The radical 1954 Buick Wildcat II and 1956 Buick Centurion, both veterans of GM’s outrageous Motorama car show (a lavish, GM-only traveling car event that was produced yearly from 1949 to 1961), are featured in Automobile Magazine‘s upcoming August 2008 issue. However, they aren’t the only gorgeous Buick prototypes to grace historic Motorama stages.
Three Buick Wildcats (aptly named Wildcat I, Wildcat II, and Wildcat III) were displayed as “dream cars” beginning with the fiberglass-bodied, Wildcat I convertible. Making its first Motorama stop at New York City’s famous Waldorf-Astoria in 1953, this stunning concept featured vertical grille bars, dual rear fins, a massive front bumper, twin hood scoops for better carburetion, Buick’s signature “ventiports”, push-button doors, and a 188-hp, vertical-valve V-8 engine.
Accompanying the Wildcat II in 1954 was the Buick Skylark (a custom-bodied convertible that sat on a ’53 Buick Roadmaster chassis) and the four-door Buick Landau, which featured a distinct, padded trunk and rear-seat cocktail set built right into its armrest (imagine ordering this option on today’s Buick Enclave).
Finally, a four-passenger Wildcat III arrived for the 1955 Motorama, painted “Kimberly Red” in honor of race car driver Jim Kimberly. (It also featured a steering wheel that resembled the wheel in a ’56 Chevy Corvette.)