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60 Lesabre with 61 Wildcat engine


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Have a 60 Lesabre 2DR HT but appears to have a 61 Wildcat engine in it.

Service manager at a local buick dealer told me that some 60 LeSabres had 61 Wildcat engines as OEM.

Anyone have any info on this?


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Buick was calling all of its engines "Wildcat" engines at this time. My '59 Electra, for example, has a "Wildcat 445" engine of 401 cubic inches. I do not know whether the "Wildcat" name appeared on the aircleaner of the 364 cubic inch engine that was used in the '59 and '60 LeSabre series cars, but the Wildcat label definitely was used on the 364-cid engines in 1961.

The Wildcat as a model in Buick's lineup did not appear until late in the 1962

model year (as part of the Invicta series). Although the 401-cid "Wildcat 445" was standard in the new Wildcat series for the next few years, even the smaller Buick V8's wore the "Wildcat" name. This caused some confusion among LeSabre owners, who mistakenly assumed that their cars were using the same engines as Wildcat series cars.

Maybe owners of '59 and '60 LeSabre cars can clarify if their aircleaners used the "Wildcat" name.

Perhaps there are other reasons why the dealership believes that your engine is a 1961 engine rather than a 1960 engine? Please provide additional information.

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I have an original 401 (that I pulled myself) from a 1960 4dr Lesabre. It has the original air filter and the cover has the leaping cat and Wildcat 445 written in white (fancy) lettering.

The correct codes for those engines located on the front left (standing in front of car) of the engine block valley pan mounting surface is 1960 364=3G,401=4G; 1961 364=3H,401=4H.

Check your code yourself. and Happy Buicking

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There were FOUR different 364's and one 401 in 1960. All were called Wildcat engines and (with one exception) were all named after their torque rating. Even though they were named (for advertising purposes) with the torque rating, I don't think the 364's used a number on the air cleaner----at least mine doesn't.

The standard 364 (2bl, high compression, premium fuel)was the "Wildcat 384". This had 250hp and was used ONLY with automatic (TwinTurbine!) trans. Based on what I've seen, the air cleaner on this package said "Wildcat", with NO numbers.

The no-cost option was a low compression regular fuel 364 2bl called "Wildcat 375E" (presumably "E" was for economy). This one was 235hp and was also used only on automatics.

The extra-cost option was a 364 4bl, with high compression & dual exhausts. It was the "Wildcat 405-4B" (4B for four barrel). It was rated at 300hp---very close to the 401's 325hp! I've not seen many of these.

For penny-pinchers that wanted a manual transmission, the only engine was the "Wildcat" (NO number in its name). This was low compression, regular fuel, and was rated at a pathetic 210hp and 340 for torque.

The 401 was in Invicta's and Electra's only. It came in one version: the "Wildcat 445" and produced 325hp. I had one of these, but can't remember if there were numbers on the air cleaner. Sorry.

On the engine stamping numbers, I agree with "56 Roadmaster" , although he missed one. The "low compression" 364 is stamped with "L3G" rather than "3G". Also, note that all cars should have the vehicle serial number (VIN) stamped in this same area of the engine. This should help confirm if the engine is original. smile.gif

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