Thursday, November 3, 2016

What Were They Thinking?: Buick's 1985 Wildcat Concept Car

General Motors' Buick Division has made considerable use of the name Wildcat over the year, as this link attests.  There were three Motorama dream car Wildcats in the mid-1950s, production Buicks with the Wildcat name in the 1960s, and finally another concept car in 1985 that is the subject of this post.

The General Motors web site has this to say about the '85 Wildcat that was developed while Irv Rybicki was in charge of GM styling.  Rybicki's production designs tended to be cautious, but this concept car was quite the opposite.  Perhaps that was because it was a pure show car and not the type of concept car intended to preview production styling features.

The '85 Wildcat was odd looking -- poorly proportioned, and its front and rear designs looked like  they belonged on the opposite ends, as will be shown below.  This was largely due to its mid-engine layout.  I saw this Wildcat at Expo 86 in Vancouver, and it did not impress me.

The Wildcat's puffy fenders and aerodynamic pretensions strike me as being characteristic of GM styling studio thinking in those days.


The front is strongly cabover.  The curve that's not interrupted by a cowling looks like a mid-1940s fastback (if the glass is disregarded).

The rear looks more like a front: pretend the backlight is actually a 1950s style wraparound windshield.

In the best hot rod tradition, the "mill" is exposed.

This is the car's "door."  Not practical in a rainstorm.

Side view when everything is buttoned down.  I just can't help thinking that the front is at the left.

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