Pete Phillips

1963 Wildcat conv. 4-speed

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Pete,

This is a fascinating project and a rare car, you should also post this on the "Current Restoration Projects" in the AACA General Forums, let all the non-Buick folks see a real restoration job!

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To all on this thread:

We're trying to trace the prior owners of this vehicle. We bought it in Connecticut, where it had been for about 15 years. The previous owner's son told us he thought his dad bought it in Maine and it may have started out in Michigan. Does ANYONE remember the car anywhere? 1963 Buick Wildcat convertible, white with a black top, 4 speed. Unseen, but on the car when it was built, is a 425 engine and Positraction, both confirmed by appropriate data plates to be original to the car.

ANY LEAD, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Dave,

I've been successful in getting vehicle history from two states. I would venture to say with a little time, you could have good results as well. The main stumbling point is a law passed in 1996 called the DPPA, which is a privacy act. You can still get old owner's names, you just have to agree not to re-disclose them, and pay fees, but many DMVs will just stop you at the DPPA because they don't know any better.

You can write to both the Connecticut DMV, Maine DMV, and Michigan DMV and request forms for a vehicle history searcha and they should be able to get the ball rolling.

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Dear Joe:

I'm way ahead of you and have already exhausted those leads.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Dave/Pete:

Saw the pics of your Wildcat rust problem & I had to post some pics of my 63 Wildcat conv. with the same problem. I did eventually get it all repaired.

Christopher

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<span style="font-weight: bold"> </span> Guys, still no update, How are we coming along?

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There's not much more to tell. The welding / body shop hasn't touched it in several months. The owner's primary business is welding for oil rigs and he says he is too busy with that line of work to do anything to the car. We are getting impatient with him, but he says it will slow down after a while and he'll be able to separate the body from the chassis. After that, we plan on going back to the shop and strip the chassis down for sandblasting and painting. At the same time, he will work on the body.

The engine is in the process of being torn down so we can detail and repaint it. At this time we have no plans to rebuild it because it was running fine and there's not that many miles on it. We have confirmed the carburator on the car is the correct number for a 425 High Performance engine with a standard shift transmission. It still has the original tag on it, which matches the number stamped on the base. So that's more validation to the authenticity of the vehicle.

The transmission has been rebuilt and ready to go back in. The transmission shop specializes in racing transmissions and told us he was very impressed with our transmission. He said it was a very rare heavy duty transmission and was excited to help us.

We appreciate everyone's interest. I personally find it encouraging and motivating.

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Guest BJM

Roy,

The oil and gas business is booming I don't need to tell you that - I sure hope your guy can get to it, it looks like energy will be hot for several more years

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Dear Bryan and all:

As you know, with oil prices falling like a stone, our guy ran out of oil well work a couple of weeks ago. It's been full speed ahead ever since after getting nothing done for about 8 months.

Today Pete and I picked up the completely sand-blasted chassis for paint and detail work. Three day ago I picked up the transmission, new bearings all around, new synchro rings, 1 new shifter fork, and a new rear seal. Roy's working on detailing the engine, I'm cleaning and storing parts, Pete's got the chassis.

Body is braced up and off, cutting the last patch panels out of the parts car body. Pete took some pictures, which I think he will post for all to see.

I think we're all the way to the bottom of all the problems, and it's starting to go back uphill.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Photos attached of the convertible's body in the air. The coupe's body is in the air right next to it, so the panel cutting and fitting is going on.

Anybody need a nice, rust-free 2-dr. hardtop '63 Wildcat chassis?

Pete

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More photos taken today. Chassis of the convertible is being loaded onto my trailer. Look at the rust in the convertible's floor and rockers!

Pete

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Here's the nice, dry '63 Wildcat 2-dr. hardtop chassis we now have available for sale if someone wants it.

Second photo is of the convertible's body again.

Pete

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I just brought the chassis home this afternoon from being powder coated in semi-gloss black. Will try to attach photos.

Pete Phillips

BCA #7338

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The feame looks good in the last pictures Pete. Any chance of reducing the pics so thatthey fit on the screen though?

And may I ask what's the story on the rear most cross member?

Thanks

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The rear-most cross member was rusted out badly and a previous owner added or "piggy-backed" a new frame piece over it, which is much stronger than the original. We decided to leave it alone, as the repair is very solid and is in a spot that is virtually impossible to see when the body and rear bumper are in place. The rest of the car's frame is amazingly solid and rust-free.

The next steps are to reattach the exhaust system, shock absorbers & brake lines, the 4-speed transmission, drive shaft, and the cleaned and repainted engine as soon as it is ready.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

1949 Super Estate Wagon

1950 Roadmaster 2-dr. hardtop

1963 Wildcat 4-speed 425 conv.

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Pete

Was it powder coated as one unit as seen in the pictures or as separate pieces?

Willie

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It was powder-coated pretty much as one unit. I removed brake lines & brake hoses, shock absorbers, and taped over all of the rubber bushings. The powder coating place put the whole chassis on a stand, and rotated it around while they sprayed it. Most of the grease in the rear end ran out through the little overflow tube on top, when they did that. So, I've got to remember to refill the rear end. They told me that this chassis is so heavy that they had to construct a couple of reinforcements onto their stand!

This is the first body-off-the-frame that I've ever done, so I'm already a little worried about getting everything back together properly. I didn't want to take the chassis apart any further than I had to.

Pete

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Pete, usually they sand blast parts before powder coating. Aren't you afraid sand particles & chemicals got into your ball joints and other major components? That's something I'd be worried about in the future.

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Well, today was a big day in the second life of the '63 Wildcat. After 2-1/2 years, two different welding shops, and several thousand dollars' worth of welding & body panel replacement, I towed the '63 4-speed convertible back home today. The body is back on the frame, new trunk floor, rocker panels, & passenger cabin floor are in place and SOLID, and the clean-up and reassembly are about ready to begin. We still have some minor body work and seam sealing to do. The second welding shop did more in seven weeks than the first one did in 2-1/2 years. If anyone needs a lot of welding done, I can recommend a good shop in Honey Grove, Texas! I will try to add photos.

Any one need a rust-free 1963 2-dr. hardtop Wildcat frame that rolls?

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Sherman, Texas

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