This 1963 Buick Electra 225 Has Been Sitting Parked Since 1982. Will It Run Ever Again?

1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years 6 photos
Photo: Budget Buildz | YouTube
1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years
This 1963 Buick Electra 225 looks as if the only destination for it is the crusher. It is covered in rust and dust, seemingly waiting for whatever the end of the world for cars is. But a boat mechanic with a passion for cars has different plans for the Buick that seems to be coming apart. 
This 61-year-old Buick Electra has surely seen better days. Six decades ago, it roamed the streets, showing off its luxury car credentials. The model was named after the Texas socialite and sculptor Electra Waggoner Biggs, sister-in-law of General Motors President Harlow H. Curtice.

The model was underpinned by the auto group's C platform with rear-wheel drive up until the sixth generation. So, this is what we are looking at: a second-generation 1963 Buick Electra 225, powered by a 401-cubic inch (6.6-liter) Nailhead engine, mated with a two-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission.

That second generation arrived in 1991 with shrunken fins. The 225s were instantly recognizable. They came with the so-called "hash marks" behind the wheelhouse in the rear fender, while the Electra 225 nameplate was on display on the front fender. The car that we are looking at confirms the changes.

Customers could go for the standard Calais cloth or the optional leather trim. This car has had a baby blue interior in leather with matching steering wheel and dashboard. Now, that leather is coming apart. That is why we can't possibly use the present tense.

Buick discontinued the Electra nameplate at the end of 1961. So what you are looking at, the Electra 225, is the only surviving version of that generation. The 225 came with several extras that made it quite desirable back then.

1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years
Photo: Budget Buildz | YouTube
A two-way power driver's seat, a glare-proof rear-view mirror, and power windows were on the menu. Customers also got reverse lights, parking lights, and Super Deluxe wheel covers. A true luxury car. But this one right here is lightyears away from what it was when it rolled off the production line.

Its body is covered in rust and dust, and a simple touch with a determined hand might tear it apart. The windshield is cracked, the glass of the headlights has turned matte, and the chrome fenders have holes in them. And those don't tell half the story. Nature must have had its way with this car that probably never knew what a garage actually was.

The owner of this 1963 Buick Electra 225 went home with it one day in 1982, parked it, and never drove it ever again. The car hasn not moved a single inch since that day, that engine has not run since that final parking maneuver. Will it do it ever again, 42 years later?

Michael Wagner, who is a boat mechanic, car enthusiast, and owner of the Budget Buildz YouTube channel, trailered the Buick Electra 225 down to his shop to check that. He usually fixes cars without investing too much in them. But is this one worth saving? Or is this visit to the shop just a stop on its way to the crusher?

1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years
Photo: Budget Buildz | YouTube
Michael unloads it, pushes it into the shop, and pops up the hood. The engine compartment is full of mud and sand, so vacuuming is a good start. He numbers the spark plug wires to know what goes where. Once he pulls the spark plugs out, he notices that they don't look half as bad as he expected.

The engine oil is almost back and smells bad, but that doesn't come as a surprise. He is dealing, after all, with a car that probably had its last oil change at least 42 years ago. Probably the oil pan is full of sediments and trash, so that one needs to come out and clean it up before he attempts anything else.

The carburetor, which seems to be full of junk, also needs to come out for a little cleanup. But it seems to be capable of working after a quick spray-out. Michael Wagner uses a starter to get that 401-cubic inch engine running, but it doesn't seem to work. Instead, the transmission is leaking.

On a second attempt to start the engine, they realize that the exhaust has no exhaust. It actually leaks like crazy. But Michael works to get things fixed as much as possible and cheers when he hears the engine.

1963 Buick Electra 225 sat parked for 42 years
Photo: Budget Buildz | YouTube
At the end of the day, he accomplished his mission. He has a Buick Electra 225 with an engine running smoothly, a horrible exhaust, and a yard full of smoke.

The car, however, has no breaks and no steering. It would be too costly to put it back on the road. But it looks like a good donor. The plan for it is to save as many Buick Electras as possible. Some that are in a far better condition than this pile of rust is.

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