Practically Perfect In Every Way! 1962 Buick Special

If Mary Poppins had a classic car, this would be it. With only 22,196 miles and still wearing its original everything, including cracked bias-ply tires (I’m surprised there’s any tread left), there’s really nothing to with this car except enjoy it! You (or Mary) will have to go to Williamstown, New Jersey to pick it up after purchasing it through the auction listing here on eBay. Bidding is starting at $8,000 but there is a reserve.

I looked hard to find something wrong with this car, and I can’t. Now, I know we have some eagle-eyed readers out there who will undoubtedly find something I missed, but I think you’ll have to admit this is one very nice car. I wish the photography were better, but we can’t have everything. Scotty, can you travel around to these poor folks and teach them how to aim a camera?

Back to the car. The Special had been introduced in 1961 as a “compact” car. While it was smaller than the typical American car of the day, it still had a V8 and was considerably larger than, say, a Volkswagen Beetle. However, about 150,000 were sold in 1962 according to this article, so while it wasn’t a tremendous success, it doesn’t look too bad next to the 182,129 Beetles sold the same year.

Pretty plain inside, huh? But that’s just the way Mary would like it; plain but functional. Just look at that huge glove compartment and the three-across bench in the front. You weren’t getting that in a Beetle! Although cramming people into a Volkswagen was a college sport in the 1960’s, you would have had an easier time getting six folks comfortably from place to place in this Special.

One of the biggest, if not the biggest contribution made by the Buick Special to the world is the introduction of the 215 aluminum block V8 that later powered Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs, Rovers, Morgans, Triumphs, Range Rovers, TVRs and many other specials in addition to Buicks, including being used as a basis for the Brabbham-Repco V8 Formula 1 engine. This picture is the only shot we have of the engine.

The sale includes the original window sticker and bill of sale. In case you can’t read the faded tiny lettering, the options on this car consisted of the two-speed automatic “Dual-Path Turbine Drive” ($189, and it surprisingly has nothing to do with a Powerglide), a radio with manual antenna ($65.64), back up lights ($10.71), deluxe wheel covers ($15.06), permanent coolant ($4.90, and I bet it wasn’t really permanent), and white wall tires ($29.75). The total with destination charges was $2960.06 (the average cost of a new car was $3,125, and you were putting $0.28/gallon gas in it).

Would you like to own this practically perfect in every way Buick Special survivor? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Comments

  1. MathieuB

    Sure I would love to have it!

  2. RC46

    My brain hurts trying to place a name to this colour… Fuschia?, Sandalwood?, please, someone help!
    Nice looking car however.

    • Karo

      RC46, Buick called this color “Camelot Rose” metallic.

      • Bill Stover Sr.

        Rose is the name of it. My 1st car was a 1962 Buick special. White with a rose colored top and rose colored interior. It had the 215 c.i. V8, 2 speed automatic, am radio, power steering and the very rare dash mounted clock. I wish I could afford to buy this car.

    • Loco Mikado

      Rambler and Studebaker also used their version of this color in the early 60’s. it was popular at the time.

      • CaCarDude

        Nice little Buick, I would be proud to park this in my garage.
        On the color I recall the Pontiac lineup in the early to mid sixties had a color they called “Evening Orchid” It was definitely different and a color I grew to like a lot. Great find!

  3. John M.

    A real clean original 1962 Buck. I wouldn’t change a thing on this ride with the exception of the tires of course. They definitely have to go.

  4. Wayne

    Dust rose is the colour according to the original ad.

  5. Mimi Meow

    I have the SAME car! The color is Camelot rose on mine, but this one looks lighter but it may be a difference in lighting. She’s beautiful! I love mine, which is also a survivor. I ended up putting bigger tires in mine for a more stable ride. This one looks cleaner and in better shape than mine. Makes me want two!

    • Mimi Meow

      Another

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Wow, it is just like yours! Thanks for sharing.

      • dr fine

        Wow! You are gorgeous! I googled to see if you are in show business, and apparently you are a beauty queen and Facebook star. You make your Buick look truly Special!

      • RoselandPete

        Mimi rocks!! Why, if I were 40 years younger. Ummm, I don’t remember exactly what I’d do, but I’d do something. :)

    • Gay Car Nut

      Lovely looking car, with a lovely girl posed in front of it. :)

    • Jack

      Mimi you sure look good and the car too :)

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Great looking ride Mimi ! It looks like the perfect car for you. Happy Fourth of July.

    • Robin

      Hi Mimi
      I’ve bought this car and it’s now at the port waiting for a ship.
      I’m making plans for work I want to do once my car arrives in the UK and I’d really appreciate the benefit of your experience with yours.
      Would you email me? My address is rft(at)primoplc.com
      Thanks
      Robin

      • Gay Car Nut

        Awesome! :)

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        Congratulations, Robin! Be sure and post some pictures once the car arrives!

    • Gay Car Nut Tacoma

      Pretty! I love the condition. I love the colour.

  6. Steve J

    That transmission is delicate, and the owner will have a problem finding someone to properly rebuild it. Some owners opt to install a modern trans, but that will involve reshaping the transmission hump. Otherwise a wonderful car.

  7. Van

    It would be a good idea to rebuild the engine. Coolant leaks around the intake or head gaskets are what killed the 215 engine. Even if it seams ok now a long trip could result a a large tow bill and warped heads.

    • Blyndgesser

      Pull this one and put it in storage for later. Then buy a nicely upgraded Rover engine for actual driving.

      • Mimi Meow

        My personal opinion on mine is I will NEVER change the motor. It is so unique and was so cutting edge at the time and some modern motors still use the same components that emerged because of this one. It makes the car for me. It’s too precious to me to ever change it. And when you are driving a 50+ year old car, there’s always a chance something will go wrong on the road and you can’t let that hold you back from driving and enjoying it. Get roadside and towing on your insurance and travel with your tools. In almost 3 years, I’ve been stuck only once and it’s because my float got stuck and I ran out of gas lol! These escapades are why I love classic car culture. :)

      • Z1rider

        Mimi,

        I agree you should keep that engine in the car.

        One thing though, if it EVER shows signs of overheating pull over safely and shut the engine off ASAP. The all aluminum construction of this engine means it will not tolerate a cooling system problem for long. It gets expensive very quickly the longer you run it.

  8. Sam

    Very nice car…4 drs looks great!

    I would drive it with pride as is with new tires.

    This would be part of my fantasy oddity garage…61 Valiant wagon, 59 Lark 2 dr convertible, Corvair van, 61 Falcon Ranchero and a vintage tow truck.

    • boothguy

      You will have to clone the 59 Lark convertible from a 60- it would be easy to do but very few people would know the difference anyway. I always wanted to clone a 61 special convertible which would also be pretty easy.

  9. Skip

    This is one I’d love to have; although I’m not wild about the color. My parents bought a ’61 Special that I drove more than they did. My mom never liked small cars, soon as the ’62s were out it was back to her Chrysler New Yorker…dammit!

  10. LAB3

    One of the few cars that surprisingly looks better as a four door as opposed to a two door, it’s been a favorite of mine for several years now.

  11. JimmyZ

    When Mary Kay first started giving away cars…..

  12. PAPERBKWRITER

    Avon calling.

  13. JW

    I had one of these in 1969 as my first car, dad bought it for $300 and gave it to me then said now your on your own buying anymore. Mine was a 2 door, blue and had a V6 which I had never seen one before. It was a very dependable car even with me at 16 driving the snot out of it.

  14. ccrvtt

    My first car was a 1962 Cutlass convertible – maroon with a white top & red interior. Floor-shifted 3-speed automatic. Supposedly same engine as this one, except with a genuine 4-barrel carb. Allegedly 185 hp. Actually very large cars for a “compact” and really pretty slow. Could have been weighed down by the 90 coats of Classic Car Wax.

    These first compacts from GM (other than the Corvair) were fairly upscale. This is in contrast to the J-cars from the late ’70’s – early ’80’s. This is a nice find but the higher trim levels are more desirable.

  15. Marshall

    My uncle Ken bought one of those new in 1962. He said it was one of the best cars he ever had as he drove it 130,000 miles. And if it had not flunked state inspection, it would have lasted him many more miles most likely. His wife, my aunt Dottie, said that they could have spent the money to have the rust repairs done, but then they were afraid that something mechanically major would go wrong with it. So they traded it in.

  16. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking Buick. My favourite years for the Special and Skylark are 1962-64. I’d buy one if it were sold here in Tacoma, Washington.

  17. Tom D

    10% upcharge for whitewalls…wow!

  18. jesus bortoni

    $3125.00 in ’62 is equivalent to $19700.00 today.
    Today, what could you buy? A KIA?
    A worthy car then, and now.

  19. Ken Carney

    My grandmother had an Olds F-85 in the mid ’60’s that was very similar
    to the Buick pictured here. Like this Buick, her wagon was a rather
    plain jane affair that was was Tan in color, with a slightly darker brown
    interior. But unlike the Buick, hers also had the plain body colored
    steel rims with dog dish hubcaps. The only options it had were a radio
    and a heater. And like the Rambler Classic wagon that replaced it, this
    car was used to transport cakes and pasteries for the bakery business
    she owned in Bloomington, Ill. When the car began to overheat on a
    regular basis, she traded the Olds for the above mentioned ’65 Classic
    wagon. And lest I forget, didn’t George Nader drive one of these on
    the TV show Shannon?

  20. Rolf Poncho 455

    Finely a car girl that meet my standards u made my day Mimi
    love women that love cars. Grate car leev it as is and enjoy

    • Mimi Meow

      Thanks!

  21. Patty

    Nice car. I wish I could afford the price.

  22. Howard A Member

    I see the attention has drifted slightly to Mimi, and not so much the car, and for good reason, we don’t get a lot of women here, (that speak up anyway) and it’s quite refreshing to see, instead of the ubiquitous “old man”. ( Barn Finds is catching on to all, finally)
    The 215 was a great motor, went on to great heights, however, it’s biggest problem, was if they sit. Aluminum doesn’t sit well. It’s great to see Mimi enjoying her car, but for many different reasons than original ’62 Buick Special buyer. This was the bottom of the barrel, if you wanted a basic, no frills, point A to B, and put away. These were discarded like soda cans, very few kept these. I’m curious to know, if anyone has ever bought a low mileage car that hasn’t been used. I’d have to think a multitude of issues would arise.Thanks Mimi for showing us your car, please tell your other motorhead women friends, if any, about the site, car looks great,,,so do you, but I have a daughter your age, so I’ll mind my manners, and stick to the car.

    • Mimi Meow

      Thanks! I work on my Special myself too. I’ve had it about 2.5 years and I’ve put about 8,000 miles on it. There hasn’t been one thing done to it without my involvement since I’ve had it. Mine has almost 150,000 miles on it. I did rebuild the carb in September and that made a huge difference. The carbs on this baby are temperamental, but can be fixed with a kit and some patience. Other than that I haven’t had any issues at all. Super reliable and I drive it all over, even 4-5 hours to some shows. Might pull tranny this winter and explore.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Mimi, hmm, IDK, seems a little fishy. I want to see the grease under your fingernails. Just kidding. My daughter takes after me in that regard. The whole time they were growing up, I always focused on my son helping with car chores. He was totally uninterested, and come to find out, it was my daughter all along that is the wrench turner. :)

  23. Gay Car Nut

    That’s awesome! Are you planning to sell it? If so, why? I would think that with all the work you did to it, you’d want to keep it. With such a nice car, I know I would. :)

  24. Alan Brase

    Certainly a milestone engine, but I think there were many unaddressed development problems with the 215 Olds and Buick. They were NOT quite the same motors, BTW. the block was but the heads and valve gear were unique and each resemble the flagship V8 motor. In fact, one motor even used more headbolts than the other. Also, allegedly Pontiac tempest installed a few 215’s tho I’ve never seen one. Gm engineers were really pushing the boundaries then. GM’s boundaries, at least!
    The idea of using a Rover motor in its place is a VERY good idea. I think early Rovers were US threads. later were metric. I believe some few sporty models came with 4 speeds. BW T-10? Wide ratio by 1962 would wake that baby up!

  25. Robin

    Ok guys, I’ve been watching Barnfinds for a couple of months and decided that this was to be my first buy. I’m having new US Royal tyres fitted and shipping back to the UK. If anyone is interested I’ll post again when it’s delivered.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Congratulations, Robin! We’d love to see pictures and future news once you get it!

    • Tommy D

      Well done Robin! You can’t go wrong buying quality. Please do post your experience back to us, it helps to connect the circle.

  26. Michael

    Lovely ! There are one or two down under that I have seen at car shows. We have some big GM and Holden (and of course other) shows here and some of the “Yank Stuff” is mind blowing. I am very much a GM / Holden fan but love many others too ! Mini Meow, you and your car are exemplary ! I too am a ’62 Model. Reasonably compact and low spec! I dream of a Lovely Lady like you pampering me 😚

  27. Andrew

    In June Ill begin to save for a 61 or 62 Special. In high school I had the 62 Skylark in Camelot Rose. Those 2 speed transmission feel smooth, as if it doesn’t shift at all. I’m glad these aren’t as overpriced as Chevy Tri fives. There’s just something more elegant about early 60s Buicks.

  28. Philippe Gusmão

    Dear Ma’am,
    This beautiful car has already been sold? Would you accept a proposal to buy it? What amount are you asking for?
    Thank you very much for your attention.
    Philippe Gusmão
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    • Buick Fan

      It’s a beautiful car…buy it Philippe!

      • Philippe Gusmão

        I will try, dear friend.

        Regards,

        Philippe

  29. RFT

    Hi Philippe,
    The beautiful ‘62 Buick at the top of this article was bought by me and is now in England. If you want to discuss buying her please email me rft(at)primoplc.com
    Robin

  30. Buick Fan

    Robin, are you happy with the car and condition???

  31. RFT

    Yes, it’s very good. It’s been on a ramp and is super solid. Interior, dash and chrome are all great. The paint could be better in places but could equally remain as is. We get loads of compliments.

  32. Buick Fan

    Good news, Cheers!

  33. jake

    Robin, how is the car holding up??

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