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Ted "Wildcat65" Nagel

Wildcat 4-speeds, 1965

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I finally got smart and asked the Sloan Museum about the production numbers for my precious Wildcat 4-speeds. They are not quite as rare as I had thought or hoped, but 466 total isn't common, either.<P>Here it is:<BR>46237 21 Sport Coupe<BR>46239 3 Hardtop Sedan<BR>46269 3 Sedan<P>46437 107 Deluxe Sport Coupe<BR>46439 6<BR>46467 29 Deluxe Convertible<BR>46469 11<P>46637 194 Custom Sport Coupe<BR>46639 15<BR>46667 77 Custom Convertible<P>If anybody finds one, I would like to hear about it! Thanks,

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Was this information lost, then found?<BR>In 1978, after purchasing my '65 Wildcat 6667 Custom convertible equipped with 4-speed, I wrote a letter to BMD inquiring about the production figures for a 4-speed Wildcat like mine. They sent a letter back to me (I still have the letter) stating that no such records exist. They said that the only figures available were the production figures for each model, regardless of options. <P>AK Buickman, BCA #1955

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Between rust, accidents, wear and tear, and the fact that a typical Buick buyer doesn't want a standard, most of those 4-speeds have probably gone to that big showroom in the sky a long time ago. <P>In other words, if they were not rare before, they sure are now! <P>Also keep in mind that '65 was a record production year for Buick. The number of 4-speeds was very rare compared to the total calendar year or model year production.<P>As a comparison, I saw a '69 Bonneville 4-door hardtop in pretty good condition and with a factory 4-speed go through the Kruse auction in San Antonio last fall. It bid to about $9500 or $9900, and the owner did NOT sell the car. Pretty high bid for an otherwise ordinary car. <P>Joe

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I know of a 1964 4-speed hardtop in NC. Saw it at a show about ten years ago and was stunned, to say the least. Shifter points forward like an AC Cobra.

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I sometimes wonder why Buick, with their 4-spd Wildcat, never marketed a Wildcat Gran Sport in the 1965 model year when they had a Skylark Gran Sport and a Riviera Gran Sport. Buick put out a real neat color sales brochure called "The Sizzlers" in 1965. The photos and information, mostly technical in nature, targeted the "go fast crowd," and described the Skylark Gran Sport, the Riviera Gran Sport, and the Wildcat... (sorry customers, NO Gran Sport Wildcat).<BR> <BR>Another weird thing about a 4-spd '65 Wildcat was that a tachometer was not available if a 4-spd transmission was selected for your car! The 4-spd shifter consolette was very small, and only included the 4-spd shift pattern, an opening for the shift handle, and a Buick Tri-shield emblem. A buyer had to order an AUTOMATIC transmission, bucket seats, and the long, operating console before he could get a tachometer, mounted at the front of the long console. <P>AK Buickman.....................

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I know at least single here in Finland,2dr ht,gold with black top.401+4speed.Very nice car.I don't know which model series,but maybe I can find it in old finnish American car magazine.

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Ted, did they give a breakdown on engine specs, such as if it had a 401, 425, etc., or a just total of 4 speeds in general? I am still looking for total production of 64 Wildcats with a 425, two fours, and 4 speed. It is cool to hear that that 65 Wildcat 4 speed conv. is being restored. Have fun, Matt.

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Hey Matt, I wondered if you would jump in here...I framed my question as "How many 4-speeds", and got the results as posted above, broken down by model #. So it seems they can see how many of an optional item were made and break it down by model. Seeing combinations may be more difficult but I do not know. It was really easy to email the museum and for $35 get the simple question asked. ( I also got documentation on my 70 Stage 1 GS) I need to visit the Museum. I feel it was money well spent if they are willing to scour the archives for this information. <P>Matt- how is your resto coming?<P>Ted Nagel

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Ted - -I plan on asking the same question about 64s to Sloan. The Wildcat is coming along great. I would venture a guess and say that I am about 60 to 65 percent finished. I have come across some incredible NOS on eBay and elsewhere, so all but two pieces of exterior diecast and three of that wide ribbed lower chrome will be NOS. I am getting impatient to light up the rear tires, as can be expected, but it will definately be in Flint next year. Did you ever find a good donor body for the 65 4 speed conv? Will we see it in 2003? Take care, Matt.

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About two years ago there was a '65 Wildcat 2-dr. hardtop for sale near Paris, Texas (in northeastern part of the state) with a 425, two 4-barrels, and factory 4-speed shift for about $5000. I went and looked at it. It had very little chrome, so I presume it was the bottom of the three Wildcat series (I can never keep those straight). It was maroon with a decent black bench seat interior. The engine had recently been rebuilt, but it had a bearing knock in it, some evidence of rust repair in the trunk, and I really like the earlier Buicks, so I passed. I believe the car sold shortly after that, and I'd love to hear where it went. If it's still in this area, it needs to come to our South Central Regional Buick meet! What a rare beast!<P>Pete Phillips, BCA #7338<BR>Ector, Texas

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Its mine, Pete. 65 Wildcat Custom, Burgundy w/black bucket interior. Trunk is rusty, chrome was taken off and the holes filled. It had a 65 Lesabre grill(replaced). The original 4-speed came in the trunk! I have great plans for this car. I have a LX engine to replace the KW in it, i'll rebuild the original transmission and rear end (3.42 posi), redo the body and interior. The thing is it runs and drives pretty well now and I am working on a automatic Wildcat Custom Coupe, Red/black buckets, console with tach, 66 engine with quadrajet and cam.<BR>It will be a while till i'm done with that Texas car, but I enjoy it the way it is now. Havin' Fun!,

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The '65-'66 Buick full-size cars were some of the BEST LOOKING Buicks every designed, as far as I'm concerned.  Everything was "right" and still looks that way.  An "honest" design in some many respects.

 

As everything was about "big engine torque", there was generally plenty of power with the existing automatic transmissions (as automatic transmissions were a definite Buick orientation for decades, at that time).  That makes the 4-speed cars a very small niche which further magnified the torque in a positive manner and probably changed the whole "feel" of the car, too.

 

I do seem to recall some "Gran Sport" full-size Buicks from  the '65 model year.  One of our chapter members had one.  Kind of obscure badging in the grille, but it was there.  Certainly not a high-volume model by any means.  I believe that many other Wildcats had basically the same "guts", just not the specific bits that made the Gran Sport what it was.  Possibly similar with Riviera models, too?

 

Congrats on getting your "special" Buick going!

 

NTX5467

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I think the 65 Wildcat GS would have had the same "Super Wildcat" engine as the Riviera GS.  That would be the LX engine with the dual quad carburetors.  

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The only Wildcat GS was in 1966.  Mine did not have the Super Wildcat engine, though.  Just a 425 with the big chrome air cleaner and the finned aluminum valve covers.  I wish I had that one back.

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5 hours ago, TxBuicks said:

The only Wildcat GS was in 1966.  Mine did not have the Super Wildcat engine, though.  Just a 425 with the big chrome air cleaner and the finned aluminum valve covers.  I wish I had that one back.

When I got married, my then fiance said my '63 Dodge had to go.  No p/s, no p/b, roll up windows, no  a/c  but lots of speed.  I found a '65 Wildcat w/Super Wildcat and a 4-speed but the fiance couldn't hold the clutch in.  Instead we bought a '64 Wildcat 2 dr. buckets, console shifter, and all of the other goodies.  She's gone and now I surely wish that I'd have bought the '65 and kept it instead.

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Yeah, it is a common conversation with me and my Buick buddies, as to which Buick we would like to have back.  I'm sure that idea will make an interesting thread......

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for what it's worth, during the 1965 model year, there were no buick clutch pedals installed at the wilmington delaware plant (code "Y" if i remember correctly).they stopped building them there after somebody wrecked one in 1964 by starting it in gear, and crashing into a wall.

 

Edited by cheezestaak2000 (see edit history)

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