Buick Century Convertible Coupe
The Century nameplate first appeared on a Buick model in the 1930s, commemorating its ability to exceed 100 mph. When civilian automobile production resumed after World War II, Buick did so without returning the Century to production until 1954. However, when it returned, the Century formula was simple but effective – put the biggest and most powerful Buick engine into the smallest model, cloaked with tastefully understated bodywork.
Underhood, the Century’s “Fireball” overhead-valve V8 engine was carefully developed, reaching a stout 255 horsepower rating by 1956. True to its name, the 1956 Buick Century was a very capable performer, with acceleration from rest to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds, en route to quarter-mile times of around 17 seconds and a top speed exceeding 110 mph, as confirmed by contemporary roads tests in Speed Age and Motor Trend magazines.
While its performance credentials were certainly impressive in their day, the Century offered plenty of style too. Instantly recognizable by its four oval “ventiports” and leather trim, the Century, particularly in its convertible form, was the epitome of fifties style. By 1956, Buick was in full stride and ranked in third place for the calendar year, with 9.1 percent of the American industry’s total production. Yet, just 4,721 Century Convertible Coupes were built for 1956, with precious few remaining in existence.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
255 bhp, 322 cu. in. V8 engine, single four-barrel carburetor, Variable Pitch Dynaflow automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 122"
Source: RM Auctions