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rkmdogs

Compact GM cars from the 60's

7 posts in this topic

I mentioned this car in the Corvair thread,
and then I found this pic.

This was gem! I had traded in the Corvair for this 1962 Buick Special coupe,
built to order as I mentioned before.
I had a friend who had bought one of the first Skylark coupes, with the high-compression ratio. He was having constant problems with blowing head gaskets,
so I wanted to avoid that issue.
I bought the standard 155hp, 215cu. in. all-aluminum V-8(3.5L for you metric boys) with the 4-speed tranny and thew police & export options that I mentioned.
I wrote to Buick and asked about getting a trailer hitch. I got a rather nasty
letter back, which I still have, that they built CARS, not trucks and they did
not consider a hitch on any Buick as acceptable!
Boy, have things come around.
Well, besides the spring issue, which got resolved, I had problems with the 4-speed grinding. Zone service rep said that I had bad syncros, should be replaced.
So, scheduled an appointment to do so.
Got a call the next day to come get the car. I asked, which mechanic had worked on it, 'cause I knew most of them. I was told curtly, "Just drive the car!"
This made me suspicious, so I went out to where the car was parked & looked
under it, at the trans to see if I could see anything.
Well, living in the North at the time, we got snow in the winter---- and after snow
you get salt trucks on the highway.
On my car I observed salt spray tracks over the bolts on my transmission case,
and we hadn't had any snow for a while, so I knew the bolts had never been removed.
I called the Zone Service Mgr. to report what I found, and he swore his tech rep
says that he saw my trans torn down & the syncros replaced! I told him I could
prove that never happened ---- and he said, "Drive the car."
The syncros still caught, ---- and I never went back to that dealership again.
That was also the last Buick I ever bought!
I must say though, it was one of the best cars I ever owned. Ran it 98,000 miles,
and it was still only costing 4 cents a mile to drive when I traded it in 1967
:unsure: .
Posted Image Edited by rkmdogs
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rkmdogs, there is a book in there somewhere, you have knack for story writing.

:( Sorry about your Buick experience.

Here's a tarted up '62 Buick Special:

Posted Image Edited by HarleyEarl
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[quote name='HarleyEarl' date='Aug 25 2005, 12:39 PM']
rkmdogs, there is a book in there somewhere, you have knack for story writing.

:( Sorry about your Buick experience. "

Been there, done that, --- thank you, I do like to relate experiences and have done some writing in the past.
There is one other story about the Buick to relate.
It is one about cleanlyness.

I used to always keep my engines clean, for appearance purposes, but I learned of another, more important reason --- the hard way.
One time I pulled into a gas station to buy a pack of smokes, (we did that back then).
When I came out to restart the Buick which was still warm, I hit the gas while
engaging the starter, and the car backfired! The next thing I new, smoke was coming out from under the hood.
I used to carry a compact fire extinguisher in the glovebox, so I reached over,
got it out, went out and popped the hood. (No inside releases then)
As I opened the hood, flames shot up and I aimed and pulled the trigger on my
compact extinguisher. NOTHING HAPPENED! The extinguisher had apparently
leaked, and there was no gauge on it to observe that it was empty of pressure!
The station attendent then came running with their extinguisher and put out the fire.
This whole thing happened in about 20 seconds!............. but,
the result was, there had been a flame-up from a carburetor backfire, but
all the wiring on the top of the engine had been coated with a film of oil
residue, from lack of cleaning the oil caught fire and the whole engine wiring
harness burned and the wire insulation had melted!
I had to have the car towed to a friend's garage, and replaced the whole engine
wiring harness, including the plug wires! Not cheap!!!
After that, I cleaned my engine compartment at least once a month, whether
it needed it or not!
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Lots of interesting triva here for you young-timers! DYN, the 215cu.in all-aluminum V-8 cost Buick $200 more, per engine, to manufacture than the cast-iron standard engines? Problem was casting porosity. They ran many test stations during the manufacturing process, using air gaging, but could not detect until sometimes the engine was 98% completed! The state-of-the-art in aluminum casting technology was not what it is today! When they decided to go back to a cast-iron block with aluminum heads, in 1964, they sold this engine and its' tooling to British Leyland for the Rover. That's also when they came out with the first V-6's! The all-aluminum engine was also used by Oldsmobile and Pontiac, but each added their own twists. Oldsmobile did their own head design, changing from Buicks' 5-bolt around each cylinder to a 6-bolt pattern. It improved the reliability against blowing head gaskets, but Buick still had a better combustion chamber design. However, the hot-rod boys preferred the improved sealing of the Olds version. Lance Reventlow, in building his 2nd-generation Scarab sports cars chose to use the Olds version for his powerplant, but punched it out to 250 cubes, and it put out 325hp! In the Pontiac version used in the Tempest, they chose to put the trans in the back, by the differential, and connected it to the engine with a flex-curved driveshaft! There was a lot of innovation going on then. I wish the General had the balls to do it again, but I think the Nader lawsuit put the fear of something in their pants! :( Edited by rkmdogs
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That '62 special is sooooo sweet looking. :)
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[quote name='razoredge' date='Sep 18 2005, 09:17 AM']
Great Info, somehow I missed the last few posts of this thread way back when. I never knew much about the Scarabs, I need to do some research."

Here is a pic of the last front-engined Scarab, #4.
I don't remember the details of who now owns this car, the caption says
Tony & Bob --- but that is all I remember! It is still being raced in the vintage category.

Posted Image :rolleyes:
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