• The 1966 Buick Wildcat, once a popular muscle car, is now considered an underrated classic and can be purchased for less than $10,000.
  • Our digital artist, Rostislav Prokop, has created a stunning render of the 1966 Buick Wildcat, giving it a modern and menacing look with blacked-out body paint and modern design elements.
  • The original 1966 Buick Wildcat came with a powerful V8 engine, and the digital render envisions the car with a massive engine and high-performance capabilities.

Today’s Buick, a subdivision of General Motors, is a far cry from its glory days back when it had cool cars, like the 1966 Buick Wildcat. Ironically, David Dunbar Buick formed the Buick Motor Company in 1903 and later, it was this very company that founded General Motors in 1908. While Buick once prided itself on successful nameplates like the Buick Regal Grand National and GNX, today it’s a mere shadow of its former self.

Of course, it’s still a premium segment brand and, in recent times, the 1966 Buick Wildcat has emerged as quite the collector’s item. One of the main reasons for its popularity is because this was one of the first muscle cars from the house of Buick.

That's enough for HotCars digital artist Rostislav Prokop to dig deep and churn out a stunning 1966 Buick Wildcat render that looks part hot rod and part dystopian survivor. To be honest, there’s also a touch of Mad Max: Fury Road in this render. We can totally see Tom Hardy (or Charlize Theron) get behind the wheel and zoom off, if not on desert roads, then on the drag strip.

RELATED: Why Our 1963 Buick Wildcat Render Is The Perfect 1100-HP Muscle Car Restomod

This Virtual Muscle Car Would Be A Real Wildcat On The Drag Strip

While the 1966 Buick Wildcat came built as a muscle car, dressed in chrome and gleaming sheet metal, Prokop really shakes things up in the render. It looks like the front half and even the rear, as in the hood and the boot, are nothing more than the chassis with a roll cage fixed atop. Only the cabin seems to bear the original design and carry the same sheet metal. Gone are all the chrome accents and everything that made the Wildcat look like a stunning classic.

Rather interestingly, the artist retains the pointy nose with the help of the headlight frame mounted in front of the roll cage, keeping the "snootiness" of the Wildcat intact. Instead of the double round headlamps, there are rectangular LEDs, and the front bumper comes in carbon fiber with a front splitter as well.

When it comes to the design, the rear is equally interesting given the artist keeps the sloping roof but cuts out the trunk to show the roll cage, showing the car’s gumption on the drag strip. It comes wearing modern alloys and fatter, drag-strip tires as well.

As far as the rest of the body goes, the artist retains most of the original grooves, dips, and curves. That said, this virtual muscle car wears blacked-out body paint, making this modern edition of the 1966 Buick Wildcat look utterly menacing. Some of the pictures also add green body paint to the render for a splash of color, although the exhaust seems a little mysterious.

Highlights of the 1966 Buick Wildcat Render Design:

  • Blacked-out body paint adds a certain menacing charm to this virtual muscle car.
  • The naked hood and trunk show the strengthened roll cage, showing off the drag-strip prowess.
  • The absence of any chrome accents adds a modern touch to an otherwise ‘60s classic.

RELATED: Our Slammed 1963 Buick Wildcat Digital Concept Restomod Is Now On The Loose

This 1966 Buick Wildcat Render Carries Massive Fire Power

Back in 1966, the Buick Wildcat carried a powerful V8 engine. Known as the Nailhead, this Buick V8 engine debuted in 1953 as a 4.3-liter motor. It became far more powerful by the time it reached inside the 1966 Wildcat. For 1966, the Buick “Nailhead” V8 had a 7.0-liter displacement. Interestingly, they called this engine the Nailhead because of the way its valves aligned. This arrangement looked like nails with long stems and small heads.

Rostislav Prokop’s render makes the 1966 Buick Wildcat look a lot more powerful given the front is nothing more than a chassis with a roll cage frame on top, housing a somewhat massive engine. We doubt a Wildcat could come powered by one of the current Buick engines, given most come in the 1.4-liter EcoTec variations.

If we look at General Motors, there’s a crate engine perfect for a drag-strip Buick Wildcat kart. It’s the Chevrolet Performance ZZ632/1000 Deluxe Big-Block Crate Engine, rated at a massive 1,000 horsepower and an equally powerful torque. Also, there’s always the most powerful iteration of the Corvette, the Z06, to borrow the engine from.

Possible Engine Choices For Modern Iteration Of The 1966 Buick Wildcat:

Engine Name

Chevy ZZ632/1000 Crate

Chevrolet LT6 5.5L


Project Cars

2024 Chevrolet Corvette


1,000 hp

670 hp


876 lb-ft

460 lb-ft

All specs have been taken from Chevrolet’s official website, including for the crate engine.

RELATED: Up Close And Personal With The Buick Wildcat Concept Car

The 1966 Wildcat Came Powered With Buick’s Largest Engine

While it’s the 1966 Wildcat that’s truly considered a muscle car, the nameplate debuted in 1962 as a subseries of the Buick Invicta. Back then, it carried a 325-hp V8 in the Invicta’s sports coupe body. By 1963, Buick felt it was wild enough and launched it as a standalone nameplate, adding a convertible and hardtop version too.

After just a couple of years, Buick moved the Wildcat out of the LeSabre platform of the Invicta and re-platformed it onto the 126-inch wheelbase of the Buick Electra. This could well be in response to the sheer Ford Mustang wave that had swept the market, and Buick felt that the Wildcat could take on the stallion’s popularity.

Buick Added Special Packages To The 1966 Buick Wildcat

  • For the 1966 Wildcat only, Buick added a Gran Sport Performance Group package, as in the Wildcat GS or Gran Sport.
  • This muscle car carried a single-barrel carburetor-supported 7.0-liter V8 as the base engine, which produced 340 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque.
  • It ran on a standard three-speed manual transmission which could also be upgraded to a four-speed manual or automatic for smoother performance.
  • There was also the Super Wildcat, where you could set the same 7.0-liter V8 with a dual-barrel carburetor to take the horsepower to 360 or even higher.
  • The dual-barrel carb option first came as a dealer-installed option, but later you could order one from the factory itself, at a premium cost.
  • Given the extra power, the Super Wildcat GS also came with a beefier suspension and more performance-oriented insides.

RELATED: This Mean 1987 Buick GNX Restomod Render Is Where Vintage Grit Meets Modern Performance

1966 Buick Wildcat Is Worth $10,000-$34,500



Avg. Market Price


1966 Buick Wildcat



(data provided by classic.com and Hagerty)

Despite Tom McCahill from "Mechanix Illustrated" calling the 1966 Buick Wildcat the “most comfortable and best Buick” he had ever driven, the Wildcat could never attain Mustang status. Along with the sheer tsunami-like popularity of the Ford Mustang, plenty of other muscle cars proved better competitors.

With the likes of the Pontiac GTO and Chevrolet Chevelle SS, there were also the Impala SS, Shelby Cobra, Plymouth Barracuda, and more to contend with. Even today, the Buick Wildcat remains an underrated classic and, consequentially, not a very expensive one.

1966 Buick Wildcat Pricing Details

  • As per Hagerty, a good condition 1966 Buick Wildcat can be yours for less than $10,000, which makes it a perfect car to perform a radical restoration on. Especially since you now have artist Rostislav Prokop’s vision for a drag-strip Wildcat, replete with claws and fangs.
  • In the last five years, Classic.com reports only five 1966 Buick Wildcats changing hands, with the most recent sale being at $34,500, and the average being $27,500. Of course, these could be mint condition or even Concours models.

Sources: Chevrolet, Hagerty, Classic.com

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