Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia
Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: On the Buick Wildcat 445, what does the 445 represent?
If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you’re correct.
Super_Wildcat_425ci_Front_ViewA lot of car makers have used specific aspects of their cars as the vehicle’s actual name. Some have used engine displacement as part of it – 240/260/280sl, 320i, 240Z, etc, while others have been even more intricate in their conventions. Ferrari at one time named their models after the displacement of a single cylinder of the iconic Columbo V12 engine. A 250 GTO was hence easily identified as being powered by a 3-litre engine.
Things had to change when not all road Ferraris were V12-powered, and in the ’70s the marque started a new canon, matching overall displacement with cylinder count. This resulted in the 512 (five liters, 12 cylinders), and 308 (3-litres and 8 cylinders). The Italians have since modified their model names and today I couldn’t really tell you what one or the other signifies.
Back in the sixties Buick offered a special naming convention that was based, not on a physical aspect of their engine, like displacement or carburetor count, nor was it on the traditional gauge of automotive performance, horsepower. Instead, they named their V8 after another performance parameter.
From How Stuff Works (emphasis added):

Performance remained the Wildcat’s calling card. Power choices began with the “Wildcat 445” V-8, so named because of its torque output. This 401-cid evolution of Buick’s Fifties-vintage “nailhead” V-8 made 325 bhp at 4,400 rpm. It featured a four-barrel carb and 10.25:1 compression.

The Wildcat 445 was joined by the Wildcat 465 and Super Wildcat as Buick’s entries into the highly competitive muscle car wars of the 1960s. The Wildcat model began in 1962 as a sub-brand of the Invicta line. The model grew to become its own brand in ’63, offering the 401 and adding the 425-cid in both Wildcat 465 and Super Wildcat form. Later models could be had with a 455-cid engine, but added weight and looming emissions standards spelled doom on the model’s performance.
Image: Wikipedia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. BuickButt Avatar

    Torque! Buickbutt is back, y’all!

  2. hubba Avatar

    Torque, torque, glorious torque.

  3. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

    I was gonna say 4-speed 4-barrel 5-tires.

  4. dukeisduke Avatar

    Makes sense. By the end of the decade, they were closing in on 500 ft-lb. Mmmmm…

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      A couple of cars had crossed that mark by the end of the 60’s, even factoring out “underrated” engines like the 426 Hemi, Boss 9, and L88/ZL1. The Olds 455 and Cadillac 472 advertised 500+ torquies before the decade was done. Buick and Pontiac each had a 455 CID member of that club in Model Year 1970 (also, the Cadillac engine had a growth spurt of 28 cubic inches and some associated torque), which technically included the last few months of 1969.

  5. Batshitbox Avatar

    So a Ferrari 328 has 28 cylinders?

    1. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

      No, Ferrari nomenclature is simple. How many have caught on fire.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      Nope, it followed the older convention: 3 cylinder of 28 liters.

      1. dead_elvis Avatar

        I coulda sworn it was 32 cylinders, 8 liters each.

        1. JayP Avatar

          Now you’re silly.
          3 speed, 2 carbs and 8 exhausts.

  6. JayP Avatar