As the muscle car era entered, several car manufacturers like the Chevrolet, Chrysler, Pontiac, and Ford notably produced large displacement engines to answer the call for big and lean cars. Shortly after, Buick followed with their version of rev-pumping vehicle.
Buick came up with the brand new model called Buick Wildcat or officially known as Buick Wildcat Sports Coupe in 1962. It is their first performance car but more of a luxury car. This model began Buick's quest for power and speed. The Wildcat was entered as a full-size vehicle based on the Century/Invicta theme. It is smaller and lighter than its predecessors but still posses their power. The Wildcat came with front bucket seats, a console, tachometer, and a rear floor lamp. Under the hood comes the LT401 V8 engine capable of producing 325 hp at 4400 rpm
The second year of the Wildcat included some minor styling changes. The name was now scripted on the rear fender within the rear cove, and across the front of the hood. A custom grille accented the hood. It came with 401 cid V8 engine rated at 325 hp. Three trims were made during this year: Model 4639 which outsold the two door model by a wide margin (the four-door hardtop), Model 4647 (the two-door sport coupe), and Model 4667 (the two-door convertible).
As the years progressed so with the increase of production of the Buick Wildcat. The 1966 model had 68,584 units made, a considerable increase from 1963 production of just 6,021 units. At this year, the Wildcats was basically the same from the previews year except from the addition of the Wildcat Custom which included a deluxe steering wheel, padded armrests, plusher seat materials, and custom bucket seats. The engine was upgraded to 401 V8, 425 V8, and the most powerful among the three, the 425 V8 (2x4) that can give up to 380 hp.
At the last year of the Wildcat in 1970, Buick gave it with the best respect housing it with all new 455 cid V8, rated at 370 hp and an impressive 510 lb-ft of torque. With the appearance and performance much like the LeSabre, the Wildcat last year produced only 23,619 units.
Keep it Classic: How to Properly Take Care of Your Buick Wildcat
Yes, the beauty of a Buick Wildcat is timeless, but like other car models, it is not exempt from aging. If you are a Wildcat owner, you would know that cars like this are way past their prime and that a lot of your love and attention is needed to restore them to their former glory. Check out some of the golden rules to follow to keep your classic Buick from showing its age:
- Park it in a clean garage.
Your classic Buick deserves only the best: a spacious garage or storage facility that is dry and free from damp. Because they are made of metal and chrome, old vehicles, such as the Wildcat, are prone to rust and corrosion especially during cool and wet weather. You might want to consider using a storage bubble or a dehumidifier to ensure optimum storage conditions for your car.
- Invest in high-quality products for your vehicle.
When it comes to caring for classic vehicles like the Buick Wildcat, it's not a "one-product-fits-all" situation—you can't expect the same product you use for your everyday car to work on your vintage ride.
For example, unlike modern cars, classic cars have a non-pressurized cooling system that tends to boil and overflow when it gets too hot. You would have to pour water into the radiator to cool it down, but water usually contains minerals that can be harmful to the vehicle. This means you would have to find a different coolant—one that is waterless so it will not corrode your engine and one that doesn't boil up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit so your car would not be at risk of overheating.
Finding the right products might be challenging and expensive, but it is worth it because it will surely prolong the life of your Wildcat.
- Take your ride out for a spin at least once every two weeks.
Where's the fun in owning a Wildcat and not being able to drive it? Start up your classic vehicle regularly; let it reach normal running temperature before switching it off. You would do more good for your car if you drive it a few miles to make sure its brakes, clutches, and hydraulics are working fine.
- Consider using frictionless or induction braking.
Although installing this on your vehicle might require a bit of an effort, such as modifying your driveshaft to accommodate the rotor assembly, induction braking helps you prevent early wear and tear on your Buick's brake parts. Unlike typical brakes, it dissipates the heat produced when braking, producing virtually no friction. It will surely improve the brake responsiveness and drive quality of the Wildcat.
- Have a specialist check and service the vehicle every 12 months.
Make sure the fluids, not just the oil and water but also the brake and clutch fluids, are topped up. You should also get the brakes, steering, suspension, and tires checked out. It would be advisable to take the car to a specialist dealer who can give a stamp in the Buick Wildcat's service book, so you can leverage it when negotiating the price of your car should you decide to sell it in the future.