Buick Century

The moniker 'Buick Century' has been used time and time again throughout the history of car making by Buick, a division of General Motors. The name was used for a line of full-size performance vehicles from 1936 to 1942 and 1954 to 1958 and again from 1973 to 2004 for a mid-size car. The general layout for the 1936 to 1942 Century was conceptualized by mating a shorter wheelbase Buick Special to Buick's eight-cylinder engine. The equipment under the hood made them the fastest Buicks of the era and capable of sustained speeds of 95 mph or more. This earned the Century the nickname "banker's hotrod". An inevitable discontinuation occurred at the end of the abbreviated 1942 model year. This was to be expected given that the total model production only accounted for about ten percent of Buick's total output. The Century was redesigned for the last time in 1977. It did retain a front wheel drive V6-powered configuration, although the car was moved to the W-body platform, rejoining its former Regal sibling. The coupe and wagon models had been left behind and only a four door model was available. By this point the Century and Regal were nearly the same car, and could be identified only by trim and engine differences. The Century was lower-priced than the Regal, and consequently it was also the lower-powered and plainer of the two. Luckily though, the car retained its reputation for quality because the design was well-proportioned. When Buick discontinued the Skylark in 1998, the Century became for the first time ever, Buick's entry-level car. The Century faced top competition from Japanese family sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. This was a hard market to compete in considering the other models carried lower price point that the Buick. Drivers however, perhaps because of nostalgia, continued to choose the Century as their chosen family sedan.