The 1963 Buick Special is a classic American automobile that showcases the design, performance, and luxury that Buick was renowned for during the 1960s. In this article, we’ll delve into the key features of this timeless classic, from its distinctive styling and powerful engine options to its enduring popularity among car enthusiasts and collectors.
The 1963 Buick Special was a popular mid-size car manufactured by General Motors under the Buick brand. Here are some details about its design:
Body Style: The 1963 Buick Special was available in various body styles, including a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, and station wagon.
Grille: The front grille featured a bold and distinctive design with horizontal chrome bars, giving the car a stylish and elegant look.
Headlights: The headlights were integrated into the front fenders and had a rounded rectangular shape.
Bumpers: The car featured chrome-plated bumpers, which were large and prominent, providing both style and protection.
Tail Lights: The rear of the car had rectangular tail lights that wrapped around the corners, giving it a distinctive appearance.
Overall Design: The Buick Special had a sleek and streamlined design, with clean lines and subtle curves, characteristic of cars from the 1960s.
The interior of the 1963 Buick Special was designed to provide passengers with a comfortable and luxurious ride. With ample seating for up to six occupants
Seating: The car had spacious seating for up to six passengers, depending on the body style. The seats were upholstered in premium materials, offering comfort and luxury.
Dashboard: The dashboard had a simple and functional layout, with a combination of analog gauges and controls for various functions, such as speedometer, fuel gauge, temperature gauge, and ventilation controls.
Steering Wheel: The steering wheel had a classic design with a chrome horn ring and Buick logo in the center.
Center Console: The center console featured storage compartments and controls for the audio system and heating/cooling functions.
Trim and Finishes: The interior boasted high-quality trim materials, including chrome accents and wood-grain finishes on the dashboard and door panels, adding to the car’s luxurious appeal.
2. Engine and Performance
The 1963 Buick Special offered several engine options, each contributing to the car’s performance capabilities. Here are some of the available engines and their specifications:
198 cubic inch (3.2-liter) V6
This was the standard engine for the Buick Special. It had a 90-degree V6 configuration and produced around 135 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. It featured a 2-barrel carburetor and had a compression ratio of 9.0:1.
215 cubic inch (3.5-liter) V8
This was an optional engine for the Buick Special. It was a lightweight aluminum V8 engine and offered enhanced performance. It produced around 155 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque. It also featured a 2-barrel carburetor and had a compression ratio of 8.8:1.
300 cubic inch (4.9-liter) V8
Another optional engine available for the Buick Special was this larger V8. It produced around 210 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. It featured a 2-barrel carburetor and had a compression ratio of 9.0:1.
340 cubic inch (5.6-liter) V8
This was the most powerful engine option for the 1963 Buick Special. It generated approximately 250 horsepower and 355 lb-ft of torque. It featured a 4-barrel carburetor and had a compression ratio of 10.25:1. This engine was available in the Buick Special Deluxe models.
Transmission options included a 3-speed manual transmission or a 2-speed automatic transmission (Super Turbine 300) as standard. Additionally, a 4-speed manual transmission was available as an option for those seeking a more engaging driving experience.
The performance of the 1963 Buick Special varied depending on the engine and transmission combination. The V8 engines offered more power and acceleration compared to the standard V6, providing a balance between performance and fuel efficiency. The car’s suspension system, with an independent front suspension and coil springs in the rear, contributed to a comfortable and smooth ride. Overall, the Buick Special of 1963 offered a blend of style, comfort, and performance for its time.
3. Sales and Production
The 1963 Buick Special was a popular mid-size car in its time, offering a blend of style, performance, and luxury that appealed to a broad range of buyers. Although exact production numbers for the 1963 Buick Special are hard to come by, it’s estimated that Buick produced around 163,000 units of the Special.
The Special was available in various body styles to cater to different preferences, including two-door coupe, two-door convertible, four-door sedan, four-door station wagon
These diverse body styles made the Special a versatile choice for consumers, attracting those seeking a stylish and sporty vehicle as well as those in need of a practical and comfortable family car.
The sales success of the 1963 Buick Special can be attributed to its appealing design, powerful engine options, and luxurious features, combined with Buick’s reputation for quality and reliability. The popularity of the Special helped to solidify Buick’s position in the American automotive market during the 1960s and contributed to the model’s enduring legacy as a classic American automobile.
4. End of 1963 Buick Special
The 1963 Buick Special marked the end of the first generation of the Buick Special model, which had been introduced in 1961. After the 1963 model year, Buick made significant changes to the Special lineup, launching the second generation for the 1964 model year. The second-generation Buick Special featured a redesigned exterior and interior, along with updates to its powertrain options.
The second-generation Buick Special continued to be produced until 1969, after which the Buick Skylark nameplate replaced the Special as Buick’s mid-size offering. The Skylark became a standalone model, and the Buick Special name was no longer used.
The 1963 Buick Special, with its distinctive design and various engine options, remains a sought-after classic car among collectors and enthusiasts. Its legacy lives on as part of Buick’s history and its contribution to the automotive industry of the time.
5. Collectability of 1963 Buick Special
The 1963 Buick Special is considered collectible among classic car enthusiasts and collectors. Here are some factors that contribute to its collectability:
While the 1963 Buick Special had substantial production numbers, the passage of time has naturally led to a decrease in the number of surviving vehicles. Finding a well-preserved and original example can be a challenge, especially with specific trim levels and engine options.
The 1963 Buick Special featured a timeless and elegant design representative of the era. Its sleek lines, chrome accents, and attention to detail make it visually appealing and sought after by collectors who appreciate vintage aesthetics.
The 1963 Buick Special marked the end of the first generation of the model, making it a significant milestone in Buick’s history. Collectors often value vehicles that represent the transition or end of a particular model generation.
The availability of various engine options in the 1963 Buick Special, including the V6 and V8 engines, adds to its appeal among collectors who value performance and powertrain diversity.
Buick has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality vehicles with a focus on comfort and luxury. This reputation enhances the collectability of the 1963 Buick Special, as it represents a piece of Buick’s heritage and craftsmanship.
Community and Support
Classic car enthusiasts often appreciate the camaraderie and support that comes with owning and collecting vintage vehicles. The 1963 Buick Special has an active community of owners, clubs, and resources that can provide valuable information, restoration tips, and parts availability.
The collectability and value of any specific vehicle can vary based on factors such as condition, originality, rarity, and market demand. Professional appraisals, consulting with experts, and researching recent auction results can help provide a better understanding of the current collectability and value of a 1963 Buick Special.
6. Cultural Values
The 1963 Buick Special reflects several cultural values prevalent during its time. Here are some cultural values associated with the 1963 Buick Special:
Style and Elegance
The Buick Special represented the cultural value of style and elegance that was highly prized during the 1960s. Its sleek design, chrome accents, and attention to detail showcased the desire for sophisticated and visually appealing automobiles.
Status and Prestige
Owning a Buick, including the Special model, symbolized a certain level of status and prestige. Buick was positioned as a luxury brand, and the Special allowed buyers to enjoy the benefits of owning a stylish and well-crafted vehicle associated with a reputable brand.
The 1963 Buick Special embodied the American Dream of owning a car that provided both comfort and performance. It represented the aspirations of the middle class, offering an attainable luxury option that showcased success and prosperity.
Individualism and Personal Expression
The availability of different body styles, engine options, and trim levels allowed buyers to customize their 1963 Buick Special to their preferences. This reflected the cultural value of individualism and personal expression, as consumers sought to own a car that reflected their unique tastes and personality.
Family and Comfort
The Buick Special, with its mid-size dimensions and spacious interior, catered to the cultural value of family and comfort. It provided enough seating capacity for families and offered a comfortable ride, making it suitable for long trips and everyday use.
The inclusion of advanced features such as V6 and V8 engines represented the cultural value of technological progress. The 1963 Buick Special showcased Buick’s commitment to incorporating modern technologies that improved performance, efficiency, and driving experience.
These cultural values associated with the 1963 Buick Special reflect the broader societal aspirations and desires of the time, reflecting the importance placed on style, status, individualism, family, comfort, and technological advancement.