1966 Wildcat Sport Coupe

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by Chuck Bridges, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    I am starting a new thread as the other one is getting long for Wet Behind The Ears. Today I drove my girl down to Bob, my mechanic to install the gauges in her. I actually looked at the dash a few times looking for the temperature gauge. Nope, not yet anyway. I am looking forward to getting her back, probably in a few days. At least she was under a cover so, no snow. By the time I got to the mechanic the motor was warm and I was getting good heat. I plugged it in a few days ago. I pumped it twice, turned it over a few times, one more pump and she roared to life. I love that car.:)
     
  2. Topcat

    Topcat Got TORQUE?

    Post some pictures Chuck.....i would love to see her !

    Peace WildBill
     
  3. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Here are some old pictures. I had more on my computer, but, crash.... all gone. I polished up the chrome this summer and got her road safe.

    SG1L8374.jpg Side.png Wildcat.jpg Chrome grill.png
     
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  4. Topcat

    Topcat Got TORQUE?

    Love the blue w/white painted hardtop and cornering lights !!!!

    65 hubcaps are ok but 66 are better....imho

    Nice 'Cat you have there !!!

    Peace WildBill
     
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  5. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Thank you. She is a survivor. My Brother-In-Law owned her for 12 years. He had the interior redone and did some bodywork. He then painted it himself. During that time, I admired her, but, knew he would never get rid of her. He had the Wildcat, 3 Lincolns (62 Convertible, 64 Hardtop and 57 hardtop) a Studebaker, 2 Cadillac's, A BMW (Small 2 seater right hand drive), a Dodge 1 ton Diesel, a Motorhome, and a Cessna (1957 172). Yeah, he never married, has many other toys as well. He lives with his Mom, taking care of the property for her and told me in April that he has to get rid of some of his cars. I asked "Not the Wildcat, I hope!) Yeah he said, you interested? Yes, but no. I cannot afford it. He then drove it down the next month 450 miles and said "Happy Birthday!" You could have knocked me over with a feather. I think my smile reached right around my head and touch in back. So far, I have spent $6000 Can. on the car. In the spring I am going to drive it back up and we are going to rebuild the engine. I have ordered the parts the mechanic suggested, but cannot afford another $5500+ for him to do the work. Reality rears it's ugly head, I do have bills. I also ordered a set of vintage style Cragar rims for her. Going to be a sweet ride when I am done. The last thing will be the paint job. In the meantime, she lives under a car cover in my parking spot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  6. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    I just got my car back from Bob. The gauges look great. Bob used copper instead of plastic for the oil pressure. Just to be safe, copper will stand up better. As soon as I got it home I put in the new tach. It all looks great. All gauges are back-lit and adjust with the dash lights. I had to go to Canadian Tire to get a large hose clamp. I didn't want to drill into the steering column. 3 different people gave me the thumbs up. That made me feel pretty good. I put braid over the exposed wires to contain and protect them. This tach came with the option of inductive pickup, but I decided to go directly to the negative of the coil. I don't like doing things halfway. The wire to the coil is hidden in the split loom under the hood. I know some people don't like split loom, but I like to protect the wires. I don't hide things, splices are soldered and heat shrink.I love working on the car. While under the dash I found a wire that was splice with one of those clamp-on splices. Removed, soldered and heat shrink on it. I can't do things half-way. It just isn't in my nature.

    Gauges 1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  7. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    While putting in my new Tach, I found that,in +7 C (+44 F) weather, I just needed to turn the key to start the car. No pumping and no multiple cranks. Even when the engine Cold light would come on. She started right up.If it weren't for the leaks, I would leave the motor alone. The more I play, the more I love. Before Ray got the Wildcat< I thought what most people think of when they hear Buick, "Grandpa's Car". Boy, was I wrong. They advertised the Wildcat in 1966 as "The Tuned Car", built for luxury while having power. Boy, were they right. I am actually using my Wildcat as a daily driver right now. I love the ride in this car. It is so smooth. My F150 has a nice ride, but not as nice as my car.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  8. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    No No, why the steering wheel??
    The original ones are wicked nice looking..
     
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  9. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    This steering wheel was put on by Ray when he got the car. The original had a lot of cracks and breaks in the plastic and he tried to fix it with epoxy. Really ugly looking afterward. He then took it off and replaced it with what you see. I asked him for the original steering wheel and, while not complete anymore, still liked it better. I stripped all of the epoxy off it and repaired it, as best as I could. I will include a picture below. I have, thanks to TrunkMonkey, acquired a steering wheel from a 1966 Electra. If I cannot get the electrical horn parts to fit my wheel, I will refurbish this one and put it in. All told, right now.... ugly steering wheel. Soon, original steering wheel. I am far from a professional, but I do my best.o_O Steering Wheel 2.jpg
     
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  10. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    Cool! I hope you didn't take offense as didn't mean that at all.
    I grew up with parents buying a brand new 66 Wildcat, 4 door but the same exact colors an living my youth threw these pics:)
    I remember the sound that my Moms wedding ring made on the steering wheel when she was turning..
     
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  11. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Nope, no offense at all. I just wanted to make sure that people knew that I didn't like the steering wheel presently in the car either. I am sure that some people might like it, but me, I am all for original. I remember some of the junkers my parents drove when I was a kid (We were dirt poor when I was a kid. A lot of our vehicles came from auto wreckers and $100 specials.). Then, junkers, but if we had them today... wow. My Dad bought my sister a 1964 Chrysler 300, with the push button transmission in 1984. It was gorgeous. All it needed was a paint refresh. She hated it and sold it for $200. Said it was ugly. I wold have gladly given her the money for that car. With my 'Cat, I intend to do right and bring her back to her former glory. Hence the search for parts for the parts to make my steering wheel complete. I will be giving Ray back the steering wheel presently in the car. He will probably put it into his Studebaker. It's wheel is in very poor condition. Maybe I will offer to fix it for him. I owe him a lot for giving me my Girl (The car, not my wife... whew, that was a close one. :rolleyes:)
     
  12. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    If we only knew back then:mad::( That push button was cool even though alot of people didn't like it. Even when they were making the movie "Christine" the cars used had issues and the actor Keith Gorden spoke of it..
    Funny part was the blue steering wheel on my Wildcat was in really good shape. They say never buy a car made on a Monday or Friday.
    In 1980 the Wildcat had only 49,000 miles on it and ran great, but it leaked from the front window and back from only 2 years old even if that long after. My dad had it repaired at the dealer but leaked again.
    I'm guessing it was made on one of those days.
    This strong running low mile car looked like it had a million miles. Also it didn't help that it was towed in the day of those trucks using the bumper method and the bumper bent from these beast being over probably 4600 lbs..
     
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  13. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Luckily, it looks like my car had not been subjected to a tow, or had the bumper jack used much since there is no sign of damage on the bumpers. I use a floor jack on her. I bought some coil boosters to raise the back end up a couple of inches (See that, I still know imperial measurements!). When I enter the alley to my house, she bottoms out a little. When I back into my parking spot, the tailpipe scrapes the concrete block. A couple of inches will solve my problem. well, I hope anyways. It is not something that cannot be undone, so I feel good about it. My wife insists I wait for my brother to show up to help me. It's not hard though, loosen the wheel nuts, jack up the car and block it, remove tire and place the boosters into the coil. Adjust them with the nuts on them, replace tire and let it down. Tighten the lug nuts and repeat on the other side. Simple, just time consuming. I am not allowed today since I fell down from dizziness. The wife, being a nurse, is in charge.:(. I received my new rims for the car today. I have to wait until the middle of next month to put them on. $800 approx for new tires. The existing tires are 10 years old. I am told they should be replaced, even though they look new. I think I'll take a drive down to the tire shop and get their opinion. If they feel they are safe, I will keep them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  14. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    Sorry your not to well. Sure makes it a bummer to try and do things on the bucket list:(
    Rear spring changing really isn't that bad. At least on the A body's. I never put much work into the Wildcat as I was really young.
    Till someone chimes in, I believe it's just one big bolt with a spacer holding each spring into the rear end pocket "I'm not sure if this is the nuts your talking about. Just loosen the bottom of the shock and swap the spring out. Those spacer knuckles with ruin the ride. It will be harsh.
    I think you will be better with some temporary air shocks to lift the back.
     
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  15. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Luckily, it looks like my car had not been subjected to a tow, or had the bumper jack used much since there is no sign of damage on the bumpers. I use a floor jack on her. I bought some coil boosters to raise the back end up a couple of inches (See that, I still know imperial measurements!). When I enter the alley to my house, she bottoms out a little. When I back into my parking spot, the tailpipe scrapes the concrete block. A couple of inches will solve my problem I hope anyways. It is not something that cannot be undone, so I feel good about it. My wife insists I wait for my brother to show up to help me. It's not hard though, loosen the wheel nuts, jack up the car and block it, remove tire and place the boosters into the coil. Adjust them with the nuts on them, replace tire and let it down. Tighten the lug nuts and repeat on the other side. Simple, just time consuming. I am not allowed today since I fell down from dizziness. The wife, being a nurse, is in charge.:(
     
  16. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    Ok, new plan. I took the car around to paint shops today. $30,000 to $16,000. Nope, can't do that. In concours condition, the car is only worth $23,000 US and it isn't concours condition. But, my brother-in-law Gordon has taken autobody and painting and is certified in it. Presently out of work, I texted him and offered him $1000 to help me do the motor and paint in his garage. Ray has the compressor and automotive paint gun. I would do the work stripping and masking, remove chrome... We will have to see what he says. Fingers crossed. I priced out the paint. Primer, paint (2 gallons blue, 1 gallon white) and 1 gallon clearcoat. $860 US ($1100 Canadian). Well worth the money. We are going up in May so, the weather is warm then. Reality kicks me in the butt again. Also, I was driving my F150 today (should have kept driving my Buick) and the radio let out a click, then wouldn't do anything. Frozen screen. No radio, cd, Aux, Bluetooth, anything. I turned the truck off and on again (Old computer trick) and lo and behold, radio works. Weird, eh?
     
  17. 64 skylark mike

    64 skylark mike Well-Known Member

    My car was really low in the back when I got it. I replaced the rear coil springs and it made all the difference in the world! I got stock height replacements from Summit Racing on sale for under $60 with free shipping. Replaced them by myself in a few hours in the carport. Height is where it should be and still has that great Buick ride.
     
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  18. Chuck Bridges

    Chuck Bridges Well-Known Member

    I just checked my car, and, lo and behold, 2 inches lower in the back than in the front. I guess new springs are in order. I just have to wait until the problem with my new rims is sorted out. They don't quite fit. The brake drums on the car are immense. Larger than I have ever seen. I guess that is why Buick won awards for their brakes in 1966. They don't compare to modern brakes with antilock and disk, but they stop the car well.Ah well, it is all a learning process. They are in contact with Buick to determine the proper rims to fit. Until then, the hubcaps still look good. The tire shop says the tires are fine, so when I get new rims, on they go.

    A lot of people are driving their classics right now. Temps in the low +10 - 12 C (+50 - 54 F). I love southern Alberta. Chinooks wipe away the snow and give us spring like weather in January. Yeah!
     
  19. PGSS

    PGSS Well-Known Member

    Rear springs aren't that hard to change but like everything age comes in to play. Just start spraying WD40 or equivlant over and aver for a while, you know the deal..:)
    Oh yeah the drums a massive 12 inchers.. Does it still have the AL ones up front?
     
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  20. cobravii

    cobravii Well-Known Member

    Nice car! Nice to see some more old Buicks in Alberta :)
     
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