Risky Reverse: 1962 Buick Special Deluxe Wagon – SOLD!

by | Feb 2022 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

February 22, 2022 Update – One of our European followers expressed an interest in this car and even took our advice to have a Lemon Squad pre-purchase inspection (“PPI”) completed.  While the car was honestly presented by the private seller, this was the latest example of why we recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection to manage your expectations of what to expect when a classic car gets shipped to your driveway.  The private seller commented in the listing yesterday that he sold the car locally. Look for an upcoming video on this car and how the ad compared to the pre-purchase inspection.

One of the cars we’ve grown to have an appreciation for since starting GuysWithRides.com is the 1961 -1963 General Motors (“GM”) Y-Body compacts.  Reserved only for GM’s Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac divisions, the former’s version came in the form of the Buick Special.  This restored 1962 Buick Special Wagon currently listed here on Craigslist in Salinas, California (Monterey) is a hard-to-find station wagon model. The seller reports the car received fresh paint and a number of updates during his two years of ownership. The car also features GM’s Roto-Hydramatic automatic transmission, which was one of the last to feature a shift quadrant sequence of Park-Neutral-Drive-Second-Low-Reverse (P-N-D-S-L-R) due to the placement of reverse adjacent to a forward gear as opposed to the more common P-R-N-D-S-L sequence found in most other automatic transmissions at the time.

Currently offered for $11,900, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Special priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $9,200 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $17,600.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $10,100 and #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $15,700.

From 1936 through 1958, Buick’s “Special” nameplate typically found itself on the brand’s entry-level full-size models.  Then following a two-year absence, Buick revived the name on their version of the all-new Y-Body General Motors compact, unibody platform.  Powering the new compact Buick Specials was an innovative aluminum-block 215 cubic inch V8 providing 155 horsepower connected to a Roto-Hydramatic (dubbed “Dual-Path” by Buick) two-speed automatic transmission.

For 1962, the Buick Special became the first mass-produced American car to use a V6 engine, a feature that helped it earn Motor Trend Magazine’s coveted Car of the Year Award for 1962.  Buick engineers developed the 198 cubic inch V6 using the same design parameters in place for the 215 V8, albeit in cast iron. By 1962 consumers could buy a Special as either a two-door pillared hardtop coupe, a four-dour sedan, a convertible, or a four-door station wagon. The two-speed “Dual-Path Turbine Drive” automatic was a Buick design of GM’s Roto-Hydramatic and shared no common parts with the better-known Chevrolet Power-Glide transmission.

The seller recommends watching this video review of their 1962 Buick Special Wagon found on the Tails From the Junkyard YouTube Channel:

The Skylark is great-looking, V8-powered classic car that never really caught on with collectors. A compact car when launched, by today’s standards offers plenty of room for four people and their stuff.  If you are serious about buying this 1962 Buick Special Deluxe station wagon, you can start the conversation by either calling or texting the seller at (831) 512-6447.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their TR-250 featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This is a 1962 Buick Special Deluxe Wagon, 4100 Series, equipped with a 215 ci aluminum V8 engine. Per published reports, Buick built 10,300 of this particular model in 1962. All chrome and stainless pieces are on the car. I have owned the car for two years and had it repainted, added front seat belts, kick panels, dash pad, door handles, window cranks, armrests, and headliner as well as the engine compartment blanket. The rear seat folds down. I also have weatherstripping for the front and rear doors. The electrical system was updated with an alternator and gauges were added. This car has 15″ wheels and tires and hard- to find full wheel covers (13” was standard). Prior to my ownership, the interior was updated and dual exhaust with glass packs was added. Front brakes, brake lines, and wheel cylinders were rebuilt or replaced in June of 2021. The speedometer shows 96,726. True mileage is unknown. Thank you for your consideration. Check out the YouTube video on this car; Tails from the Junkyard; “A very SPECIAL review”.

Do you have a vintage Buick Special Wagon story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!

2 Comments
  1. Larry tack

    I was the seller of this car. Although I did not request this car be noted on this site, I did receive several inquiries, one from the U.K. who went to far as to send a qualified inspector to view the car. While this prospective buyer was deciding what to offer, I sold the car to a buyer about 80 miles from where we are. Thank you for listing the car on you website.

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Hi Larry, congrats on the sale of your Buick Special. As a rule, we do not reach out directly to the sellers of the cars we find on Craigslist and feature on the website. The primary reason is that we don’t want to give the impression we’re looking for compensation to feature your car when in fact you didn’t ask us to do so. Thank you for your understanding.

      Reply

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