: Took a ride today and came back smitten...



AMGoff
08-27-07, 10:25 PM
Anyone not familiar with the saga surrounding my Regal GS can read up on it in one of my other threads. Anyway, seeing as how I'm now Buick-less thanks to the wife, I took a ride up to Camden County today to finally check out something I've had my eye on for some time now.. a 1964 Buick Wildcat.

Although I still mainly consider myself a Mopar guy I've always had a soft spot for Buicks. I know I got it from my grandpop, as far back as I can remember he always had a Buick and a Cadillac in his drive way. For the longest time he actually had a Wildcat, a '65 I think, in fact one of my earliest memories of riding in a car was sitting on his lap in that Buick (yeah yeah... unsafe I know, but those were different times).

When I pulled up to the lot I immediately got a little twinge as soon as I saw her and once I sat inside all the memories came rushing back. She's no where near show car condition and I think those seat covers are rather ugly but there isn't any body damage and the paint's in decent condition. A couple pumps of the gas pedal and a turn of the key she sprang right to life, idling down to a wonderful purr.

I took her out for about 25 minutes and I immediately felt a little sad... because they just don't make cars like this anymore. As excellent as my Seville is it just doesn't come close to this big old land yacht. Sure, the Seville is a nicer car in every measurable way but there's just something indiscernible that makes this Buick so much better.

Needless to say I'm absolutely smitten by this car. They're asking around $6K for her. I'll have to check later this week... but I'm pretty sure there's about $9K sitting in a credit union somewhere with only my name on it.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=34764&stc=1&d=1188266272

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=34765&stc=1&d=1188266272

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=34766&stc=1&d=1188266272

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=34767&stc=1&d=1188266272

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=34768&stc=1&d=1188266272

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=34769&stc=1&d=1188266272

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=34770&stc=1&d=1188266272

Jonas McFeely
08-27-07, 11:00 PM
Absolutely beautiful. Early-mid 60's Buicks arnt my cup of tea, but that one is sexy. I like mid-50's, late-60's and early 70's Buicks.

I say go for it!

Spyder
08-27-07, 11:24 PM
Seats would have to go...but other than that it looks purrrrty. :) I like 'em in super deep glossy shiny black.

AMGoff
08-28-07, 01:37 AM
Seats would have to go...but other than that it looks purrrrty. :) I like 'em in super deep glossy shiny black.

Agreed on the seats... they were covers but I didn't pry them off to see what was underneath. I would definitely want them reupholstered to factory spec. But she was even purrrtier in person!

Spyder
08-28-07, 02:02 AM
Oh yea...points for being a mopar guy!

gdwriter
08-28-07, 03:05 AM
I can empathize with you completely. I grew up with a '64 Impala that my parents bought when I was a baby, and it was the car I learned to drive in. That Impala sparked my love of cars that's just as strong today as it ever was.

http://www.gdwriter.com/gary_nellie_67.jpg

After my Dad sold that Impala in 1984, I vowed I'd have another one someday, and I'd sometimes go look at one for sale. It took 15 years, but I finally found one at just the right time when I could afford to buy it, and even though it was rougher than I would have liked, I was absolutely taken once I started her up and took her for a drive. Betty looked, felt and sounded exactly the way I remembered.

After 8 1/2 years, I'm still madly in love with this car. I just got back from a 1,000 mile road trip to see an old friend and go to a car show. Betty is a pleasure to drive, and now that I have the factory air working again, she's ideal for a summer road trip.

http://www.gdwriter.q45.org/DSC01133.jpg

http://www.gdwriter.q45.org/DSC01138.jpg

I hope you can get that Buick. These magnificent old cars need to go to people who will respect, appreciate and enjoy them.

Jonas McFeely
08-28-07, 03:38 AM
Youre lucky you grew up around really cool cars. Though my Dad is a car nut and USED to drive bad ass cars, my whole childhood was filled with crap.

'88 Integra
'88 Accord (USA)
'88 Accord (Japan)
'84 GLC
'89 Sable (Grey)
'89 626 hatchback (kinda cool)
'89 Sable (White)
'93 Sentra
'92 Prizm hatchback
'96 MX-6 LS (which he still has, and is pretty bad ass)
'02 Taurus SES Wagon
'04 Mazda Tribute LX-V6

I missed out on:

'53 Buick Coupe (his first car)
'65 Gran Sport 401
'72 Gran Sport Stage 1
'73 Gran Sport Stage 1

A mid 70's Rally Nova
'74 Mustang
Late 70's Vega GT

+ a bunch of other cool stuff i cant remember.

With any luck i can get that MX-6 out of him. The damn thing has been in his garage since March. He never drives it. The clutch is starting to go and hes lazy. I offered to buy one for it if he let me drive it whenever, but he always says "We'll talk".

Ehh, im done rambling.

Kadonny
08-28-07, 09:01 AM
Was that a dealer where you took the pics? Were they having a car show or something? If not, I sure saw a lot of classics sitting along side it including a first gen firebird.

Nice looking car. Buy it and put a firebreather motor in it!

Spyder
08-28-07, 10:42 AM
gdwriter...ha, weird. Myself and a friend of mine back in high school bought a '64 four door Impala. He named it Betty and painted it damned near that same color. He built a pretty impressive small block for it as his senior project and we drove the hell out of it and my '66 Lincoln Continental for about a year and a half. I sold mine when the transmission crapped out (big mistake!!!) and he sold his about two years ago. When I saw that pic of yours I thought it might be the same one(!) until I saw that you've had her for eight years. :(

AMGoff
08-28-07, 12:42 PM
Was that a dealer where you took the pics? Were they having a car show or something? If not, I sure saw a lot of classics sitting along side it including a first gen firebird.

Nice looking car. Buy it and put a firebreather motor in it!

Kadonny, nope it's an actual classic car dealer... we've got those kind of things in Jersey :yup::yup: Not too sure on the firebreather... maybe ten years ago but I'm more of a "cruiser" these days, plus the engines that came with these babies had some serious balls under the hood to begin with!



I can empathize with you completely. I grew up with a '64 Impala that my parents bought when I was a baby, and it was the car I learned to drive in. That Impala sparked my love of cars that's just as strong today as it ever was...

...I hope you can get that Buick. These magnificent old cars need to go to people who will respect, appreciate and enjoy them.

gdwriter... we're in the same boat! I can't pinpoint the year but it was around that very same time he got rid of his Wildcat. I remember that day vividly (well more like technicolor) pulled up to their house after church one Sunday, came strolling up their driveway and... wham! There's a shiny new Turbo Riviera where the Wildcat always sat! Sure the Riv was a nice car and I came to appreciate it over the years, but I was so freakin pissed at my grandpop... I remember I didn't talk to him for a week, he went back to the guy he sold it to and bought the Wildcat emblem off the steering wheel to give to me... I still have it, it's in a box with my coin collection. Like you, I said I would have one someday.

Fastforward some 20-odd years and here I am married, financially stable (thank goodness), and Buick-less. Like I said, there's just something indiscernible about the car... and now that I've actually driven it, I've become absolutely enamored with it. I think the scales are tipping... come hell, highwater, or divorce, I will have me my Buick.

gdwriter
08-28-07, 05:00 PM
gdwriter...ha, weird. Myself and a friend of mine back in high school bought a '64 four door Impala. He named it Betty and painted it damned near that same color. He built a pretty impressive small block for it as his senior project and we drove the hell out of it and my '66 Lincoln Continental for about a year and a half. I sold mine when the transmission crapped out (big mistake!!!) and he sold his about two years ago. When I saw that pic of yours I thought it might be the same one(!) until I saw that you've had her for eight years. :(Yeah, I bought Betty in San Luis Obispo in February, 1999. I think her paint was mostly original at the time (she needed a repaint, which she got that fall), and as far as I could tell, the motor had never been out until I had it rebuilt in 2000. I wanted to keep her original,so I had the 327 rebuilt to original specs. When I moved to Oregon in 2003, I made a detour through the Central Coast to take Betty by the guy I bought her from. He was really pleased at how good she looked, and his friends couldn't believe it was the same car.


I'm more of a "cruiser" these days, plus the engines that came with these babies had some serious balls under the hood to begin with!

gdwriter... we're in the same boat! I can't pinpoint the year but it was around that very same time he got rid of his Wildcat. I remember that day vividly (well more like technicolor) pulled up to their house after church one Sunday, came strolling up their driveway and... wham! There's a shiny new Turbo Riviera where the Wildcat always sat! Sure the Riv was a nice car and I came to appreciate it over the years, but I was so freakin pissed at my grandpop... I remember I didn't talk to him for a week, he went back to the guy he sold it to and bought the Wildcat emblem off the steering wheel to give to me... I still have it, it's in a box with my coin collection. Like you, I said I would have one someday.

Fastforward some 20-odd years and here I am married, financially stable (thank goodness), and Buick-less. Like I said, there's just something indiscernible about the car... and now that I've actually driven it, I've become absolutely enamored with it. I think the scales are tipping... come hell, highwater, or divorce, I will have me my Buick.That Wildcat should have plenty of power stock, those Buick nailheads were torque monsters. Betty's 327, even in stock form, has plenty of go. I don't drag race her, but I still have a lead foot. I've put over 60,000 miles on Betty, a figure that amazes many people. But she is so much fun to drive that I usually have to take her out at least once a week or I feel deprived.

Like you, I vividly remember when my Dad sold Nellie, the Impala I grew up with. The day before the new owner was to pick her up, I lovingly washed her one last time and took her for a drive. A few weeks later, I saw her parked at her new home, which I passed on my way to work. I knew we still had long-forgotten spare key to her, and I was sorely tempted to steal her, but good sense got the better of me.

Other than a few pictures, I don't have an mementos from Nellie like the Wildcat emblem off your grandpop's Buick. I wish I did. But I do have a small homage to her on Betty. My Dad was career Air Force, and as a B-52 crew chief, he was in the now-defunct Strategic Air Command (http://www.strategic-air-command.com/home.htm). In those days, besides a registration sticker on the bumper to get on base, we had a sticker with the SAC emblem on Nellie's front bumper. A few years ago, I visited the SAC Museum (http://www.strategicairandspace.com/) near Omaha and bought a SAC sticker at the gift shop. Ordinarily, I wouldn't clutter Betty's bumper with stickers, but this one has special meaning:

http://www.gdwriter.q45.org/P1040002.jpg

http://www.gdwriter.q45.org/P1040003.jpg

One more quick story, and I'll quit hijacking your thread. My Dad sold Nellie for $500 in 1984. Back then, there wasn't much market for a 20-year-old four-door sedan, although had she been an Impala SS, she would have already been considered a classic. I paid $3,000 for Betty in 1999. Shortly after the deal was done at the bank, I called my Dad, told him I had fulfilled my 15-year-old vow to own another '64 Impala, and said he owed me $2,500. He laughed pretty good at that one.

But God bless, him, a week or two later, he sent the shop manual that had been collecting dust in a closet all those years and a check for $500 to take car of some of Betty's more immediate needs, like new tires. My Dad's done a lot of nice things for me over the years, but that one really stands out. I know he's glad I have Betty and he always enjoys going for a ride in her (and occasionally driving her himself) when he comes out to visit.

In my will, Betty goes either to my older sister (who also learned to drive in and loved Nellie) or my niece, who has also fallen for Betty's many charms.

With any luck, your wife will let you get this Wildcat to atone for trading the Regal GS on the Liberty. I was lucky; I bought Betty before I was married, my attorney did a great job of protecting my assets during an ugly divorce, and my current girlfriend thinks classic cars like Betty are cool.

AMGoff
08-29-07, 12:16 AM
One more quick story, and I'll quit hijacking your thread..

Don't worry about it :) I love swapping old car stories.

I just can't get this car off my mind. I'm thinking about heading back up there tomorrow to haggle a bit (which would make two days I've blown off work for this car!) I'm pretty sure I could talk the dealer down to $5K for her. It's a shame these haven't really taken off that much in the collector's market... of course that works out to my benefit since I would probably never get rid of it. I've even been daydreaming up names for her... I think I've settled on Norma Jean tits

Spyder
08-29-07, 01:46 AM
Norma Jean is a must. Buy her! What have you got to lose besides memories, good times and a good future?! DO IT! You WON'T regret it...

Silver Dollar
08-29-07, 11:04 AM
If you buy the car don't get rid of the nailhead. That's part of what makes it a neat car.

gdwriter
08-29-07, 04:08 PM
Don't worry about it :) I love swapping old car stories. Thanks. Betty is pretty well known among some of the members here, and I love talking about her with people who are interested, but I don't want to become a bore.


If you buy the car don't get rid of the nailhead. That's part of what makes it a neat car.I took another look at your pictures, and I have a feeling that's not the original Nailhead. The air cleaner is definitely from a late 60s/early 70s GM, and the Nailhead has almost vertical valve covers. The locations of the alternator and the power steering pump are different as well.

Here's the picture of the Wildcat's engine again:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachments/cadillac-forums-lounge-member-introductions/34768d1188263637-took-ride-today-came-back-smitten-wildcat6.jpg

I Googled "Buick Nailhead" for images and this was the best picture I found. It's a 401 Nailhead out of a '64 Riviera (http://www.baycongroup.com/real_player/realslideshow.htm).

http://www.baycongroup.com/real_player/images/rsframe6.gif

If it's not essential you have the original engine, the car is still worth getting. And the price is also well below the average price listed in the NADA Guide (http://www.nadaguides.com/default.aspx?LI=1-22-1-5013-0-0-0&l=1&w=22&p=1&f=5014&y=1964&m=1031&d=1584&c=14&vi=63304&z=97351&da=-1).

What's the name of the dealer? Is there a Web site where we can check out the listing on this car?

Keep us posted. Us lovers of classic Detroit iron are rooting for you.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-29-07, 05:25 PM
Wow, very nice choice. Good luck with the purchase!

AMGoff
08-29-07, 05:49 PM
I took another look at your pictures, and I have a feeling that's not the original Nailhead. The air cleaner is definitely from a late 60s/early 70s GM, and the Nailhead has almost vertical valve covers. The locations of the alternator and the power steering pump are different as well.


I did notice that too after later inspection... it looks like it's a good ol' 350. Could be why it's listed so low. I did a check, I don't think they have a website... I found her in one of the local classic trader rags.

I figure if I get her for a good price in running condition I can always put money into her a little bit at a time to bring her back to her fully glory, including that great nailhead.


Wow, very nice choice. Good luck with the purchase!

Thanks... I still haven't completely made up my mind, though I'm leaning more and more towards pulling the trigger.

gdwriter
08-29-07, 07:28 PM
Found it! Here's the listing (http://adcache.collectorcartraderonline.com/10/9/3/88630093.htm). There's also a link to the dealership's Web site, and their listing (http://www.blacktieclassics.com/moredetails.html?88630093&sitecode=blacktieclassics) for the car. $5,900 seems reasonable, but it couldn't hurt to offer $5,000 and see if they bite.

They do list the engine as a GM 350, so I assume it's a crate motor (i.e., Chevy) and not a genuine Buick 350 (for some odd reason, from the late 60s to the late 70s, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick all had their own 350 V8s).

One oddity in the listing, it says the car has air conditioning. I don't see a compressor in the engine bay, nor do I see the tell-tale chrome vents on the dash.

Too bad you don't have an extra $10 grand. When I looked at their inventory, my eyes went immediately to the '65 Riviera (http://www.blacktieclassics.com/moredetails.html?79409764&sitecode=blacktieclassics). Were I able to collect classic cars, that gorgeous car would be next on my list.

AMGoff
08-29-07, 07:49 PM
Ha! No wonder I couldn't find the dealers website... I kept Googling "Bow Tie Classics" but that's def the ad.

I can say for certain that it doesn't have any a/c.

I saw the Riv on the lot.. but I didn't even bother, no way could I get away spending that much. Did you see the Firebird as well? They have quite a few old Caddies on the lot as well.

I called my one credit union today (the one the wife doesn't have access to).. current balance $9537.43.... I have a feeling there will be some trouble a-brewin...

Destroyer
08-29-07, 08:44 PM
Who can guess what movie this is from?

"Carolyn Burnham: Uh, who's car is that out front? Lester Burnham:

Mine. 1970 Pontiac Firebird. The car I've always wanted and now I have it. I rule!"

MN-STS-LOVER
08-29-07, 09:17 PM
American Beauty! and the '70 Bird does "Rule"

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-29-07, 09:41 PM
Going to video update tonight. Renting American Beauty.

Destroyer
08-29-07, 10:33 PM
Going to video update tonight. Renting American Beauty.

One of my favorites:thumbsup:

Silver Dollar
08-30-07, 09:40 AM
Good eye gdwriter.

Definitely not a nailhead. That's too bad.