too.

    Like 4
    • John

      I’m from Jersey and spent lots of time at the Atco Dragway. Lived in Hammonton. Loved watching the 409’s, 406’s, 426 Street Hemi’s.

      Like 3
      • Donnie L Sears

        I can see people reading your comment and wondering what a 406 was. I am surprised you even remember that. I had a car with a 406. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them. It had cast iron headers from the factory. It was a beast.

        Like 6
  8. Al

    Water damage in the rear seat and side panels is troubling, hints at something that really needs to be looked into…..Suspicious of total repaint and undercarriage paint. Cover up?

    Like 3
    • Marshall Belcher

      That is water coming in behind the rear window chrome. Remove it you will find rust guaranteed. Don’t no way see 30,000. Looking for a fool.

      Like 7
  9. Jack Barley

    I had a white ‘63 SS a while back and it was a great, trouble free car. Loved that car.
    I like this one too’. If the seller still had the original 6 cylinder I would put it back in the car. I have other cars with plenty of power. How often do you see a bare bones Biscayne with the original standard trans and motor.
    The only disappointment is why undercoat the car. Is there something to hide. No need to undercoat since it will never see bad weather.
    I undercoated my ‘66 Chevelle SS 50 years ago when it was a daily driver in the northeast but I grit my teeth today when I’m under the car and see it today.

    Like 2
  10. Steve

    Undercoating a claimed rust free car is highly suspicious.

    Like 0
  11. Bob Thompson

    To Neal Jacobsen, The cable under the steering column, operates the passenger’s side lower vent. Those lower vents let in lots of outside air on cars without A/C.

    Like 4
  12. CarbobMember

    The interior stuff doesn’t bother me. I’m sure the seller will be able to explain what happened if it occurred under his ownership. I seriously doubt that the rear window is presently leaking. This car looks like it’s ready to rumble. I’d be busy cruising and banging gears as soon as I got my rear end behind the wheel. I’m not sure about the 30K asking price but maybe he’s open to offers. He said he is 78 and selling off his car collection. So who knows? Never hurts to ask. This car ticks a lot of boxes for me and I’d be following up on this if I didn’t already have more vehicles than I really need. GLWTS.

    Like 2
  13. Neal Jacobsen

    Thanks Bob! My 63 Bel-Air had the cable over by the rider side. Matter of fact all my ’63’s (3) had that cable on the riders side. However I never had a Biscayne. Might be the difference.

    Like 0
  14. Brad chipman

    I would redo the damaged interior and put in a 4 speed

    Like 1
  15. Paul R.

    Beautiful car.
    The dash looks way too shiny though, I don’t think they were ever quite like that.
    And, I know it’s great to listen to the engine, but no radio , no deal , not for 30 grand. Ha.
    The transmission is probably a Muncie three speed. I had the in my ‘71 Nova.

    Like 1
  16. Reid Hall

    Okay, he’s telling the truth, and he’s not trying to scam anyone, what they have done, is built 409,bone/stock tribute car,and 409,Clone car,which is very doable, and affordable, hmmmm, it may be a good 👍 deal at $30-40k,who knows, but that might be harder for the normal person to actually afford, including me,as well.

    Like 1
  17. Brad chipman

    Not to bad of a deal except the for undercoating. I prefer to see the metal

    Like 0

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