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1955 Buick Wildcat III Concept

In the golden age of automotive design, the 1955 Buick Wildcat III stood as a testament to the boundless creativity and innovative spirit of the era. Designed by the legendary Harley Earl, the Wildcat III was the third in a series of concept cars bearing the Wildcat badge, and it certainly didn't disappoint in its captivating design and features.

A Vision of the Future: Unlike its predecessors, the Wildcat III embraced a more conservative and realistic approach. With a reinforced fiberglass body painted in a striking bright red hue, the car exuded a sense of sophistication and elegance. Its 110-inch wheelbase and 190-inch overall length made it larger than the previous Wildcats but still smaller than the production Buicks of the time. The designers at Buick affectionately called it the "toy convertible" due to its charming proportions.

A Fusion of Style and Functionality: The Wildcat III's front and rear styling incorporated elements that would later grace the 1956 and 1957 production Buicks. The front bumper pods ingeniously housed the parking and directional signal lights, giving the car a distinctive and futuristic look. The grille was adorned with a fine screen material, adding to its refined appeal. Notably, the Buick side sweep side trim, which would become an iconic feature of all 1957 Buicks, was proudly displayed on the Wildcat III.

Performance and Power: Under its sleek exterior, the Wildcat III was a powerhouse. It boasted a 280-horsepower V8 engine, equipped with four carburetors, delivering a thrilling driving experience. Paired with a Twin Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission, the car offered a smooth and luxurious ride, fitting for the Buick name.

A Mysterious Legacy: The fate of the Wildcat III remains shrouded in mystery. While some rumors suggested that it met a tragic end in the crusher, others believed it found a sanctuary in a hidden collection, awaiting the perfect moment to re-emerge. Whatever its destiny, the memory of the 1955 Buick Wildcat III lives on as an extraordinary creation that pushed the boundaries of automotive design.

A Legacy of the Wildcat: The Buick Wildcat III was more than just a concept car; it was a symbol of the ingenuity and audacity of automotive visionaries like Harley Earl. As one of the trio of Wildcat concept cars introduced in consecutive years, it played a significant role in shaping the future of Buick's production vehicles.

Images: General Motors Corp.