Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1962 Buick Special
In a move reminiscent of Alfred P. Sloan's ill-fated "companion make" program of the late twenties, GM management decided in 1957 that Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Buick should each have their own compact sedan. The three cars were jointly developed - still very unusual for GM in that era, when each division generally handled its own engineering and manufacturing - and shared a stretched version of the new unitized Y-body shell used by the Corvair. When the new cars debuted in late 1960 for the 1961 model year, they were swiftly nicknamed "Senior Compacts." Buick's Senior Compact, which went on sale on October 5, 1960, was dubbed the Buick Special. Although Buick had dropped the Special nameplate after the 1958 model year, the old Special had been a sales success and new Buick general manager Ed Rollert may have thought that giving the new car a familiar name would help put buyers at ease. Some reassurance was probably necessary because the Special was a major departure for Buick. Excepting a small number of Opel Olympia Rekords the division had imported from GM's German subsidiary between 1958 and 1960, the new Special was the smallest car Buick had offered in more than two decades.
For consignment, this beautiful Cadet Blue 2 door sedan oozes early 1960's design. A consignor stated mostly original car with a few touch ups on the paint, an original interior and a mere 47,794 title verified original miles. Imagine yourself cruising down the road, Wayfarers on, wife in bandanna, a cool breeze licking in from the vent windows, and not a care in the world. Open up the carburetor and allow the Turbine Drive transmission to take you downtown to the fondue party with the hipsters.
The mostly original coating of Cadet Blue respray covers the totally finless metal slabs that retail an array of good condition brite work. From the 3 front quarter panel quintessential "vents" to the chrome trimmed horizontally barred grille to the pointed front fenders to the rear trunk lid tri shield, all presents in good condition. A slight stinger bulge is noted in the hood, a sign of things to come for the soon to be restyled Corvette. The use of a straight line ending in a V curve shows in front and on the rear quarter panel. Boomerang like shapes throughout, the overall design is leaving the 50's behind and ushering in the jet age. Styling cues from the era are present throughout and even the roofline has a hint of "bubble top" lineage to it. Camaro 5 lug drum brakes were added up front to accommodate the American Racing Torque Thrust wheels and in the rear we note redrilled drums to allow for the white painted steel wheels. Staggered width blackwall rubber wraps these rims and present with good tread.
Original smooth light blue vinyl on the bolsters and horizontally ribbed black cloth with blue, gray and purple in a diamond pattern cloth envelop the bench seats which are revealed with a swing of the wide doors. A split bench is seen in the front and in the rear a full sprawling bench with a central light blue vinyl insert. Original speckle finished vinyl flooring. The doors carry a light and dark blue motif, with a zig zag embossing in the light blue. Bright chrome is on for the cranks and handles and light blue steel finished the top sill. In front of those seats, a sculpted two tone blue steel dash hangs bright chrome trim for the heater slides and brushed aluminum around the knobs in the stand out speedometer pod. This is a radio delete car and the central panel is present and accounted for. In front of the driver, a painted blue steering column spins a white 2 spoke wheel and sports bright chrome for the gear selector and signal indicator. And behind the passengers, a gigantic tan lined trunk features enough room to swallow anything short of a full-size refrigerator.
A 2-barrel original Rochester carburetor sits proudly atop the 198ci V6. This was the first 6-cylinder produced exclusively for Buick since 1930. This mill is finished in a pale green hue and rests in an unrestored but clean engine bay. This V6 is backed by a 2-speed automatic Turbine Drive transmission which sends power to the rear axle weighing in with a 3.08 ratio.
A mix of light green painted steel, black suspension and minor surface rust coat this undercarriage. It remains original and structurally sound with solid rockers and slight dampness to the underside of the drivetrain. The Cherrybomb equipped single exhaust presents as nearly new and drum brakes are all around. As noted earlier, to accommodate the 5 lug wheels we see front drum brakes from a Camaro and a redrilled drum set up in the rear. Overall, the car is nice and presents as an honest original.
As expected, with a twist of the key the V6 sprung to life and settled into a steady purr. We did note upon sta
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