Apr 10, 2014
Gary P. Garry
Comments Off on Motor Trend Car of the Year for 1962: The Buick Special

Motor Trend Car of the Year for 1962: The Buick Special



General Motors’ Buick Motor Division has been in business for a very long time. The company originated as the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company back in 1899, and it was eponymously named after its founder, David Dunbar Buick.

As you might imagine, the company was founded in the city that became known as the Motor City: Detroit, Michigan.The native Scotsman Buick did not last at the helm for long. The company was acquired by James Whiting in 1903. General Motors was established in 1908, and it was run by William Durant, who was brought into the Buick fold by Whiting,

Many people are not aware of the fact that the General Motors Corporation was actually built around the Buick company, which was the leading American seller of automobiles during the early years.

When you look at the history of auto making, Buick holds a very formidable position. The Buick Motor Division has built many influential cars over the years, and it has won numerous awards.

Back in 1962 the company was honored when the Buick Special was named Motor Trend Car of the Year.

The Buick Special was one of the foundational models for the company for many years. It was introduced for the 1936 model year as a full-size, entry-level automobile. The car remained in production through the 1958 model year. The name was temporarily retired after that year, and the model that was always known as the Special became the Buick LeSabre.

The absence of the Buick Special was short-lived. The company reintroduced the Special for the 1961 model year, and it sported an entirely new look. This revived version of the Special was built on the innovative General Motors Y platform. It was a midsize car rather than a full-size, and it was equipped with a 215 cubic inch V-8 rated at 150 hp.

The 1962 Buick Special was indeed something special. It was the first American car in history to be powered by a V-6 engine, the 198 cubic inch, 135-hp “Fireball.” This was the name that was given to the “straight eight “ engines of the pre-war era, and the company brought the moniker back for the Special V-6.

All things considered, 1962 was a memorable year for Buick and the rejuvenated Special. A total of 153,763 units were sold, and the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award was the ultimate validation for a job well done.

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