Mighty Fine Stripin’: 1962 Buick Wagon

The seller describes this 1962 Buick Special Wagon as a rat rod, but I wouldn’t go that far, especially with the cool pinstripes! It’s for sale at no reserve here on eBay with an opening bid of $3,500 and is waiting for you in Xenia, Ohio. I think it’s in pretty decent shape and could be a nice driver without too much effort on the buyer’s part. It certainly is stylish, even as it is. And look at those purty pinstripes!

Here’s a better shot of the striping on the hood. Honestly, I’m not a huge pinstripe fan, but I can recognize an artist’s work when I see it. This looks, to use an overused phrase, really “old school”. The seller mentions some soft spots in the floor, but unfortunately that’s not the only rust. The paint is pretty non-glossy as well; the seller calls it satin black. I’m not a fan of satin paintwork either, but I’d hate to paint over those stripes.

Here’s some more great pinstriping on the tailgate. You’d need to figure out a locking mechanism, and eventually probably want to re-plate the bumper. But that can all be done while you are driving the car. That’s right, this one drives, and not only that, the seller has done a lot of work to make it drive better!

The brakes have been replaced both in the front and in the rear, including brake lines. Also, a new fuel tank has been installed in the cargo area under the floor. Unlike a lot of times I see non-original fuel tanks, if this one doesn’t give off fumes, I’m okay with it there. The car has also received a basic tune up, carburetor rebuild and a new fuel pump. The seller calls it in great rat rod shape, whatever that means. The left exhaust hanger is broken and there are some other relatively minor issues to correct.

There are several rust spots in the wheel wells like this–kudos to the seller for being honest and showing them.

While the interior is pretty dilapidated, I could live with it for the moment and gradually improve things.

The 215 cubic inch V8 is connected to a two-speed automatic. Both leak at the moment. The seller is including a later model 700R4 transmission that they say can be adapted to this engine, but I was unable to find any automatic adapters at the website they mention (although there were plenty of manual transmission adapters available). Anyone know if the two-speed in there now is worth rebuilding? And are you interested in this longroof?

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Comments

  1. jdjonesdr

    Baby moons… Ha!!

  2. JW

    Yea baby moons and cherry bombs along with pin striping, not a rat rod just old school technology.

  3. Fred W.

    One thing you gotta respect is the amount of talent it takes to do freehand pinstriping.

    • Scot Douglas

      While I can appreciate the effort, the pin striping totally ruins it for me. The car is about 10 years too new for this style.

  4. ccrvtt

    The black POR hides a lot of the holes nicely. Should have used it on the door edges. Cool car, marginal condition. Beware the blow-by from the aluminum engine. As with the Volare wagon above, this is a handy size for a utilitarian vehicle, but the rust is downright scary.

  5. carnut60s

    I have a 62 skylark, owned it for 30 years, cool little car

  6. Maestro1 Member

    The pin stripes need to go away, the interior needs freshening, and the car would be a nice driver but not at that price.

  7. ROTAG999

    Looks like wiper motor is missing on firewall wonder how tough that would be to find…?

    • Greg Member

      Not difficult. I bought a new one for mine.

  8. Alan Brase

    I had a couple of these. Much as I wanted to like the 215 V8, they were not developed enough for production. It is true, that after the production was sold to Repco, it remains the only stock block US engine to ever win a F1 race. But as a grocery hauler they just were not reliable.
    So, If you seriously wanted to enjoy this wagon, better figure on a different engine. The Buick 300 V8 was a cast iron big brother. the Buick v6’s were also close relatives. By the time they went to 4.3 even fire, that was good motor.

    • ROTAG999

      4.3 Chevy 4.1 Buick

  9. Greg Member

    I bought a 62 Skylark convertible a couple months back that had been sitting for a decade. New fluids, fuel pump, gas tank cleaned and sealed, and new intake manifold gasket, and she’s up and running good. It’ll be my winter project to fine tune. The dual path transmission is a complicated piece of machinery, and notorious for leaking. But much smoother than the Powerglide. Great cars, I’d love a wagon. But (just my taste) the pin stripes would have to go. Not many of these wagons left out there!

  10. MadHungarian

    My rule for old cars is first fix the mechanical stuff, then deal with any rust or body damage and THEN do cosmetic stuff. So, the pinstripes on a rusty and leaky car indicate things are being done backwards.

    • DweezilAZ

      Yes, Mad, that’s perfect. Have to have the brakes, suspension and running gear up to grade first, before making them pretty.

      Finally treated my 63 Valiant Signet to new carpet after getting mechanicals sorted out.

    • Greg S Member

      Definitely Mad. Cosmetics are last. Next up on mine is to replace the brake master cylinder with a dual, replace the brake hoses, and flush the lines. And to rebuild the carb, reset the timing, etc. Also I usually Seafoam the hell out of the engine to burn off the carbon buildup, check compression and for blow-by.

  11. Jeffery Hanning

    Hearing the same comments the public had in the early ’60’s that resulted in the engine and tooling being sold to Rover where the fixed some of GM”s manufacturing problems with the block that resulted in a high scrap rate. same engine in 4.6 litre form in current Range Rovers.
    Have a 61 special wagon and they are great in the city with amazing visibility, good response at low speed, hyper-assisted power steering, and great utility. Doesn’t have long legs on the highway with the 2 speed and 13″ wheels, but fine at 65-70 MPH.
    Thanks for the tips on engine and drive train mmaintenance! They also seem to go through u joints and centre bearings in the driveshafts. 13″ drum brake pads scarce. Transmission rebuild kits available and I don’t hear bad things about these units other than the leaking as there is a single bolt holding the tranny cover.

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