The Buick Century is known as the series of performance vehicles released by General Motors in the market beginning the year 1936. The American brand came up with such title because one of its main goals in developing a carrier model was to be able to come up with a car that has a high speed limit. The manufacturers then adapted the British lingo of “doing the century” that meant going the distance of 100 miles per hour.
1936-1942: Engineering improvements
For the Buick Century’s first generation, the models boast of a new and improved design and engineering as compared to the previous car models launched by General Motors. This time, the Century series carried the basic formula of classic Buick cars, but with a bigger straight-eight engine and a longer engine compartment. During this time, too, the Buick Centuries were classified as the fastest cars in the era due to its 165 horsepower and a speed of 95 miles per hour on average. However, production of this particular series ended in 1942 because of its low output on sales. And it was not until 1954 when GM re-launched the Century in the market.
1954-1958: Same formula, new model
In 1954, Buick decided to reintroduce the Century in the market using the same old formula it used in the manufacture of previous models, but with a totally new design. This time, the main goal was to come up with a special kind of performance vehicle that will be on par with the other performance cars available in the market. Buick came up with its largest and most powerful engine at that time with the V8 engine measured at 322 cubic inches.
It was also during this generation when Buick re-launched its station wagon model which was first introduced in the previous Century generation. Aside from this, the company gave consumers the option to purchase a four-door sedan or a two-door sedan. Although there wasn’t much difference between the two, a lot of people seem to have fallen in love with the two-door type, which paved way for a large fleet order in 1955. The cars also had optional power brakes and a padded safety dash then as well as tubeless tires and power windows. In 1959, however, Buick changed Century’s name to Invicta.
1973-2005: The rebirth of the Century
By this time, Buick introduced a new line of midsize sedans that had a longer wheelbase than the previous designs. It was also during this time when the Centuries became a mainstay of the brand’s smaller line of cars together with the Regal series. This new set of Century models also came with fuel economy regulations that helped address gas shortage during the period.
Come 1997, General Motors released an improved line of the Buick Century. Although it shared the same platform and engine with the older GM models, this new line was equipped with a longer shelf life, classic Custom and Limited trims, and a standard six-passenger capacity. It also boasted of the keyless entry and the dual-zone climate control, which were unique among cars at the time. And true enough, this latest series managed to prove its long life by conquering the market for the next nine years until the brand decided to discontinue its production.