Super-Thrust Power! 1962 Buick Wildcat

Before the muscle-car era led manufacturers to drop big-car engines into mid-sized cars, folks generally expected more performance as they moved up the model lineup. By 1962, Buick, according to their sales literature, “built up quite a reputation for performance.” This 1962 Buick Wildcat in Lakeville, Minnesota marks the first year of the Wildcat, packaged as a sporty variation of the Invicta. Offered in “ran when parked” condition, it appears here on craigslist.org where the seller asks a reasonable-sounding $4500.

Despite the blue tint in this picture, this Buick wears black paint and left the factory with a handsome white vinyl top, now removed. All the glass (apparently the $45 tinted upgrade) and trim is said to be in good shape. The engine turns, but this cat hasn’t purred in 25 years.

All Wildcats boasted special equipment including bucket seats, a tachometer, this attractive console, Electra-style tail lights, more. The parchment interior makes an especially sharp combination with the black carpeting and exterior.

All Wildcats got the “Wildcat 445,” the top of the line four-barrel version of the 401 cid (6.6L) V8, making 325 HP and deriving its name from its impressive 445 lb-ft of torque. Buick knew all about drag-racing by 1962, and the optional 4.45:1 rear end would certainly let this big cat roar down the 1320. The sale includes boxes of parts replete with the original Wildcat-specific hub caps, though these later Buick wheels look sharp too. Will you give $4500 to end this Buick’s lengthy cat-nap?

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Comments

  1. angryjonny

    At first glace of the top picture, my initial thought was, “How the HELL did they park that in there sideways?!”

    Like 5
    • TCOPPS TCOPPS Member

      That’s why it has been stuck in the barn all these years.

      Like 6
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Nice looking car with a sporty interior in overall decent shape. Assuming the rust is as stated by the seller, this seems like a pretty good deal.

    Like 7
    • LARRY

      They built the barn around it..I’d love to get her running and raw dog the shizznit out of it..my dad had one same engine and it would surprise the so called hot rods around our area

      Like 3
  3. Miguel

    The interior shot reminds me of a 1963 Grand Prix a buddy had.

  4. Gaspumpchas

    had an elderly lady that owned one exactly like this with a red gut. Used to service it for her and perform some in car carbon removal. I never really pushed it but this cat had some serious cajones. This one would be a good deal for 4500 unless its a rust bucket. Looker over good. very unappreciated muscle car! Good luck to the new owner. Fix er up and drive; Like larry says.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 14
  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    I wonder if the transmission is a Dynaflow, which I don’t think was a tire-melter; more of a cruiser.

    Like 2
  6. Bob S

    This is one of my favourite cars for styling. I still suffer from PTSD because of the Dynaslow I had in one of my cars. They are definitely not a performance transmission.
    In spite of that, I would still love to have this car.
    Bob

    Like 3
    • Glenn E Kresge

      Buick dynaflow transmission would run but you had to manually use low gear. In drive, it started in a high. But in low gear, it would increase the power to the rear wheels by 43 percent. Then shift you had to manually shift into drive around 60 to 70 depending on the rear-gear ratio. They stop using dynaflow in 1964, for the Super Turbine 400.

  7. TimM

    The late 50’s to early 60’s were some of the best designs for American car companies!! This great big car could go to the drag strip on Saturday night and smoke the tires off the rims then take grandma and the kids to church on Sunday!!! Look good doing it too!!!!

    Like 4
  8. LARRY

    I agree..back then you could look at a car from 100yds and now what it was..now to me they all look alike

    Like 15
  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    nice…..like…..

    Like 1
  10. art

    Look at the battery tray…amazing.

  11. JBP

    nice Project for a decent Price. being a MN. car isnt Maybe the best, but if seller is honest About rust, and engine, that is a very good startpoint. wish i could snapp it, but i have enough pt. with my Invicta 62″
    somebody from BF Members snapp it up, and lets us see it drive..
    4500$ they can only go one way with These Prices. and thats up. in 10 years ist Minimum dobb. Price, for a ride, in this class.. u want a bet?? that temp. gauge, and Floor mountet shift… beautyfull. i like my red seats better, but this is in better shape.. 4500…..WOWW

    Like 4
  12. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks good to me.

    Like 1
  13. local_sheriff

    This is excactly the kind of listings I love to see at BF! Such a cool fullsize early muscle car/cruiser that will need some work, still not an overpriced mess.
    It offers way more uniqueness and value for $ than a similar ‘pala. I only hope it’s snatched by a fellow barn finder and returned to the streets with rumbling exhausts

    Like 3
  14. Ken Carney

    Had the ragtop version of this car in ’73
    or ’74. My older sister would drive me
    to Champaign Illl. from Bloomington
    every week to play guitar on The Marvin
    Lee Show, a local country country music
    show that aired on Channel 3 Saturday
    afternoons. Mine was dark red with a
    white(?) top and interior. On nice days,
    we’d drop the top and cruise down I-74
    with the radio cranked and smiles on
    our faces. Was the car thirsty? Yes,
    Did I have a damned good time with it?
    You betcha! Why did I trade it? Who the
    hell knows! Been trying to figure that one
    out nearly 50 years now. Man, do I want
    this car!

    Like 5
  15. Pete Phillips

    Better check the condition of the headliner. These had a strange spray-on type of felt headliner that is absolutely impossible to restore or replace properly. In my climate in the southwest, they just disintegrate into powder. Wonderful cars, otherwise.

  16. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Being a pre 70’s Buick fan, I find this car quite charming. It calls out to me push the bin button, we’re akin in this world of man and machine, of a time when cars were made of real steel, and men loved the styling and exhilaration of V8 thunder in their control. When women were attracted to the power of man with a beautiful new car, when other women would be jealous of the woman who belonged to such a man. A time in my youth when I could only dream of owning such a machine. Now all these years later we’ve both survived and we need each other to continue on. BIN button, bin button I hear you calling but I must pass on to the true owner of this car a dream I cannot fulfil.
    God bless America

    Like 2
    • Gaspumpchas

      JOHNMLOGHRY, push the button. Nobodys getting any younger here. This aint no dress rehearsal. I have been using this logic as I lose friends around me. You never know what tomorrow brings. I enjoy your commentary, my friend.
      Cheers
      GPC

      Like 7
  17. Tort Member

    Always liked the design and seems like a very fair price. I can just imagine an older couple going into a dealership looking for a nice Buick and buying one with a 4:55 rear end! Think they be back complaining about the gas mileage.

    Like 1
  18. d1jab01

    One small correction….Buick never put a 4:45 rear end in any car, not even the Gran Sport.

  19. Steve Phillips

    Notice the auto transmission had the reverse at the end of the selector, bad idea that I don’t think lasted too long. Easy to drop into reverse while moving which may not end well for the tranny depending on speed.

    Like 1
    • Some1

      It was done for a reason though it’s desbanded by now – when you have L and R next to each other it’ll be easier to rock the car if it gets stuck in snow

      • Steve P

        Yep, guess the snow and mud did not out weigh the potential outcome of dumping into reverse accidentally

    • local_sheriff

      I agree with that potential pit fall, however there is indeed a reason for such a configuration – it’ll offer quicker shifts between L and R so to assist the driver to rock the vehicle when stuck in snow.

      The 4spd Hydramatic was configured identically – as the Roto Hydramatic and probably several other autos prior to putting P at top became the norm

      • Steve P

        You make a very good point. I guess the engineers decided that for safety the r should be after park. In 1966 my first car was a 1959 impala 2 door automatic. Instead of having L (low) it had GR, which I think stood for Grade

        Like 1
      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

        Good point Local Sheriff. Never thought about that before. One commenter mentioned destroying the trans by hitting reverse at the wrong time. Reminds me of the time I had a 64 Ford Galaxie 500 XL with automatic shifter on console between bucket seats, I was married to my first wife. We were cruising along on a country highway with our three little daughters in the back seat when one of them decided to reach up and move the shifter forward into reverse. Suddenly there was a loud bang noise from under the car as the engine revved and the car began to slow. Trans was shot. I bought a complete 4 speed with clutch, bell housing and pedal from a wrecking yard and changed the car to a manual.
        God bless America

        Like 2
      • local_sheriff

        Steve P ; Gr in your shift quadrant means the transmission in your 59 Impala was the short-lived Turboglide. Gr stood for grade retarder to assist when climbing, your ‘pala would otherwise have a Powerglide with P-R-N-D-L configuration. Chevy’s Powerglide was also one of the autos having L next to R until shift pattern changed for ’58

        Like 1
      • Steve P

        Thx sheriff, I never knew what GR stood for, so I always called it “Granny Gear”😂

  20. Wayne

    I fell in love with 62 Buicks 48 years ago when I bought a 62 Invicta Estate wagon with bucket seats as my first car. I drove it to high school where it was not the coolest car but..I had a car! I parked it in back of my dads business in 72 when I opted for a 66 Cadillac convertible. It remained there till 2011 when I decided to resurrect it for my 40th class reunion and yes, I still have it and am planning on driving it to my 50th reunion!

    Like 5
  21. Steve P

    Great story Wayne

  22. Greg

    I had a 66 Electra with a 445 under the hood, and it would smoke the tires. Would like to own one again.

  23. JBP

    somebody take it!!!!, before i doo. Beautyfull Projekt, i want it…….

    Like 2
  24. ACZ

    What a sweetheart!

  25. Del

    Need a fork lift to get it out

    • JBP

      there is a port, in front of car..

      Like 1

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