Junkyard Find: 1962 Chevrolet Biscayne Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1962 chevrolet biscayne sedan

During the early-to-mid 1960s, the king of the full-sized Chevrolet world was the loaded Impala. The Bel Air wasn’t quite as luxurious, but still had a decent amount of swank. For the bargain-conscious car shopper who wanted a bare-bones full-size sedan without a lot of costly gingerbread, the Chevy Biscayne was an excellent choice.

Here’s a ’62 that outlived most of the Impalas and Bel Airs, now ending its 56-year journey in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

Conditions were wintry when I found this car, but neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stay your junkyard courier from his appointed rounds.

This car has the sensible-but-not-powerful 235-cubic-inch pushrod straight-six engine, rated at 135 horsepower in 1962. The original purchaser of this car wasn’t a total cheapskate, though, because the transmission is the optional Powerglide automatic instead of the more affordable three-on-the-tree manual that came standard.

The permanently flattened tires and completely fried interior indicate decades of outdoor storage prior to coming to this place. This car began its life at the St. Louis Assembly Plant, which was the second-closest-to-Denver GM factory building full-sized Chevrolets in 1962 (the plant in Arlington, Texas, was a bit closer).

There’s some rust— not much by Midwestern standards but enough to scare away any Colorado restorer who might have considered spiffing up a not-very-desirable Biscayne sedan. A full-sized 1960-1964 Chevrolet two-door in this condition probably would have avoided this fate.

General Motors sold 1,424,008 full-sized Chevrolets for the 1962 model year, 533,349 of which were sedans, and so this isn’t what you’d call a rare and unusual car. Still, it’s too bad nobody who encountered it before it came here was willing to make it into a budget cruiser or drag-race car.

There’s no telling how much of the USA this car saw during its long life.

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  • Ttacgreg Ttacgreg on Mar 02, 2018

    LOL the demographics of the commenters here is apparent. Greetings fellow old-timers!

    • See 1 previous
    • DownUnder2014 DownUnder2014 on Mar 03, 2018

      @Lorenzo A Bucks Party? I guess that's because the performers probably retire quickly. 2006 is probably equivalent to like 30 years ago... It's hard to imagine though, I suppose. I'm not an old-timer, but I find the stories posted here quite interesting, which keeps me coming back! And Junkyard Finds, of course.

  • DownUnder2014 DownUnder2014 on Mar 03, 2018

    I guess the sedans still aren't worth restoring as much as the two doors... It probably lived for maybe 25-30 years and then spent the next 25-30 in situ and then scrapped after the owner died or something like that...

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?