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Beautiful Survivor: 1969 Buick Wildcat

I could see James Bond driving a Buick Wildcat, they’re cool, tough, and elegant all at the same time. There aren’t a lot of cars that are like that, or at least I can’t think of too many. This 1969 Buick Wildcat is posted here on craigslist in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area and they’re asking $8,900. Here’s the original listing. Thanks to the cool, tough, and elegant Pat L. for sending in this tip!

We were chatting the other day about the iconic car name, or model, the Barracuda, and I wondered why it hasn’t resurfaced in decades. Reader “Blueprint” suggested that maybe a new EV model would carry that name and that made sense, everyone is coming out with an EV now. The last Wildcat was made for the 1970 model year, it’s a killer name to just have lingering and languishing out there for that long. Maybe a Buick EV… hmmm.. or not. Hey, it’s just food for thought.

The Buick Wildcat was made for two generations and the second generation cars, which were also the last-generation cars, were made for the 1965 through 1970 model years. The design changed quite a bit in that short period of time and they came in both two-door hardtop and four-door hardtop, a four-door sedan, and a two-door convertible. This car is basically rust-free other than in the usual spots under the vinyl top! Arrgh, no wonder a lot of you don’t like vinyl tops. The bumpers are beautiful on this car, very stylish, and well-designed.

The seller says that the interior needs work but I don’t see any huge issues from the many photos that they show. They could be perfectionists and are being too hard on this car. There are a couple of split seams and the driver’s side bench seat has a big repair in its future, but it looks nicer than most. Here’s one last look at that gorgeous profile, what a car.

This is Buick’s 430 cubic-inch V8 which with its four-barrel carb would have had 360 pavement-pounding horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. It purrs like a kitten while driving down the highway at 75 but I can imagine that it’ll turn into a mountain lion when you get on the loud pedal. It has new dual exhaust and the factory air-conditioning is ice-cold. Hagerty is at $9,000 for a #3 good condition car and $14,500 for a #2 excellent car. Have any of you owned a Buick Wildcat?


  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Seems like you’d get a lot of bang for your buck with this ‘Cat. Sure, you’d have to address the rust under the vinyl top but other than that and a few other items, the car presents well. It’s a big car but with 360hp, it should move along pretty well. It’s a pretty nice car overall, and if you ever wanted into the old car hobby, this one won’t break the bank.

    Like 7
  2. Howard A Member

    To quote Herb Powell yelling at his staff naming his new car “Persephone”, “people want cars with names of ferocious animals, Mustang, Cheetah, not cars with names of hungry( I’m sure he meant horny) Greek broads. “WILDCAT” was one of those cars. Kind of ironic as most Buick owners were anything but “Wild”, but regardless, it helped sell a lot of cars. Upon passing the 65 year old marker a couple years back, surprisingly, old Buicks look attractive to me. Actually, they always did, it’s just I’d never admit it. I know what I say about “$10 grand” today, but given the lackwit offerings in cars today, for 3 TIMES this price, makes this a freakin’ bargain. Not much rolled down the highway better than a ’69 Buick. Now, feeding it, could be a deal breaker with sub 10mpg readings, I would think a simple V6 or turbo 4 cylinder, could make this a nice cruiser, just won’t have the 1969 oommph, and I could do without that. Nice cars.

    Like 6
  3. CCFisher

    The most obvious name for a Buick EV is “Electra.”

    Like 27
    • Patrick Curran

      There is one in the works as I write this and the Electra name will be used.

      Like 2
      • FireAxeGXP

        Correct! And like most other Buicks it will be built and sold strictly in China. I miss Buick the AMERICAN car company but I wouldn’t buy a mew one.at any price. Shenzen poverty potatoes the lot of em!

        Like 3
      • CCFisher

        Patrick is correct. Buick’s first EV will be called “Electra,” and it will be available in the US.

        Like 0
  4. Todd Fitch Staff

    Another great write-up from Scotty “Wildcat” Gilbertson. I used to think these were just kind-of old-looking but over the years I find them more attractive and cool. ’69 would have been just before 1970’s peak HP numbers and the 455, also the last year that big cars got the bigger motors at GM. I’m with Howard on the value here. I don’t see how you can go wrong at under 10 grand, unless you’re a traveling weather vane salesman pouring $5 gas into the tank every day. You could drive this car for ten years and sell it for what you paid, maybe more if you’ve fixed up some stuff along the way. Thanks, Scotty!

    Like 10
  5. Jolly Joe

    My grandmother had a ’67 and I would always ask to wash or fill it with gas. So I could be alone with the car. Why? It would smoke the tire, yes the tire, forever and in 1979, none of my folk’s cars would do that.

    Like 6
    • Tony Primo

      Back in 1978 a kid in high school auto tech class brought his old man’s Buick to school, that had a 430 in it. He embarrassed all of the Camaros, Mustangs and Dusters with the way that thing would smoke the tire!

      Like 10
  6. Glenn Hilpert

    In my last year of High School, 1970, one of my friends Brother bought a new 69 Wildcat in the dark Blue with Black vinyl top with the chrome road wheels. A n absolute jewel of a looking car. After about a month, he came over the house with the Buick and added massive T/A radial tires with the Ansen Sprint aluminum wheels. I was blown away on how that tire/wheel set-up brought this car out even more with a more lowered stance without touching the suspension. The look was amazing. And to top it off, he did a burn out that really showed the power of this car. 69 was the Wildcat’s of Wildcat’s and have not seen one for many years until this one offered for sale at a bargain price in today’s wacky world.

    Like 8
  7. Rosko

    Right down the alley of Adam from Real Classic Cars, a very knowledgable automotive industry guy who truly appreciates big American cars like this one.


    Like 3
  8. R J Rains

    Father had a ’69 LeSabre and it was the most comfortable car I remember driving at the time…75 all the way all day…except for gas stops.

    Like 1
  9. S

    This appears to be a really decent car at a good price. I see no reason not to buy this. The last year for the Wildcat name was 1970. I have never been able to figure out why Buick didn’t keep the name – but changed it to Centurion for 1971. Then in 1973, the Century name returned to replace the Skylark name. So in 73 you could get a Century or a Centurion from Buick… odd.

    Like 3
    • Rick

      There was additional confusion in the 1980s when Buick was offering the Skyhawk and the Skylark, plus the FWD LeSabre sedan and coupe, along with the RWD LeSabre wagon. I was a dealership parts counter guy at the time and it could get frustrating.

      Like 3
      • DON

        Olds did it too with the RWD Cutlass Supreme and the FWD Cutlass Calais ; same on the parts counter confusion

        Like 0
  10. JCA Member

    Great looking car at a reasonable price. Sold already

    Like 3
  11. Slomoogee

    This is a great looking Buick. All the “street cred” you ever would need, at a realistic number.

    Like 2
  12. RBC

    My grandparents gave me their ‘63 Wildcat in 1969 as a pre-HS graduation present. I sure wish I still had it!!’

    Like 6
  13. mick

    I bought a 1969 Buick 225 in 1975. The classifieds were filled with big- engine, land yachts like this from people selling them to get rid of their (OMG!) gas guzzlers. I couldn’t resist. It was well kept, idled smoothly, everything worked and it had the 430cid. I bought it and had a blast driving it home. 6mos later I was rear ended by an F250. It pushed the trunk into the (unoccupied) rear seat. That 430 was a monster in the 225, probably a lot faster in the lighter(?) Wildcat and should have found its way into an intermediate instead of the junkyard.

    Like 2
  14. MrMark1957

    Growing up we had neighbors who owned a Texago gas and repair. They were a Buick family all the way through, drove nothing but. I remember once seeing the father with an Electra, the wife, a Le Sabre, oldest son a GS, and the daughter with a Skylark .The cars were always pristine. This went on all through the 70’sand 80’s until the parents passed and the house was sold.

    Like 1
  15. Slant6stan

    Look closely and you will find holes in the roof structure and the top is painted flat black.

    Like 0
  16. Art Burtis

    Early 70’s I purchased a 1966 Buick Wildcat Coupe with 425 ci “nail head” engine [401 ci was also a nail head engine option of that year]. Original green paint and dash shelf, black trimmed dash face, white buckets, black center console with automatic transmission shift stick, center speaker in rear bench seat. Traveled the U.S. in her for a couple years; after building a business in Maine at 18 and 19… then selling it at 20. Made good bucks… for the time!

    1998 wife and I bought a 1967 Wildcat pillar-post sedan; we’re 2nd owners. Arctic White paint, turquois bench seats, AC, pwr windows, tilt wheel. Her engine is the 1st year of domed heads – 430 ci / 360 hp / 475 fpt engine. This engine is notably more powerful than the 1966 425 ci and way more powerful than the available 401 ci nail head design engine in the Wildcat mentioned above. She had 71,321 miles on her when we purchased in 98.

    Since then we drive her on small jaunts about 3K miles a year. Now she has 140K miles. Complete body job in 2018 with single stage original paint professionally applied. New front end at 110K miles. Trans taken down and refreshed at 105K miles. New original fabric and carpet. Super great race car mechanic [80 years old – did race car engines for Sears Point, Infinion Speed Way, Sonoma Race Way] hands-on rebuilt her 430 engine for me at 125K miles. He jacked it- slightly. He says she now hits 400 hp +/- and 500 fpt +/-. Previously she did 0-60 in 7.1 seconds. Now she does 0-60 in 6.5 seconds. Not too bad for a 56 year old, 4,500 lb, Luxury Muscle Car!

    We LOVE Buick Wildcats!!

    Like 5

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