(first posted 9/10/2014) I expected to find interesting cars while away on vacation, but this Buick was a particularly nice treat. I wasn’t hoping for anything this rare or stylish; a basically outfitted LeSabre or 88, sure, but a loaded ’62 Skylark? This is definitely CC-material; even better, it doesn’t seem to be a restored garage queen, though it’s obviously been given a lot of care over the years. A friend of mine makes a huge claim about the more well-equipped Y-bodies of the early ’60s, calling them the best American cars ever. I’m not prepared to take a very firm stance as this is concerned, and I expect our readers will make their own very well-informed judgments, but this particular black hardtop makes a good case for itself.
Modern mechanical specification (aside from the two speed
Dynaflow Dual Path Turbine Drive) notwithstanding, what stands out most to modern eyes is this Buick’s ergonomic and dimensional rightness. Having been raised on imports, I’d almost feel right at home in this Skylark. The switchgear is thoughtfully integrated, and that includes the air conditioner underneath the stereo. Those two chromed vents on the right side on that metal panel are both delicate and modern-looking in a way many other HVAC outlets of the era were not.
Moving on, we have a pared-down dash design with a low cowl and simple moldings elsewhere. Everything is kept out of the way, enhancing the feeling of space, with minimal forehead-gashing protrusions–very conservative for the era, but more relevant today than more creative contemporary layouts.
This car looks low to the ground because it is; unlike other similarly shaped and well-equipped cars, though, it’s also narrow and short enough to make sense as a compact. It’s actually quite a unique combination of practicality and opulence for the time, giving it a jewel-like quality that reminds me so much of the better imports of the ’80s and ’90s. I almost want to call it the W201 of its day, but as that car was severe, underpowered and austere on the inside, that this analogy doesn’t entirely work. I’m more inclined to compare it with the Integra, given its low-slung style and aspirational compact concept; after all, not all of the small Acuras had the VTEC engine and close-ratio transmission.
The owner seemingly agrees with this assessment, given the somewhat excessive asking price. The car isn’t in the sort of condition to merit this outlay, according to most metrics, but I wouldn’t argue with someone spending this much provided they had a passion for Skylarks.
There are probably more people interested in finding an equivalent Cutlass/F85, Corvair or even rope-drive Tempest. Everything that makes this Skylark so elegant in my eyes, down to that traditional Buick font, is what makes sportier or “sportier” compacts more compelling to other buyers. In that sense, the W201 comparison is more apt; and just as Baby Benz got became more profitable, more powerful and less distinctive, so did the Skylark.
The Integra, while longer-lived than the original Skylark, in some ways met the same fate as the original Y-body Buicks. It would never be as popular as the cheaper compacts, nor would it have the gravitas of the more musclebound alternatives like the Mustang. While undeniably unique, neither cars were what enough people wanted. But for those who could appreciate just how special they were, pun intended, both were “just right.”
These Chinese replacement tires, sized 185/70 R13, also mark the connection to the large compacts of the ’80s and early ’90s. They are small, but given the leanness of the overall shape, are more than adequate. Look for this tire size to become increasingly uncommon with the rubberband tires on today’s “compacts.”
It’s the attention to detail which really makes this car; can we blame GM if so many car buyers in this price class weren’t moved by such subtle virtue? It obviously didn’t help that the Y-body platform-mates were either more overtly sporty and more expressively styled, but with that said, Buick managed to move more of its small cars than did Oldsmobile.
A lightweight aluminum V8 sits behind that clean grille, as you all know, helping keep this car around 2,800 pounds. That’s an impressive figure for a rear-driver of this size with A/C, a full bevy of power assists and a large engine; another connection with more modern imports, perhaps?
If the curb weight doesn’t convince you, the overall combination of luxury and performance (as opposed to an obvious nod in either direction) provides a better parallel. For all the success attained by sportier or flashier competition, Buick managed to retain as much of the sophistication this car embodied as was possible in future generations. Cars like the later GS were similarly neglected in spite of their talents, but the appeal of the Tri-Shield’s approach to making large compacts has helped ensure the brand’s survival to this day, with the Regal winning (at least) critical acclaim. And as that car delivers what Acura no longer can offer, one could argue that the spirit of this ’62 Skylark remains alive today.
Curbside Classic: 1962 Buick Skylark – Gimme
Curbside Classic: 1963 Buick Skylark Convertible – Knocking on Heaven’s Door
Repair Shop Classic: 1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass Club Coupe – I’ll Try Anything
Great interior- a hint of future Broughams in that buttoning perhaps?
The Skylark was the top of the line version of the Buick Special, so a bit of brougham was to be expected.
What a find, Perry! The a/c and power windows had to have been super rare on these even when new. Somehow I don’t think this car spent its whole life in New England.
$12K is a bit steep given the pitted chrome and other minor stuff. $7-8K is more like it.
It was really more a smaller version of the “buckets and console” pseudo-Thunderbird rivals — a quasi-sports coupe, essentially. Interestingly, in ’62 and ’63 you could actually order it with a Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed, although whether anyone did is another question entirely and the four-speed didn’t make it a sports car no matter what the press kit said.
At least two went out the door. I had a manual trans bellhousing for the 198V6-215V8 in my garage for many years until I sold it for $250. And 3 years ago at Broadmoor golf course in Portland, Or I saw a ’62 Special, convertible no less, with factory 4 speed. Sadly, not a Skylark however. But it’s the only one I have seen with a 4 speed, and as I was brought home from the hospital in 1966 in a ’62 Special wagon, that we had until ’83ish, I have been looking at these cars for a long, long, time. Back in late ’70s, early ’80s, they were all over the Portland area for $50-150, and $400 would have bought grandma’s garage queen….sigh
Here’s a Skylark convertible I shot recently with a four speed. I suppose it might not be original, but I suspect a more than a few did come with it. In fact, I’m remembering a coupe that I saw once with the four speed.
I’ve seen a bunch online over the years, all V8s, but if I’m remembering correctly they actually did offer the 4-speed with the V6 as well. Same for the Cutlass/F-85, including the Jetfire in 1963 (which I only learned recently). I would kill for this car: http://bringatrailer.com/2008/12/08/factory-turbo-muscle-car-1963-oldsmobile-jetfire/
Oddly enough, I don’t think there was ever a V8/4-speed Pontiac Y-body, even when the Tempest switched from the Buick V8 to the 326.
The four speed rear transaxle (largely borrowed from the Corvair), wasn’t strong enough to handle the 326. And only very small numbers of 215 V8Tempests/LeMans were ever built, and you’re right, none with the four speed. The 215 may also have had too much torque for that transmission, or? It was theoretically a very desirable combo, but just not built.
Very nice,all the style and glamour of a Buick without the thirst and bulk.
Sweet car .
When my Son bought his Integra , I told him it was a ” Japanese Buick ” and this car is what I was talking about as a benchmark .
Swoon. I am so charmed by the smaller 60s Buicks. This one looks so good.
I really don’t see the Integra comparison except perhaps in market position, although a comparison to the current Verano would probably also be on target.
To be pedantic, the Special/Skylark did not use Dynaflow. It had the two-speed Dual Path Turbine Drive, which was an entirely new transmission that had no relationship to the bigger Dynaflow units. The late Dynaflow (actually called Twin Turbine, although the Dynaflow name lingered in the public mind) had two torque converter turbines and didn’t actually shift unless you manually selected Low and did it yourself.
The Dual Path transmission was a true two-speed automatic and was an interesting unit in a number of ways. For one, it had only one planetary gearset — in reverse, the converter turbine was locked and the stator drove the transmission. As the name implies, the Turbine Drive also had a split-torque function in high, putting power both through the converter and directly. (Pontiac’s TempesTorque did essentially the same thing in 1961–62.) It also had a variable-pitch stator, although Buick had been using that feature on Dynaflow for quite a while.
The Dual Path transmission is the lightest planetary gear automatic of which I’m aware. It weighed 96 lb, which made it less than half the mass of an iron-case Hydra-Matic and more than 50% less than the later ST-300 two-speed. It also worked pretty well — Road & Track found it a lot smoother and more positive than the light-duty Roto Hydra-Matic three-speed, which was a slushy, lurchy thing.
Thanks Aaron, I’ll be sure to amend the text.
??? Don’t want to start (or prolong) a flame war, but that rebuke seemed unnecessary.
My sister and I chipped in together to buy a ’63 Skylark convertible when it was about 20 years old. The car was beaten to hell by then (and its body was almost completely consumed by rust), but the engine and tranny were both still running strong. They were well matched. The small V8 was surprisingly torquey (especially by mid-80s standards), and I never missed having a third gear for highway driving.
Any convertible is a fun car, but I have lots of pleasant memories of the Skylark. Not nearly enough pleasant memories to justify the asking price of this one, though.
I wasn’t trying to be snarky — if it sounded like it, it was mainly because I was trying to explain something technically complicated after being up all night. My apologies.
Most contemporary press reviews thought the Dual Path worked quite well and actually worked better than some low-end three-speed units. What Buick did with Turbine Drive was to make the mechanical ratio for first gear quite tall (I think it was 1.52:1), use the converter to make up the low gear multiplication and then have the torque splitting in high so it wouldn’t feel slushy. Because the spread between first and second was more like second and third in a three-speed automatic, the shifts were smoother (not a big ratio drop) and you still had a usable passing gear up to about 65 mph, whereas most two-speeds couldn’t kick down above about 50. So, it was an interesting compromise.
the world of the various early auto trans technologies and approaches is fascinating. What was dynaflow like to drive and what mileage did it give compared to say the same car with a 3 speed manual?
That wasn’t addressed to you, Aaron. Perry had some snark in his comment that he later edited out, making me look like the bad guy.
Very un-curbsideclassiclike all around. Maybe I need to stop posting comments here.
A poster on another site who had one of these cars when they were new said that this automatic transmission wasn’t particularly reliable.
c5karl; I’m sorry this little incident happened; it won’t again.
Thanks, Paul. Love the site and the sense of community here.
The twin turbine drive by this time had both a variable pitch stator in the usual place plus an upper stator between the two turbines. The upper stator increased the standing start torque from 2.5:1 to 3.5:1. This effect did not last long once the car was moving.
This particular Skylark coupe was marketed as a small luxury compact if I remember the ads correctly. I think of the Integra as more sporty and less luxury. Still, I see the point as both being upscale small cars. I think the Olds F-85/Cutlass had a more sporty image.
I did not know that power windows were an option on these cars and never saw one so equipped. I’m voting with others that this car is very rare – with PW and A/C, an amazing find.
One of our elderly neighbors bought a new 62 Special Deluxe sedan in dark silver with black upholstery. I remember that it was definitely upscale in ride and quietness. His daughter inherited the car a couple of years later. They were a Buick family and were driving a loaded 60 Invicta at the time. They kept the Special for years and it held up very well – a quality car.
I think that’s the one known as the ‘skillet’ because of it’s small round pan, isn’t it?
I’m not 100% sure I would call this akin to the Integra, but I am a former Integra owner so I am a bit biased. The Integra gave you a few things that the Civic did not/could not give you. If GM built a small, Integra-type car in the early 60s the Corvair would be a better choice for that title.
I might consider this Buick to be more in the vein of Nissan’s/Infiniti’s G20. A car that MIGHT want to consider itself sporty but just can’t break away from the conservative image cast by it’s brand marketing.
And I agree, $12K is a lot for this car but you are paying for low miles and gentle care by the seller. For $12K seller would be wise to source a good/very good set of whitewalls in the correct sidewall width and tire size. I realize that won’t be easy but cheap blackwalls scream “penny pincher”.
I test-drove an Integra around ’88 & was impressed by its roadholding, but the Accord won the toss on account of its greater torque & lower price (which was a bit over $11K for the DX). Nice to have such a choice at the time; I still think Honda was at its best back then.
The driveline tunnel on this Skylark looks less intrusive than what many FWD cars have had since then.
Very beautiful and desirable (at about $3-4k under the asking price).
What does drive me nuts with GM in ’62 was their insistence on keeping the automatic a column shift with bucket seats. My dad’s Impala SS was the same way, although it had a storage console in between the seats. Corvair Monzas weren’t quite as bad, as the dash flipper selector was unnoticeable.
Just the same, just one more example where somebody didn’t get it. Fortunately, by ’63, they figured it out. Probably the accountants hedging their bets just in case the idea of bucket seats didn’t take off.
But the Olds had floor shifts for the automatics, going back to the ’61 Starfire. I drove a ’62 Cutlass, and it had its automatic shift on the floor.
Yes, one of our neighbors had a red 62 Cutlass coupe with that exact interior. IIRC the console with chrome shifter was unique to the Olds. I always thought it was quite a dashing interior, more sporty than the more luxurious Skylark. Both were beautiful cars for the day and probably are the origin of my love for quality, upscale, small cars that continues to this day.
I think you could have spec’d a console on the Buick too, I’m sure I’ve seen one, but it was probably seldom ordered.
The first thing I noticed was the spread in style between this high end Skylark and the low level Special sedan that I wrote up awhile back. While the Special had almost zero appeal to me, this car is quite attractive.
I wonder if that aircon unit is factory or dealer/aftermarket? If factory, this has to be extremely rare. It was not a common option on even the Electra in 1962.
Wow. Actually, I have been racking my brain to think of the first air conditioned car I actually saw that was not a full sized or high-end car like a Buick Electra, Cadillac or T-Bird. It might be the 72 Cutlass Supreme that my mother bought new. A/C in a compact or mid sizer was extremely rare before the 70s, especially in the northern midwest. This would make a good QOTD.
Kid in elementary school’s dentist father had a ’67 Country Squire fully loaded, every opt even cruise and FM.
First compact I saw was a ’70 Maverick on the showroom floor in my hometown. This was western Canada, that was quite unusual. First in the family was our ’72 Comet LDO 4 door.
In the early 90s I found a ’69 4 door Fairlane in a junkyard.
Base model with a 351, AC and a radio, nothing else, not even tinted glass. That was a strange one. It was complete except for the 9-inch rear that had already been harvested.
It`s factory “under the dash air”. The same unit was available on the F 85 and Tempests starting in `61.The designers of these cars probably realized that not too many buyersc would order air,but something had to be available for those who did.This was it.By `64 intergrated in the dash air would be the norm, but many compacts like the Falcon, Darts, and Valiants would still have dealer installed under the dash air to the end, like the factory air in my `76 Valiant.
The AC in the ’67-’76 Chrysler A-bodies may have looked tacked on, but it was actually an integrated unit. It was controlled via the heater controls in the dash, and was plumbed to allow outside heated or cooled air to pass thru the vents. Ford had a similar setup from the late 50s to 1964 on it’s large cars. It was called Selectaire. The Fordair was a cheaper unit that WAS a straight recirc unit, with the controls on the evaporator unit itself. As for Falcons, they got in-dash AC in ’66, the Mustang in ’67.
I stand corrected on the Falcon, but even if the A Body unit was “factory”, it still looked like an aftermarket or dealer installed unit.
It’s definitely factory and a very nice looking unit, too; makes a natural fit with the rest of the dash. Those vents are crazy small, but quite attractive.
I wonder how the air conditioning worked with that aluminum V-8. Supposedly those engines had a propensity for overheating even in cars without air conditioning.
This is a very sharp car. It’s too bad that GM didn’t develop the Tempest, Special and F-85 by addressing the weak points while maintaining the interesting features and unit construction. Bringing out more conventional intermediates was more profitable in the short term, but well-developed versions of these cars would have been just the ticket by 1974.
There were problems with the cooling systems which is why they gave up on this engine. The mix of metals did not work well with the coolant or something.
I think there were metal issues, but equally, it lacked the forgiveness of cast iron engines. In the days before closed cooling systems, coolant needed regular topping up. Cars like this were market towards, and purchased by people like my aunt- independent women with good jobs in the new offices who had expendable income and wanted something a bit flash but still easy to park. Needless to say such owners did not have the background in servicing cars to the degree that tempermental foreign cars require, and thus overheating was the inevitable outcome of treating these things like one would treat a Chevy v8. The further omission of a temperature gauge and only a ‘temp’ idiot light that indicated when it was time to purchase new cylinder heads was also a critical oversight. The ‘Rover’ v8, while still easily damaged by overheating, has a reputation over here of being very robust. This is perhaps more likely due to the full compliment of gauges, and owners who have had experience of more fragile cars and know to respond when the needle is ‘a bit’ above where it should be, rather than when it is in the red.
Can anyone summarize what improvements Rover made to the 215? It would be an ironic project to retrofit a modern Rover unit back into the Buick.
Apparently, Rover was aided immensely when GM loaned out a Buick engineer to consult. He pointed out design changes which were not in the blueprints, saving them much trouble.
I believe Chrysler made aluminum versions of the venerable Slant-6. Was cooling an issue with these, too? At least Chryslers had std. temperature gauges back then.
The climate in England is much cooler 🙂
Batteries just die , no gauge would have helped .
A Voltmeter is better than an Ammeter in any case .
OK, Nate. Maybe you are the guy to help me. I loved my Mopar ammeters. You could get so much info about so many parts of your electrical system from their sensitive display of current draw. But every voltmeter I ever saw just sits there. Yup, system has voltage. Well, of course it has voltate so long as there is a decent battery attached. And of the battery is shot, that’s really easy to ID on an ammeter too. So why do you prefer voltmeters?
The Rover engine had the same architecture, but had a bunch of differences. The block was essentially redesigned to allow it to be sand-cast rather than die-cast and to use pressed-in iron liners. (The Buick engine had them cast in, which Rover didn’t have a supplier able to do.) There was a unique crankshaft and some of the accessories were different.
The big problem with the early aluminum V-8 in service was that you had to use the right kind of antifreeze (not all antifreezes of the time had the right additives for an aluminum engine and would cause internal corrosion) and continue using it when you topped up — no sealed cooling system, as Brian says. It was also expensive to manufacture and GM had a frustratingly high scrap rate; the block was die-cast, and at that time, die-casting something that complex was sort of a black art.
Sweet looking car. I saw one like this at a vintage Buick car show in Seattle.
Biggest issue with these Y bodies was untested technology giving out. Buyers were the Beta Testers for most of GM’s “innovative” products.
Uncle and Aunt had a ’61 Special and it was buggy and cost an arm/leg to fix compared to an average car of the time. “It’s a Buick so it costs more..” they heard.
So, after 4 years, traded in for a ’65 Plymouth Furry III, with conventional drivetrain. It lasted 8 years and died due to rust, it was never garaged in Chicago area.
My dad told me that mechanics didn’t like to wrench on the aluminum engines – too easy to break something and be held liable. We had a Special wagon that died of a cracked block.
Nice car, but is that owner on crack? Yikes!
He has watched too many Barrett-Jackson auctions.
Yep…I’d say six grand would be more than fair (at a glance).
Incredible find. It’s not impossible that the equipment level could make this one of 10, or some such crazy low number. I know some of the aluminum engines were this car’s Achilles’ heel. My folks had an early Special wagon that my grandparents had used sparingly for several years. My folks took it in ’67 and the block quietly cracked while out of town visiting the same grandparents in ’68 or ’69. My dad was off to the dealer looking for a new car. That had to be the most expensive family weekend I’ve been on just about all my life.
I had quite a bit of wheel time behind a very similar ’62 Cutlass coupe with the four-barrel V8 and automatic (Roto-Flow HM). It was reasonably quick, and I almost made my first century in it, until it overheated right at about 98 mph (steam eruption).
But these cars didn’t handle at all in a sporty way. GM didn’t give them a sportier suspension (or option), so they rode and handled like what they were designed to be: a smaller smooth-riding Buick LeSabre. Wallowy, floaty, mushy. In that particular way, they were the anti-Integra.
…but what body part would I sell for one of them with a pair of stiffer shocks (if that would help somewhat)? Obviously not one of those parts needed to drive one…
2 speed transmission? You cannot be serious!
Roger, where you been hiding? Two speed (and one-speed) automatics were extremely common. Don’t forget, a torque converter acts similarly to a “gear” in multiplying torque by increasing engine rpm in relation to its output. Torque converters could have a ratio of 3:1 or more, hence the single-speed Buick Dynaflow.
The two-speed Chevrolet Powerglide was (with very rare exception) the only automatic on all Chevys from 1951 through 1965, and continued on until 1972 or so.
It’s not like a two speed manual….. That’s not to say a three (or four speed) didn’t have advantages, but the two speed worked adequately in most normal driving.
Wasn’t the two-speed Powerglide installed on any Vauxhalls? It was used in some Opels.
With the Dual Path Turbine Drive, the converter gave 2.5:1 at stall and low gear was 1.58, which gave you an effective low gear multiplication of 3.95:1. The converter also had a variable-pitch stator to give you a bit of converter multiplication without a kickdown.
Functionally, it really wasn’t a bad compromise compared to a three-speed stick (which was the main alternative on most American cars) or even the four-speeds found on less-powerful British cars of the time, which typically had a very steep first and then awkward gaps between ratios. A close-ratio four-speed obviously had certain advantages, but the problem with those of course was that you ended up with either too little multiplication off the line or annoying short gearing for anything but a dragstrip or a racetrack.
I’ve driven one of these cars a few years ago and I thought it was great. It also had power windows and nice red metallic paint/red interior. No A/C though.
So tonight after work I dug out my factory ’62 Special shop manual to confirm that is factory air (it is), I also rediscovered (been a while since looked at said manual) that they even offered a POLICE CAR package for these. I thought that was only on the ’63s, which I knew about.
” OK, Nate. Maybe you are the guy to help me. I loved my Mopar ammeters. You could get so much info about so many parts of your electrical system from their sensitive display of current draw. But every voltmeter I ever saw just sits there. Yup, system has voltage. Well, of course it has voltate so long as there is a decent battery attached. And of the battery is shot, that’s really easy to ID on an ammeter too. So why do you prefer voltmeters? ”
A couple reasons :
# 1 is because most ammeters run the entire current load for the vehicle up under the dashboard to the gauge making them terribly inefficient as well as a serious FIRE hazard ~ I stopped counting vehicles junked due to this in the 1970’s….
In the 1960’s GM went to a ” shunt ” typ of ammeter , it moves (sometimes , others not) but because it’s a shunt gauge it’s not accurate at all .
Voltage not amperage is the primary aspect of your vehicle’s electrical system ~ as you use more amperes , the voltage will drop so , if you have a simple volt meter and it says “O.K. ” and doesn’t move much , all is well .
Trust me , as soon as you have any problems a volt meter will begin to show it by dropping off , long before an ammeter would have begun to show discharge .
A little late to the party, but I disagree with pretty much all of what you wrote.
Ammeters are not inherently dangerous. The only reason that ammeters resulted in dashboard meltdowns was because Chrysler cheaped-out on their design. The current went through a firewall connector through spade terminals instead of proper lugs. Prior to 1966, Chrysler used lugs on the engine compartment side, and spade connectors only on the passenger compartment side of the firewall, which was a better design. The ammeters themselves were poorly designed as well. As they aged, the electrical connections would become loose.
> Voltage not amperage is the primary aspect of your vehicle’s electrical system
~ as you use more amperes , the voltage will drop so , if you have a simple volt meter and it says “O.K. ” and doesn’t move much , all is well .
Baloney. As long as the system is drawing less current (amperage) than the alternator can supply, the voltmeter reading will stay steady thanks to the voltage regulator. A voltmeter won’t tell you if there’s a load on that will slowly drain your battery. It is lousy at telling you that your battery capacity is reduced because the plates are sulfated.
I’ve been a fan of these GM cars for a long time. While the Corvair separated Chevy from the rest of the competition, the competition among the GM divisions and Mercury shows us that in 1962, you could get an impressive compact car with extremely nice touches. Chevy II and Falcon were bare bones rides with Nova and Futura options. The majority of those two were giving families an economical second car for around town. However, Olds, Buick, Pontiac and Mercury shows us that there was already an interest in the impact a compact car could have on traditional comfort and sportiness.
Also note that these compacts came in four different body style, sedan, coupe, wagon and convertible. GM and Ford were using scattershot to cover all the bases, in case there was an unforeseen break out among the ways families were using these new cars.
The Oldsmobile and Buick echoed the styling of each make’s larger car styling. Both mimicked their larger sibling’s front end design. Additionally, while there was entry-level strippers available, Olds, Buick and Mercury saw a potential growth in luxury compacts.
The Mustang upended the market. What it did was reshuffle what Detroit saw as the more attractive angle – sportiness. The Mercury Cougar ends up becoming the luxury sport car of the 1960’s. There is no comparison to the desires in today’s market for first generation Cougars versus what Olds and Buick offered at that time.
As to Chrysler, you can thank Exner for saddling their compact with style that looked like a winged potato with a toilet seat deck lid. By 1963, Valiant and Dart had caught up to where the competition was three years earlier. Chrysler played catch-up to the competition in compact sport designs for another few years. The first generation Barracuda was a Valiant with a massive rear window and it took Plymouth and Dodge a few more years before they finally had their Mustang/Cougar competitor.
For someone who’s viewed about everything this site has posted pics of, I can’t recall seeing the taillight and (I think) aluminum trim on the back of this car. The ’63 is much more familiar to me in real life, too.
For us in the UK it’s the car that donated it’s engine to us becoming used in every British hotrod and custom car. Bored out to 5 litres with injection it powered many a Cobra replica. As far as we are concerned V8s are all wonderful, lightweight powerhouses. The only other ones we ever saw very rarely, were Chryslers in Jensens and Bristols. And you say GM and Ford made them too, well I never.
My question is, who would have bought this car? The A/C alone had to be a what, $450ish option alone, never mind everything else. I wonder if it has the power seat. This strikes me as a car the wife of a successful owner of a Buick dealer would drive, probably down south in a warm climate. Just a guess.
My (since deceased) Uncle had the Olds version of this as a “hand-me-down” from one of his Aunts (my great Aunt)…sometime in the late 60’s. I always liked how these ’62 GM Compacts look.
I think it probably was in 1969; my (great) Aunt had since gotten a new ’69 98 at the same dealer (Ertley in Kingston PA). What I remember about the Olds (F85, I think) was my Uncle saying it had tons of power, and he had trouble keeping it on the road (the roads in NEPA are pretty narrow)…he implied that the dealer had “oversold” the car and put in a larger engine than he thought it needed (maybe it was the 330?).
This great Aunt and another were spinsters, and though my Grandfather looked after them, I think my Uncle implied that the dealer took advantage of them (probably bought without my Grandfather being around). I don’t know exactly how long he had the F85…but my that same year (1969) my Dad traded his 1965 F85 Wagon for a new
’69 Ford Country Squire (351 2bbl). I’m guessing it rusted and eventually got junked sometime in the early 70’s.