1961 Chevrolet Biscayne
8-cyl. 283cid/170hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
For 1961, Chevrolet gave a boxier, downsized body to the full-size Biscayne. Like the rest of the full-size Chevys, the Biscayne now sported a falling side flash stripped of the previous three years of styling extremes. A long rear trunk was simply adorned with a small dip in the chrome trim, and the thin A- and C-pillars on the coupe made the cabin light and airy. The Biscayne was the entry-level full-sized Chevrolet.
The Biscayne line included two- and four-door sedans, and six- and nine-passenger station wagons, and a utility sedan. A Fleetmaster trim was essentially a decontented version of the base car aimed at the fleet market. Engines ranged from the 135-hp, 235-cid six-cylinder and 170-hp, 283-cid V-8, through a range of optional motors — a 230-hp, 283-cid V-8, three 348-cid big block V-8s ranging from 250 hp to 350 hp, and the 360-hp 409-cid monster.
The 1962 Chevrolets were even squarer in profile and side trim was smaller and higher. The Biscayne lineup was greatly simplified, as the Fleetmaster, utility sedan, and nine-passenger wagon were axed. Engine options remained similar for 1963, only the 283-cid and 348-cid units were replaced by the 327-cid V-8 in tunes of 250, 300 and 340 hp. Two 409-cid V-8s offered 400 and 425 hp, and the new 427-cid V-8 generated an enormous 430 hp. The two highest horsepower engines had two four-barrel carburetors.
In 1964 the Chevrolet Biscayne acquired some more upscale interior touches, but engine options remained the same, and the car’s styling was largely left untouched. This year, a Biscayne two-door sedan with a V-8 cost $2,471 new.
The Biscayne would grow in size and receive all new styling in 1965, marking the start of a new generation. The 1961 to 1964 second generation Biscayne is most often remembered for its potent 409 engine, though most of the cars were configured as family transport with more sensible, low-power engines.
Early 1960s Biscaynes are easy to locate, and their prices are generally affordable. Even high-horsepower cars are within reach of most. The cars are simple and trouble free, and not prone to rust, though the exhaust is complicated and expensive to duplicate, and the heater fan is practically impossible to replace.