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I've recently had the opportunity to get a really well taken care of 63' Nova Wagon for a decent price ($5,200). Took a day trip to check the car out and it had barely any rust, except for a patch on the back tailgate. The interior needs some work, the car has a few issues, but none need immediate attention except for minor brake problems and tie rod replacement. The seller owned it for about 20 years taking it out occasionally, and I'm pretty sure it has a 230 straight 6 and positive it has a Powerglide. The engine is still goin strong after just over 300,000 miles and starts without a hitch.
There's just one catch. If I buy this car it's gonna have to be my daily driver. Not that I need much in the way of convenience, my daily commute total is about 5 miles round trip, with occasional long distance highway driving. I live in Kansas where winters are below freezing and summers are above 100. The questions I guess I'm asking are if anyone has this setup does outside temperature affect the car more than it should with any other carburetted engine, if the car has a tendency to overheat at highway speeds, and if anyone has dailied a setup like this how well did it work out? I have a little money I can put back in the car, but more importantly I fell in love with this car but don't want it to become a burden. (Picture) View attachment 401216
 

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Welcome to the site. What a cool ride to have as a daily driver. I'd buy it in a heartbeat for that price. Pretty sure the engine is a 194 with a 2sp powerglide. That's a lot of miles on the engine but they are easy and cheap to rebuild if you need to down the road. With that many miles you need to realize that you will probably have to rebuild sooner than later. Are you saying it overheats now when driving on the highway? I would think it would overheat at idle more than at highway speeds and if it only overheats on the highway I'd look at airflow. I wouldn't worry about the weather either. For the winter make sure the heater works, the choke works and you have a good set of snow tires on it. Make sure the AC works well for summer if it is equipped.
 

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I'm sure a bunch of SNS members will chime in. Properly maintained, there should be no problem with this car or this engine from freezing to 110 degrees out. Again, properly maintained means a clear radiator and cooling system, good coolant hoses, fuel lines and brake lines, and a good running engine to start with. The problem usually is that many cars haven't been maintained as they were when they were new, but if yours is in serviceable condition, no problem with it being a daily.

Now I am a SoCal and I don't have too much experience with freezing weather or snow. But why would this be a tougher car to own than any other carbureted gasoline vehicle, provided fuel anti-freeze is added?

I had a '65 wagon I bought in 1988 that I drove for 95K miles before tearing it down for restoration. I had a '64 Chevy II wagon that was my daily driver for 3 years, a '65 Chevy II 2-door sedan that was my daily for 2 more years, a '66 SS with Powerglide that was my daily for 3 years. I drive my current '62 convertible all the time. Remember, it got hot and froze in the '60's, too, and these were daily drivers then.

From the front fender emblem and 5 lug front and rear, you might even have a '64 not a '63, making it that much easier as a daily driver.
 

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As far as the engine is concerned, it's smooth at the moment. I of course know "the guy" in my city who can rebuild an old straight 6 for peanuts, assuming the advice my primary mechanic, my father, who thinks I should put a 350, or 327 in it. The 327 is only if I I win the lottery AND one just happens to show up on a stand in my garage. And the temperature question, I was just wondering if it got hot too often. Good thing about this car is it has factory air too, so that's good.
 

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The 6 will be just fine for a commuter if you don't need big power. My '65 wagon was a 327, and it gets pretty hot in Southern California. First thing I did when I got the car was to have a new radiator core put in and the cooling system flushed. Never saw a temp light or overheat problem in 95K. It was a fantastic daily driver and a lot of fun.
 

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I'm sure a bunch of SNS members will chime in. Properly maintained, there should be no problem with this car or this engine from freezing to 110 degrees out. Again, properly maintained means a clear radiator and cooling system, good coolant hoses, fuel lines and brake lines, and a good running engine to start with. The problem usually is that many cars haven't been maintained as they were when they were new, but if yours is in serviceable condition, no problem with it being a daily.

Now I am a SoCal and I don't have too much experience with freezing weather or snow. But why would this be a tougher car to own than any other carbureted gasoline vehicle, provided fuel anti-freeze is added?

I had a '65 wagon I bought in 1988 that I drove for 95K miles before tearing it down for restoration. I had a '64 Chevy II wagon that was my daily driver for 3 years, a '65 Chevy II 2-door sedan that was my daily for 2 more years, a '66 SS with Powerglide that was my daily for 3 years. I drive my current '62 convertible all the time. Remember, it got hot and froze in the '60's, too, and these were daily drivers then.

From the front fender emblem and 5 lug front and rear, you might even have a '64 not a '63, making it that much easier as a daily driver.
I appreciate the advice. I think what's been said already is enough to make me pull the trigger on the deal. I just got transportation worked out with my dad's buddy too, who has a truck. I don't think a 4 hour highway drive in a car with probably 100 degrees of steering play is a great idea. Not to mention the wildest test drive I've ever been on, and my dad has had some pretty sketchy cars.
 

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Where would you park a 63' wagon? I can't imagine the turning radius...
 

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I second that it is a 64, fender emblem and 5 lug are two of the indicators. Check that VIN on the door pillar matches the title. Great car for the price. Factory AC is plus if it is all there.
 

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That's a nice daily to have. I agree with the attitude that they should be driven, and a Chevy II is still pretty viable as a daily in this day an age for a 50+ year old car.

3 seat maybe, but 9 passenger? Hate to draw the short straw on that long trip and get center 3rd seat. I just imagine that wagon loaded with people, the 194, a power glide, and even a slight incline.
 

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That's a nice daily to have. I agree with the attitude that they should be driven, and a Chevy II is still pretty viable as a daily in this day an age for a 50+ year old car.

3 seat maybe, but 9 passenger? Hate to draw the short straw on that long trip and get center 3rd seat. I just imagine that wagon loaded with people, the 194, a power glide, and even a slight incline.
Getting to ride facing backwards was the best part.
353E5D0F-405F-48A6-BEEE-C9606C11A978.jpeg
 

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That's a fine looking '63! Looks like it was optioned out pretty darned well to begin with with the roof rack, 14's and grille guard. Very cool cruiser.
 

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I cropped the pic for the cool puddle shot
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