Under The Hood

Wildcat spotted in the wild

A rare Wisconsin winter sighting

I brake for Buick Wildcats, especially ‘64s, even when it will make me late for work. Such as today.

A 1964 Buick Wildcat spotted on a cold January morning in Wisconsin.


The Wildcat that sent me into a quick right turn really gave me goose bumps, because it was the same body style and colors as the that my uncle drove to car shows during the 1980s. I was often in the back seat with my cousin, staring at the backs of my aunt and uncle’s heads when we weren’t looking out the side windows or at the Wildcat’s stunning tri-tone maroon interior.

Just like my uncle’s car, this maroon-and-white Wildcat even sported Buick’s new and rarely seen “Formula Five” five-spoke chrome wheels so I had to stop and see if it was the same car. (He had bought his Wildcat’s wheels from a coworker whose son was going to put them on a Ford truck — luckily my uncle had some truck parts that the kid needed so a trade was worked out for the wheels!)

Buick described its new chrome-plated steel wheels “Formula Five” wheels in 1964. My uncle was always looking for spare centers with the Wildcat emblem, and I remember proudly pulling one out of a large loose parts pile at a swap meet and gladly forking over $1 for it.

Owner has added chrome tips to this Wiildcat.


Upon examination, this Wildcat had a black interior and — shockingly — a three-speed manual transmission on the column! Definitely not my uncle’s bench seat-and-automatic-equipped Wildcat. This Wildcat also had bucket seats (not the bench of my uncle’s car) and the console from a floor-shifted automatic Wildcat.

It may not have been the same Wildcat from my childhood, but I was happy to make a pit stop and check out this survivor, even if it made me late.


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