Cheap Project Car: 1962 Buick Invicta

The owner of this 1962 Buick Invicta originally purchased it as a father-and-son project, but a change in circumstances has meant that the project has stalled before it got started, so he has decided to sell it. Barn Finder Jay Llu spotted this Buick for us, so thank you for that. The Buick is located in El Cajon, California, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist.

The owner says that the car has rust issues, but isn’t very forthcoming on what these are. I can see rust in the lower corners of the door and lower fender on the passenger side, and a small amount on the bottom of the rear pillar on the same side. It also looks like there might be some around the rear wheel opening, and possibly some in the lower quarter panels. The car is also missing the side molding from the quarter panel on the driver’s side, and there is one missing lens for the front turn signal.

The interior of the Buick is virtually complete, but it will require a full restoration. The headliner is pretty bad, and the dash pad has a multitude of cracks, as has the wheel. The rear seat looks good, but the front seats will require new covers, and the carpet also looks pretty tired. Having said all that, items like the floor console and those courtesy lights in the lower dash give the interior of the Buick a nice touch of class.

The owner refers to the engine fitted to the Invicta as a 335 Wildcat, which I think is a typographical error. The Invicta featured the Wildcat 445 as the standard engine, which is what I believe that this one is. The engine is backed by the Turbine Drive 2-speed automatic transmission, and the car is also fitted with power steering. The owner says that the car doesn’t run and that it has no battery. I’m not sure whether that means that it just doesn’t run because it doesn’t have a battery, but we can all live in hope.

For me, the biggest issue with this Invicta is not knowing how extensive the rust issues are. That makes it hard to determine a true value on the car. However, when these do come onto the market, a good one will easily attract a 5-figure price tag. This one needs work, but with an asking price of $1,800, it is a project that is certainly worth considering.



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  1. Bob C.

    Pre Wildcat! Dynaslush included! True early 1960s Buick, keep it original.

    Like 3
  2. Redragula

    Not a bad price for a 2 dr, could be a prob If it has the “Slim Jim” rotomatic

    Like 3
    • Ken

      It’s the Twin Turbine. Buick dropped the Dynaflow name after 1958.

      Like 2
  3. Jeff

    I am guessing the engine is actually a 401 nailhead.

    Like 6
  4. Jeff
  5. Mark

    I see a battery, does not look like a 445 wildcat engine

    Like 2
  6. Bob S

    The engine would have been a 401 nailhead. They were a 325 hp engine with 445 ft lb of torque. As much as I loved the Buick engines, and although the transmission was an improvement over the Dynaslush, it was not a transmission I would have wanted.
    I like the styling of the car, and hope that it gets restored.
    Bob S

    Like 5
    • Ken

      I had a ‘62 Electra for eight years. It had 99,000 miles on it, and I rolled up another 63,000. The twin turbine never gave me a moment’s trouble. It was designed for a smooth ride, not for high performance, and like any other automotive component, if you take care of it, it will take care of you.

      Like 4
  7. Beatnik Bedouin

    It’s a 401, rated at 325 HP and 445 ft/lb of torque, as Bob S suggested.

    Looks like the basis of a great restoration project, but then I am a bit biased… ;-)

    Like 8
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Some body go steal this one….for that kinda money ! Get the last nailhead – 425? and later trans with it to drop in.

    Like 3
  9. Bob

    Nothing wrong with those Dynaflow trannys!! I’ve had this one for 30 years, seems pretty dependable to me!!

    Like 10
    • Ken

      Great car! I don’t understand the Dynaflow hate. I never had any trouble at all with mine.

      Like 4
      • Bob S

        I did not drive mine in the conventional way. When I swapped the Buick engine and Dynaflow in my 47 Chev back in 1960, I expected it to work similar to the bulllet proof Olds/Hydramatic combination did in my previous swap.
        The Dynaflow was a terrible disappointment, and after it failed, I was eventually able to find a 3 speed manual for the car. Problem solved.
        I have never stopped loving those nailheads. They were tough, torquey, and reliable. And I would own another one in a heartbeat. I would use the later bellhousing , however, so I could run a TurboHydramatic a 700r4, or a 4 spd behind it.

        Like 3
  10. jw454

    An older neighbor had a black one like this in the early seventies. Same bucket seat interior but in black. It was in perfect shape and I would have loved to own it. One night, while drunk and running from the Ohio State Patrol, he rammed two patrol cruisers that had set up a road block to stop him. He wiped out both front fenders on the Buick and both of the cruisers but, kept going. About a quarter mile further down the road, he failed to make a curve due to not having headlights, and rolled the Buick onto it’s top totaling it. Many good cars ended up like that at the hands of someone making poor decisions.

    Like 7
  11. Kenneth Carney

    Had a ragtop just like Bob’s in the early ’70’s. Mine was dark red
    with a white top and interior. Since I.didn’t want to be a slave to a
    scrubrush, I had an upholstery shop cover my seats and door trim
    with clear plastic. Other than that, my car was original. My sister would drive me
    to Champaign, Ill. once a week to tape
    episodes of The Marvin Lee Show at
    WCIA TV. For this, I made the princely
    sum of $75 a week. Racked up a lot
    of miles on the old girl and she never
    left us stranded. Yes, I’ve often wondered
    what these car might have driven like
    with an M-22 Muncie 4-speed instead
    of the automatic trannies that they were
    burdened with. My guess is that they
    would’ve been real screamers capable
    of more than 120 MPH or better. Once
    mine stretched its legs, it cruised
    comfortably at 80 MPH all day long.
    Dunno what made me trade her in, but
    I’ve regretted it for over 40 years now.
    Wish I had it back.

    Like 7
  12. Ray

    If this is a 1800 dollar bucket of rust, you’ll only have 46000 dollars in a 15000 dollar car when you’re done. Perfect!

  13. Gaspumpchas

    Great car at a nice affordable price. Good for someone to get into the hobby, sad it didn’t work out for the present owner. Get it running and cruise with that faded red. As one of the guys said. you would neeed to see the extent of the rust. Had an elderly customer that had a 62 Wildcat; used to pick it up at her house, service it and bring it back, it got a free carbon cleanout also, wink wink. That thing was brutally powerful!! good luck to the new owner. Looks Righteous with the black Cali Plate on it.



    Like 3
  14. David Rhoces

    it will never be anywhere near worth what it will cost to properly restore it

  15. local_sheriff

    Considering a resto object 63 Impala sold for $5k on ebay couple weeks ago I’d think this is a very good vehicle to get into the hobby. Not the easiest to get model specific bits for, however a good alternative to an Impala and would look great dropped to the ground!

    Like 1
  16. Larry Mulanix

    1962 Buicks were wonderful.The only drawback to them is that I do not have one.At this price,one mite expect a parts car.This does not look like one of those.

    Like 2
  17. Bob Member

    If it were closer I would buy it today and put the bucket seats in my 62 Invicta convertible. The price is right to me, just for the seats and console.

  18. Mountainwoodie

    So I live about 30 miles from this Buick,,,,,,down near it most days, If someone has a real yearning for eyes on it, contact the seller and see if its still for sale. If so, email me at and we can work out a visit. I’ll bring a magnet :0

    Like 1
  19. JBP

    Hi Mountain woodie. I have made a deal with seller to buy the car. He send me 3 photos of rust, and it isnt much. So its going to Europe 🙂
    Plan is fix whats needed and keep it original as a driver.
    Love that thing.
    Happy new year.
    Jesper Danmark.

    Like 4
    • Mountainwoodie

      Oh good……going to Denmark,,,,,,,,they are good looking cars..I toyed with buying it myself as it is so close but I’m buried in other things right now and it would sit until could get to it. So I’m glad someone will rescue it! Maybe once it gets to you, you can send Barn Finds some pictures…we’d love to see it on the road again! Cheers! Happy New year

      Like 1
    • Bob

      Jasper, you’re going to love this car!! The Invicta Customs with the bucket seats and console were made in limited numbers. I hope gas is affordable in your area……. They do like to drink.

      Like 1
  20. Bob Member

    I have one of these in the convertible version. You are going to love this car. It is a pleasure to drive.

    Like 1
  21. JBP

    Hi. I realy hope everything works out, and i will post some photos inhere, for shure. I have bin on the hunt for something like this for a long time, and found a four door in netherland. Also a black plate. I like they dosnt have tho hole b pillar, all the way up to roof. Also not on sedan. But he wanted 8000€ yoro for it, and it needed some new parts, eks. A other steering gear. Such parts a expensive in my part of the world, minimum dobb price as you overthere can buy it forand electric was shot so 8000€ not a option. So better 5000$ in total Incl Shipping on this beauty.
    But im always scarred with such deals. First have peace, when it is in my driveway. Many things can go wrong before that.
    Thanks for the nice words, and i hope 2019 will be just as good classic car year, as 2018 was.

  22. JBP

    If anybody have intr. Go to
    Its about a German guy, importing buying ewerything the ÜS army leave behind in Europe….. He has contract on it. Wery cool buisnes model. 1000 üs cars trucks firetrucks tanks, u name it.

  23. JBP

    He is a adwenture guy. In a program he took it 2or3times arround the statue of liberty in his Antonow AN 2 biplane. Over Atlantic, and back.
    The worlds biggest 1engine biplane…
    He is a real talker also in preddy ok. English.
    The name is Michael Manusaki,ell Manosaki. Not shure.
    Morlock motors..
    A real selfmade millionare. And he know what he doo..

  24. JBP

    About That Buick. Ok. It have some rust, but have seen, and fixt worse, but it dosnt cost as much as it cost to overhaul engine and transm. That u must expect. It always cost more than expectet to get it back in traffic.
    There is also often there is more rust to fix, than expectet nomatter if u go se it or buy it as i doo.
    I do it as hobby, drive a sommer or two, so i see where it ends.

    Like 1
  25. Bob

    JBP, good luck with your Buick! I wish my convertible was a Custom. Love those bucket seats!!

    Like 1
  26. JBP

    Thanks Bob. I almost cant wait it stays here. I think even without the seats i have taken it. But your right, these seats are cool..
    Btw. That program i mentioned is Steel buddies.
    For guys there love classics and everything arround it, shut see it. He owes 5-6 planes old fighters to bomber. He is also dealing rushian gear.

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