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I am a new member of BCA. My car is a 1963 Buick Wildcat convertible that I purchased in January of 2018. My grandfather had a 63 Wildcat a brand new 2 dr hardtop in Granada red/blk and even then at 9 years old I knew it was a special car. Grandpa Bill was a Buick man all the way. In my life, he owned a 56 Century, a 61 LeSabre, the Wildcat and his last car a 1965 Buick Electra. He was the superintendent of the two mills owned by Arcata Redwood Co. of California. He lived in the executive home owned by the company and it was clear by what he drove he was doing well enough for a man who came from nothing and had no formal education. I know there are Buick enthusiasts out there who don't think much of the Dynaflow transmission but that is one of the features that I loved most about his Wildcat and now mine. His wife "Babe" had an all-out driving style. She was on the gas all the time. I'd sit with my chin on the back of her seat and wait to get thrown back when she accelerated. I didn't really understand the mechanism at that age but I knew that the Wildcat was the smoothest car I had ever ridden in. When the big logging trucks would see the Wildcat coming up from behind on the 2 lane highways they would pull over as far as they could and let the bosses wife go by. And what a sound! I smile every time I drive mine. Can't wait for spring! Still getting used to this site. I hope I posted this correctly.

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Welcome to the Forums!

You did just fine and look forward to more pictures and stories.

Your car looks like a beaut! 

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The 63 Wildcat grill is badass.

 

IMHO, the Wildcat is the most distinctive of the 63s.  Are those the wire wheel hubcaps with the red, white, and blue tri-shields?

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Thanks for the welcome comments. And yes KongaMan mine has the wire wheel caps with the red, white and blue tri-shields. Hard to see in the photo.

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@JoeT That's a GREAT looking Buick!  Tell us more about the car!  What color interior?  What options? etc!

 

BTW, The Dynaflow is a excellent trans and very enjoyable! 

 

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Hey John...  thank you I think it looks great too! The interior is also black. It does not have AC. It has power windows and a 4-way power seat and a wonder bar radio which at the moment does not do much more than buzz! But the clock works after cleaning and oiling. Overall the car is in very good condition but certainly not perfect. The convertible works really well. The car is not entirely original, the engine and transmission were rebuilt about 12k ago and I don't know the particulars regarding that. It runs great and does not burn oil and I just had the original Rochester 4bbl rebuilt and though I haven't driven it since I put it back together it started after sitting for weeks after three pumps of the accelerator and the slight miss that I could not tune out of it before the rebuild is now gone. So I am expecting it to run well this season. Since I got it I have mostly been chasing down minor electrical issues and cleaning up the engine and the compartment the best that I can with the engine in the car And I had to put on new, dual exhaust. 

I'm in a learning process and trying not to screw up more than I fix. The engine paint came out OK but would have been much better if I had pulled the engine but at this moment that isn't in the budget and beyond my level of courage! But who knew that spending stupid amounts of money on nostalgia could be so much fun! Judging from your collection of beautiful cars you understand!

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@JoeT Thanks for the kind words on my cars.  I know none of them are near done but I also am not in a position to rebuild any.  Therefore I support your engine clean up and painting just the top.  Not many are going to lay under the car to check the bottom.   And if it makes you feel better just tell folks you did not paint the bottom "yet".  I've been telling em that since 1975 when I got my 56.  I'll get to it someday, after it cannot be driven anymore. 

 

I was also glad to see you kept the satin finish on the fender wells etc.  Glossy finishes make them pop.  Factory finishes make them look like they were intended to.  Besides, no one will even see them when your driving down the road.  

 

The dash on the 63-64 is right up there with the best ever made!  You picked a great car to start throwing money at.  Let me know if you want to get that radio worked on.   A fellow in my local BCA Chapter does them, and he can add a line in for anything that has a headphone jack.  Even did it to my 56 Radio.  It's not stereo, but I only have one speaker anyhow.  Low tech, but it works!

 

Did you see the  2019-2019 mile challenge   in the Buick General section?  It's completely voluntary but you may find it fun.  Also, are you a BCA member?  There will be several shows in the New England area that feature a strong emphasis on the Buicks.  You may find them interesting too. 

 

Good luck!  Hope to meet you and the 63 on the road sometime. 

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23 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

I was also glad to see you kept the satin finish on the fender wells etc.  Glossy finishes make them pop.  Factory finishes make them look like they were intended to.

 

No kiddin'.  Glossy black paint on frames, suspension, engine compartments, etc. is one of my pet peeves.  Satin is where it's at.

 

 

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18 hours ago, JoeT said:

 And yes KongaMan mine has the wire wheel caps with the red, white and blue tri-shields. 

 

I don't think those are original to the car, though.  But so what?  I've got the same hubcaps on my 63, and they weren't original to it, either. ;) 

 

FYI, research indicates those hubcaps (wire wheel with red, white, and blue tri-shields) weren't offered until 64.

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 KongaMan: I agree I don't think the hub caps are original.  In any case, they were on the car when I got it and I like them. I'm glad you like the satin fender wells. I debated whether to go satin or high gloss even though my preference was satin. I was happy to learn satin would have been period correct. What 63 Wildcat version do you have?

 

JohnD. I may take you up on getting the name of your guy for the radio. For now, I have spent enough on the car and as my sailing season closes in it's time to spend money on my 71-year-old wooden schooner and get ready for the summer and visitors and make some money...so I have some to spend on the Wildcat. It's a vicious circle! As I mentioned in my first post my grandfather had a 56 Century 4 door hardtop wht/blk . I love to have one but it's doubtful that I ever will. I am  BCA member and I will look into some of the New England shows and maybe we will meet sometime on the road!

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Joe.

 

You can color me green with envy.  Had a '64 Wildcat coupe years ago. Don't know why any 22 year old kid would think he should trade a Buick Wildcat for a '68 Dodge Charger but he did.

 

Speaking of green.  I've got a dealer service bulletin that states that the engine in the '63 Wildcat (4600) was painted silver, like the Riviera.  But I've never seen one.  I was wondering if there was any remnants of silver paint on your engine.  

 

 

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RivNut...great page name BTW  No need to hold your head in shame over buying a 68 Charger. A badass car as I recall.  My 401 to the best of knowledge was always green and I just freshened it up.  But I have seen silver nailheads and always thought that was a Riviera feature or a feature of the 425 which I believe became available in 64. But know I have to know... so I'll be looking that up!

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Posted (edited)

Here's the low down on engine colores

  • All 63 Rivieras came with a Silver painted engine. The 63 was introduced with a 401 but in late December the 425 was offered as an option. 
  • ALL 1964's came with a 425  which were painted green. 
  • In '65 the 401 was once again the standard engine and the 425 was an option, both were green. 
  • The Super Wildcat - dual four barrel engine - was an option in both 64 and 65, both were green.
  • The only Riviera engines which were not painted green were the '63 (silver) and the 66 (red). 
  • Other models, Electra, LeSabre, and Wildcat all had green engines 63 - 66. 
  • The service bulletin states that Wildcats with the 401 had green engines and 425 had silver engines.  

 

Chances are that your 401 is original in green.  If it were a 425, it would probably be silver.😊

 

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Mystery solved! Thanks...Wish I had the 425 but the 401 does quite nicely. And at the age of 56 years old, (the car) I'm not going to race it. I live in a somewhat rural area of the Maine Coast and can't fully utilize the horsepower I have.

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Maybe a can of worms you don't want to open but you can easily teill if the engine is original to the chassis.  "numbers matching"

 

There is a stamped Engine Serial Number on the surface of the block where the valley cover sits.  That Engine Serial Number will match your VIN if the engine is original.  If you fear it might not be and you're happy with what you have, then don't look.  If you're curious, here's where you find the numbers.  

 

1560868897_Nailheadproductioncodestamping.jpg.c4f505be734e69bd301084d38f827b62.jpg

 

 

This example is of a '66 engine.  The serial numbers staring in '65 are much longer and more complicated than the 63 numbers.

 

The production code numbers for 1963 are JT for a 401 and JW for a 425.  J will also be in the VIN for 1963.

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Mine is numbers matching and is a legit 63, however, it was built by GM Canada and some of the codings are different. I did not know that when I bought it but when it's going down the road...how do it know? Hard to get the Canadian information on the car. There are some small discrepancies that I have discovered. (1.) The valve cover on the driver side has a rubber plug that a 63 Wildcat enthusiast I know claims is not original to a 63. (2.) The air cleaner decal which I replaced with the identical aluminum replacement is not apparently from a 63, but all I could find when looking to update and replace mine that was specific to a 63 was a silver style decal that looked cheap. Aluminum was not available...at least I couldn't find one. If I was attempting to achieve Concourse condition doing a full frame off restoration these items along with a few other would bug me and would be corrected. But I'm shooting for an Excellent driver that I can enjoy and that is pretty much what I've got.

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CARS has the screen printed aluminum disk for the 401 and the 425

 Here's the link to the Riviera Wildcat 445.  

http://www.oldbuickparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=6497

 

No clue on the valve cover.  My '64 Riviera has that plug in the driver's side valve cover but I can't look at my '63 right now. ?????

Someone will know.

 

 

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CARS does not have a screen printed aluminum disk for the 63, 401 Wildcat, they offer a vinyl stick on. They do offer one for the Riviera.  So I purchased a screen printed aluminum 64 version which is pictured on the engine now. If I ever run across an aluminum 63 Wildcat version I'll get it. I'm not too concerned about the rubber plug on the valve cover. Someone at some point may have had to change one out. But the numbers indicate the engine is a 63...

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Posted (edited)

Duh! My bad. I'm so used to dealing in Riviera minutiae that I sometimes forget there are other models out there.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Hi Joe ! Real fine looking Wildcat ! And I got a kick out of Granny "Babe"s  driving style. My mom liked to step on the go pedal too. Could  you please tell us a little about your antique schooner and what you do with her ? Any more pictures you could post ? About the time your  boat was built, we sailed "Truant" out of Chicago Yacht Club. She was a heavy 50' yawl originally built for H.P. Morton of Morton Salt. She was rigged with single piece chainplates which ran from one side to the other around the keel. The other active heavy oldie out of CYC was 65' "Tar Baby". A black hulled Sloop. I was very young back then,but my dad had been an enthusiastic sailor there since he was a kid.                                                                      The "C" in my handle stands for Cadillac.      -   C Carl 

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RivNut: No worries.

C Carl: Yeah "Babe" was special blue tinted gray hair and always fully made up. Wore a modified high heal when fly fishing on the Klamath River! It's funny the things you remember like the sound of her rings hitting on the steering as she drove. Grandpa Bill drove with both hands at 2 and 10 with a Pall Mall hanging off his lower lip.  My schooner is a Gloucester fishing design scaled down a bit and because of that, it was never used as a Grand Banks fishing schooner. It was built in 1946 in Ipswich Mass and has been sailing since 1947. The builder and first owner of the boat used to run it from Rockport Mass, to Man O War Cay, to Cuba and carried various cargos that included passengers, liquor, guns, bananas, and cigars. 48' ft overall, 11.6 at the beam and she draws 6 ft. and is a topsail gaff rig schooner. I run it as a day sailor in Maine. Now... if the antique car world thinks keeping an old car alive is a challenge try a 71-year-old all wood boat, an organic material subjected to harsh conditions that is in a constant state of rotting from the day it is first launched...well that's the schooner life! Here are a few pics after a partial rebuild I did and fit out before launch day, and under sail a couple years back.

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Posted (edited)

I only have 4' of water at the end of my pier so I don't expect it to dock there . ( LOL )

        " BEAUTIFUL "

Bill

 

 

Edited by billbuickgs (see edit history)
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You have an impressive list of Buicks...particularly the 55 model 48!  Need a Schooner?

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Posted (edited)

 

Hi Joe, and thank you for sharing your antique sailboat pictures with us ! Great memories stirred up for me this Saturday afternoon. 

 

I got to go to the boat yard to visit "Truant" with dad back in the late ' 40s. Her keel bolts were so corroded that the only thing which had kept that keel in place were the single piece "wraparound" chainplates. As you say "it's funny the things you remember ". Another impressive memory I have is being astonished seeing the Lee rail well buried sailing double reefed in Lake Michigan heavy weather. That was unusual, I should say unique in my experience, and the sight was a bit unsettling to the then little kid I was. I was a little scared, probably why I remember the thrill to this day. I recall seeking "shelter" in the sail locker. Still remember the smell, and the groans of the hard working hull. I think that is the most detailed, complete,coherent memory I have from about 70 years ago.

 

My grandfather's name was Joe too. He lent his new son-in-law his late '30s Packard for the honeymoon. Destination New England. Pictures from the trip confirm dad's fascination with sailboats. I think it is a safe bet that some of those sailing cod haulers had padded their bottom line doing duty running rum from Cuba just a few years before my parents got married. I don't think my dad would have got involved in such supplying of a demand. I expect given an opportunity, I would have. Segrams, Kennedy, Carolina moonshiners, Cadillac Carl.................... Oh the Great Rum Runners !! 

 

And I would have had a leadfoot wheel lady like "Babe", or mom or Aunt Louise. Most of the few guys and gals who have been tolerating  my often irrelevant ramblings here for a while might remember Aunt Louise. So I won't risk boring them if they have stuck with this response so far.                                   Good night, all.     -   Carl 

 

P.S. Joe as you are new here, if you would like to meet Aunt Louise by way of a Buick drive, just enter  Louise in the search box. I believe it is the 4th topic down. And thanks again for introducing your Beautiful Buick and "Lazy Jack" to us. We are all historians by definition in AACA. 

Edited by C Carl (see edit history)
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