Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

1959-1963 Buick Invicta


1963 Buick Invicta

When the 1963 Buick Invicta came out, the shift to the Wildcat as Buick's main hot rod was complete. The Wildcat line now counted three models, adding a convertible and four-door hardtop, while the Invicta name was found only on a two-seat Estate Wagon.

1963 Buick Invicta
The 1963 Buick Invicta was the model's last year.
It was available only as a wagon and sold
less than 3,500 copies.

Styling changes to the '63 full-size cars were evolutionary, but hardly minor. The Wildcat got a grille design all its own, but the others added vertical ribs to the horizontal grille bars and oval chrome rings to encircle each pair of headlights. Circular parking/turn-signal lenses nestled in the bumper ends.

The kink at the base of each A-pillar was straightened out. Bodysides were now more slab-sided, the only hint of the previous sculpturing in a crease line that started at the forward edge of the front fenders and faded out in the front doors.

Electra 225s adopted a massive rear-end design all their own, but all the others switched to vertical taillights in thick chrome bezels, a small vertical tailfin atop each rear-quarter panel, and U-shaped receptacles in the bumper under the taillights to hold the back-up lamps. Overall lengths increased on all models; on wagons the gain was 2.1 inches to 215.7.

Inside, a completely new dash placed two large round dials in front of the driver -- speedometer to the left, warning lights and fuel gauge to the right -- with room for a smaller clock between them. New options included a tilt steering wheel; cruise control; front-fender cornering lamps; and a fully synchronized four-speed manual transmission, a $263 item for any LeSabre, Wildcat, or Invicta.

The Invicta Estate Wagon was dressed out in bright trim around the side windows, chrome roof bows, and a Wildcat-like full-length bodyside spear. The plaid-cloth-and-vinyl interior was now standard in a choice of three colors. The Custom option included front buckets with a storage console and patterned vinyl upholstery on the seats and door panels that matched the look of the Wildcat cabin. Four colors were available.

With a starting price just shy of $4,000, just 3,495 of the '63 Invicta wagons were sold, making it the rarest of that year's full-size Buicks. Then, the Invicta was gone. The total of Invicta-badged cars came to around 184,000. That paled in comparison to the 446,475 Centurys of 1954-58.

Still, the Invicta kept up Buick's tradition of producing performance-oriented cars through some lean years as the division wrestled with styling and quality demons. It also spawned the Wild­cat, which was destined for strong sales through the end of the Sixties.

For more picture-packed articles about great cars, see:


More to Explore