Sale price: $25,500.00 make an offer

Technical specifications

Fuel Type:Petrol
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Current customer rating: current rating for this car (5)
based on 1 votes



1963 Buick Wildcat 2 door coupe 401 c.i.
Rego: BZ26RH
Expires 24 May 2015
VIN: 59612088A50014
ENG. NO.: JT4206J2008138
Mileage: indicated 29197 miles
You will have to view the car and inspect each bit to appreciate the wonderful condition. Keep in mind it is FIFTY YEARS OLD so keep things in perspective.
The car is not a top show car. It is a totally stunning, useable, top quality vehicle that needs to be driven.
Further, since this is a fifty year old car, there is no warranty provided in the sale. The car must be purchased in 'as is' condition.
I have owned this beautiful car for over eight years. When I bought it, I was actually looking for a Chev Impala and happened to come across the Buick. I fell in love with this very rare, stunning car. It echoed the lines of the Impala but is entirely unique and is built to a considerably higher standard.
After some research on the Buick, I discovered what an amazing vehicle it was in terms of Wildcat history, being the first genuine Buick muscle car. This 63 model is the very first year of the series with unique yearly bodies by Fisher. It is a wonderfully elegant yet muscular alternative to Impalas and the like.
Ownership has allowed me to appreciate the gorgeous lines and solidness of this car, but particularly how it is so different to most other American offerings that we see here in Australia.
To my knowledge, there are only THREE 63 cats in Australia - mine, another coupe that was advertised for $38500 about seven years ago, and a convertible.
THIS ADVERTISEMENT will be a bit long and tedious and emphasise certain things about the car. However, the length allows me to cover what I think is important or unique to the car, as well as hopefully circumventing hours of phone calls and sundry enquiries that take up masses of time when selling something. I just cannot afford that sort of time so I apologise for that. I hope these notes help to clarify what is important.
I will not sell the car to anyone who does not inspect it or organise for someone else to do it on their behalf. I also will NOT sell it to you if I think there is anything dodgy going on. Simple as that. I will take the ad down and start again.
A little over 12000 coupes were made, while the convertible only amounted to half of that at 6000. That is low volume production in anyone’s language.
Buick played with various layouts of the cars, including interiors, number of doors, trim and a host of other details.
Top of the line was the Wildcat Coupe.
This car is a pillarless two door with separate front seats, special centre console and unique interior and exterior trim. It is in remarkable, stunning condition for a fifty year old car. This is a very rare find and has the famous aviation inpired portals on the guards, while the grille simulates the wings and fuselage of an aeroplane.
However, while the car may be thin on the ground, even in the US, parts availability for anything mechanical is excellent and comprehensive.
So, just because it is rare it does not mean that it cannot be maintained forever. That was an important factor in my purchase.
The only concerns would be some body panels and maybe exterior trim, but search the web and you will find even those harder to come by items. Otherwise, everything else such as engine internals, brakes, suspension, body rubbers, electrics and so on can be bought new, remanufactured or NOS. This is extraordinary for such a low volume car.
When I bought the car I was fulfilling a dream of owning a huge and gorgeous American car. Problem was, I also collected and restored over the years ten motorbikes and several other long term classic cars.
Having too many vehicles is actually dispiriting and for me extremely costly, so vehicles and parts had to go during the past two years in order to rationalise a sensible collection.
The Buick has fallen into that category of hardly ever used despite masses of time and attention and love and money being lavished on it throughout my ownership. The cost per kilometre has been absurd when you look at actual use and time/money spent.
Lack of time to drive it is the main culprit concerning selling the car. Various vehicles have already departed my garage and there are going to be several more. The Cat is sadly one of them. It just sits in the garage going to waste.
I have driven the car about 5 times since this year’s registration and have slipped into the old pattern of parking it in the garage and leaving it there now that it is totally sorted. Not a good way of enjoying a classic car. Most of the driving involved testing some brake and steering alterations.
And trying to get some money’s worth from the new rego has been an aim because it was unregistered the previous year because the year before that I blew the rego on about 300kms of driving and the year before THAT was not much better!!!!!!!
Further, I have never been a member of a car club, nor gone to rallies or meets, so the car gets next to no exposure to the classic car enthusiast. What a waste. And due to my work hours and routines, I tend to drive it during the week. Well, that is when I get the chance.
So the car is wasted on the likes of me. As much as I want to keep it, it is an expensive ornament to have parked in the garage most of its life.
On average I have driven probably a couple of thousand kms a year. Well, not even that. Maybe 1500. Pretty tragic.
Obviously, if I cannot get a reasonable price for it I will mothball it until I have time to properly and thoroughly enjoy the car. Selling is not essential for me. It is just the most sensible thing to do.
The car is a pleasant surprise. Suspension is nice and compliant and provides an excellent ride. It is very comfy but not slushy in the least. Grip from the 22 inch wheels is in my view excessive because there is no warning as to when the car will let go. It can corner at surprisingly high speeds.
However, the Cat is very sure footed on the road. The power steering is light but not silly light. Good feedback through the big wheel and much more stable than you might expect. It is in no way a wanderer, instead holding to surprisingly tight lines for such a large car on such wheels and tyres.
Due to the huge circumference and width of the 22s, it can be nervous over big,sharp camber changes but nothing too bothersome. Otherwise, the car flows along and is an absolute delight.
Also, the wheelbase is not at all great, even though the body is very long, which probably accounts for the car’s good handling and feel. Tail overhang is large, so watch the swing.
No clunks, squeaks, groans, nothing bad from this car.
Braking with the new master cylinder (installed two months ago) is now POWERFUL but nice and progressive. There are no fluid leaks in the brake system. The previous owner replaced shoes and wheel cylinders. Brakes got a complete overhaul.
The master cylinder pushrod is set up to require quite a bit of pedal pressure to lock up the massive drums, but with normal operation the brakes are lovely and predictable requiring only light force from your foot. Remember these are super powerful drums. But these ones can be positively fierce if not set up well.
They are now a delight and pretty much fool proof…….. exactly what you need on a massive left hand drive yank tank you hardly drive!!!!!
-My main criticism and NOTE OF CAUTION about driving the Cat has always been going around small roundabouts. Due to the enormity of the wheels and tyres, you have to go SLOWLY around small roundabouts to prevent body roll. Otherwise the outside tyre can easily rub on the mudguard trim.
At present, you only get probably 60 percent or so of steering angle, so doing U turns in tight spaces requires you regarding the car as a bus. This is a common issue with huge wheels. But they do look the business. In a straight line or around normal bends they are wonderful. You can really hoot the car along if you want.
Other than the above points, there is not much else to mention about driving the car. The engine note and the general thrum of it through the body is mesmerising. This sounds and feels like a very large V8. Well, it is!!!!
Length 216 inches (18 feet or 5.5m)
Width 78 inches (nearly 2 metres)
Wheelbase 123 inches ( 3.12m)
In other words, it is a very large car
-The shift pattern is not the standard universally accepted one from 1964or thereabouts, so it is a little odd and quirky to the modern driver.
-The ignition key is removable while the motor is running as well. Both these features were soon after prohibited in car manufacturing.
-Fully working electrically adjustable driver’s seat
-Foldable front seats. These are so similar to Chev seats it’s not funny but trim is unique to the Buick.
-Entire interior is in top condition. Metal components are superb. Interior metal trim is just gorgeous, dead straight and scratch free.
-Air conditioning ducting, wiring and connectors are pretty much all there (original compressor removed so no working aircon, just the bare bones if you want to restore the system). I would highly recommend a modern A/C fitment for classic cars. Much better than the old stuff. I have never had the need for an A/C in the Cat.
-Electric windows, all working perfectly from independent and master switches
-Working floor vents and the coolest winding quarter glass vents.
-Original AM/FM radio. Extremely rare, gorgeous and powers up. Don’t know if it works with speakers
-The centre console carries a long compartment for bits, the gear shift and up front the coolest litter bin in the world. All these things are in pristine, lovely condition despite their ancient age. NO CRACKS OR CHIPS on the plastic. Just nothing. If you are into this sort of detail you will really love playing with this car.
-Pretty much everything in cabin works but whatever you see it is all beautiful for something that is basically no different to when it was made fifty years ago. It is a true time warp.
-The dash is HUGE and pretty cluttered with lots of heavily chromed components. The right dash in its entirety was stripped out and fully restored. This showed how incredible the condition of the car is behind the dash.
-Wiring and connectors are superbly preserved. There is a lot going on behind the dash but it is all neat and has NEVER been butchered or modified. There are no fire hazards there either. All wiring is in top condition.
The engine is 401 cubic inches of pure torque. Redline is about 4500 so it is not a revver. This thing pulls like a train and produces an extremely throaty, raucous tone from the twin exhausts. There is no balance pipe so it gives a good crackle under hard throttle. Gas pressure from the twin pipes is high so look out for those blasts on the dirt. It kicks up a massive mess!!!!!! It really highlights how massively this engine breathes.
-Lifters are hydraulic and quiet, the distributor is a work of art and externally adjustable.
-Motor does not leak or burn oil at all. I strongly believe this is a low mileage engine. THE HEADS WERE CONVERTED TO UNLEADED TEN YEARS AGO.
-No coolant leaks. Radiator is not original.
-All plumbing, wiring, mechanical linkages are in great and fully functional condition. The motor is a fifty year old monster and starts every time, runs superbly, smoothly and is just pure joy.
Engine appearance is functional and very neat, not prissy show car.
-Battery is a big one for this motor.
-The two speed Dynaflow tranny is a bit odd. First is a strictly separate low range. Drive is a single variable ratio set up due to the complicated torque converter. Push the throttle, the thing revs and the transmission catches up and keeps pace. Like a train. Pretty awesome.
-The tranny makes for a relaxing ride but make no mistake this is a very powerful car and it can go very fast if you are silly enough.
-The 401 Nailhead had supposedly 325 HP and masses of torque from idle. Who knows what the actual output is but it certainly feels like it is on steroids.
-I reckon the Wildcat would probably top out at around 180.
-At 100-110 a push of the throttle provides solid and loud thrust. Not a race car but man you can feel the size of the engine!!! And it charges uphill. Very satisfying.
-The four barrel Carter carb works brilliantly. Of course, being nearly SEVEN LITRES, forget about fuel consumption if you play with the motor. You can actually get very good economy if you try but that is relative to a seven litre V8.
The feel and sound of lunging through space is worth it though.
-Everything on this car is built to an extremely solid level of construction. It is a surprisingly complicated car with many components and systems, many of them being large and heavy. It is something to really admire from a bygone era of excess.
This is really what made me buy the car. The undersides have never been repaired or restored. They have aged gracefully. I have only applied a gallon of surface rust preventative and kept it entirely original as did the previous Sydney owner. He bought it too for the body condition and assessed it as one of the best by far.
The condition of the steel…………. and remember that this car is half a century old………………… is positively mind blowing.
No structural rust, no corrosion in panel joints or overlaps, just absolutely nothing. No dents or scrapes underneath. No indications what so ever of any rough treatment or even light dings. The under body condition of this car attests to its superb condition everywhere else.
It is really a joy just to lay under this car and gaze at the amazing history that lies under it. Everything without exception is in excellent condition. It is simply outstanding. The original paint underneath is now pretty thin but the anti-corrosion treatment applied has turned everything a nice darkish colour.
-There is absolutely no underseal on the car. You can see every square inch of steel and its condition. There is nothing to disguise the condition of the car at all.
-All suspension rubbers and bushes were replaced just before I bought the car so they are all still very low mileage.
-The diff is a monster. I cannot find the tag that indicates whether it is the limited slip snow diff. I have not been bothered obsessing about this. All I know is that both wheels spin in dirt but that does not mean too much.
-Importantly, this car shows NO HISTORY of muck and crud build up anywhere. I suspect it was a genuinely low mileage car that was garaged all its life and not driven in slush. It is very obviously a dry climate car.
-There are plenty of screw-on closing panels and inspection hatches that you can find like easter eggs all over the car. They are all in superb condition. Some panels are just Fisher’s excessive attention to detail. Lots of unnecessary stuff which makes you appreciate the great quality of the car.
I am obsessed about body filler, or rather having next to none on an old car. This car appears to have never been crashed or banged up. The restoration about ten years ago was a straightforward full body restoration. Not a body off resto, which would have been totally unnecessary.
Had the underbody got the underseal treatment, I would not have been confident about the rust and repair free state of the car. But it was transparent and also seems to have determined the type of restoration work required.
The outer skins are all dead straight, totally dent free and all panels match superbly. Not just really well, but superbly. I am not exaggerating this. It is due to the straightness of the metal skins and trueness of the body and its fit to the enormous chassis.
It is very easy to screw the alignment up of the doors and guards with the body on such a big car. This one is definitely one of the best I have ever seen and another reason I bought it in the first place.
The trueness of the body panels is actually very exciting.
The panels are very large and since it is a two door any inaccuracies of fitment as well as slight distortions will clearly show up and be magnified when the car is assembled. It sounds like I am being over the top, but man this car is something special.
Even if you hated the shape of the car, you would have to agree that the body is simply superb.
There is none and has never been any it would appear. Sure, there is superficial surface dust under the car in some places but that is just oxidation dust due to it having only the original paint underneath and being fifty years old. There is no penetration of any kind anywhere. This is very unusual and again highlights what a special car this is.
There are no rust repairs to this car and it does not need any at all.
It is truly amazing. It is a fifty year old car, so in all the unrestored areas it is spotless, has a wonderful patina of age without giving itself away to any sort of deterioration.
No rust and no rust repairs were two of the most important things to me about this car. I did not want to do repairs and I did not want to do them years down the line either. If the car is kept garaged it will last another half century like this.
It is all there and there is rather a lot of it. The main side trims are brushed stainless secured by bright metal pressings. Overall condition of the whole car’s trim is excellent to outstanding.
-A couple of bits down near the rear guard have a scuff but that is it. Turret trim is beautiful and all original.
-Most strip trim is pressed steel and chromed. Other parts are castings and chromed.
-all original chrome on this car is heavy duty old fashioned top quality chrome over nickel over copper. The copper base is very thick.
The reason I know this is because some interior castings needed sandblasting due to pimpling having occurred under fifty year old chrome on mazak.
These are definitely the parts you do not want to smash up. They are all unusually heavy alloy castings. The grille and light surrounds I would estimate to weight 25 kilos or more. That is a hell of a lot of weight.
-The car is full of castings rather than pressings. I can outline them to you if you are interested.
-Unlike the pressings of an Impala, the Wildcat uses lots and lots of chromed cast parts.
-This car’s castings are still in superb shape. Some superficial pimpling has occurred on the grille in places, but removal of the parts and polishing and buffing has brought it up to a lovely standard.
-Front bumper is ridiculously sturdy and the chrome is premium quality.
-Rear bumper chrome is not of the same order as the front and must have been plated elsewhere. If I kept the car I would eventually re-chrome it. It is great still, but I can see some faults. There is a little dent in the rear bumper top middle edge where I backed into something years ago.
-Tail light castings and rear bumper ends are just wonderful. Very large, heavy castings and very, very deep chrome. These are the original factory chrome and second to none. They are just top notch parts.
-All light lenses are excellent. Plastic rears and glass fronts. The front blinker side lights were stripped and restored. They are complex assemblies but you have to see the little embossed ‘buick’ logo on the light bodies - a beautiful detail that is hidden from view. These things are worthy of being ornaments.
When spending hundreds of hours pulling stuff apart to get to some trivial components you discover whether a car is nice or not. The Buick’s wiring harnesses are just full on over the top excessive quality. Wire gauge is pretty extreme for a twelve volter and all the connectors are beautiful solid brass.
It is as though no expense was spared during manufacture.
-All the little fasteners under the huge dash which hold an array of components are original and undisturbed and in superb condition.
-Things such as insulation on wiring that looks new, panel joins and overlaps that are pristine, the complexity but quality of the air vent control system, the list goes on and on and on.
-The lovely solid detail in the driver’s electric seat, the tilt steering wheel, the speed warning needle on the speedo, the way switch blocks and securing tabs are attached to the car. Discoveries seem endless. It makes my now departed valiant seriously look positively disgusting and of very poor quality.
The Buick is a bit over the top in the quality of small detail department, but that is what makes this a very special car indeed. It was built to last, built to a very high standard and made a statement about taking no short cuts.
The car has a vinyl and carpet interior. I had to get a seat base repaired recently due to a tear in the stitching. The match is fantastic. Most of this vinyl is original and between my moisturising and the previous owners looking after it the material is still supple and feels great. It easily takes body loads without the fear of it opening up.
The styling is pretty conservative in terms of colours and patterns, although the headlining, dash pad and parcel shelf are pure 60s chic. The expansive pleating is over the top and really sets this car apart from others. It is fantastic driving along running your fingers over the roof lining. It is a very nice experience. Do it and you will see what I mean. Makes you smile.
-I cannot fault the inside of the car for something that is fifty years old. Of course there are some blemishes and aging here and there from fifty years of existence, but it is all very lovely.
If you expect 2014 newness then you are looking in the wrong place and have the wrong expectations about half century old cars.
The right dash has been fully restored which was a surprisingly difficult and labour intensive job.
A new fibreglass glovebox replaces the awful sound system that was put in before I bought the car. It was impossible for the driver to use anyway so that is gone.
-The original am/fm radio is now connected. It powers up but is not connected to speakers.
-There is a dead dash speaker which is very easy to remove and two working rear speakers. All the wiring is new and set up for you to install your own sound system.
-Some kneeboard paint is worn but it is part of the history of the car.
Otherwise, the dash area is pristine and gorgeous while the chromed parts, of which there are many, are really superb. Again, not just good or ok, they are superb for a car of this age.
-Lap belts only in the front. If you want kids in the back it will need rear belts fitted.
This was always the biggest let down of the car. Just a huge, drab, sound deadened, ugly hole. It is MASSIVE so the problem of boring and hideous was just multiplied.
A plan was hatched to make it as nice as possible yet totally functional if need be.
-It now has a hidden bottom section which is very large, a tucked away area under the parcel shelf that ordinarily carries the spare wheel, as well as the main huge section.
-A large, very strong panel separates top and bottom compartments.
-An enormous amount of work, and money, went into fabricating a boot that not only looked classy but was top quality as well. It all had to fit like lego blocks without gaps and that is what we have.
-Total surface area of the boot components is six square metres!
-There is also a large custom made fibreglass panel enclosing the lock mechanism and general structure that every car of this vintage should have. It makes a huge difference to attractiveness and completeness.
-All metal surfaces inside the boot were treated with anti-corrosive material then blasted in hard underseal.
-The fit and finish of the carpeted boards, hinge boxes and so on is pretty superb. There is not another boot like it. This is made to last. It is water proof and very solid without being stupid. You can sit on the dividing panel without breaking it.
But hopefully if you buy the car you do not intend loading the boot with heavy stuff. That is not what this car is for……………………….. the boot is built for real world practicality, even though it is really only for looking at and admiring.
Also, the new owner will get instructions on how to pull it apart and put it back together if you ever need to. There is a distinct sequence. If not followed things are impossible. If followed it is the simplest thing in the world.
Overall, this is a really gorgeous, classy, quality boot. Very, very difficult to get that clean, simple look but it is a great success and an important finishing feature of the car. It smells lovely too.
This is a ten year old paint job and has held up beautifully. A few areas have been greatly improved over the years and some sections below the car painted to ensure it cannot deteriorate. These are the usual areas nearly all spray painters overlook.
The paint is a solid white, but a kind of off white, two-pack.
Quality of finish is probably an 8 in places and a 9 in most. Being such a simple colour and not metallic or anything flash it is pretty hard to assess. It is really, really nice though.
I am being pretty critical even though it is my car and I want to sell it. No runs or peel or drips. Texture is uniform and lovely and smooth. Some ten year old blemishes that I will point out but they are small and insignificant. Just that when you know that they are there it kind of sends you a bit screwy.
Engine bay is simple black and very clean and tidy without being prissy. It was restored to be used, not just looked at and polished.
The original, unfaded colour of the car remains on the entire firewall. I am glad the previous owner chose to keep it there. It is a nice way of blending the original car with its new life.
The previous owner replaced things such as door and boot rubbers during restoration. Some minor parts such as door belts need replacement but quarter glass rubbers, door surround seals and so on are perfect.
There are only a few small bits to put on. I never bothered about the small bits.
Screen rubbers are original but in good and waterproof shape.
The car does not leak water anywhere by the way. That is important. I have driven in several times in foul weather and got not one drop of water in the cabin.
The radio aerial is NOT broken. Well, I actually DID break it when removing a cover. In fact, in a month I broke the aerials of FOUR cars doing exactly the same thing. Not a good time………….
The aerial on the Buick is a very large, cast aluminium cartridge that is let in to a hatch in the right front guard. They cost a small fortune to replace with a second hand one. A modern alternative just does not have the rigidity to cope with the positioning in the guard.
The solution was to repair the aerial mast with a screw in mast.
Lots of other small details you will have to spend time looking at or asking about.
-Spare Dynaflow transmission
-Four original alloy centre steel rim wheels. In need of full cosmetic restoration
-California number plates
-Any other bits I have for the car
-You will need to track down your own service manuals

I strongly urge you to inspect the car at length. Get under it and have a poke around. There is nothing to hide. I will do whatever I can to assist you, including staying out of your way.
The car is mine, and a very rare one at that, and it is not a cheap car, so I have to make clear now that any test drives will be done by me and you will have to be the passenger.
Over the years I have endured joy riders and even people who damage a car or motorbike and walk away. I nowadays no longer smile uncomfortably and say, “that’s ok”.
With this car I simply cannot take that risk. So I hope you understand and do not let that put you off.
Further, this is a very large car, so spatial requirements are different to an ordinary car. There is a hell of a lot happening when you first drive something like this and it is easy to mess things up badly. I DID THE FIRST TIME I DROVE IT! Additionally, left hand drive can just screw everything up big time. So I will take responsibility for steering the car.
The car is advertised elsewhere, so this auction may be removed by me if the car is sold via a different provider and the reserve is not met.
I am not prepared to do any long distance, faceless exchanges. I would expect to see a buyer, not just sense them at the end of a phone. If I am uncomfortable about any issue arising from a possible sale I will simply immediately terminate it.
If someone bids and does not contact me to look at the car I will not be too impressed. If anything seems suspicious or just dopey I will pull the advertisement and start all over again. I am not prepared to have this sale experience ruined by an idiot or a crim.
If the car does not sell easily, well, there is always another day. I am happy enough to hold on to the car indefinitely. Not using it is a worry and a waste. I would dearly enjoy seeing the Wildcat go to a home where it is loved, pampered and driven regularly and enjoyed by many people. That is the ideal.
If you want any more information about the car or wish to organise a time for inspection, just contact me, Michael, on 0402839402 or via eBay email. The car is situated in the Sydney Metropolitan Area.
If you need other pictures, I will be happy to send them to you.


Also published at eBay.com.au

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