The automobile featured in this article is a 1960 Buick Invicta Four Door 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.
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.
To give you a perspective of Invicta's production numbers compared to the LaSabre and Electra, the numbers look like this...total 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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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.
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, BuickV-8.com
(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)