Peter Gariepy

1964 Wildcat... your feedback please

Recommended Posts

1964 Buick Wildcat

GOOD:

  • Runs well
  • Shifts well
  • rust free
  • awesome rat rod vibe :)

NOT SO GOOD:

  • Been sitting
  • Brakes junk
  • Unknown front seats? (Corvette)
  • headliner missing
  • surround for one headlight missing
  • piece between windshield and hood missing
  • some windshield surround stainless missing
  • Needs a windshield

Can someone identify the engine?

So what am I getting into with this project?

YOUR FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED!

Peter

BCA Webmaster

post-31494-143142989453_thumb.jpg

post-31494-143142989438_thumb.jpg

post-31494-143142989441_thumb.jpg

post-31494-143142989443_thumb.jpg

post-31494-143142989446_thumb.jpg

post-31494-143142989449_thumb.jpg

post-31494-143142989451_thumb.jpg

Edited by Peter Gariepy (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter,

Engine is obviously a "nailhead".

Air cleaner will definitely keep the mice out, but not much else.

Restoration = not the best year to choose.

Hot Rod = chop the top and "bag it".

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like a candidate for being back on the road. I suspect most missing items can be found.

Brakes? either rebuild what's there or one of the Wilwood disc conversion kits.

Front seats? I suspect '64 Impala buckets are the same basic seat used in the Buick, so that should be available, too. Unsure of what you might put between them, though. Perhaps a "center cushion/console/armrest" from a later Lucerne?

Possibilities are there . . .

NTX5467

Even it it's not "the right year", can be a great car with some great lines. No "rat rod", please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a solid looking car. The A/C is still hooked up , a big +. It's most likely the 401 motor but could be a 425 cu in. Have to get to the codes on the engine to determine. The 64 is the first year for the Switch Pitch St400 trans, another solid + if that is still in there.

Headlight surround may not be cheap but should be findable. Windshield should be available too and just as well to be replaced to ensure a new seal and reduce any leaks. Dash pad may be more difficult and may require being remolded, as I don't think you will find many useable used ones out there.

If it were me I'd be looking to fix the drum brakes without worry about performance. The Buick drum brakes are excellent, even without power assist which this car has. I'd also be looking for a set of period correct bucket seats. Suitable upholstery may be available from Clarks Corvair. The headliner will require some sourcing but is probably close enough to that of a 64 Chevy, which is available.

Since the car appears straight, and it looks like you have all the chrome ( in fairly good condition) I'd also consider repainting it, in any color you choose, but a triple black 64 wildcat with the road wheels is a dream cruiser.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen far worse brought back. We're talking a car on the same level as an Olds Starfire, Pontiac GP, and Mercury Marauder. 1960s personal luxury in other words, and it don't get much better than that.

Seats are a minor issue as pointed out. All 61-64 and possibly 65-66 GM full-size car buckets will fit, just put on the correct Buick trim pattern. Likewise all the glass and weatherstripping is easily sourced as it is same for almost all GM B-body.

Road wheels? +++

Worst thing you'll get into is all that Wildcat-specific diecast trim, which like the Starfire, can be tough to find. Pontiac was on to something with their minimalist approach to brightwork on GP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- Driver's side valve cover suggests it had the CA smog system.

- Edelbrock carb probably not connected to ST400's electronic kickdown. Correct carb is unique to a '64 because of the kickdown linkage; but I've seen them on eBay for not much money.

Seat are a no brainer.

Brakes are a no brainer

Shares lots of parts with the LeSabre,

Roll and pleated package tray +++

Buckets and console +++

NO vinyl top +++

One year only rally wheels +++

All depends on what you can get it for and what you can do yourself as opposed to farming out.

PS - still wish I had the one I had in '68

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those wheels appear to be from a later year, too. In 1964 the center of the wheels were painted gray and the center cap was smaller, with a Wildcat emblem. Those look like late 1960's or early 1970's Buick wheels.

I had a Black on Black 1964 Wildcat a few years ago and sold it to an enthusiastic young man who said he was going to restore it. He hasn't done anything to it yet. It had the black bucket seats, too. It is a really fun car to drive and you don't see many like it. Start by cleaning it up and taking inventory on what needs to be done.

Here are pictures of the one I had, to encourage you.

post-31046-143142989624_thumb.jpg

post-31046-143142989629_thumb.jpg

post-31046-143142989634_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Those wheels appear to be from a later year, too. In 1964 the center of the wheels were painted gray and the center cap was smaller, with a Wildcat emblem. Those look like late 1960's or early 1970's Buick wheels.

Correct. The wheels are the style that came out in '71 the first year of the boat tail. Caps are from the same era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest my3buicks

They are great driving and looking cars, that said, with all that it needs you could buy a far nicer example for less than what it would cost to get this one even to a decent driver stage. You're not new to the rodeo so you probably knew all that.

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree its a 401 or 425. If plan is to restore it to original, Probably not a good candidate unless money is no object and you have an excess of spare time. If plan is to customize it inside out you'd have a clean slate with the rust free body. Either option will require an investment of about 2-3 times market value and that's if you do a fair amount of work yourself. Buying a rusty but complete and straight parts car would almost be a necessity and save a money and frustration looking for parts. What would the car be worth if say a strong #2 condition? $8-10k maybe. Not really sure but finding out is usually a good starting point in these decisions.

Even if you got the car for free, you'll quickly be upside down. I usually get chastised for stating the money side of the hobby. Everyone weighs in differently on the subject so take it for what its worth to you. If I was going to knowingly be upside down on a project, starting with a rust free car (including floors) would be imperative and will greatly reduce the, time, liability and frustration factor during the process.

Having said all that......An exception would be Rat Rod runn'r-as-she-is project with no concern of originality. I think it would be a decent and maybe the best use for that car. Most mechanical, engine,drivetrain parts are available. With this route you may not have much concern over long distance road trip reliability which would allow scaling back $$$ in many areas.

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the back story.

I think I can get it cheap (under $1000)

I'm just a bleeding heart when it comes to cool cars that need a new home. Thank god its not a straggly old dog or my wife would have dragged it home already. :)

Im waiting for the owner to get a copy of the title in hand before I jump.

At a minimum it would be a fun driver. I think i can have a decent car for less than $3k. 1k purchase price, $500 windshield, $500 headliner/interior, $400 in missing trim pieces, $500 in brakes/tuneup/oil change, $600 tires. So total investment would be less than $3200.

I'll keep you all posted.

peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just a bleeding heart when it comes to cool cars that need a new home.

So am I. I could never say no when a cool car was winkin' at me, especially if it was cheap!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow a rust free, running, driving, 60s sweet car like that for a grand.. i gotta get the heck out of wisconsin!!!

and i can attest to the drum brakes being sufficent if they are the same big alum finned drum brakes like my 65... as i was driving along a county road last summer going about 65 when of all things a wild turkey flew out in front of me...

i stood on the brakes- 100% stock single reservoir (sp?) master cylinder, and all four wheels locked up and we quicklly came to a halt and missed the turkey...the car stopped straight as an arrow... i was impressed with those drum brakes.

turkey flew away unscathed, so did car.

Edited by 65wildcatconvt (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Fun with cars!" Isn't that what we're supposed to be doing? Sometimes, it makes good financial sense, too. What might be lost on the "investment" is supposed to be made up for in the enjoyment of the hobby, as long as things don't get too out of hand.

Kind of like leasing a new Audi6 for $400.00/month + $3000.00+ "at signing" rather than a fwd Asian car for $159.00/month + $1500.00 "at signing". Or a new VW sedan for $259.00/month "Sign and Drive" with $0 "at signing". Asian would be an "appliance car", VW might be the best blend of financial and enjoyment, whereas the Audi might be more totally rewarding in many areas. Or, for a little more, a Jag XF sedan. Just depends upon where your priorities might be.

Sounds like a good plan, Peter! Even foregoing the "rat rod" for "cleaned-up patina" can be more cost effective, too. Seeing a "well-worn" factory finish survivor (revived) is always neat to see at a weekend cruise event. Probably more than a freshly-done "over-renewed" vehicle. One gets "Ooh and ahhs" as the other one gets "respect" (the survivor), especially something as now-unique as a '64 Buick Wildcat!

Enjoy!

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
now double that

I second this motion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buy it, fix it, enjoy it. Put all the receipts in a shoe box (or folder on your computer :)) and NEVER ADD THEM UP. Only if you later sell and the IRS wants tax money, you will have a basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest my3buicks

Peter, is the car originally black or is that a black primer on it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$500 for an interior? How long has it been since you've priced one? ;) If you can find a local guy one-man shop and all you need to do is recover the seats, then $600 might be your lowest bid. Then there is the possibility of needing to do the padding, etc. What about carpet? That alone is over $200. Door panels...headliner. UGH interiors are so expensive. I have $2k in my interior, not including headliner or door panels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Buy it, fix it, enjoy it. Put all the receipts in a shoe box (or folder on your computer :)) and NEVER ADD THEM UP. Only if you later sell and the IRS wants tax money, you will have a basis.

I agree, on all accounts !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks like a nice deal as after you do the brakes/tires you'll be able to do the rest over time while you can still drive it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now