Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
It's still shocking to many enthusiasts (and you can count me as one of them) that the big, bad GS Buicks don't get more respect from the collector car market. With more torque than anything this side of an LS6 Chevelle, and a unique combination of droptop luxury and big body American performance, cars like this 1970 Buick Wildcat convertible should be on every muscle car fan's list of favorites. Frame-off restored 200 miles ago, a numbers matching 455 V8, great options, and a top that goes down? Now that I think about it, maybe I should be buying this Wildcat instead of just writing about it. Let's see If I can make it to the end of this without sending a wire...
1970 was the final year of the Wildcat (it was essentially a LeSabre in this last year, and only offered in the Custom trim level), but this special GM B-Body really went out with a bang with super-cool convertibles like this one. Bigger than a Skylark yet smaller than the Electra, the Wildcat seemed to always have a lot of competition from its own maker, as Buick pumped more resources into similar cars like the LeSabre and Riviera, among others. For whatever reason, Buick didn't really give the Wildcat a fair shake in the market, but that's part of the reason the "Banker's Hot-Rod" has had a cult-like following since Day 1. This particular car was frame-off restored 200 miles ago, so the finish is obviously fresh, with a great shine and deep luster that could easily win trophies. The original color was change to period-correct Fire Red, and it looks fantastic on the Buick's curves, perfectly fitting with the division's performance mission. Bodywork was done to a very high standard, and everything fits together tight, including the big hood and deck lid, two huge pieces that require a lot of skilled labor to look this symmetrical and flush. Sweeping body lines trail from the crest of each wheel, and a new front and rear fasci were updated for 1970. The big split grille incorporates the bumper up front, just as the rear bumper does so with the massive taillights, and proper Wildcat badges were procured for the recent transformation. Chrome is fantastic throughout, with brightwork adorning the wheels and bottom of the vehicle that really pops against the fresh red paint.
Like most Buicks of the era, there's a ton of performance and killer good look in this car for a fraction of the cost of a big block Chevelle, along with a ton of luxury inside that was really shown off in the Wildcat models. The fresh white vinyl interior is in great order, including correct seat covers on both the front and back bench seats, plush black carpets, and beautifully turned-out matching door panels. The large black dash and factory gauges are in awesome shape too, and everything is set up just like it was brand new. In fact, it pretty much looks just like it would have sitting on the Buick dealer's showroom floor in 1970. The wood-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel is a fresh addition and adds an appropriately racy atmosphere to the driver's compartment, and because it's mounted on a tilt column, the driver has even more room behind the wheel. But most NBA players could fit comfortably in this big droptop anyway, with the help of fully functional power seats for the Tacko Fall's of the world. Other options include factory air conditioning with R134a refrigerant, power windows, a power convertible top, tilt wheel, and a retro-style modern AM/FM radio in the dash. And speaking of the power convertible top, the white vinyl unit on this Wildcat is newer, has a clear glass window in the rear, and stows away neatly underneath the matching boot. Out back, the trunk is absolutely massive, with enough room to stow Jimmy Hoffa and two or three of his friends.
The 1970 Wildcat's claim to fame was the massive 455 cubic inch V8 under the hood, which delivered stout factory ratings of 370 HP and an unreal 510 lb-ft of torque. This one was fully rebuilt to stock specs 200 miles ago, so one of the most potent engines in 1970 is every bit as much fun to drive today. Unlike a lot of its peers, it hasn't been upgraded with aftermarket parts, and still carries its stock intake manifold, carburetor, heads, and exhaust manifolds. Nicely detailed with Dante Red paint on the valve covers and block, a correct snorkel air cleaner complete with factory decals, and accurate finishes throughout, it looks quite fresh and runs great. It's backed by a stout TH400 3-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly, and there's a fresh dual exhaust that sounds fantastic. Power steering and power brakes ensure an easy and comfortable ride, and the undercarriage is almost nice enough to eat off of. Gorgeous Buick Road Wheels with protruding center caps look great and carry 225/70/15 BFGoodrich T/A radials that fill the fenders perfectly.
Documented with build/restoration receipts and photos, this is truly a handsome, fast
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