1963 Buick Wildcat Hardtop - $19,900
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The thing looks a mile long, especially with the vestigial tailfins on top, and with the low-slung top it almost looks chopped.

The Wildcat was Buick’s muscle car before such things had even been invented. Mid-sized (based on the LeSabre), bucket seats, big firepower, and a sporting demeanor all make the Wildcat the performance car of choice for the gentleman who could afford to do things a little differently. For Buick fans today, the 1963 Wildcats seem to hold a special place, as it was the only year with the unique bright stainless trim on the front fender and door, perhaps a callback to the days of “sweep-spear” styling from Flint. These are brilliant road cars with the torquey Nailhead under the hood and full-sized comfort never felt any better than this going down the road. With a lot of recent work, this handsome Wildcat delivers lots of performance and luxury for not a lot of cash.

Code C Arctic White is this Wildcat’s original color, and it’s a good choice on the long, sleek Buick. It’s wearing an older repaint that’s holding up well, and we gave it a good buff to bring up a shine that reflects well and really brightened up the finish. We don’t believe it has ever been disassembled and the panel gaps are quite good throughout. There’s some evidence of bodywork in the driver’s quarter panel, but it isn’t in dire need of attention and most folks will never notice. The thing looks a mile long, especially with the vestigial tailfins on top, and with the low-slung top it almost looks chopped. For a big car, this one looks pretty fast. In addition to the unique front fender trim, the Wildcat also received a unique grille with a single bar bisecting it and portholes were a Buick tradition for 20 years by the time this car was built. In back it features those awesome taillights built into the bumper housing and brushed aluminum panels that match those on the front fenders. Bright chrome bumpers look awesome and those long stainless strips on the flanks help with the long, low look. Unique Wildcat emblems on the sail panels, ‘Wildcat’ script on the quarters and trunk, and big, bold letters on the hood leave no question about which Buick this is. It’s certainly not perfect, but this big coupe still has a lot of presence.

Bucket seats in a full-sized luxury car were not new, but they give the big Wildcat a sporting feel. Black is a great choice in a white car, a classic combination that will never go out of style. Replacement seat covers, new carpets, and plenty of space make this a great place to spend some time. Big, round gauges cover the basics, with warning lights for oil pressure, generator, and temperature, all in a brushed aluminum panel that looks crisp and clean. An aftermarket temperature gauge has been installed under the dash, just above the factory tach on the console, a Wildcat exclusive. The shifter looks like sculpture managing the Dynaflow automatic transmission underneath, and those aircraft-style levers managing secondary functions are just too cool. Overhead there’s a very attractive black and white headliner with chrome bows that looks spectacular and chrome garnish moldings around the windows really dress things up. It’s all in very good condition with no notable demerits or damage, and it’s easy to appreciate Buick’s take on a sporty car. The giant trunk has been recently restored with fresh mats, new cardboard bulkheads, a full-sized spare, and a factory jack tucked into its nook. New weather seals keep it tight and dry.

If you’re not familiar with Buick’s 401 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8, you’re in for a treat. Its primary function is making torque, and combined with the Dynaflow transmission, it almost feels like an electric motor pulling this car around. Recently serviced and beautifully detailed, this is an engine bay you’ll want to show off every chance you get. From the proper Buick Turquoise engine enamel, giant factory air cleaner with a new decal, to fresh hoses and hardware, this is just a beautifully done engine bay. A brand new aluminum radiator does a great job keeping the big V8 cool and 1963 was GM’s first year for alternators, so the electrical system is robust. You’ll also find a rebuilt carburetor, new ignition parts, a recent master cylinder and booster, and a correct wiring harness. Power steering was standard—probably a good idea on a car this big—and painted exhaust manifolds feed a rumbling dual exhaust system. This car feels like it has a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality.

The underside isn’t detailed and shiny but it offers solid floors and rockers, a sturdy X-frame, and quite a few new parts. The Dynaflow automatic transmission is a great partner for the torquey Nailhead, and if you’re unfamiliar with its operation, it may feel strange the first few times you drive it. There are no gears and no shifts, but don’t worry, it’s operating correctly and you’ll find yourself whisking down the road at highway speeds without any effort. The brakes with their giant finned aluminum drums are surprisingly effective at hauling this beast down from speed and the ride is obviously Buick smooth. The brand new exhaust system features Flowmaster mufflers, so this Wildcat sounds as nasty as its name would imply, but that’s hardly a demerit. 3.42 gears in the positively gigantic rear end housing make the Wildcat feel nimble, but it’s a superlative highway cruiser that eats up pavement with effortless ease. Gorgeous Buick Road Wheels are the only logical choice, with these wrapped in 235/75/15 BFGoodrich whitewall radials that look period perfect.

The Wildcat has been overlooked for years, but we’re seeing that changing. Our last Wildcat sold in a matter of days, and this one offers an arguably more attractive color combination and the same great performance. For guys who love to drive, these big Buicks are an excellent choice and for the money, there aren’t many cars that offer a better combination of performance, style, luxury, and exclusivity. Wouldn’t you rather drive a Buick? Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections on any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1963 Buick Wildcat Hardtop
Price: $19,900
Stock Number: 117038
Mileage: 87,486
VIN: 6J5028612
Engine: 401 cubic inch V8
Transmission: Dynaflow Automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.42
Wheelbase: 123 inches
Wheels: 15-inch Buick Road Wheels
Tires: 235/75/15 BFGoodrich whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Arctic White
Interior Color: Black vinyl
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