Pete Phillips

1963 Wildcat conv. 4-speed

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Pete, it is starting to look like a car again instead of a rusted out hulk. Keep the pictures coming.

Stevo

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I see the 63 wilcat 2 door hard tops here in CALIFORNIA all the time I sell parts for the cars but no one ever wants the body parts for some reason I can send you some pictures of them sitting in the junk yard this week.. and you can tell me what you need... Good Luck

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Hi Pete,

A friend here in town has a 63 Wildcat 2 dr HT parts car. It had an automatic. The body is pretty ruined but there may be a useable piece or two. Also I have a lead on a 63 LeSabre 4 door parts car. If there are any pieces you are still seeking, let me know and I'll take a look at what he has.

Cheers,

Tim Stangohr -Newton, KS

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Pete. I just found a beautiful 63 Wildcat conv 4 speed 401 block and numbers match,red with a white top.

Tach on the dash,console and maybe for sale. 35,000 miles on her and sitting for 15 years in a garage.

What is this thing worth? Anybody.

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Hi Pete. I don't know how rare the '63 Wildcat Convertible 4 speed was in production numbers but I remember back in 1971 when I was 16 years old in Arvada, Colorado and bought my first car - a 1962 Olds Starfire Convertible, I had a friend buy a 1963 Wildcat Convertible after I got my Starfire. His was car had the orginal paint and it was sort of a Brownish Rust color on the exterior. In 1971, it was in very good orginal stock condition. Had the factory Buick sport wheels. It had a factory 4 speed in a console with the factory Buick tach on the console too. As I remember, I think he claimed his car had a 425 cu. in. engine. I have read some posts which indicate that the largest stock engine available in the '63 Wildcat was the 401 cu. in. but I know he said his car had the 425. We would always argue about who had the nicest car then. We would race our cars against each other some and as I remember they were both ran about the same side by side. The '63 Wildcat is a nice looking car but I still believe my '62 Olds Starfire which was White outside and had the two tone red leather interior with the 394 cu. in. engine and the Automatic transmission is the nicest looking GM Convertible they ever made!!!! Boy I wish I still had my '62 Olds Starfire Convertible!!! I remember riding in my friend's '63 Wildcat Convertible and it was a wonderful car!! Good luck restoring your Wildcat Convertible!!

Bill P. in OKC

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Hey Pete,

I have just read through this entire thread and I just want to let you know that you have inspired me to do the right thing with my car.

I have a 1964 Buick Electra convertible and the floor is pretty much the same as your was. I was lucky enough to find another 1964 Buick electra convertible with minor rust damage in the floor. My initial intention was to use the body from my parts car on my frame and repair the minor damage. Being that my project car is one my dad bought new and is a numbers matching 425 dual quad car, It didn't really sit well with me to replace the whole body. Your story and pics have shown me that it's not impossible to use the floor out of my parts car only and retain the original car and heritage.

Would you have any advice or tips for me as I start on this?

Do you have any more pics of the floor replacement?

Thanks,

Larry

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Larry,

Find a welding shop that is not too busy to work on it until it is done, rather than one that will work on it only when other jobs are not coming in. That was my first mistake and why it sat at the first welding shop for over two years. Now the same thing is happening with the paint & body work. Get new rubber body mount pads and replace them before putting body back onto chassis.

Pete Phillips

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I will be doing all the welding myself so I will only be able to hold myself accountable :-)

I do plan on using new body bushings and bolts.

I see you have bracing in the door ways. Is this something you did or did the welding shop do it?

Were there any problems lining up doors etc when the welding was done?

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Bracing the door openings is critical to keep everything aligned when the body comes off the frame, and when rusty floors and rocker panels are removed and new ones welded in. In a convertible you don't have the rigid roof to keep things together, so the bracing is very necessary. The welding shop did that, as it was beyond my level of expertise, so I can't offer any more hints than that. The doors line up quite well now, thank goodness.

Pete

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Hi Pete! My white 65 4-speed is so close to paint - all rust fixed, all blocking done, it is to the point of the shop bolting on the core support, fenders, hood, doors, decklid, then spray, sand, buff. jams and so forth are already in color, and it looks like it will be awesome. Al's Hot Rod Barn is getting er done-

one of his latest paint jobs was on a 87 Grand National; that car got best paint last weekend at a local show...and the Wildcat is looking even better than the black car. Pictures soon. :D

Any progress on the 63 Wildcat?

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Finally, FINALLY some progress to report on this '63 Wildcat conv. 4-speed. A few months ago, I liberated the car from the paint & body shop that had it for over a year and did nothing but prime the trunk lid and hood. I found a place in Leonard, Texas where I should have taken it from the beginning. These guys are master metal workers and fabricators, and they had all of the previous welding fixed, smoothed over, and doors and trunk properly lined up within a few weeks. Last week, the car was primed and sanded; Thursday I bought the Arctic white paint & reducer; Friday they painted the car! I'll get some photos on Monday and post them here. It has been a long, long road for the resurrection of this rusty but rare Wildcat, and this week it will be back in my shop and under my care for putting it all back together. Hooray!

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Leonard, Texas

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AMEN to being back in YOUR shop............

I will never understand shops that OVER PROMISE, UNDER PRODUCE.

Makes one wonder how they stay in business.

Looking good my friend,

Dale in Indy

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You'll never work on the Bugle again when that baby is done.. You'll be out driving it all over!

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. . . . . Yes, the were only 30 63 Wildcat 4 speeds, 18 4 Door hardtops, 6 coupes, and 6 Convertibles . . . . .

Could this be one of the 6 convertibles?

I took this pic at GM's Centennial Parade on Saginaw Street in Flint, Michigan in 2008, and remember talking to the owner. He mentioned it was one of a very low production model, but can't remember all the other details since my main interest is 1953-1954 Buick Skylarks. Can't tell you if he was at the 2008 Buick Nationals in Flint (I would assume) or a resident of Michigan.

Maybe somebody can fill in the details. I thought the colour was cool. :cool:

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

post-41556-143139228403_thumb.jpg

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)

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Pete, I'm so excited for you and can't wait to see her finished. I'm normally an early 40's guy, but this is a good looking car! (not to mention the rarity...) Keep up your great efforts :D

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