Barn Cat! 1964 Buick Wildcat Convertible

“Wildcat” suggests a quick and savage feline, attractive and unpredictable. This 1964 Buick Wildcat convertible in Clarksburg, West Virginia seeks a new owner here on craigslist.org. After curling up for a 20 year nap, this cat deserves to be set free to prowl the roadways once again. Despite some serious rust, it has much to offer, including a running non-original engine plus the original numbers-matching engine block in disassembled form. The $2,500 asking price leaves room for refurbishment or restoration. Thanks to reader Ikey H. for spotting this barn cat.

This car’s base 401 cid (6.6L) V8 made 325 HP, a carry-over from 1963. Like many full-sized cars of its day, this one gained a trailer hitch and would have made a stylish tow vehicle for a speed boat or travel trailer, a handsome companion for its owners– all part of the ’60s American Dream.

The prior year Wildcat coupes and convertibles featured a standard bucket-seat interior with console. This Buick’s bench seat makes room for six! Thanks to wikipedia.org for some details. The seller confirms that the floors will need serious metal work.

Roomy and sporty, the Wildcat needs a rear window, but the interior is described as “VERY VERY GOOD,” and the trim as well. It will take a Wildcat fan to tackle this project, but it could result in a purring Nailhead V8, and a fun full-size that’s rarely seen in the wild. Do you have what it takes to tame this long-sleeping cat?

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Comments

  1. John Martin

    Owned several 1964 wildcat convertibles, they are so much fun and comfortable. Am tempted, am tempted. For sure if it was in Canada

  2. Chebby Staff

    Parked when the fat guy who owned it went through the floor.

  3. local_sheriff

    Sure lots of work ahead to make it growl again, however price is in the lower end and considering its condition I’m sure seller is open for further discussions.

    Personally I find the 64 Wildcat a very attractive design indeed, it has obvious design elements found on its other 63-64 GM B-body cousins, though still has a unmistakingly Buick look that stuck for years. Way cooler than its all too roadboat-ish Electra brother.

    Anyone has intel on what tranny should be here? Seller claims turbo400, my literature says Super Turbine 400 3spd, but there are only D and L on the column indicator?

    Like 1
    • Scott Williams

      ST400 was the Turbo 400, you’re both right!

      • Poppy

        Did they have the “switch-pitch” converter that year? My friend’s ’65 LeSabre had that.

    • Johnny M. Parker

      Even though the shift quadrant only has D and L, it is a Turbo 400. To shift to 2nd gear simply put it in L and depending on vehicle speed it will go into 1st or 2nd gear. Buick used the switch pitch converter in 65-67.

  4. redwagon

    Pulling up vague memories from driving in the early 70’s………

    PRNDL was common even in 3 speed autos. I dont think you could get to the lowest forward gear by using the shifter. Think of it as a forward gear limiter, that is if you put it in D you get forward gears 1 through 3. In L you get gears 1 and 2.

    Anyone else remember same or different?

    • Robert

      I had a ‘63 Buick LeSabre. It had the 401 nailhead and the shift pattern was PNDLR! Yes Reverse was at the far right of the shift pattern. After I threw it in reverse a couple of times while down shifting, you never want to do that again! This shift pattern was indicative of Buick’s version of the Powerglide 2 speed transmission, Buick called it the Dynaflow transmission. It was never a reliable transmission.

      • John in Redmond, WA

        My folks had a ’49 Super and ’53 Special with the bullet-proof straight 8 OHV, and a ’58 Century with the 364 CID V-8 which later morphed into the 401 Nailhead. All three Buicks had Dynaflow transmissions with R at the far right of the shift pattern. It was a variable pitch desgn, and kids back then called them “Dynaslush.” They were extremely reliable, and we took many road trips. Never had any repairs. I inherited the ’58 and developed the habit of dropping the transmission into Reverse like Robert mentioned while hitting the gas on icy Omaha streets to come to a stop. One time I did it by habit on a bone dry street in front of a bus stop. Laid a lot of rubber and entertained the people waiting for a bus. That didn’t phase the thing one bit. The ’58 was a very fast car, and I found I could win drag races in high school with ’56 – ’59 Chevys by starting in Low which locked the transmission in the lowest range and upshifting to D at about 40 MPH while fully on the gas pedal. I think I forgot to ever tell my Dad about that, although he probably wondered why the rear tires wore out faster than the fronts.

  5. ccrvtt

    I think redwagon may be right about the gearshift. It was all a mystery to me back then. A guy in my high school took his mother’s 1963 Wildcat convertible (same color as this one) and put a bodacious rake on it with huge oversized tires on the back. It looked pretty comical, but it sure made a statement. Not really clear on what that statement was, but it was a statement.

    Big Buick convertibles of this era are most definitely worth saving. Another guy’s dad had a 1963 Electra 225 convertible that he traded for a ’66 Riviera – how could you possibly go wrong on that deal?

    This is a very good find and supports Jesse’s contention that deals are still out there.

  6. Tom Member

    I have a 64 Olds 98 with a 394 & auto trans and if I remember correctly R is at the end/far right of the gear selector. Not sure if this is a 2 speed trans? I used to know more about it when I had it rebuilt about 15 years ago.

    My Dad bought it as a 2nd owner in 65 when it was 9 months new. 9 months later I arrived !!

    It has been in a corner of my shop under a cover for 12 years. 58K original miles. Shattered windshield (thanks to my late landlord who was a total A-hole) who smashed it when I told him I was moving out) and I am having a HARD time finding one.

    Anyone with a 64 Olds windshield or a lead on one…please track me down. tnemec@becarsmart.com.

    • Scott Williams

      Oldsmobiles used different transmissions than Buick during this period. Olds used the Roto Hydramatic in all the full sized cars, Buick was using their own transmission and I believe went to the Super Turbine 400 in 64.

    • local_sheriff

      Tom; the Oldsmobile coming out in 64 is a very good-looking vehicle and the last with a true rocket-ship design – IMO 64 was an incredibly good year for GMs fullsizers as a whole!

      As for the windshield, have you tried Chevy glass? I may be on deep water here, but visually the greenhouse on all BOP and Chevy fullsizers looks identical, if you don’t count in GP and Starfire. I would believe a Chevy windshield for your specific body style (2dht/cvrt/4dr post) should fit; it’d come as a surprise if GM did cough up such similar roof lines but with parts not interchanging

  7. Hondaguy

    My dad had a white one with red leather.
    I was just a wee lad of 4 or 5.
    I wrote a paper in college about it that earned me A-.
    To a kid, riding in the back seat was sensory overload.
    Unfortunately, with 5 kids to feed and clothe, even with cheap gas the car was expensive to feed. It was food or fuel.
    He sold it or traded it on some kind Mopar wagon.
    It was fun while it lasted!

  8. Rex Kahrs Member

    I don’t know…this car seems like too much work to be worth doing. What I see is probably 3 years of your hard labor, and probably 30-40K in expenses to fix this rusty old cat. I’d rather go with the excellent looking ’63 Electra 225 on Ocala Craigslist for 15K. It’s nice.

  9. Haig Haleblian

    My dad bought a 66 Wildcat in 66. Had the cool stereo red light. Best backseat and for that matter front seat in the biz for a 16 year old. Thanks pops a few times over.

  10. John

    I owned two ’64 Wildcat coupes, both with the 401 CID V-8 engine. Bought the first one in Feb ’65, a Fisher Body Co. “Executive Car” that had never been titled and had only 4,500 miles. It was Granada Red, had white bucket seats, black carpeting, and a center console. The transmission was a Turbo 350 which was a 3 speed box. The other ’64 had the Turbo 400, also a 3 speed, but it ran better and could take higher torque loads. We took it to Belgium in 1971 for a 4 year military assignment and drove it all over Europe, usually at speeds well north of 100 MPH. They were great cars, and I wish I still had either one of them.

  11. Scott Williams

    Oldsmobiles used different transmissions than Buick during this period. Olds used the Roto Hydramatic in all the full sized cars, Buick was using their own transmission and I believe went to the Super Turbine 400 in 64.

  12. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Wildcat convertible, the things dreams are made of. Rust issues are a big problem and to much for this butterfingered old man. It certainly would be nice for someone with skills to take this beauty to a new level of elegance.
    God bless America

  13. Del

    Is the winshield g0ne as well ?

    50 bucks if you clean the junk out

  14. TimM

    Great car a little boaty for me but I will be interested to see what she goes for in this shape!!

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