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THE 1953 BUICK WILDCAT MOTORAMA SHOW CAR & IT'S INFLUNENCE ON 1954 & 1955 BUICKS

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Posted (edited)

After posting this on another thread today 11-8-12; I thought this subject should have it's own thread.

I recently came across a photo of a hardtop version of the Buick Wildcat Show Car.

I'm certain most of us are aware of the convertible version of the Wildcat. I was not aware of the hardtop.

In my view the hardtop version influenced the 1955 Buick lineup.

The convertible influenced the 1954 Roadmaster.

Listed below are some of the differences.

1. The sweep spear.

2. The open rear wheel well.

3. The lack of vents on the rear quarter panel.

4. No fender skirts.

5. Different hubcaps. ( May have influenced The 1954 hubcaps)

6. The rear bumper appears to be different.

If we all look a bit closer I'm certain there are other differences, but the ones I listed appeared to be the obvious ones.

I've posted both Wildcat versions for comparison.<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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This is getting scary Dave, you and I are thinking too much alike lately. I have been intending on posting just this thread, to bring this car up for discussion. It is in my bucket list to see this car displayed someday along with the 1954 Buick Landau. In fact I just this morning emailed a couple of people to see if I could initiate that happening. We will see.

As many probably already know, the car is owned by probably the biggest collector of concept cars there is, Joe Bortz. He restored the Wildcat I several years back and was featured in a magazine I thought I had but could not find. This may be it on line. HowStuffWorks "1953 Buick Wildcat"

The front very much resembles another of my favorite Buick Concepts, the 1951 XP 300 shown here with none other than the '54 Landau lurking in the background. post-31987-143139251036_thumb.jpg

Here are a few of my favorite shots from my Buick Concepts/1953 file

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Yes this car had many many styling cues of the next years 54's.

Here is one and then I am off to bed, as is it late and the sandman has arrived.

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Well, maybe one more shot that will surely excite ALL the Wildcat owners on here. The first Wildcat hood ornament

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Posted (edited)

Lamar great photos. Awesome photos.

My bucket list would add the 1951 Buick XP-300 to yours. (The XP-300 is the name I use for my forum posts)

I have always had a hard time deciding which of the two show cars I liked best. The 1951 Buick XP-300 or the 1953 Buick Wildcat.

The XP-300 was of course Charles Chayne's, (head of GM Engineering) personal car after its use in the Motorama. His initials are shown on the bright work in photo number 10 (Top left to right)

In my view the grill work of the 1951 XP-300 is a styling cue still being used on Buick today.

Here are some photos of that Motorma Show Car.

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Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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Check out the reflection in the side panel of the XP 300

162510d1352497936-1953-buick-wildcat-motorama-show-car-51-buick-xp-300.jpg

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Posted (edited)

None other, but the 1954 Buick Landau.

Shown with the Skylark wheels, before the the original (stolen) hubcaps were replicated to replace them.

Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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I agree, it would be very difficult to choose between the Wildcat I and the XP-300 but if this version of the Willdcat was thrown in the choices it wouldn't take a second thought. I can not find where this car survived after it's initial showing. In fact I can't find where it was ever shown ???

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Lamar;

I agree. If the hardtop version is thrown into the mix my choice would be the hardtop.

The hardtop version was new to me till I came across the photo. I was unaware of it and have as yet been unable to find any info on it.

Maybe others can share their thoughts or knowledge on the subject.

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Just count the styling cues on this hard top version of the Wildcat. '49 style tailights, the 54 full cut out rear wheels, the 54 full sweep spear, the 54 Skylark trunk lid styling, the 55/56 Roadmaster lift handle on the trunk, the wheel covers even resemble the 54's. What else? I wonder if the interior and engine is the same as the full size Wildcat?

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Notice just a hint of similiarity in the rear bumpers.

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Posted (edited)

Notice just a hint of similarity in the rear bumpers.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]162519[/ATTACH]

Another Girl on Buick.

Lamar:

There is no question that Buick had considerable talent in its styling department.

Their show cars were a trip in a time machine to the future.

In my view no other GM auto maker came close. Buicks had "Style and Class".

Buick was not number one in the GM scheme of things, (Cadillac saw to that after they complained to GM about the 1941 Buick Brunn Bodied Limited).

But, Buick was a very close second to Cadillac, because of the talent of their styling and engineering departments. No other GM auto came close to Caddy as Buick did.

IMO

Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Check out the reflection in the side panel of the XP 300

162510d1352497936-1953-buick-wildcat-motorama-show-car-51-buick-xp-300.jpg

This photo was taken in 2005 at Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance. I believe that was before Bob Coker took ownership of The Landau, and was in the collection of John O'Quinn.

Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

One of the most unique features of the 1953 Wildcat were the front hubcaps which incorporated a new technology called 'roto-static brake cooling discs'. This technology used a cooling duct on the wheel that remained stationary to provide a fresh flow of air to the front brakes.

The hubcap never spun with the wheel. They remained stationary while the wheels revolved around them.

I tell you, Buick had a vast array of technology and new ideas.

When the current owner, Joe Bortz restored the car. One of the grills within the hubcap that covers the cooling duct was beyond repair as well as several hubcaps. He had to have them fabricated at a considerable amount of money.

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Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Curious - what or who is/was C O C ? (or is that c a c ?)

Hi Rob:

It is C. A. C.

It's the initials of Charles A. Chayne, head of GM Engineering in 1951.

The XP-300 was his personal car after its use in the Motorama.

I like the way he incorporated his initials into a Buick shield.

Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Here is a photo of Chief Engineer for the XP300, Charlas A. Chayne. He is at the wheel and GM General Manager Ivan Wiles is standing.

The second photo is the XP-300 rear end treatment. Awesome in my view.

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Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Wow, the thrill of getting a company car has come way down since Charles' time. I love that detailed view of the XP-300 "discharge"!

My favourite Buick show car is the 1956 Centurion. Not only did it lead directly into the styling of the senior series Buicks for '57, they appear to have recycled it as inspiration for the '71 Riviera.

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Edited by Rob McDonald
wandering off-topic, as usual (see edit history)

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Wow, the thrill of getting a company car has come way down since Charles' time. I love that detailed view of the XP-300 "discharge"!

My favourite Buick show car is the 1956 Centurion. Not only did it lead directly into the styling of the senior series Buicks for '57, they appear to have recycled it as inspiration for the '71 Riviera.

Rob:

Your right about company cars. Mine is now a Toyota Corolla; and I hate the thing.

Your also correct IMO on the styling cue of Centurion influencing the 1971 Riv. I had not noticed it till now.

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another factory photo of the 53 Wildcat I

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The more I view this car, the more I want to clone one of my 4 door Roadmasters into a Wildcat I

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MR Earl:The more I view this car, the more I want to clone one of my 4 door Roadmasters into a Wildcat I

Lamar:

It can be done. If it were me however,I would clone a Landau.

Below are pictures of what the 1953 Wildcat looked like before its restoration.

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There was an automatic convertible top rain sensor switch in the console of the XP-300. GM Engineer Nelson Kunz told me he sneezed on the sensor once and the top started to go up. Nelson had fuel delivery at the time and Charlie drove the heck out of that car and would always be asking Nelson to make sure it was running right or give him some assignment to try out. Nelson showed the 'sneeze issue' to the interior engineer who had the switch. The interior guy proudly nodded how well the sentsitivity of the switch worked. Nelson told him, if that top starts to go up at 80 MPH, he'd be looking for a new job. The guy had never thought of that. He re-wired the sensor such that the top could not be operated in gear.

I can still remember pointing to the row of cars in what would have been the early '80s and asking 'you drove all of these?' And Nelson replied, 'everyone of them, flat out, as hard as we could. You didn't want the boss finding something you had missed, and may the Good Lord help you if they brought it in on the hook and it was your part that broke.'

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Posted (edited)

Brian_Heil;]There was an automatic convertible top rain sensor switch in the console of the XP-300.

The 1951 LeSabre had the rain sensor also.

Edited by xp-300 (see edit history)

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People just flocked around The Wildcat at the show circuit.

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You know I thought it was strange that the stylists put the vent ports on top of the hood for the new 2013 Enclave...forgot about that treatment on the Wildcat.

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