Production numbers?

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Production numbers?

Post by TorqueMonster on Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:42 pm

Hello
I've just recently pulled from a 43 year hibernation out of my neighbors barn a 1963 Skylark and I'm trying to figure out how to proceed (restore or cruiser)with this car. First and foremost I need to figure out if its just another car or if it's a significant piece of Buick history? I'm asking if anyone can give me info, or at least where to go for, info pertaining to this car, such as how many produced and .....etc? It is a 1963 Skylark Convertible with a 215-4brl and a T-10 4speed. Black car, black top and black interior. Any help would be greatly appreciated !
Thanks

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by woody1640 on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:16 pm

Well 1st off the 63 Buick Skylark is a 1 year only body style, but do share the same infrastructure (floor pan, frame rails, inner wheel wells, A&B posts, roof, etc...) as the 61 & 62 BOP intermediate sized cars. The Skylark model was only offered in a 2 door coupe of which you had a choice of the hdtp or convertible. In 63 their was approx 30,000 hdtp's built and 10,000 convertibles built. Now you have a triple black convertible with the original 4 speed tranny, now that being said I can't imagine that their was to many built with the same options on the car. I would do a resto on it and try to keep it as close to original as possible. Hope this helps.


Keith

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by StageCat on Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:41 pm

I agree, a triple black would look sharp when all is done....

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by TorqueMonster on Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:04 pm

I've had this car 1 week now and have already decided that the 215 is getting pulled and rebuilt (since it was already stuck when pulled from the barn) instead of a motor swap. The car is pretty rough but , I think worth saving just from what limited information I can find online. Just wanting to know, ...is the financial investment worth the return? I'm a Buick and Oldsmobile geek, but am also still a fan of my money. I feel I have played a significant role already in helping to return this car to the living, but I don't want to put $300 in to a $10 car. Is there a way of finding out production numbers , by drivetrain , options .... And it's value? Would love to know how many 215-4brl/4speed drop tops were built?

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by woody1640 on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:59 am

Well if your just gonna flip it to make a quick buck good luck ... the cost of resto versus resale you won't make nuttin. I have a 63 hdtp that I have owned for over a decade (and yet to drive it) and have over $12,000 invested and counting and I still need to paint it and buy other parts yet. Thats more than what they are currently selling for, but the good news is that our cars are getting more popular as time goes by and the values are slowly increasing. Now convertibles are worth a bit more value wise and do fetch higher dollars ... not a lot though.


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Re: Production numbers?

Post by TorqueMonster on Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:28 am

My intentions weren't to flip the car for a quick buck. I think it's cool as hell and I've gotten this car and its wonderful story from my neighbor, the original owner, who special ordered the car from the factory, with all the paperwork and original title and so on, along with the car, which I think even adds more to its cool factor.
I was asking you folks here because I am not knowledgeable about this car and finding info about it online has been challenging. And with info being so scarce, I was beggining to wonder if it were a valuable piece of Buick history that deserved a "cost be damned" restoration? I was asking because I think it's a helluva neat car, but just needed to know to what level do I take it to financially? And Keith, in this first week of ownership, you have given me the most insight as to what it is I have here. Thank you!! Seems I am unable to find much about a '63 215-4/ 4speed convertible in triple black. Only one other guy I've spoken was able to tell me he estimates that 20% of the drop tops had 4speeds. If this is not a highly valuable or rare piece of history kind of car, then I may just do a mechanical rebuild and leave the 56 years of patina and just enjoy the car. Hell, I may not even put a new top on it. Just leave the boot on and make it a fair weather car. And there will be no motor swap. The original 215 will be rebuilt and reinstalled.

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by TorqueMonster on Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:16 am

I retract the no motor swap. 215 out and apart and, although can be saved, I've come across a 278 from a 96 land rover in my search for parts. Extra cubes, more power, bolts right in and can made to look stock. 215 will be kept in the shop for originality

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by woody1640 on Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:13 am

Well so much for original and cool. If you really did some research I'd be willing to bet that their was very few (probably only 1) convertible built with the same options that yours has.


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Re: Production numbers?

Post by StageCat on Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:15 am

Still a cool car......

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by TorqueMonster on Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:57 am

I've been doing research and can't find anything on the car. That's what led me here. Woody, if you know where I can go for info on this car, Please tell me! !! What I've learned so far about this car is that although it may be rare.... It is not valuable. The car was left for dead in a barn since 1973. Keep in mind it Had already gone through 10 Michigan salt covered roads before being parked. The car is rough. Rocker arm shaft bolt stripped from threads in head allowing 2 pushrods to launch. After parked for 43 years, #3 piston and cylinder wall had became one. After every attempt to remove safely, ended up losing the piston in the tear down. So even though the original motor can be saved, at a cost, The savings and extra power from the Land Rover/Buick 278 allows me to spend $ on getting the rest of the car roadworthy. Original motor will not be melted down for scrap and will be retained. The fuel injection will be removed from the 278 and original 4 barrel intake will be put on the motor to retain its stock appearance. I'm not taking a nice car, or in this case even a driveable car, and sticking a small block Chevy in it. The car was on its way to the junkyard. ... And had it not been for a car guy who appreciates these rare oddities, that's exactly where it would be right now. I'd be happy to take donations to fund a rotisserie restoration.

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by woody1640 on Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:37 pm

Sometimes value ain't always high monetary wise. I did see a year or so ago that a 1963 Buick skylark convertible in mint original show room condition (not sure if it was original or restored) SOLD for $45,000. It was red in color with a black or white top (can't remember which) and the crappy 2 speed automatic hydromatic tranny. Now I thought that was a lot of money, but was glad to see the value and popularity of our cars increase.

The motor in my car was froze up just like yours, I had to bust the bell housing on the old 2 speed tranny to separate the 2. My machinist ended up breaking several of the original pistons getting it apart. It is now bored .030 over and all ready rebuilt and ready to go.

No one ever said that a resto had to be done in a few months or a year. I know of 1 guy in a different group that has been working on his resto for 20 YEARS now! I have been working on my car for over a decade (slow and steady wins the race!) and very happy with progress so far. I don't have tons of money but I do a lot of wheeling and dealing etc to support my project and I can see the light @ the end of the tunnel now.

I am also a member of the V8Buick.com website, although they are mainly into the GS's GSX's and stage 1 cars etc they do cater to all Buicks @ it is a very informative site and I suggest joining them too. Now there are places that people on that site know of that has a lot of information as to production numbers etc... and you may be able to track down just how many like yours was built.


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Re: Production numbers?

Post by TorqueMonster on Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Thank you Keith

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by TorqueMonster on Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:24 am

By installing the the 278 and focusing on getting the car roadworthy, I can enjoy the car, in all of its beautiful ugliness, and rebuild the 215 and the cosmetics as time and money allows. I don't wanna blow it all apart and have it go back in to hibernation while time, money and parts become available. I can enjoy the resurrected Buick in the summer months while gathering enough to give me projects in the winter months. My time and budget doesn't allow for me to do a quick restoration. The car will get a second chance at life, it will be a slow process, but it will be enjoyed while it happens.....all while riding on 13" inch wheels and an aluminum V8

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Re: Production numbers?

Post by StageCat on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:28 am

I agree with Keith, join to the V8 board http://www.v8buick.com/index.php the Bench section is for general discussion/questions and there is a wealth of Buick knowledge available, also check out the Classic section, good luck.....

Tom

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