America’s Car Museum adds Wildcat prototype, Ridler Award winner

The "Ferrambo."

The “Ferrambo.”

TACOMA, Wash. — What do you give a car museum that seemingly has everything? How about two super rare cars you won’t find anywhere else? That’s exactly what happened Feb. 14 as LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM), in Tacoma, Wash., announced two donations: a fiberglass 1964 Buick Wildcat prototype and the Ridler Award-winning hot rod Ferrambo. These additions are now a part of the museum’s collection of more than 300 cars trucks and motorcycles.

The custom-made Ferrari Red Ferrambo, donated by Mike Warn of Warn Industries, is part 1960 Rambler and part Ferrari (hence the name Ferrambo).  Warn said he wanted to create a car that combined American engineering and strength with European style and performance. In 2008, Warn’s brainchild, which took him more than two years to construct, captured the prestigious Ridler Award at Detroit’s Autorama, driving the car’s estimated value to $750,000.

The keys to the 1964 Buick Wildcat prototype were handed to ACM President and CEO David Madeira by museum member Paul Ianuario. General Motors designed the Wildcat to complement the Impala SS and gave the prototype the added exotic feature of fiberglass construction as used on the Corvette. However, the would-be performance car never went into production in fiberglass and Wildcats available to the public were built only in steel.

The fiberglass body makes Ianuario’s prototype extremely rare. The prototype packs the 401-cid “Nailhead” V-8 and, according to the owner, has a different cam and other performance upgrades, “indicated by the way it idles and its overall performance,” said Ianuario. “We’re not exactly sure what the improvements were. However, it is equipped with a single four-barrel carburetor. I was told that, had the car gone into production, it would have been offered with the two four-barrel, 425-hp-version engine.”

The Wildcat prototype has only 3,893 miles and is also valued at three quarters of a million dollars.

“The Ferrambo and the Wildcat are perfectly suited for display in America’s Car Museum,” said Madeira. “High-level car donations of this sort have been — and will continue to be — a vital component of our growth in national prominence. We’re ecstatic to add these two vehicles to our ever-expanding collection and I thank Paul and Mike for their generosity.”

Madeira added that ACM has received more than $2 million worth of vehicle donations in the past year and that visitors can check them out seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Our collection is never static,” said Madeira. “It’s constantly changing and evolving, which gives families and car enthusiasts a reason to come back.”

For more information on ACM, visit www.lemaymuseum.org.

America’s Car Museum
www.lemaymuseum.org
2702 East D. St.
Tacoma, WA 98421
253-779-8490

 

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One thought on “America’s Car Museum adds Wildcat prototype, Ridler Award winner

  1. Ken Sousa

    Isn’t a fiberglass Buick performance car sort of like a fiberglass Abrams performance tank? I remember my dad’s 62 Wildcat and it was no slouch, with a torquey 401 V8, but it sure as heck wasn’t even close to the 62 Impala 409 SS. What was GM thinking? Next a Caddilac Coup de Ville in fiberglass?

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