(1967 Buick Wildcat)
The Wildcat was produced by Buick from 1962 through 1970, and many consider this model the real first performance or muscle car from Buick. Although it is not true muscle car by definition, the car did have a large and powerful engine. The 1962 Wildcat was actually a sub model of the Buick Invicta, with a 325 horsepower Nailhead V8 engine producing 445 ft-lb of torque, which gave the engine the name of "Wildcat 445". The upgraded Invicta was a two door hardtop and included bucket seats, a center console with a tachometer and transmission shifter, special exterior trim, and the Wildcat emblem on each c pillar.
Buick Wildcat cars for sale
When the Wildcat became it's own model in 1963, a convertible and four door option were added. The four door version outsold all other versions, even though Buick was trying to market the Wildcat as a performance vehicle. Part of the problem may have been the weight. Even with a large V8, acceleration was not great due to the weight being over 4100 pounds. Weight would increase to over 4,500 pounds by 1964, but there would be new engine choices, including a 340 horsepower V8 and a 360 horsepower V8. The engine choices were the same for 1965, but the styling changed drastically, taking after the LeSabre, but still using the Wildcat's unique labeling and grill. A threee speed column manual shift became standard in 1964, with a four speed manual or 3 speed automatic as options.
The Wildcat did not change much between 1965 and 1966, except for the "Gran Sport Performance Group" package. This package was labeled as the "A8/Y48" option on the order form. The base engine for this package was the 425 cid V8 (340 Horsepower), or you could order the big gun, a 360 horsepower 425 cid V8 with dual carburetors (named the Wildcat 465). All Wildcat 465 models earned the name "Super Wildcat", and had special badging indicating this. Initially this $381.01 engine upgrade option was dealer installed , but eventually it was done at the factory. Also included with the " Wildcat Gran Sport Performance Group" were a chrome plated air cleaner, cast aluminum rocker arm covers, a better suspension system, a posi-traction rear end, and whitewall tires. Of the 1244 Wildcat Gran Sport's built, only 22 are believed to have had the "Super Wildcat" option.
The Wildcat would continue to mimick the LeSabre, and by 1969 the only difference between a Wildcat and a LeSabre was the grille, rocker mouldings, fender extensions, wheelhouse moldings, and the Wildcat's unique steering wheel. 1970 was the last year of the Wildcat since sales kept dropping, most likely due to the similarity to the LeSabre. The Wildcat did not wimper into oblivion though. 1970 was the height of it's performance with the option of Buick's new 455 V8 engine, rated at 370 horsepower with 510 lb-ft torque. What a way to rumble off into the sunset.