The Buick Wildcat is a full-size car that was produced by Buick from the 1963 to 1970 model years. Taking its name from a series of 1950s Buick concept cars, the Wildcat replaced the Invicta within the “junior” B-body Buick sedan range. Serving as the higher-performance full-size Buick, the Wildcat was slotted between the LeSabre and the larger C-body Electra.

Following two generations of the model line, the Wildcat was replaced by the Buick Centurion for 1971. With the introduction of the personal luxury Buick Riviera sales of the Wildcat dropped, as Buick full-size lines shifted away from high performance and entirely towards medium-price luxury.

First generation (1963–1964)

From 1963 to 1970 the Wildcat was its own series, no longer an Invicta subseries. The 1963 model had a large aluminum trim panel on the side, while 1964 models had vertically situated chrome hash-marks on the lower front quarter panel directly behind the front wheel housings and did not have the traditional horizontal VentiPorts like other Buicks.

After becoming its own full series in 1963, the Wildcat added a convertible and four-door hardtop sedan to the original two-door hardtop coupe introduced in 1962. In the four-door version, a bench seat was standard but the bucket seat and console interior used in the coupe and convertible were optional. In 1964, a pillared four-door sedan was added to the line and two levels of trim were available – standard and custom, with a mid-line deluxe subseries added for 1965 only.

From 1966 to 1969, the base (with trim similar to the 1965 Wildcat deluxe) and custom trims were again the sole options. The Wildcat’s wheelbase was 123 in (3,124 mm) in comparison to the top level Electra at 126 in (3,200 mm). The listed retail price for the Sport Coupe 2-door hardtop was $3,849 ($34,068 in 2021 dollars).

The 325 hp (242 kW) 401 cubic-inch Wildcat V8 remained the standard engine through 1966. From 1964 to 1966 a larger, 425 cubic-inch, Wildcat V8 was also available, producing either 340 hp (254 kW) with a factory four-barrel carburetor or 360 hp (268 kW) with two four-barrel carburetors (“dual quads”).

This version also featured finned cast aluminum valve covers with the Buick logo embossed on the top. Also beginning in 1964, a three-speed manual transmission with column shift became standard equipment on all Wildcats, with either the four-speed manual (1963-1965 only) or three-speed automatic Super Turbine 400 transmissions as options.

Engine names referred to engine torque output rather than displacement. The “Wildcat 445” was a 401 CID V8 that produced a peak torque rating of 445 lb⋅ft (603 N⋅m), while the “Wildcat 465” was a 425 CID V8 that produced 465 lb⋅ft (630 N⋅m) of torque. The “dual quad” version of the Wildcat 465 was dubbed “Super Wildcat”.

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