Daves1940Buick56S

Question on 1965-67 Specials

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My young assistant has turned 15 and has turned his thoughts to getting "something fast" from the mid to late 60s up to about 1972. Of course all of his first choices are the same cars everybody else wants - GTO, SS Chevelle, Skylark GS, etc - and well out of his price range. He doesn't want a project car since he knows from working with me that his High School days would likely be long behind him before it's done. He will have about 15 grand to spend he thinks. We have been perusing the ads. One solution might be a 66 or 67 Riv if we can get one in good enough condition.

 

But I was looking at a couple of Specials online from 65 to 67. These seem to be affordable. Stock they were available with the 300 engine, right? 230 horse? So a couple of questions:

1. Can the 300 performance be significantly improved short of removal and total rebuild? Any impacts if so, like too much power for the 2 speed auto trans if not manual equipped?

2. How difficult is it (yeah, yeah, I know!) to replace the drivetrain with a 401 or 425? It appears the Skylarks would handle these, will the Specials as well? If so are we talking engine, trans, propeller shaft and rear or?

 

I was hoping to avoid an engine swapout if possible. But a Special with the high power drivetrain would make for a helluva sleeper! Or anybody have any other suggestions? So far the only guidance from him is "not a huge trunk" but unfortunately for him most mid to late 60s cars have these!

 

Cheers, Dave

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14 hours ago, Daves1940Buick56S said:

I was looking at a couple of Specials

Get a Special and keep it stock for now.  I have seen and heard of too many disasters with inexperienced drivers in a high power car.  Send him to a performance driving school or find an abandoned shopping center to sling to around:  wet, dry, ice.  With his money (earned with hard work, not donated) in the mix will create more responsibility.

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Agree. This will be a process so will want to start with one running well. It will probably take a year or so to gather all of the parts so he will have the "hopped up" version for his Senior year. One thing I found out since I posted this is the Buick 350/350 THM is a pretty straight drop in. And easier to find than a 401/425.

 

Cheers, Dave

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IMG_20150419_153640.thumb.jpg.697d03ec2c561d44964c546defa0d253.jpg1964 is actually the first year for this versatile car! These will accept an amazing variety of engines. Factory offered with  V6 or 300" 4brl V8. Mine has a 455" with turbo400 trans, a bolt in! This one weighs just over 3,000 pounds according to Buick specs. With 65-66 GS mounting parts, 401&425" nailhead V8s will also bolt in! For those who can manage computors, put  a GNX turbo charged V6 in. I like em! This was Buicks least expensive, buy in model, Special. The shiny trim on the side consists of a door handle and three fake iconic portholes on the front fender. The upgraded 'Custom' had more shiny trim available, but bling adds weight and requires more horse power to move. Hope that helps. Photo of future power replacing existing 455 with rod brg problem caused by too much phun!

20191117_154946.jpg

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That Special will not perform like he wants and will probably be beaten to breakage trying.  If possible it would probably be beefed up with a performance rear axle ratio and further improved with a 3 speed or 4 sd overdrive transmission. Like it is however, it will get exceptional gas milage which to a hard working High Schooler may be of some interest.  

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66 & 67 you had the option of a 340/4 although the 300 is more than adequate performance.  The 64/65 300 had a 4 barrel option and the 66 & 67 did not.  Not sure about exceptional gas mileage, I have had 300's and 340's for years and you are not going to see exceptional gas mileage, maybe better than a 455 or 430 but only by a couple mpg.  Traveling with 300's I have gotten as high as 18, traveling with my 430's I see 16/17 traveling with my 455's I see 15/16.  The 215 does much better on gas but it wouldn't hold up to the abuse, especially tha tranny.  There are a lot more build possibilities with the 340, so a 340 1966 or 67 Special or Skylark might be a good fit.    You can even get California GS's with the 340/4 fairly reasonable and easily in the budget he has to spend.  

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In 65 and 66, the Skylark GS came with the 325 hp 401 (400 on paper) and in 67 the Skylark GS could be had with the new 400 cubic inch Buick big block. 

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On 7/26/2020 at 12:00 PM, JohnD1956 said:

That Special will not perform like he wants and will probably be beaten to breakage trying.  If possible it would probably be beefed up with a performance rear axle ratio and further improved with a 3 speed or 4 sd overdrive transmission. Like it is however, it will get exceptional gas milage which to a hard working High Schooler may be of some interest.  

Like the owner of Packard said"ask the man who owns one"

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