The 401 Cubic Inch 1960 Buick Invicta Wagon / Specs, Photos

The automobile featured in this article is a 1960 Buick Invicta Four Door Wagon.

1960 buick invicta wagons

1960 Buick Invicta Wagon

The Buick Invicta model (also referred to as the Buick 4600 Series) was introduced in 1959 replacing the Buick Century.

When the Buick Invicta Wagon came out in 1959 the vehicle received some positive press. Motor Trend magazine named the 59 Buick Invicta Estate Wagon as "The best looking wagon".

The Invicta model had a five year run. The Buick Invicta was positioned in the middle of the 1960 Buick line up. The Invicta was placed between the LeSabre and Electra. The Invicta was a full size automobile with several body styles including two wagons. These were both two and four door station wagons.

1960 Buick Invicta Wagon Design

There were significant design changes with many cars for the 1960 model year. The latter 1950's saw the modernization of most every model along with the aggressive introduction of rear fins. The fins and designs in a lot of cases reflected the nations fascination with the jet age and this was seen in both designs and model names.

The year 1960, and Buick was included in this, was transitional from the big rear fin era of the late 1950s to the smoother lines of the 1960s. The ‘angry’ angled headlights on the Invicta were changed from diagonal to horizontal. The “Delta Wing” fins were kept but they were less extreme, as were the fins on most General Motors cars for the 1960 model year. Inside, the Invicta was equipped with the same features as the basic LeSabre.

1960 buick wagon specs

Delta Wing rear fins

Buick's Station Wagon production was not of the high volume that other GM brands, both Chevrolet and Pontiac produced. In addition, the 1960 Buick wagon bodies were built by the Ionia Manufacturing Company of Owosso Michigan.

This was an independent company that made bodies and trim for the auto industry. The Ionia Manufacturing Company built Buick Wagon bodies from 1946 through 1964.

1950 Buick Invicta Estate Wagon Specifications

The engine in this model is a Buick Nailhead 401 Cubic Inch V-8 with a four barrel carburetor delivering 325 HP. This engine fit well with Buick's reputation of producing performance oriented automobiles.

The engine was referred to as the Nailhead because of it's long, thin-stemmed valves with small diameter heads that resemble vertical rows of nails. This engine is also referred to as the Wildcat 445 which can be confusing. . The 445 represented it's 445 lbs torque.

Transmission is an Turbine Drive automatic two speed. Buick's Turbine Drive transmission had a variable pitch fluid control mechanism that actually replaced gears. A Buick transmission engineer was quoted as saying..."you don't shift gears, you shift a constantly flowing stream of oil ". As a side note, General Motors developed the Triple-Turbine, but dropped it in 1960 as too expensive to produce.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum

The front suspension included independent coil-spring and wishbone stabilizer bar. The rear had an independent trailing link, stabilizer bar, coil springs as well as ,tubular shock absorbers.

Wheelbase is 123.0 inches with an outside overall length of 217.9 inches, width of 80.0 inches and a height of 57.2 inches. Curb weight is estimated at 4,825 lbs.

1960 buick estate wagonU.S. production numbers for the 1960 Buick Invicta model were 45,400 vehicles. Out of that number there were 3,479 Six Passenger Wagons built and 1,600 Nine Passenger Wagons produced.

To give you a perspective of Invicta's production numbers compared to the LaSabre and Electra, the numbers look like LaSabre 1960 production was 152,200 units and the Electra 56,300 units. Overall, Buick had disappointing sales for the 1960 model year. Sales were less than 1959 numbers but some of this was attributed to a steel strike that caused a significant loss of production time.

New car price for the 1960 Buick Station Wagons averaged $3,950.

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The 1958 Ford Ranch Wagon

The 1955 Buick Special

The 1955 Chevy Nomad Wagon

1960 Buick Invicta Wagon Collector Values

The family station wagons of the 1950's and 1960's are cars some of us experienced sometime during our childhood. The Buick Invicta Wagons are rare finds today simply because not a lot of them were produced as mentioned above. Locating parts for a restoration project are available but may not be easy to find.

60 buick invicta photos

60 Invicta dash

As of this writing the average value of a 60 Buick Invicta Four Door Wagon is about $13,000. For those that have been fully restored to pristine condition or are originals in excellent condition the prices average in the $28,000 to $30,000 range. There are of course examples above and below those figures.

Not surprisingly, the highest valued 1960 Buick Invicta model is the convertible. Current top values on it are in the $55,000 area.

Reference material for this article included GM Archives, Collector Cars of America, Hemmings Motor News,

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)


1965 Ford Falcon Station Wagon / All Model Details, Photos

The automobile featured in this article is a 1965 Ford Falcon Four Door Station Wagon.

1965 ford falcon wagon

1965 Ford Falcon Four Door Wagon

Ford Motor Company produced the Ford Falcon from 1960 to 1970. It should be noted that Ford Motor in Australia did produce the Falcon past 1970.

Ford also produced a two door wagon. Ford made many different types of Falcons. These included sedans, convertibles, Falcon Sprints, the Ranchero, an Econoline Passenger Van and of course the two types of wagons. The top trim level for the 65 Falcon was the Futura series.

The 1965 Falcon's were of the second generation models. A major redesign took place for the 1964 model year which gave the vehicle a more squared and modern appearance. The Ford Mustang came out in late 1964 and was essentially built on a Falcon frame. Ironically, it was the popular Mustang that pretty much caused the Falcon to disappear in 1970.

ford falcon wagon specsThe Ford Falcon Model

When the concept of the Ford Falcon model hit the drawing boards, the goal was to create a good selling economy compact. In fact, compact economy automobiles were important class beginning that year. Styling originally took a back seat. In 1960 the engine was simply a 144 cubic inch six with 90 HP. A V-8 would be introduced to the Falcon in 1963. The Falcon first came out with two- and four-door sedan body styles to be followed shortly after with two- and four-door station wagons along with Rancheros.

Interestingly enough, in 1963 Ford turned to building a few Falcons specially for European Rally's with the intention of changing the car's image from stodgy to something more sporty. The result was the Ford did pretty well in Europe during 1963-64 with the Falcon capturing several wins and second place finishes.

The 1965 Falcon Wagon

On the design standpoint, the 1965 Ford Falcon Wagon carried the new more squared design introduced in 1964.

The Ford Falcon Wagon was a good looking automobile and was considered economical to own. The new car base price for the 65 Ford Falcon Wagon was about $2,300. The Falcon Wagon was advertised as giving a smooth and comfortable  ride  Ford compared the smoothness to a ride in a big sedan.

1965 Ford Falcon Four Door Wagon Specifications

Several engines were available in 1965 for the Falcon wagons. These included two L-head sixes, at 200 cubic inches, and 223 cubic inches with 116 and 138 HP respectively, and a 260 cubic inch V-8 rated at  260 HP.

Transmission choices included a three speed manual or an optional Cruise-O-Matic automatic.

Dimensions included a wheelbase of 109.5 inches, an overall length of 190.0 inches, height of 54.9 inches, width of 71.6 inches. Curb weight varies slightly by two or four door model but the average is about 2,765 lbs.

Total Ford production for the 1965 model year was 2,171,000 vehicles. Out of that number there were 186,000 Falcon model built. Out of that number there were a total of 14,900 Falcon station wagons produced. The majority were four door wagons where only 4,900 two door wagons were made.

65 ford falcon station wagonFord Falcon Station Wagons Collector Valuations

We believe that the Ford Falcon, particularly during the first half of the 1960's, is an collector car. This is the era prior to and at the time of the Mustang introduction.

Looking at 1965 Falcons as an example, the entire line is relatively inexpensive for someone wanting to start a collection. The highest valued model would likely be the two door convertible with the top prices ranging from about $14,000 to $20,000.

The 65 Falcon Wagon top values are in a range from about $7,000 to $11,000. Both the two and four door wagons fit in this same range.

falcon wagon dashboard

Falcon Wagon dash

The Ford Falcon Sprint is a car that had a lot in common with the Mustang and at first was in netter supply at dealers than the Mustang. The Falcon Sprint is a sporty vehicle with power and compares favorably, by some, with the Mustang. Remember, they were building Mustangs on Falcon chassis.

There are many Ford Falcon enthusiasts and an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Falcon may want to connect with the Falcon Club of America (

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)


1966 Datsun 1600 Sports Car / Photos, Specs, Model History

The early Datsun Roadsters were imported to compete with the many thousands of British sports cars that had flooded the U.S. market. The British car invasion of the 1950's was also the main reason behind the development of the Chevy Corvette and Ford Thunderbird.

datsun 1600

1966 Datsun 1600

Nissan / Datsun

Datsun was owned by Nissan since 1934. The automaker that Nissan took over was named DAT Motor Car Company whose roots went all the way back to 1914 when they were selling full size automobiles.Later they produced a small car named Datson before becoming Datsun after Nissan took control.

The first imported Datsuns arrived in the U.S. in 1958. The first sports car produced by Datsun was the 1959 S211. This model delivered only 40 HP and was a very limited production vehicle. Only twenty were built. The following year, Datsun came out with the S212 that produced 50 horsepower. The next year in 1961 horsepower was turned up to 60 using dual carburetors. One similarity of the earliest roadsters were their lower windscreen that gave them a much sleeker and sportier look.

It's important to note that the Datsun sports cars and particularly the 1966 Datsun 1600 Roadster firmly established Datsun as a real player in the U.S. auto market.

The Datsun Fairlady

The Datsun sports car was named the "Fairlady" in Japanese and Australian markets. The Fairlady name was used as a link to the very popular Broadway play.

datsun sports carsThe 1966 Datsun 1600s

The 1966 Datsun 1600 had a 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine producing 96 HP. The following year Datsun would increase engine size to 2.0 liters with 135 HP.

The early Datsun 1600 Roadsters were called MGB killers and for good reason, not only because of their good sporty looks but also because of their superior performance. It's been said that the Datsun 1600 copied the MGB design however the real story is that the Datsun sports car came out a few months prior to the MGB.

The Datsun roadsters would ultimately lead to the creation of the Z cars.

Datsun Racing

The Datsun 1600 had a degree of racing success. You'll see some of these Datsun 1600 racers today, some being offered for sale. Most of these out there today are the smaller displacement 1500 and 1600 models. The 2000  2.0 liter model didn’t become available until mid 1967 and was essentially built for racing with it's two SU carburetors. The 2.0 liter Datsun was produced until 1970 when the first 240 Z car was introduced. The new Z Series became the sports car favorite for decades after replacing this great looking little roadster.

Datsun racing successes include winning the Safari Rally seven times. The Safari Rally takes place in East Africa and began in 1953.

Datsun, active in competition in Japan and elsewhere, entered American racing competition in 1966. That year Datsun raced 1500 and 1600 model roadsters at Vineland, New Jersey and their SPL310 at the Los Angeles County Fair. In 1966 Datsun also began financially supporting a few racing groups. The racing budget increased significantly in 1967 and more racers were becoming involved with Datsun including an ex employee of Carroll Shelby.

The Datsun 1600's did not have as much autocross and SCCA race-winning history as their 2.0 liter relatives nevertheless the 1600's are still fun vehicles in that can give you great performance.

datsun 1600 dashboard

66 Datsun 1600 dash

1966 Datsun 1600 Specifications

As mentioned above, the 1966 Datsun 1600 was built with a 1.6 liter Inline 4 cylinder engine delivering a rated 96 HP. Factory rated top speed was 103 MPH. Most will say that the Datsun 1.6 liter engine has a reputation for reliability.

Transmission was a 5 speed manual floor shift with synchromesh on all forward gears.

Brakes included front discs and rear drums.

Suspension included a double wishbone and semi-eliptic leaf springs.

Dimensions include a wheelbase of 89.8 overall length of 155.6 inches..a width of 58.9 inches..height of 51.6 inches. Curb weight is 2,028 lbs.

Total production of the Datsun 1600 left hand drive vehicles were 26,425 units.

See additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

The 1980 MGB Roadster

The 1965 Chevy Impala SS

Beautiful 1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe

datsun 1600 roadsterReference material for this article and excellent books regarding the Datsun sports cars include...Datsun Roadsters: 1960-71 Performance Portfolio by author R.M. Clarke...Datsun Fairlady Roadster to 280 ZX : The Z-Car Story by author Brian Long... The Japanese Auto Industry by Michael Cusamano.

1966 Datsun 1600 Valuations

The Datsun 1600 Roadster is a fun and affordable little sports car. Compared to MG, Fiat and Triumph, however, you'll find that there are less of them available. Accidents and rust have diminished the numbers over the decades. Many will say that Datsun Roadsters were very susceptible to corrosion.

As of this date, prices asked for the Datsun 1600 Roadster range from about $12,000 to $30,000. These would be typical prices for models from very good to perfect condition. Perfect condition vehicles would be those professionally restored in all areas of the automobile.

(Article and photos copyright 2016 Auto Museum Online)