Backyard Find: 1968 Buick Wildcat 430-4 Sport Coupe

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Sitting in this garage is a classic car that will leave its new owners with a few choices to make. It is a 1968 Buick Wildcat, and it presents quite nicely as a driver-quality car. However, it seems that it wouldn’t take a lot of work to lift this car to the next level and transform it into something stunning. If you feel that you might be up to the challenge, you will find the Buick located in Blountville, Tennessee, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $6,819, but the reserve hasn’t been met. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder local_sheriff for referring the classic Buick to us.

When the Wildcat was shiny and new, it was finished in an unknown shade of Blue. It underwent a color change to Arctic White many years ago, and the seller is pretty candid about its condition. He says that it looks okay from 10-foot, but a closer inspection reveals paint showing its age. It sounds like a cosmetic refresh might be on the cards, but it doesn’t appear urgent. Its general condition and lack of significant rust issues mean that the buyer could perform the restoration as time, circumstances, and finances allow. The panels are straight, with no significant dings or dents. The Wildcat features a Black vinyl top, and this looks excellent. I mentioned rust, and there is surprisingly little in a car from this era. There are some minor spots behind the front wheels, but these could be patched. There are some small areas in the bottoms of the doors, along with a tiny hole in the trunk pan. None of these issues would require panel replacement, so it seems that a grinder, a welder, and a few patches would get things solid once again. There is evidence of Bondo in the rear quarter panel, and this might need further investigation. Some of the chrome is pitted, but none of it has deteriorated beyond the point where restoration would be possible. The glass looks good, and the original wheels are respectable for a driver-quality car.

When you open the doors and take a look around inside the Wildcat, you are confronted with an interior that continues the car’s tidy and serviceable theme. It is trimmed in black vinyl, and the upholstered surfaces generally look quite good. There is a split in the back seat, but it isn’t clear from the photos whether this is repairable. The dash pad is cracked, and I didn’t have a lot of luck locating a replacement during an admittedly brief online search. If the buyer spends a bit more time, they might strike gold. If not, it will be a matter of either throwing a cover over it or attempting a restoration with a product like Polyvance. The owner says that a new headliner would be a wise move, and these can be found for around $225. The factory radio is gone, but I can’t tell from the photos whether anything has been slotted into its place. Another item that is gone is the compressor for the air conditioning. That’s a pain, but it isn’t an insurmountable issue. Replacements cost $350, so getting it blowing ice-cold again might not be a biggie. The buyer will also find the interior equipped with power windows. These do work, although they are slow. It could be a case of giving everything a decent clean and some lubrication to return them to their best. If that’s the case, the only cost will be a bit of time.

The next owner of the Wildcat will have some good power at their disposal, courtesy of the 430ci V8. This should be producing 360hp, which finds its way to the rear wheels via a 3-speed automatic transmission. The Buick is a surprisingly hefty beast, tipping the scales at 4,290lbs. Even so, it should gallop through the ¼ mile in 15.2 seconds. The vehicle has recently been fitted with new rear coil springs, along with an Edelbrock carburetor. It seems that the car is mechanically sound, but it does have an issue that should be addressed. Occasionally, it won’t start on the switch. A wire is run from the battery to the starter to bypass the switch when this occurs, but I would hardly consider that to be a long-term solution. It might be okay on rare occasions, but I suspect that it would lose its appeal the day that the owner has to stand out in the pouring rain to get the 430 fired. Otherwise, the car runs and drives exceptionally well, and the 430 is said to sound fantastic through its dual exhaust and Glasspacks.

There’s no doubt that the next owner of this 1968 Buick Wildcat could spend a fortune on it to transform it into a show-stopper. They might also choose to spend nothing and to drive it as a survivor. If it were me, I would probably tread a middle ground and attempt to complete as many of the tasks as possible myself. The thinking behind this is pretty simple. These are great cars, and their values have been climbing consistently in recent years. However, they are not a “million-dollar” proposition. It is possible to find some extremely tidy examples for under $20,000. Even a pristine car will struggle to fetch $25,000. This would be one of those moments where the buyer will need to have faith in their own abilities and judgments, but the rewards could be worth it.

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  1. Moparman MoparmanMember

    OOOOOH! This one checks all of the right boxes for me! Sound enough to look good while driving and restoring it! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 13
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Taller than stock air filter. Good idea.

    Like 2
    • Billyray

      More likely the wrong one was purchased. I had this problem too with my ’69 Merc 429. The correct one can be found with a little persistence.

      Like 0
      • JoeNYWF64

        My friend PURPOSELY put a taller air filter from an ’82 camaro v6 on his ’68 nova with strait 6 & noticed easier starting & better performance & easier to ck if dirty.
        That filter on the wildcat may be there intentionally for the same purpose. &/or that filter was cheaper &/or easier to find.

        Like 1
  3. Sam Shive

    Love The Old Land Yachts. My Uncle Had A 68 Deuce and a Quarter when I was growing up. Loved That Car, Same Engine, Never Had The Balls To Find The Top End, It Just Got Faster and Faster.

    Like 8
    • triumph1954

      Sam Shive. What is a 68 Deuce and a Quarter?

      Like 1
    • Terry

      Buick Electra 225

      Like 8
  4. Browndog

    looks like it had A/C at one time

    Like 2
  5. Joe Haska

    I totally agree this would be a great find ,if you are able and willing to do the majority of the work. It would then ,not be a stretch to get it to the condition, that would put into the high end for this make and model and best of all a great car and driver.

    Like 1
  6. MarkMember

    This is one hell of a value. My uncle had one of these and I took it on a date. Loved the sound and it went for a land yacht. Tempted, really tempted.

    Like 2
  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. My grandparents had a 1968 Buick Wildcat just like this, although I don’t remember theirs having the gear selector on the floor like this one, or if it had a vinyl roof. I was way too young at the time to drive or remember the car. But I do remember seeing pics of the car in the background when I was an infant. Apparently they sold the car a few years later, since I don’t remember seeing the car in person again. It’s the best looking car until the 1971 LeSabre they later had, which I do remember them having.

    Like 4
  8. S

    My grandparents had the slightly less luxurious than this 1968 Buick LeSabre 2 door, followed by a 1975 Century sedan, followed by a 1981 Century Limited sedan. They were GM loyal and worked their way up the GM ladder, buying Chevrolets, then Pontiacs in the 40s, Oldsmobiles in the 50s, and finally Buicks from the 60s onwards. They never got to Cadillac.

    Like 7
  9. Larry S.

    My grandfather was an Oldsmobile guy. Always traded his olds 98 every 3 years. In 1968, He had traded his 65 olds in for a new Buick Wildcat.
    He claimed it was too light compared to his 98 Olds, and that he’s was being “ blown all over the road” in the Wildcat.
    He resolved to trade the Wildcat in for a new 71 Cadillac, which he believed would really hold the road much better than the Buick but sadly, never lived to be able to accomplish this.

    Like 5
  10. A.J.

    I learned to drive in my dad’s ’65 Wildcat. If someone would buy my Harley, this would be in my garage right now!

    Like 1
  11. Rick Rothermel

    Looks good, except for the color change. Those quarter panels are endless!
    My dad’s first new Buick was a ’68 Wildcat 4-door sedan, a handsome thing all lit up with the new Federal side marker lights. He’d been a Pontiac guy, five new ’60-’65 but he didn’t like the Bonnevilles that year.

    Like 3
  12. JrandersMember

    225’s and Wildcats on the same longer wheelbase and the top 430 V8. Missing the rear fender skirts, a known rust inducing area, check those lower rear fenders over good. Dad had the 67 4dr hardtop custom, beast on the highway, loved that boat!

    Like 1
  13. Kevin

    Love this car,would address the wiring right away, I had a 68 delta 88 that had a wiring issue that should of been addressed, but out of frustration I sold the car cheap about 6 years ago,saw it at a car show in 2019…still looking very original and solid, so grateful for that.

    Like 3
  14. RBC

    My grandparents gave me their ‘63 Wildcat with a 401 in 1969. Loved that car. I couldn’t take it to college as a freshman in 1970, so I left it at home. Big mistake, my sister crashed it and took out the passenger side, I never drive it again…

    Like 2
  15. Bob turino


    Like 0

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