Slammed Survivor: 1963 Chevrolet Suburban

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This 1963 Chevrolet Suburban has spent the majority of its life in California. As a result, it has managed to remain rust-free. It is a project vehicle that stalled early on and then saw service as a shop truck. The owner needs some space, so the Suburban will need to go to a new home. Located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, the classic Chevy has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $7,100, but the reserve isn’t met.

The owner of the Suburban owns a custom build business and purchased the vehicle for a client to be converted into a tail-gate party truck. The vision was to have a slide-out section with a grill, coolers, and a TV. Unfortunately, that person had a change of circumstances early in the build, so the owner used it as a shop truck. The body has remained unmolested, which means the buyer will not have to undo a lot of work they might not want. The Suburban is finished in Desert Beige, and while the paint has developed a matte appearance, it is still presentable as a survivor. I also don’t believe that this was the Suburban’s original color. There is some evidence that it originally wore what looks to be Glenwood Green. It is a rust-free classic, and the clam-shell rear doors make it a versatile vehicle that is a viable alternative to a regular station wagon. It isn’t a wagon that is blessed with a lot of chrome, so at least the buyer won’t need to send a heap of pieces off to the platers as part of the restoration process. The chrome that is present appears to be in good condition, while the same is true of the glass. The Suburban has been slammed and fitted with 20″ steel wheels. That might not be to everyone’s taste, but it does give the vehicle a tougher stance.

Lifting the hood of the Suburban reveals a 283ci V8, which is backed by a Powerglide transmission. A dual exhaust and Glasspack mufflers would have the Chevy sounding pretty nice. The engine should be producing around 160hp and a very healthy 270 ft/lbs of torque. The performance might be hampered slightly by the Powerglide, but it should still be acceptable. The buyer may choose to upgrade the transmission, and the possibility is there to extract a few extra horses from the 283. This is an easy process because there is a wealth of parts out there to make this happen at an affordable price. If the buyer doesn’t want to change anything, then that wouldn’t be a drama. The owner states that the Suburban runs and drives well, so the buyer might choose to leave well enough alone.

The interior is one area of the Suburban where I believe that the next owner might choose to weave their magic. It is looking tired now, and a refresh would almost certainly be on the cards. If buyers are looking at this vehicle as a viable alternative to a classic station wagon, they are in luck. A rear seat is fitted, and the black upholstery on that looks pretty reasonable. The covers on the front seats will need to be replaced because they are heavily stained. The painted surfaces are looking battered and bruised and will require a repaint. There is a lot of wear on the wheel, but this is something that I would be tempted to restore myself. The process can be fiddly, but the result can be quite rewarding if it’s done correctly.

Classic station wagons have been increasing in value at a steady rate in recent years, and finding a good one as an affordable and straightforward restoration project can be difficult. This 1963 Suburban offers potential buyers an alternative that is rust-free and ready to go. One of the great attractions of this one is that it could be driven and enjoyed immediately. Any restoration work could then be undertaken as time, money, and circumstances allow. There has been a decent level of bidding up to this point. That suggests that there are plenty of people out there who can see the potential locked away in this Chevy. I don’t know what the new owner will do with this beauty, but I would love to see it when completed.

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  1. Tony

    This is a 1964 model, because 63 was the last year for the wraparound windshield. Vin number starts with a 4 making it a 1964 model.

    Like 6
    • local_sheriff

      Also ’63 had circular headlight bezels. I like them all but personally think those two details set the ’63 apart

      Like 3
  2. dick

    not a 283. most likely a 350

    Like 2
  3. wcshook

    Seeing as I am not a fan of “slammed” vehicles, my question would be how hard and expensive would it be to return to original stance? I didn’t see it in the narrative, but does the back of the rear seat turn down? I do like the colors on it tho.

    Like 5
  4. 1st Gear

    Sorry,this ain’t a ’63. ’63s had wrap around windshields. Nice looking rig, don’t doubt.

    Like 4
  5. junkmanMember

    64 or 65. Shake ,Rattle and Roll. One of the noisiest vehicles. I’ve ever driven.

    Like 1
    • Bobby

      It’s a 66 because of the dash

      Like 2
  6. 8banger daveMember

    Something looks fishy on the beginning lip of the R rear wheel arch…

    Like 1
  7. Joe Haska

    If you don’t like it slammed, my thought is, you best look for something else. This is the perfect candidate for ,an in the weeds resto-mod ,as with all Customized C-10 Pick-Up’s out there. It would be a big hit for the simple reason, its different and not everyone has one. It would not be a cheap build, however, it has a lot of plus’s ,so I don’t think cost would be factor, no more than a P/U would be. The bids are going up ,so it will be intersting to see where it lands. I predict higher than most of you will think, it is worth.

    Like 3
  8. geomechs geomechsMember

    It’s between ’64 and ’66. The wraparound windshield with the knee-knocker door frame option was retired at the end of ’63. That could be a 283 under the hood but I’m guessing it to be newer. The 283 would’ve had the oil filler/breather angling up and toward the left at the front of the intake. There wouldn’t have been a filler cap on the valve cover. I might add that the machining marks at the front of the head are not typical for a 283. However, neither of those detracts from the appeal of this truck. I could use it and have a good time with it, albeit putting it back to its proper stance and original wheels. I wouldn’t be in a big hurry to find an original type 283 to drop in although I wouldn’t turn it down if one should show up. Sorry (no, not sorry), I just enjoy them more as original…

    Like 6
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Since these were never meant to be fast, I see no need to up the horse power. I once owned a 65 model with 250 straight six and three on column. It was a good truck that had no problem rolling down I-5 from Everett to Seattle and back daily at highway speeds. I will say I believe those were the forgettable days of 55 mph limits.
    God bless America

    Like 6
  10. Mike Hartman

    It’s a 64 65 66. I’ve had 2 Burbs (carryall) and a 64 Panel plus a few trucks. Great rides for doing the custom thing to.

    Like 2
  11. angliagt angliagtMember

    These are really cool rigs,but I wouldn’t want to daily drive
    one.I had the one in my picture.Sold it to a guy North of LA,CA.
    I called his number,& sadly,he passed away.Wonder where it
    went to?

    Like 4
  12. Gary

    Also it’s not a ‘63 grille

    Like 0
  13. Charles Turner

    Pop managed an Amoco service station for the guy who owned the station & the guy also owned a very nice ’66 1/2 ton stepside which he used to tow his racecar. A lot of “experts”convinced him that the ’66 would pull so much better if he pulled the 250 straight six & drop a 283 in it’s place……( you know where this is going)…….so he did the deed & yeah, he ended up putting the stock 250 right back. V8s are great but those straight 6 mills can out pull one because of a wonderful thing known as TORQUE!!!! This was back in the early ’70’s………I was just a grade school kid then.

    Like 3
  14. no reply

    An automobile “custom build business” is lying about the year of the vehicle and lying about what engine is in it.

    Adam missed all that.

    Like 1
  15. David Sanchez

    Something suspect about this listing, since I am very close to where it was listed. I investigated further, auction is listed as Sold at 9200, even the listing doesn’
    t give info on what shop had it for sale. As others have indicated it said it was a 63 but appears to be a later yr (64 or 65) and the engine didn’t appear to be a 283 (350?) On top of that the vehicle was previously listed for sale by a dealer in Chicago (same exact pics), so was it a stalled project? or even a CA car?

    Like 0
    • David Sanchez

      looking further I found a dealer listing it in Fresno in 16 as a 64, oddly enough some of the pics are the same, but that seller was a bit more forthcoming….original color is not gold. Appears to be half ass job. Dents here and there. Slight bondo cracks lower right quarter. That seller indicated mileage was unknown at that time.

      Like 0
  16. local_sheriff

    Read the listing; seller is straightforward with this Sub being brought from Cali for a client, then the project stalled following client’s divorce. The H in its VIN would indicate being built at the Fremont plant, and the 2.653rd unit built so at least we know it was born in Cali and with such a low # there’s a chance it was BUILT in ’63. The start of its VIN 4C146 means ’64 model style(4), Chevrolet(C), 1/2ton 115inch WB (14), CarryAll body(6)

    Like 1
  17. karl

    The evidence that the color sint original is that the firewall is green

    Like 0
  18. DON

    The paint job looks like it was done with Krylon gold spray paint

    Like 0
  19. ERNIE B

    Looks like 22′ GM transit wheels, not 20′ as stated.

    Like 0

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