AJ's Car of the Day 1963 Buick Special convertible

Car: Buick Special Convertible

Year: 1963

What makes it special: In 1963, the Buick Special's body was restyled, although mechanically the car was identical to the 1962 model. There was also some minor interior restyling, particularly to the dash and instrument cluster. It was a "one-year only" body style.

What made it famous: Engine choices were a standard 198 cu in V6 with a twin-barrel carburetor and optional 215 cu in V8 with 155 hp 2-barrel, or more powerful 4-barrel, 200 hp 215 V8. Transmission choices were a 'three on the tree' column shifted manual, a floor shifted Borg-Warner T-10 4-speed manual, or 2-speed Turbine Drive automatic transmissions. The 2-speed "Dual Path Turbine Drive" automatic was strictly a Buick design and shared no parts with Chevrolet's popular Power-Glide transmission.

Why I would want one: It's got very classy lines, and it's 4-barrel 215 V8 gives it a surprising amount of power. It's a great cruiser.

Fun fact: Like its Oldsmobile sister model Cutlass, the Buick Special's 1963 body was only produced for one year. The entire car was redesigned for 1964. After that, the 215 V8 found its way into the British Rover P6 3500S in 1968, but was never sold in North America in large numbers.

( 1963 Buick Special Convertible photo from classiccars.com )