1966 Wildcat 2 door Sport Coupe

So, today I was driving down Mayor Magrath (Our main north-south corridor) and an older gentleman in a Dodge Rumblebee pickup pulled up to next to me at the light. He complimented the car asked a few questions, then, as the light turned, asked me if I wanted to trade for a 1965 Mustang. Now, a few years back, if you had asked me if I wanted a 1965 Mustang, I would have drooled saying yes please. Today though, I shook my head and said "No Thanks, I love my car." This isn't the first time this has happened, but it is the first time that anyone offered me a Mustang, my previous dream car. The thing with Mustangs, common as grass. Wildcats..... no nearly so. I do love my obscure car.
 
Today, after my Son woke up and took his kids around 10:30 (Mom is in the hospital, not COVID-19), and taking a load of garbage to the dump, I worked on my car for 3 hours. I started by removing everything from the trunk and checking it out. Definitely need to strip and paint the floor. I sprayed all of the nuts inside for the letters and rear chrome trim with penetrating oil. After waiting a little, while straightening out the tool box, I started removing the letters. The two Wildcat words on the sides, all individual letters, came nicely. I removed the chrome trim from the back of the trunk and then worked on the Wildcat letters on the trunk. Easy Peasy, until I came to the D, right in the middle. Nice, the trunk locking mechanism was in the way. Okay, it's only 3 bolts. Well, that started, not, now, how to get this pin out of the middle. I guess I need to remove the lock. Now, how...... must be below this little plate. Remove the screw and small bolt... and... not a plate. Now what?????? On a whim, I pulled on it, hmmm, it's a plate that releases the lock. Pull the lock and the latch, get the rest of the letters and go to put the lock back together. It was at this point, I could swear I heard my Dad "When you put that back, I want it to look and work like new." (Don't you hate it when that little voice, from 30 years ago, won't keep quiet?) Okay Dad, I brushed the lock and latch mechanisms clean, oiled it and looked. Not quite like new, but clean and working well. I then tackled the side chrome moulding along the side of the trunk. Have to remove the chrome from the wheel well first. Darn, those screws were sticky. Penetrating oil again! Now I have the side moulding from the trunk off, look at the clips. Definitely have seen better days. That explains why the trim was never tight to the body in places. Look up the clips, find them, well, universal ones online. 5 for 9.95. I will look local first, but the original ones are not going back on the car! Next, back seat and doors, but tomorrow, my wife has me building shelves.

Everyone have a good night and stay safe and healthy. As they say, we are all in this together!
 

oldfoneguy

Active member
As long as you have the trunk lock cylinder out replace the gasket behind it before you put it back in.
Trim items are seldom difficult to remove as generally they are dry and use "speed nuts" a stamped sheet metal fastener with an extremely coarse or "fast" thread. Removing them is rarely a problem however it's when they're replaced guys have a problem. Most who are unexperinced with them tend to overtighten. They should be little more than hand tight as trim pieces are generally pot metal which is very weak. They're not a mechanical item and don't need to be torqued in place. If using a socket on an extension to reach them don't use the ratchet to tighten just use the extension as a nut driver. Ask me how I know Chuck.
 
Sorry, time was short earlier. Demanding toddler and baby. Being Gampy is a full time job. I started building a console for my car today. I didn't like how the stereo was, my fault, I built the first one and didn't really think it through. There is a speaker box for the 2 front speakers at the front by the firewall, with the gauges up in front of them. The console is going between it and the seat. The stereo will go in on an angle, then a bank of 4 - 12 volt plugs and 1 USB, then 2 cup holders. My wife found a cup holder already built, I just have to drill a cup sized hole and glue it in. It holds 2 cups, or in my case, cans of diet coke.

I really appreciate any advice on the work. I noticed that the trim holders had plastic nuts on them. Good clue that you should not over-tighten them. The letters were held on with the nuts that are hollow, very thin. A few were missing, so I will have to source them as well. This is the part that takes time, since I have to wait for the penetrating oil to work. I don't want to ruin anything. I know that is setting a high bar for a 54 year old car, but.... do the best I can.

Well time to be Gampy again. Goodnight all.
 
While I am up north, Ray says that he will ask his brother Gordon to weld a new piece of steel into the trunk of the car. The body mount on the passenger side has some rust holes and we are going to cut it out and replace it. Safety first! I found this out while changing out my coils. I saw carpet and thought "That's not right?" In the end, I am glad I caught it now before it became a significant problem. Until then, I put some metal over the holes and silicone it down. Not structural, but keep moisture out of the trunk. We are probably going up in two weeks and will take care of my baby then. Ray can't help me because he has to have heart surgery to replace a leaking valve that was put in around 7 years ago. Until that it done he is forbidden to do any work. I will not be letting him work on the car. I know him, he will want to help. I will tell him that I need advice, not help.
 

drhach

New member
Hi Chuck, I just joined this forum and I stumbled across your thread. I've really enjoyed it. I have a 19y2 Lesabre that's been in my family since new. I recently inherited it from my deceased brother. He was disabled and the car was his pride and joy. Like you he he had limited ability and resources. Don't let that discourage you. I would encourage you to get a proper manual for your car (if you haven't already). Theres a ton of basic stuff that you can do that will enhance reliability. Also, the manual speaks I very plain term that will teach you a lot about you car. Best of luck, keep up the good work.
 
Hello Back. I have purchased the manuals on DVD for the Wildcat. As you say, there is a ton of basic stuff I can do. I hired a mechanic to ensure that the car was safe and running properly as I didn't want to become a hazard on the road. I really love my old Buick Wildcat. When Ray gave me the car, my wife thought that this was going to be a 20 year project. I am not built that way. If I own it, it has to be right. Really not certain why she thought this project was going to be any different? I have $2000 Canadian worth of primer, paint and clear coat sitting in my living room, just waiting for the trip north. I also has a belt sander, a dual action sander, sanding block, clean rags, and, hopefully, energy. Unfortunately, since my accident, that can be in short supply. I am blessed with an awesome family of in-laws though. Thanks for the encouragement, as a novice (want, how did I advance from clueless to novice?), I really do appreciate any and all advice.

Keep safe and healthy, you and your family. We will all get through this pandemic together and enjoy our babies (both cars and real ones. In this case, my Grandchildren).

Chuck
 
Well, I have most of the side chrome removed. I haven't done the fenders yet as you have to remove them to get at the chrome nuts. I have polished the chrome and re-done the striping on it. I know for it to be perfect, I would have to send it out to be re-chromed, but, I think it looks pretty good. I have multiple cuts on my arms and wrists. I looks like I was trying to do myself in. I tell people that the car hates me and bites me as often as it can.
The bottom piece was cleaned last year. The top piece has been cleaned and chrome polished. I then added pinstriping for the red and black strips.
Chrome trim.jpg
 

Johnny Buick

New member
Hello Chuck I enjoy reading your posts and seeing what you are up to with your 1966 Wildcat. I also have a 1966 Wildcat 2 door hardtop, (same as yours). It would make an ideal part car for you as I have no use for it. The car is complete and while I have not tried to start it in recent time, I am sure that it would be OK. Please get back to me if you are interested and I live in South Dakota. Thanks John
 
Hello John. While I appreciate the offer, I cannot afford, nor do I have anywhere to store a parts car. Also, I got "The Look" when my wife read the email. I really do appreciate the offer, and, if I had a place, I would find a way to make it work. I would put it on classified. I am certain that it should sell. Thank you for the offer.

Chuck
 
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