Now this is our kind of “hybrid.” Take a Corvette and mix in some Buick Roadmaster DNA and the result is this 1954 Wildcat II concept car you see before you. Conjured up by Harley Earl and lead designer Ned Nichols, it was hailed an “American adventure in tomorrow’s design.” Jalopy Journal recently spotlighted this Buick styling exercise from the golden age of General Motors.
The Wildcat II debuted at the 1954 Motorama in New York and created quite a stir with its fiberglass two seat body and radical styling. Built on a 100-inch wheelbase and just 35-inches tall at the cowl, the racy Wildcat II was powered by a 322CID Nailhead V-8 with four side draft carburetors that pumped out 220hp.
The open,wing like fenders showcased the chrome plated suspension and polished metal wheel wells with inset louvers. Dagmar bumpers, portholes and freestanding headlights that swiveled with the steering wheel added extra 50’s bling. The car was originally shown with “Roto-Static” hubcaps but were later swapped out for a set of more sporty Kelsey wire wheels.
Of the three Wildcat show cars of this era, only two survive. The ’53 Wildcat I is in the trusted hands of Joe Bortz and the Wildcat II was donated by GM to The Alfred Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan. Sadly,the whereabouts of the ’55 Wildcat III is unknown and thought to be destroyed.