Save A Classic: 1964 Buick Sport Wagon Vista

 


In the modern era, SUVs and “Crossovers” are the big thing, but for those of us who remember Station Wagons, there’s a certain nostalgic charm about the family-haulers from back in the day. This particular one has just such a charm to it, and thanks to our reader Local_Sheriff, we can tell you about it, for sale here on eBay out of Monessen, Pennsylvania.

In the early 1960s, American automobiles were in a trend toward smaller and/or more conservative styling. The “muscle” cars as we know them today were just beginning to heat up, and people wanted things that were new and different from the previous offerings. General Motors responded to that with new, smaller family trucksters, based on the then-new A-body platform coupe and sedan. In February of 1964, Buick introduced the Sport Wagon, and it was met with much interest.

Now, with this particular car. we see what looks like a pretty decent, yet unfinished, resto project. From the outside, we can see what the seller is talking about when they mention that it was recently painted. It looks rather nice, in my opinion!

Moving to the engine compartment, we see that it looks largely un-touched, and I see power steering and power brakes installed. I don’t see a compressor for air conditioning, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it didn’t have it. The odometer reads a little over 86,000 miles, so it might not be in too bad of shape mechanically.

Looking at the interior, I see that the seats appear to be in decent shape, but the carpet looks rough. I also see a power-window switch on the door panel. The seller says that many parts are included, and the pictures of those parts look like mostly interior trim, some of which may have been re-conditioned in some way or another. I can’t see the Vista window to tell you what shape it’s in, and to be honest, I wish there was more description about this car’s condition.

All in all, it looks like a really nice piece, and as long as the mechanical situation isn’t too bad, I wager that the opening asking bid of $6400 is a pretty good deal, considering the work that’s allegedly been done thus far, and the power options that are installed. To be completely honest with you all, I don’t know much about these cars. My mom had a blue-on-blue coupe from the same year, which finally went out to pasture about 15 years ago, having languished in my parents’ driveway for many many years. Also, my brother currently owns a ’66 Special Convertible which had been in my father’s family for quite a few years, but neither of those ancillary connections make me an expert. That said, what do YOU know about these cars, and what do YOU think of this one? Is it worth the money? Would you want it in your garage? Let me know in the comments!

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Comments

  1. TimM

    Great car!! The classic family truckster!!!! What size motor is in there or did I just read passed it???? I would be proud to own this one!!

    2
    • local_sheriff

      Engine size in its initial years would be a 300cid V8 as base engine. A bigger 340cid V8 would come along in 66.

      4
  2. stillrunners

    Is Bruce on his way ?

    3
    • Stephen G

      Naw its above his $5K max I think.

    • Bruce Fischer

      Stillrunners, I wish it was closer.Bruce.

  3. local_sheriff

    As no one have enlightened Russell yet, I’ll give it a shot. I think it’s impossible to mention the Sport Wagon without also including Olds’ Vista – though they are not inherently siblings I’d say it’s right to call them stepsiblings as they both filled a certain niche within both divisions and share so many unique bits.

    64 marked a special year for both Olds and Buick wagon production as it was not only the introductory year for the A-body but also last year for their fullsize wagon production. Their FS wagons were never big sellers in these two divisions, but even though they would both offer the new A-body Cutlass/Skylark in wagon form they still had to come up with something new to fill in the gap. The results were the SW/ Vista both introduced February 64.

    Unlike their Cutlass/ Skylark wagon siblings, they’re riding on a unique,longer frame that offers a 120inch WB to accomodate more legroom for an (optional) forward-facing 3rd seat. That’s also why they received the elevated roof. That actually makes the SW/ Vista have an inch longer WB than both FS Chevrolet and Pontiac wagons had for ’64, while still being an ‘intermediate’. Overall length of the SW/ Vista is only marginally less than same year Chevy FS wagon though so the ‘intermediate’ nomenclature can be discussed.

    So any SW/ Vista should not just be considered a posh skyroofed Skylark/ Cutlass, there’s much, much more to them. If I hadn’t already owned a 60s wagon I’d definately be amongst the bidders here

    3
  4. JOHN

    Back in the custom van days, it was quite common to see these roofs grafted on, they actually looked pretty cool. Would love to own a Vista Cruiser.

    • Joey

      I was a vanner and I remember seeing that. I believe it was called Greyhounding. Because it looked like a Greyhound bus after.

      1
  5. art

    This car has or had factory A/C but someone removed the compressor and hoses. Condenser is still there but finding the rest could be tough.

    2
    • boxdin

      Update w new rotary compressor get custom hoses made at napa and you’re cool.

      1
  6. Dave

    Love the speedo photo! You can see that the speed warning buzzer is set at Warp 9.7, close enough to the Warp 10 barrier! My mother had a 58 Buick Special that had this, the previous owner had it set to 60, and my dad didn’t know how to adjust it.

    2
  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. I’ve always loved the 1964 Buick Special and Skylark. The same goes for this car. I’ve always found the 1964 Buick Skylark more attractive than the 1965 Buick Skylark. It’s interesting what a change in trim and grille does to a car’s appearance. I hope whoever buys this car enjoys it and takes care of it. :)

    2
    • Russ Johnson

      Folks had a ’64 Skylark four door that was bought used in early ’65, when I was all of four years old. It was a really sharp car. But I always wished it was a wagon! But, the tail lights on the wagon weren’t quite as attractive as the sedans. Still nice though.

      Always thought the 1977 GM restyling of the Chevy Caprice and its stablemates looked back for inspiration to the ’64 Buick Skylark and its GM equivalents.

  8. Car Nut Tacoma

    I’d prefer this any day over any SUV or “Crossover” vehicle.

    3
    • Bruce Fischer

      Car Nut Tacoma, I agree with you and you don’t have to take it back to the dealer every time the check engine light comes on and spend a huge amount of $$$ getting fixed. Bruce.

      1
  9. Mountainwoodie

    Looking at that dash makes me feel ten years old! lol

    So I was on the hunt for one of these for a long time. My Dads was a stripper Special wagon with nada…zilch……..always wanted a SportsWagon. Looked at one a couple of years ago owned by a local automobilac………..way too much rust surrounding the roof glass for my wallet so I passed after having a ppi.

    Good thing this is on the other coast so I cant look at it. I’ve got an itch that still needs to be scratched. BUT….it looks to have rust bubbling on the bottom tailgate edge….hmmmm….

    1
  10. Del

    Appears to be no interest at this price.

    May have to a lot lower.

    1
  11. CaCarDude

    Nice vista cruiser wagon, would be nice if the seller would include some better pictures. Complete front interior dash shot and headliner pic would be nice. I am not sure what truck or tractor the front rims came off of but these would have to go first, those are definitely not stock. What happened to the A/C compressor? Price is in the ballpark providing rust is not an issue. The engine would be the 300 V8 200hp if the 2bbl setup. Also engine is aluminum block and heads, ’64 year model only. Back in the day a lot of these engines were transplanted into older 1/4 ton Jeeps. Nice find!

    1
    • boxdin

      Jeep began offering the 231 odd fire V6 in 1965 as I recall so transplanting into jeeps was not necessary.

  12. Marty Parker

    The 300 CI engine is a cast iron block. The 215 CI V8 last used in ’63 is aluminum.

    2
    • CaCarDude

      Correct the 215 was aluminum as was the 1964 300ci block and heads. Do some research and you will see I know my Buicks. I had a ’63 Special convertible with the 215, and a ’64 Skylark hardtop with a 300 4bbl all aluminum. My ’65 Ragtop 300 4bbl setup is all cast iron block/ heads. The 300 small block for both years was a tried and true performer.

      • Marty Parker

        I have never heard of nor can I find any verification of an aluminum block 300. Can you show me where you got this info.?

  13. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Looked at many, many wagons when restoring my Specials/Skylarks and Vista Cruisers would always get me to consider emptying my wallet to buy a whole car. The listing shows detailed photos of all the removed bits sitting in someone’s dining room. Never a good sign — items taken off for restoration are not labeled and/or stored properly for identification later. The AC vents are there, but no ductwork/hoses that I can tell. Nice color wagon….me want…no funds.

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