Out Of The Rut! 1964 Buick Wildcat

Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

Scream “Wildcat!” and people picture something untamed, dangerous, and unpredictable, words rarely conjured in response to hearing “Buick,” however Buick intentionally courted the responsible and upwardly mobile driver with a wild side. Still waters run deep. Reader Matt W. spotted this 1964 Buick Wildcat located in Billings, Montana. Offered in amazing condition here on eBay, this attractive sedan has garnered 18 bids without eclipsing $3000.

The seller’s claim of 61,000 seems to ring true. The paint retains a decent shine, and this silver-green hue would work some sophisticated magic on a modern Rolls-Royce or Cadillac. Plenty of chrome and full-width trim suggest you’re moved up-market from Chevrolet. Notice the trunk script calls out “WILDCAT,” not “Buick,” reminding those following you to be cautious; this big cat might go crazy and bite you. While I would never butcher this low-mileage beauty, the tall greenhouse is crying out for a three-inch chop.

What a handsome dashboard! By comparison, my 1966 Dodge Coronet dashboard looked like it controlled a washing machine. Aside from the missing steering wheel emblem there’s little to complain about inside. The driver’s seat (even the section we can’t see here) appears lightly used, or excellently recovered.

Torque (tôrk); “the ability to do work.” Buick chose torque as their metric of choice for decades, and went so far as naming a series of 401 cid “Nailhead” engines by the torque they produced. This one’s 445 lb-ft of torque earned it the name “Wildcat 445.” When Buick introduced this Wildcat model, the sales literature called “Everybody out of the rut… the ’64 Buicks are here!” In my opinion the’63-’64 Wildcats look more modern than the second-generation Wildcat that replaced them. Who wants to buy this elegant sedan and get wild?

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Comments

  1. Joe Cat

    Looks like a solid car, nice color.

    0
  2. Iggy O.

    So happy seeing a Wildcat on here! Absolutely beautiful car! Although mine is a ’65, ’64 is my favorite year.

    10+
  3. GMC Oldsmobile Man

    The reason why they called it a Nail head is because the valves are shaped like nailheads. Always liked the 64 Buicks and Oldsmobiles.

    0
  4. Derek

    “Still waters” don’t run at all.

    1+
    • Snappy

      But sometimes they are running below the surface, out of sight. Which is the point of the expression.

      0
  5. geezerglide85

    I had a friend growing up that told me when he was 16 he would get his father’s ’63 Wildcat that sat in the garage. He told me it had a 3 speed, which I always thought he meant Hydromatic. Wrong 3 on the tree stick. Ordered special by his uncle from a local Buick dealer. WOW what a car, silver grey w/ red interior, 4 door ht., power everything. Go up to 70 in second gear, hit 3rd and take off like a smooth rocket. The only quirk was the long shift lever and the way the dash curves out you had watch you didn’t bang your knuckles on the dash shifting into 2nd. glory days.

    6+
  6. Paul

    This car brings back sweet memories. A friend of mines Dad bought a maroon one, or in that color range, about the same time my sister bought a ’65 Mustang. (It was maroon) Really liking both cars, I had to stick with my Sister and the pony that it would out run the Cat… We never found out for sure….. Thanks for the memories…

    0
    • r spreeman

      Back in 64 when I was a grade schooler my neighbor across the street bought a brand new Wildcat 2 dr hardtop, bucket seats, all the options, gold, very very pretty car. And well taken care of.

      Very much like this one, though I don’t recall it having these wheels.

      0
  7. Alan

    I am based in Beirut LEBANON. I have small collection of vintage American and other cars. As this topic is about a Buick my latest purchase is 1972 Buick Skylark Sport coupe. Emerald green exterior color with black vinyl interior. All original 55K miles garaged car. 350 4B, PS, PB, Factory AC, Factory AM/FM radio, PosiTraction, Rallye wheels
    Its with shipping company in New Jersey being shipped to Beirut soon. here is link my 72 Skylark
    https://www.connorsmotorcar.com/vehicles/445/1972-buick-skylark

    5+
    • Buick Fan

      That’s a beautiful Buick, I’m sure you will love it as I do mine.

      8+
      • Angrymike

        As a 16 year old, I had to move a 70 or 71 GS 455 vert into the bay at the gas station I worked at. I had never driven a 4speed yet and stalled it a couple times getting it into the bay. I’ll never forget the excitement of driving such a car with the nervousness of not wanting to hurt it. It was dark green white top with a black int. Now I wonder how rare that car was !

        0
    • Rick A. Loera

      That is one beautiful car. It’s like stepping back to 1973, or 1974 and going to an OK lot and buying this one to two year old car. Absolutely stunning.

      0
    • CJ

      Nice looking car! Enjoy…..

      0
  8. Richie

    Had a 64 Wildcat 4 dr hardtop 401, 325 Hp 445ft torque. This was the red light king cat. Oh the glory days.

    0
  9. Bob C.

    I think this vintage is the best looking. I always liked the look of Buick dashboards during these years. This should be the first year of the Turbo Hydramatic 400, because 63 was the last year for the Dynaflow.

    0
  10. Beaver

    I just put a bid in on this car we will see if it comes to Utah?

    0
  11. Michael Gregory

    I learned to drive in a black 65 LeSabre, but every early 60’s GM car I craved was always in this color. My uncle had a Olds 98 and my aunt had a DeVille. Great color, great car. Wish I had room for it.

    2+
  12. BOP Guy

    Ahh, Wildcats !! Love ‘em! The 62-64’s are my favorite, although I wouldn’t turn any of them down. Looks great in a four door too. I have a buddy that picked up a 70 coupe with the 455 for $5k. It’s in immaculate original condition, the lucky son of a @&#%¥ !

    3+
  13. Ken

    I thought that the “Nailhead” name came from the small valves used by Buick. Also that the valves were almost vertical in the heads. Please help me out here.

    1+
    • Bob C.

      Hi Ken, you hit it right. The valve heads were also narrower, like a nail, compared to most other engines of this era and displacement.

      0
  14. GMC Oldsmobile Man

    Correctamundo, thank you for putting it in prospective for me. At times I need to be corrected.

    0
  15. Bert Arthur

    Had a ‘64 Coupe. Burgundy with white vinyl top. I loved that great riding car. It was loaded with options including AC. Back in the ‘80’s they were so dispensable and I had to let it go and did not want it to be junked. Give it to a coworker who lived in Hagerstown MD. Ralph did not let me down. He restored it and passed it on to his son.

    5+
  16. GMC Oldsmobile Man

    That’s cool BA. It’s called paying it forward!

    0
  17. DM DeLuka

    Friend’s Dad had a ’64 Wildcat 4dr HT 401 in Maroon/black. We’d pop the wheel covers off and turn the air cleaner top over to rod around with on Sat nite.

    3+
  18. Loco Mikado

    A very nice survivor car. Must resist temptation.

    1+
  19. RicK

    Only see one exhaust, you’d think it’d have duals since its a 401/445. Back in the late 70s I had a ’65 Skylark GS 401/445 w/ 3 spd TH auto, had so much torque the rear wheels spun so easily it was almost like you were always driving on rain-slicked streets. Another tire burner I had, also in the late 70s was a ’66 Chrysler Newport 2 dr 383 3-on-the tree, found it in one of those free Auto Trader type mags for $250, special ordered new by the seller, a wheat farmer in E. Wash, anyhow what a brute, would run up to 90 in 2nd before the valves started floating (think it had a 3.23 in the back) only 3 spd stick 66 Chrysler I ever saw

    3+
    • Rick A. Loera

      I didn’t know you could still get a 66 Chrysler anything with a stick. I’ve seen a 64 Newport with a factory 3 speed on the floor. But there is always something truly unique that pops up every once in while. I saw a 1969 LTD Brougham 2 door hardtop with a column 3 speed, and 351 V-8. It was a no option car. Usually something like that combination would be for the lower line Custom 500, or even a base Galaxie, but an LTD Brougham. Also saw a 67 Galaxie convertible with a 6 cyl, 3 speed column shift car. That was another oddball car.

      0
  20. JYC

    Does anyone knows if the dashboard has anything in common with the Riviera ?

    2+
    • Mark S.

      The 63 full size Buicks all had the same style dashboard. Really sharp looking; like you were in a jet cockpit. I had a 63 Riv.

      0
    • Mark S.

      Yes, 1964 saw changes to the dash. The Wildcat and Riviera would have had common dahboards.

      0
  21. Superdessucke

    I love the 4-door ‘Cats. Most Wildcats were 2-doors. A neighbor back in the day had a ’65 4-door. Red with a white vinyl top. It was very cool looking.

    0
  22. Beatnik Bedouin

    Great cars, but then I have had my ’64 ‘Cat coupe since 1976, so I guess I’m a bit biased. Mine was a one-family owned car (girlfriend’s grandfather bought it off the lot new from Reynolds Buick, then her dad bought it off of the original owner’s estate and I, sadly, did the same when her dad died).

    Interestingly, the bucket seat interior was available on the four-door hardtop. I tried to get a one-owner example around 40 years ago (complete with factory tach!), but the seller wasn’t interested in parting with it. Last I heard – around 1980 – it had been in a minor accident, which resulted in a mangled fender and front bumper, and then junked before my buddy was told what had happened.

    2+
  23. Brian

    I grew up with, and have owned several Buick’s. I currently own four. When I was 16, our two family cars were a ‘64 LeSabre wagon, and a ‘66 Wildcat sedan (which is what my wife and I dated in) my two favorites. Two of my current Buick’s are a ‘64 LeSabre 9 passenger wagon, identical to my dad’s, and a ‘66 Wildcat convertible. The wagon has the 425, Wildcat the 401. Both are in good shape and are drivers. If I ever find the room and money, I would buy a ‘55 Special two door, the first car I ever drove. It was totaled in a car accident, which is when my dad purchased the 66 Wildcat.

    0
  24. Dennis M

    My Dad had a ’64 Wildcat convertible and that was one seriously fast ride. He bought it new and in 1964 I was 19 years old so I gave it some serious workouts.

    0
  25. Gay Car Nut

    I’ve always loved the 1963-64 Buick Wildcat. I’d buy one as it is and keep as much of the car as original as possible. I’d only upgrade that which are safety related. That includes safety belts, disc brakes,

    0
  26. Gay Car Nut

    My grandparents had a 1968 Wildcat when I was an infant. I can’t remember the car itself, but I remember seeing pics of the car in the background.

    0

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