One Family Owned: 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne Survivor

In 1963, Chevrolet offered three models of full-sized car, at correspondingly different price points. Top of the line was the Impala, the Bel Air was in the middle, with the Biscayne at the bottom, in the low price category. While the Biscayne name doesn’t have the caché of the Impala or Bel Air, they were an economical and popular option for the American family in the early 1960s. This 1963 Biscayne was bought by one such family and has stayed with them for the last 57 years! Located in Greenwood, Indiana, the car is up for auction here on eBay with bidding to $15,000 as of writing. With original paint, 57,986 original miles, and as a one-family car, this is a special car for sure!

It goes without saying that one family-owned does not mean one owner, nor does that necessarily mean well kept or maintained. This car seems to be a fantastic example of a survivor car. It is well optioned for a Biscayne, with the 283 ci engine, the smallest of the V8s offered in 1963 but a good engine capable of strong horsepower numbers. This car has a single carburetor, making the output of the engine likely around 188 in 1963. The car also has a three-speed with overdrive, optional center-mounted tachometer, and 4.11 gears, making for an interesting combination with the single carb set up. I have a hard time believing the 4.11 are original to the car, or maybe they are the reason it has such low miles?

The body is a two-door post version and is amazingly intact for its age. The paint appears to be Spray Green, a color this car really wears well! The interior looks almost unused. The pictures really support the claimed almost 58,000 original miles, the seats barely have even an indent from sitting! The dash is pristine, the gauges are all there, including that interesting optional tach that dominates the steering column. The trunk even has the original instructions for using the jack and replacing the tire! Also included are the owner’s manual and a sales brochure in the glove box. This is truly a pristine example of a survivor car from the 1960s.

Original and unrestored cars are some of the most interesting vehicles out there. Especially when they are owned by the same family for their entire existence. These cars are a window to the past, a time capsule you can drive, enjoy, and show. These full-size family sedans are an almost extinct breed today, when once they and the station wagon were two of the most common cars in America. Folks say “They’re only original once.” The only question left is, for $15,000, would you park this in your garage?

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Comments

  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    Ya, a 411 is a bit odd – especially with that mill.

    Like 6
    • Doug

      4.11 with the over drive about right. Driving a 64 GMC pickup with one was fun. Nothing like driving a old 6 speed

      Like 6
    • Javman

      In years past when a car had overdrive it was not unusual to have a 4.11 gear.

      Like 5
  2. Ramone

    Unique old Chevy. Why won’t sellers fully close the hood, trunk, doors, or windows for pics? Ya, I know, I’m being picky. Nice car.

    Like 9
    • Roundfender

      Absolutely agree with you, and I will take it one step further: small, extremely cropped photos of portions of the car without any real photos of the full vehicle are a real turnoff here. Looks like a super vehicle, but we can’t really tell from all the little cut-up photos that the seller has chosen to post. I get it that not everyone is a professional photographer, but people, at least give us a chance to see the full car!!

      Like 11
    • Steve Clinton

      I immediately thought the same thing. How difficult would it be to make sure everything is shut tight? Makes one wonder if there’s some kind of problem. (other than a clueless seller.)

      Like 4
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    Inverted Dagmars!

    Like 2
  4. Skorzeny

    This car is a steal. I really appreciate the originality, but in my experience 4.11’s are not very streetable.

    Like 4
    • Eddie Rezac

      This car came with a Borg-Warner .7-O.D. and 4.11 gears, which makes the cruising ratio a 2.877, much faster than anything that was available for that car!

      Like 8
  5. Ed55Smith Member

    Beautiful car I owned a 62/63/64/All impalas a 66 Biscayne my first car and a 66 Impala .I loved them and would buy another one.I sold my 64 about 15 years ago they were all great cars .

    Like 5
  6. Autoworker

    Love the simplicity of this car.

    Like 6
  7. Arby

    At last, a car that came originally with dog dish hubcaps…

    Like 5
  8. gbvette62

    Info I have says the 63 283 with a 3 speed overdrive, got a 3:70.1 rear axle. There was only one 283 offered in 63, a single 2bbl version rated at 195 hp, and the 3 speed overdrive was only available with the base 6, or the 283. 62’s have always been my year of choice, so I don’t have a lot of info on 63’s in my files, but what I do have appears to indicate that 4:11’s were only available with a 4 speed.

    It’s a very interesting car, and I like it!

    Like 9
    • David

      gbvette62, I will not debate anything about what info you have as I have none. What I do know, though, is back in that era you could walk into a Chevy dealer and order your car with whatever options you wanted. Maybe the first owner did just that?

      Like 10
      • Fred Alexander

        That is absolutely correct – – hence some of the basic models for various manufactures ended up big block, 4-speed vehicles with no other options and / optioned out completely.
        That was way back when one could have choices of Individual choices geared to one’s taste.
        Damn do I ever miss those days – – that’s why we buy and restore vehicles of choice for crazy dollars!

        Like 8
      • Marty Parker

        David, Chevrolet never offered a three speed O/D Transmission with any engine larger than a 283 in any year. Yes, you could order any option you wanted as long as it was available for that specific vehicle. Do you think you could have ordered a 427HP 409 with factory A/C? The answer is no.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Marty Parker,

        I’ve learned over the last 50+ years not to trust GM [or most car manufacturers] when it comes to what can and cannot be ordered or combinations of options, as I’ve seen way too many 100% original and verifiable cars that had options GM said were not possible.

        The one thing these cars all had in common was the car’s owner was either VERY wealthy or famous. If this is the case, all they did was tell GM to jump, and GM said “how high?”

        Here are a few examples, all were verified by myself as having been factory built;

        1957 Chevy BelAir convertible, Factory A/C and Rochester fuel injection. GM always said you can get one or the other, not both. This car has only about 1,400 miles since new.

        1958 Buick LIMITED 4-door hardop estate wagon. Black exterior and black/white/red interior. GM says none were made. However I have photos of one, built for a wealthy man who GM always bent over backwards to help. It’s Fisher body plate had a blank area for the body style, and the body number was 1.

        1968 Chrysler Town & Country wagon, factory created with a Dodge 4 wheel drive frame, suspension and steering. Equipped with 17″ wheels. Chrysler had Creative Industries in Detroit build it with a roll-up retracting roof section* over the 2nd & 3rd row seats, and 4 hydraulically raised & lowered swivel seats [like deep sea fishing seats on a boat]. The purpose of this wagon was to be used for tiger hunting in India. However it was never used, and is still basically a new vehicle. *The roll-up roof section, like a horizontal version of a roll-up garage door, was stored just behind the front seat, suspended from the roof.

        !964 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, Gold exterior and white leather interior. Fully loaded with all available options. Factory equipped with bucket seats, console, and 4-speed manual [Muncie I believe it was] transmission.

        And for anyone who wants to buy one of these cars, they are not available, the family never sells anything.

        Like 1
    • Bruce H.

      I’ve never heard of a 3-speed with overdrive.

      Like 2
      • Al

        3 speeds with overdrive been around since late 40s

        Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        Bruce H and Al,

        Packard introduced the Borg-Warner R-9 overdrive, with their 3-speed Packard built transmission, starting in 1939.

        Like 3
      • Kenny

        I have a 1937 Studebaker with a 3-speed and factory overdrive. Not a common option, but it WAS available…

    • Tman

      My dad bought one new, almost like it except his had the 327 3 on the tree. Only other option was a radio. He never thought the 283 had enough grunt. He surprised a lot of other drivers who thought it was only a 6 or 283

  9. local_sheriff

    Now THIS is what I call a find! I have a soft spot for the overseen lower rung GM fullsizers with interesting options that serve to improve driving experience – not the fiddly creature comfort options only. It does have the OD transmission which I understand was not really a performance unit, anyone have any idea how much that would help lower RPMs with the suggested rear end? The color of this seems to be 912 Silver Blue.

    Since it’s apparently been in the same family since new it also offers a unique opportunity to gather all kinds of stories, pics and other trivia about the car from back in the days. Much love for this X-frame! 😘

    Like 7
    • Kelly

      Unfortunately the seller doesn’t know much about the history of the car. Obviously hasn’t been in his family. I was able to tell him where the car was originally from. Extremely nice car though.

      • Murray Shane

        So what’s the history on it. I would love to know the real scoop if you know.

        Like 1
  10. cdnss

    Yes OD gets you the lower rear gear like 3.70 but if I recall 4.11 were optional

    Like 6
  11. George Cassidy

    Why would anybody who is thinking straight put a 4.11 rear in an anemic small block V8? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Like 2
  12. cdn

    In 63 283 V8 was not anemic with OD trans 4.11 was not much of a rpm change at hwy speeds
    alot were ordered for towing or mtn states

    Like 9
  13. Frank

    I am not sure if I see it correctly. Odometer numbers not so lined up ? Maybe I need to clean the old specs.

    Like 2
    • Gus Fring

      Oh god…not this old wive’s tale again.

      Like 1
  14. cdn

    I agree pbly 3.70 std with OD in 63 4.11 was the ratio in earlier yrs with OD could 4.11 be ordered maybe

    Like 1
  15. lonelyturbo

    Looks more like 918 Azure Aqua in the door jams to me. A bit more green than 912 silver blue. No matter the color, a very good looking and well kept car. Glad to see it in it’s original state. I certainly hope it stays that way.

    Like 4
    • local_sheriff

      It’s a long time since last I saw a 918 Azure Aqua Chev IRL but I remember it being even more green. But I’m thinking you could be correct as the paintwork has lost some of its OE luster. FYI I contacted the seller to upload a pic of its cowl tag so we’ll soon get to know! 😄

      Though I’m speculating here I’m thinking it could be this Biscayne was spec’d with the OD and tach to serve as a dealer demo car to show prospective customers how convenient the OD option could be. Sadly I have no ’63 options price list however I would be very interested learn how much the OD would set you back in ’63 compared to the 4spd manual

      Like 2
    • local_sheriff

      lonelyturbo; you were right I was wrong…! Just got a reply from the owner saying it’s the Azure Aqua. Sold @ 15k, IMHO someone got a nice Biscayne with interesting options for that $

  16. ruxvette

    I’m thinking a 4.11 with OD would be about a 3.08 without OD.
    This looks to be a great car with maybe a 570/5 spd for power.
    Go BIG or go home. :-o

    Like 3
    • Steve Clinton

      I’m going home.

      Like 1
  17. EPO3

    It is what is they will get the money for sure.

    Like 1
  18. Howard A Member

    Son of a sailor, once again, BF’s digs a dusty memory out of the abyss. Set the wayback machine for that magical year of 1984, Sherman. My then brother in law, who loved old cars too, and I got this wild hair, to go to Nashville,( from Wis.) and pick up a classic car. He cobbled an old boat trailer into a car hauler, unproven, he had a K5 Blazer to pull it, and off we go. Drove straight through( about 12 hours) , of course, no internet, so we stopped at a truckstop, picked up an advertiser paper, it was loaded with classics, this exact car, with a 6 and dented lr quarter, a rust free one included, was one, a ’55 Chrysler, immaculate, no motor, and a ’65 Falcon 2 door wagon, with no floor, were the “finalists”. Our choice for,,,are you sitting down,,”$300 bucks EACH!. I wanted the Falcon, but he liked the Chevy, plunked the money down, loaded the car on the trailer, we’re coming home,,,or so we thought. The unproven trailer had some serious design flaws, anything over 40mph, it started swerving violently, clearly, that wasn’t going to work. By then, we hadn’t slept in 2 days, I said, let’s get to a truckstop, take a nap, so we did. Next day, we still didn’t know what to do, I said, let’s try and DRIVE the Chevy, so we changed the oil and plugs, filled the tires and we drove it home. Try and do THAT today.

    Like 14
    • Al

      had a 63 283 3 speed nice car impala 2dr ht traded in 67 flr new corvette vete cost $4,200 they gave me 700 trade for 63

  19. Marc Vivori

    $15k for a Biscayne? That’s too much for a 10 mile Biscayne. For a few thousand it would be fun to drop a built 350 or 427 in and have some fun but otherwise it would make a great boat anchor. Sorry.

    • Tort Member

      Because of there rarity today and popularity back in the day for drag racing these like base Plymouth”s and Dodges bring
      more money today than the highly more than the highly optioned models of the day.

      Like 7
    • Steve Clinton

      IMHO, it’s nice to see these old strippers without a huge engine dropped in. Just sayin’.

      Like 6
  20. Rick

    What David says is true.
    I worked for various GM dealers over the years and a customer could order specific options up until about 1979.

    Like 3
  21. Ron

    Looks like a good solid car, current bid is only $12k. Would be a really fun car with an upgraded suspension, an LS and a 5-speed. I know, I know…

    Like 1
  22. Tort Member

    The Impalas in those years were beautiful cars and are valued to today but the base models like this Biscayne, base model Plymouth and Dodges were destined for the junkyard. Because of their popularity back in the day and their rarity today and the popularity of nostalgia drag racing today they can and most cases bring more money than the highly optioned cars.

    Like 3
  23. On and On On and On Member

    When I was in grade school early 60’s Chicago N.W. side you’d see these models on every block. They were the bread and butter drivers and work cars that sat on the street. When we got into High School in the later 60’s these were given to us worn out and beat by our families for our first cars or bought as beaters for $50. Great old memories. The optioning on this example is odd for sure and who knows. Good stuff either way.

    Like 8
    • fastfred

      On and On did you by chance live around Central and Irving park. Portage Park.

      Like 1
      • On and On On and On Member

        Very close, Milwaukee Ave and Bryn Mawr. Close to Tastee-Hastee and Superdog……………Howdy neighbor!

  24. Bellingham Fred

    Happy New Year one and all !
    My 1st car was a ’63 Biscayne 2 dr post. With a 194 ci 6 and 3 on the tree. The left rear quarter had been hit and then beaten back into roughly the original shape. Roughly being the operational word here. I was 16 at time and the kid a got it from was about the same age. The carpet was a green shag (this was in 1971). His mother informed me that the carpet had come from his bedroom. He has cut it out from under his bed.
    The shift linkage was worn. The 1st to 2nd upshift required you to hold the lever palm towards you until you almost nicked reverse, then go palm outward to get through the shift gate and up into 2nd. Mess that up and you were opening the hood to unstick the linkage.
    As I recall a paid $185 for the car and over a year or so later I sold it for $175. A few years later it went to the auto wreckers and then to the scrapper.

    Like 5
    • Autoworker

      My Dad owned a ’63 Biscayne wagon, Black with red interior. 283 three speed on the column. It had a dent in the left rear quarter, and I remember Dad fixing it with “Black Magic” Bondo. Would love to own that car now.

      Like 2
  25. RPOL80

    So why does this 63 small block Biscayne have a, 7m RPM Factory Tach??. I thought only 409`s got the 7m RPM Tach. Just asking!!!

    • BILL

      Probably the top number, not the decline.

  26. Mike Adams

    Odometer numbers are not lined up at all. dead giveaway this car has rolled over.

    • Gus Fring

      Oy vey. Give me a break. That’s an old wive’s tale.

      Like 1
  27. Ed55Smith Member

    I love all the comments about the odd items on a biscayne and they are strange . 😳Factory 7 grand tach / 411 gears / 3 on the tree with over drive ? I have seen hundreds of these cars but never one like this. If it had a 409 yes but most of these were 6s with a three on the tree my Aunt had one same color .

  28. Bob

    I still have our original purchased 1965 Chevy Impala, two door coupe. My father purchased it from the dealer in late 1964. He was a Police Officer and he quickly was ellivated to a position where he received a company vehicle. I bought it from him shortly after and used it for two years while attending college. Soon after graduating I took a job that also offered a company vehicle. The Chevy has been in the garage ever since. Has 29,000 miles, torpedo black inside and out. Has a inline 6, bench seat,no radio, AC, power steering or power breaks.
    Dad wanted bench seats, a V8. But Mom wanted to keep the price down so they went as cheap as they could. But I still loved that I kept it. The few times I took it out, for gas or just a fun ride, I get more thumbs up, car toots and smiles. It is for sure a head turner.

    Like 4
  29. Showbiz

    Nice car, more detailed pic for the price would be nice. Had a 63 Bisquick back in high school in 1974 the fellow that did the car up must have been keen gear head in his 30s or 40s or? because it was done right , a nice 6 tail lamp rear from a Belair or Impala trunk lid with the aluminum trim and nice vette rally wheels 302 4 speed and a 488 rear car looked like it came that way from GM . Would love to get this one and clone to what I had as my first car ,not over the top just right for me.

    Like 1
  30. Ed55Smith Member

    Bob you are a very lucky man I would love to have my 66 Impala back . 327 powerglide two Dr coupe a cream color with ac .My first car with Ac it had a factory AC sticker in the rear glass . It was perfect no rust garage kept I added a set of cragers to it otherwise all factory stock

  31. MitchRoss Member

    I usually scroll right past all of the Impalas, 409, SS etc. This car made me click on it and now comment.

    What makes this car desirable, to me at least is the fact that it is not an SS, an Impala or a 409. It doesn’t have bucket seats and 4 on the floor.

    How absolutely cool is a V8 with a 3 speed and friggin overdrive!?

    If someone can’t appreciate something that is not common or thinks it should be “fixed” to be like every other 62 Chevy at a Boomer car show, they need to admit that they aren’t areal car guy/

    Like 6
  32. Steve

    Step up your game BF it’s a two door sedan. A post is for leaning against or tacking fence wire to.

    • Bellingham Fred

      Relax Steve, it’s called slang. Gearheads have always given cars and their features nicknames and slang terms. Cool that you made a joke about the post, but lighten up on BF.
      Happy New Year,
      Fred

      Like 5
  33. Oldguy

    Graduated HS in 1967 and bought a 1964 Belair 283 3 in the tree, Aqua over white. Eventually rebuilt it, added L79 cam, 4 barrel, headers, Mallory dual point. Then put a close ratio Muncie and 488’s in it. Wish I had it back prior to some really stupid stuff I did to it.

  34. Stu

    I love poverty packs like this. A shame I have no room to park it :(

  35. Bill

    Ok believe the 4:11 gear was standard with overdrive. Better for towing but lower ratio for highway.

  36. M DILLINGHAM

    maurice dillingham
    i owened a 63 409 biscane with a 456 rear gear and 4 speed super t 10 and 425 h p it turned a 12.08 at 118 mph best car i ever owned sure wish i had it now

  37. Bing

    Next time you see it, the transformation to a 409 will be complete, dog dish hubcaps included…

  38. Martay

    The car was bought with a buy it now price of $15.000 Jan 1st

  39. Murray Shane

    Well this is the third purchase we made off of cars featured on Barn Find. Thanks to all the eagle eyes out there. 79 Camaro with 7k miles, 79 Z28 with 19k miles, now this Bel Air. Also bought the 59 Edsel wagon a few months ago on E Bay but the seller after having a no reserve auction refused to sell it to me as he wanted more money for it. I spoke with the seller on the Bel Air and he confirmed it was a special order car with a 283,3 speed over drive, factory ordered tach, and a 4:11 rear end. The original owner was a avid racer and was planning on at some point swapping it out for a 409 but that never happened. After talking to the current seller he told me he has a 15k reserve and that was good enough by us so we added a buy it now and did the deal. So it will be California bound by next Tuesday and we will see if it is as nice as we were told. I think it will be. Thanks again and 3 out of 4 isn’t too bad. I ended up buying a yellow Edsel on E Bay instead and he is still trying to sell the red one again on E Bay as I write this. Thanks again everyone out there as well as the gang at barnfinds. Happy hunting to all and to a better 2021.

    Like 3
    • Bellingham Fred

      Congrats on the car. Good to hear the backstory and clear up the mysteries.
      Sounds like it is going to a good home, and that your new year is off to good start.

    • local_sheriff

      Congrats as a new X-frame owner Murray, and let me be the first to correct you – this is not even a Bel Air but the absolutely bottom-line Biscayne! 😁 As a fellow X-frame owner I know you will appreciate just how easy parts availability for these cars are. Just a friendly advice; remember it’s a Biscayne so don’t go overboard with upgrades.

      Shipping vintage iron FROM Indiana TO Cali – wouldn’t it usually be the other way around…?

    • Gray Clemson Staff

      I’m humbled I could contribute to a BF reader getting a new car! Enjoy! Very excited for you! Happy New Year and congrats!

  40. Steve Clinton

    Notice the multitude of comments for this plain-jane Chevy? I think car fans have had their fill of ‘resto-rods’, cars with overpowered engines installed, and high-end cars with high-end prices, even though they are worn out and beat to doo-doo! Let’s hear it for the everyday cars! Get a hint Barnfinds!

    Like 2
  41. Steve Clinton

    Let me clarify before someone jumps all over me. I know this site is for all makes, models, and prices of collectible cars, and I enjoy reading about all of them, I just think there’s room for more ‘mainstream ‘ cars. Just sayin’.

    Like 1
    • Jcs

      What’s more mainstream than a Chevy Biscayne?

      • Steve Clinton

        My point exactly.

        Like 1
  42. Bill

    I owned a 1956 Chevy BelAir with three speed overdive and 235 6cyl, 411 gears. Dual carbs and exhaust. Got 26 miles to gal on hiway.

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