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427 Included: 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne

Sometimes life can deal us a cruel blow. That is the case for the owner of this 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne. He purchased the vehicle sight unseen, but when it arrived in his driveway, he found it wasn’t all that the seller had promised. It has some rust issues that the seller didn’t disclose, and the disheartened owner has decided that the work is beyond him. Therefore, his loss will be somebody else’s gain. While the car will require work, the owner includes a big-block V8 that the next owner may choose to slot under the hood to give this Chevy some serious performance credentials. If this is all starting to sound too tempting to resist, you will find the Biscayne located in Valley Center, Kansas, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set his auction to open at $15,000, but there have been no bids to this point. He also offers a BIN option of $30,000, which some potential buyers may find tempting.

At first glance, there seems to be a lot to like about this Biscayne. The dark blue paint that graces its panels is not original, and I have been unable to identify the shade. It holds an impressive shine and makes a positive first impression. However, when you get close to this classic, the horror story reveals itself. The seller purchased a vehicle sight unseen, and his plight is an object lesson to all of us. The previous owner had claimed that it had one small spot of rust. The reality was something entirely different. The current owner reveals rust in many places across this classic’s exterior and believes it will need to be stripped entirely for the repairs to be performed to a decent level. That means that every last square inch of that blue paint will need to come off the car to expose any hidden flaws. The supplied photos reveal rust in the doors, rear quarter panels, rear pillars, and around the back window. It seems that there is more that is not visible in the supplied photos, so the buyer will face some work to whip this body into shape. On a more positive note, the floors and frame are spotlessly clean, so this classic appears to be structurally sound. It rides low thanks to some cut springs, and the buyer will probably decide to change this as well. The car scrapes on anything beyond a relatively smooth surface, which means that it would be an impractical cruiser. The wheels and tires are new, the exterior trim looks good, and the glass appears flawless.

I’m sure that you’re now ready for a slice of good news, but things don’t appear to get a lot better when we lift the hood and check out the engine bay. It is occupied by a 327ci V8 backed by a four-speed manual transmission. The specifications of this V8 are unclear, but it may have a few internal problems. The owner indicates that the car runs and drives extremely well but that the temperature gauge jumps all over the place. This could be an instrumentation issue, or it could be a harbinger of doom. He includes a set of aftermarket mini gauges in the sale, and if the buyer installs these, the truth should reveal itself. If the engine proves to be in good mechanical order, the buyer may choose not to utilize the included extra motor as part of their project build.

In all of my decades of involvement in the classic car scene, I have never heard an owner say that they wished their vehicle had less power. That raises an intriguing prospect for the next owner of this Biscayne. Included is another motor that could find its way into the engine bay. The owner purchased a 427ci big-block V8 at an estate sale, and that motor first saw service in a 1969 Corvette. Its specifications are unclear, but it does offer an interesting point to ponder. The most potent version of the 327 that found its way under the hood of a 1963 Biscayne produced 300hp. The entry-level L36 version of 427 in the 1969 Corvette had 390hp. While the big-block is heavier, some enthusiasts would find the extra horses hard to resist. If they are satisfied with what they have, selling this 427 would provide a much-needed cash injection to assist in the restoration process.

The owner supplies a couple of interior shots of this Biscayne, and they make a positive impression. He describes the interior condition as decent, but that may be underselling it slightly. The upholstered surfaces show no evidence of significant wear or physical damage, while the carpet appears excellent. A few aftermarket gauges are scattered around the dash, and it isn’t clear whether the factory radio is intact. The new owner will need to invest around $475 in a new dash pad, but that appears to be one of the few items that require replacement. An under-dash air conditioning unit is fitted to this classic, and this blows ice-cold. That should make the interior a pleasant place to spend time on a warmer day.

What path would you follow if you were to hand over your hard-earned cash for this 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne? There’s no arguing that it has plenty of rust issues that will need to be addressed, but these are no worse than in some other classics from this era that we have seen over the years here at Barn Finds. There is a question mark hanging over the health of its existing V8, but the owner indicates that that’s why he is including the big-block in the deal. Slotting that under the hood would undoubtedly unleash some additional performance, but is that an option you would choose? With those thoughts in mind, are you tempted to pursue this classic further?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems the asking price is a bit high for a two door sedan full of rust. As for the car itself, if it wasn’t rusty I’d leave it as it is , including the lowering job, and drive it. Add the cost of rust repair and paint and you are upside down before you write the check. Too bad.

    Like 15
    • Psychofish2

      The mindless because it’s a “Two door” premium.

      And 50% for two door. /sarc.

      Like 2
  2. Ike Onick

    Nobody sells a good car. Why would you?

    Like 6
  3. A.G.

    Buy a ‘fresh’ 427 at approximate list price with no paperwork and get a previously hot-rodded parts car for free. Some years Chevrolet produced more Corvette engines than Corvettes. All it takes is a change of the valve covers.

    Like 4
  4. Geoff

    I find it somewhat comical what passes for “rust” in some peoples minds. Coming from the northeast, I’ve seen waaaay worse.

    Like 6
  5. wMotor

    Most ‘63 Biscaynes came with the 6 banger, No a/c and no padded dash. This one demands physical inspection in my opinion just for rust issues alone, and verify the VIN to make certain it was a V8 from the factory which has a huge value to future buyers.

    Like 1
  6. Bob S

    I’m wondering what the seller had paid for this. Classic example of why you should never buy a car sight unseen. There are plenty of resources out there that can do an in person inspection. Having the xtra motor is a plus, but too pricey for the work that is needed.

    Like 3
  7. Joe Haska

    Interesting story and a lot of un- answered questions, over all the car is appealing. However it is very hard to tell how bad it really is. It seems if the present owner has had it a while and he doesn’t think its worth the trouble. I would be incline to think he might be right.

    Like 0
  8. Stevieg

    It might not be worth it (in person inspection required, but being from Wisconsin, we are far more tolerant of rust), but this ol’ girl sure has eye appeal!

    Like 0
  9. Vince H

    The flags look like they are 64 or newer. I doubt this was a factory V8 car.

    Like 0

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