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I Build Cars Also: The 1/25 Buick 1966 Wildcat

I have posted a lot of aircraft and armor lately so I thought it was time to change subject matter. Yes, I also enjoy building cars/trucks. I don’t build these as much b/c IMHO cars are the most challenging, especially when going for a showroom appearance. Capturing that perfect, high-gloss, paint job is a labor of love. Primer, Sanding, More Primer, Sanding, Base Coat, Sanding, More Base Coat, Sanding, Gloss coat, sanding, polishing, washing, waxing…you get the idea.

This past year I received a request to build a car model of a 1966 Buick Wildcat Muscle Car. I actually never heard of the Wildcat so I was anxious to get a look at what I was building. The young gentleman who commissioned the build then presented me with an older 1/25 AMT Buick Wildcat box. SO that is a Wildcat. I did my research and proceeded to build.

The kit was one of these semi-curbside kits meaning it had a basic engine but engine compartment suspension, and chassis was over simplified. It actually used metal rod axles so it would roll but not very realistic. The owner of the kit was satisfied with this limitation so I did not need to enhance the chassis and suspension aspect of this model. I did enhance the basic engine a bit and added some wiring. I also purchased aftermarket tires and Craiger rims. I also added some better sport seating from a Dodge Challenger kit.

The customer asked for a metallic maroon finish selected from a reference photograph. I did my best with the detail painting to bring out and enhance what little detail existed in this basic kit. Even with these basic modifications the build was fairly easy, and straight-forward compared to some of my other auto builds. The paint was the most challenging aspect and when it comes to building cars I have had more luck using a rattle can then my trusty airbrush. So for the paint on this car I used a spray can of Testors Lacquer, along with another can of Testors wet gloss. This was sprayed over a few layers of Testors grey lacquer primer. I was satisfied with the outcome so I cleaned up the paint, polished, and waxed. The Wildcat was good to go, and the customer very satisfied. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.


9 responses to I Build Cars Also: The 1/25 Buick 1966 Wildcat

  1. Nice clean kit work.

  2. Always loved the Wildcat. Kind of a sleeper in the muscle cars world. Nice job on the kit. Those Crager SS mags are awesome.

  3. Nicely done, Paul….I like it.

  4. Nice!!! should be part of year of the cat builds.

  5. Hello Paul,
    Excellent finish of this well known American “battleship”
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  6. You’re absolutely correct Robert………… He should have built it for the Year of the Cat……….. It would have been a perfect entry.

    Believe it or not, I took my driving test exam way back when, and the car I drove was a sibling to this one, a 1962 Buick “Invicta” 2 door Hard top. It had the “nail head” 401 in it, and a Dynaflow transmission. It was pretty fast for such a big car.

    Here’s a few photos of a car I saw at the Mecum Auction in Kissimmee earlier this year. This one is almost identical (same color etc.) to the car I took my driving test in, except this one is a convertible.

    You built a great looking Buick !!!!
    Thanks for sharing it with us. It brought back some very cool memories………… These big Buicks were “sleepers” especially when they had the 425 “Wildcat” engine or even later when they had the 455…………… Not too much right off the line from a dead stop, but once you got it rolling, well………that was another story. 🙂

  7. Well!! Having learned how to drive in the mid-1960s, the cars of this era look great to me. NO matter HOW dated their styling is.

    Great looking Wildcat, Paul.

  8. Great work Paul. It is like you mention, a lot of work to get this magnificent look like your Wildcat. I’ve done some cars and still have quite a unbuild collection in the stash waiting for that “car build” moment.
    I like the cars from this era.

  9. Nice looking “cat”, that red really suits it.

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