|Walter writes…“I bought this car in May 1982 from a body-shop owner’s wife. There where 99,000 Km on the odometer (about 60,000 miles). I had to buy new tires, a new muffler and fix the brakes. Also there was a little rust-repair needed not to mention that it took me 13 months to find 4 good Skylark Hubcaps!
In ’85 I removed the windshield and welded the whole frame new. These cars are the first years with glued windshields and the frame was rusted. So as when I drove in the rain, it was raining on my shoes! In the years 82 to 95 I drove the Buick in the summertime. I made all the repairs myself including fitting a new Stainless exhaust system, repairing the rear-axle as well as various other small things like new carpet and installing an original radio.
In 1995 I sold the car to buy a 62 Special Convertible. Unfortunately, I was forced to sell this car one year later but in 1997 I got the chance to buy back my ’63 Skylark and I didn’t miss the chance! The car needed more repairs and I had to fix the brakes, changes the motormounts and some joints. Since then I drive this car in the summer and enjoy it.
In the mid 80’s I started collecting details of owners of this type of car (mainly as a source of parts). Now I Know about 100 such Buicks in Europe and some more around the world!
This 1963 Buick Special Skylark is all original and unrestored. It found it’s way to Europe and is owned by Walter who is a member of the Classic Buick Club of Switzerland. Their website can be found at http://www.buickclub.ch/. Nice work Walter and a great Buick Story to match.
Thanks for submitting your Buick
Archive for the ‘63 BuickStreet’ Category
“It started out as a rust free car I picked up at a swap meet for $1100. It has a rebuilt 401 bored .060 over (412cu) with a dynoflow – all numbers match.
I restored it to factory ‘specs’ except the color which is ‘Twighlight Blue Pearl’ basecoat/clearcoat (the car was originally white). Wheels are 15 X 7 Cragars with BF Goodrich Radial T/A’s. All weatherstripping is brand new and I restored the interior to it’s original 2 tone blue which includes, buckets seats and a console with a factory tach.
I wanted something different than the typical Chevy or Ford.”
I’d say you achieved your aim to have something different Pat. It just happens to be something with more class too – a beautiful 63 Wildcat. I can just imagine that Twilight Blue Pearl paint work ‘flopping around’ in the sun – it’s hard not to smile when I look at it. – Bill
Jim’s 1963 Buick Riviera
|Engine:||401 ‘Nailhead’ V8|
|Carburettor:||Single 4 bbl AFB|
Our ’63 Riviera was purchased new in San Diego, CA, by Mr. R. G. Montagano. It has a decent assortment of options (deluxe leather interior, A/C, elec. windows, tilt wheel) but certainly not every option available. There is no evidence of it ever being in a wreck and because it is was in California there were no major rust problems.
My dad bought it in 1984 from him through a third party with about 55,000 miles on it. (The glove box was stuffed full with every receipt for every bit of work that was ever done to the car.) My dad kept the car in Los Angeles to drive any time he was out there on business. That was not too often, so in 15 years he put about 25 k miles on it. It was transportation, not a show car. About 3 years ago he drove it from LA to Houston for me to clean up and fix up (lots of little things, like the wiper motor died, the heater temp controller lever broke…). At the time he brought the car to Houston I knew nothing about Rivieras. In fact, I had only driven in the car once or twice. I’ve learned a lot about the cars by reading and through the Riviera List. I also know a lot about cars, in general, which helps.
It is a great road car. I love to drive it. The raw power never fails to put a smile on my face when I step down on it. I like to play with other drivers (mostly kiddies) who think they have a hot car by toying with them and then leaving them in the dust, wondering “what kind of car was THAT?” Well, it’s sure not your grandma’s Buick!
Mechanically, it is pretty much 100% standard, stock ’63 Riviera. It has the original 401 V8 engine with the one 4 bbl AFB carb and we have not put any high performance parts on it. It runs great just as it is. (On a recent road trip to Austin, 400 miles round-trip, it averaged over 15 miles/gallon — about 15.5 L/100 km.)
I plan to convert the ignition to HEI but have not done that yet. I don’t plan to do anything else with it performance-wise. My dad and I have owned/restored numerous antique cars over the years and we prefer to keep them stock. (Just personal preference.) We do plan to put a dual master cylinder in it though, for safety. Since nothing needs to be modified to do it, we can always convert it back to the original MC if if became important.
It has the Dynaflow transmission (this was the last year for them) which I was already familiar with. (I drove a ’50 Buick with a straight-8 and the Dynaflow in high school.) This year Dynaflow has an unusual 5-part “twin turbine” torque converter. (Traditional torque converters have 3-parts; the extra parts give the ’63 Riv better initial acceleration. Most people have never heard it.) The ’63 Dynaflow also has the famous switch-pitch feature as one of the 5 parts, which is engaged only at wide-open throttle by a mechanical link (not by an electric switch). The best part about the Dynaflow (and unfortunately the worst part) is that it is 100% smooth, with no shifts.
The bottom photo is of me over in Austin, Texas, visiting my friend Geno and his beautiful blue ’63 Riviera. I am on the left (in front of Geno’s car) and he is on the right in front of ours. He and I swapped e-mails on the list for about 18 months before we were able to get together to see each other’s cars.
“A Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech”
Thanks Jim. – Bill