Buick Wildcat

buick riviera

Made from 1962-1970, this was a true full-sized car. Originally a subseries of the Buick Invicta, the original Wildcat separated itself with a 325 hp power engine that was nicknamed the “Wildcat 445.” The latter number came from the 445 lb-ft of torque that this car could produce. While it shared a Dynaflow transmission with every kind of full-sized Buick, it had something all its own: a stylized wildcat head on each of the C-pillars.

The hardtop coupe was introduced in 1962, but in 1963 the Wildcat added a four-door version as well as a convertible. By 1964, three speed manual transmissions (with column shift) were standard equipment. There are rare and unique versions of the Wildcat. For example, in 1966, there was a Gran Sport option package available for the Wildcat. This gave the car variable rate suspension springs, a quick ratio steering box, switch-pitch turbo-hydramatic 400 transmission and a 3.42 ratio posi rear.

A truly rare car is the “Super Wildcat.” Only 22 of were made, and they have what are called “MZ-coded engines.” Truthfully, these vehicles are so rare, it has been lost to time how many of the 22 were convertibles and how many were hardtops.

The second generation of Wildcats ran from 1965 through 1970. A big visual addition was taken from the 1963 Buick Riviera: a modification of the traditional “Sweepspear.” With this second generation, the beltline arched up over the wheels in the back.

While the final year of the second generation of the Buick Wildcat was in 1970, the name did come back for various concept vehicles. In Buick history, the name “Wildcat” is synonymous with advancements in full-sized cars.