The Buick Century spanned seventy-five years as a model in the division’s lineup, first appearing before World War II. Introduced in 1936 as the renamed Series 60, the Century utilized the shorter wheelbase of the Special, and the 320 cubic-inch Straight 8 from the Roadmaster, making the Century the fastest Buick available. This first-generation Buick Century would span from 1936 to 1942, with production paused for World War II. The Century nameplate would not return until well after the war had ended.
The second-generation Buick Century bowed for the 1954 model year. A lighter and smaller car than its predecessor, the Century would again adopt the Special platform and the most-powerful available engine, the 322 cubic-inch Buick Fireball overhead-valve V8 that made 200 horsepower. The Fireball was backed by a two-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission. The Century was available as a two-door hardtop, convertible, and for the first time as a station wagon.
The 1955 Buick Century featured the four fender hole “VentiPort” styling lifted from the Buick Roadmaster, and the wraparound Panoramic windshield that was common to all GM passenger cars. During the 1955 model year, the Buick Century line added a four-door hardtop dubbed the Buick Century Riviera. Power was up from 1954, with the Fireball V8 producing 236 ponies. Optional power brakes were available, and tubeless tires were standard for the first time. The California Highway Patrol ordered a special production run of 270 two-door sedans, a body style not available to the public.
For the 1956 model year, the Buick Century received another bump in output, up to 255 horsepower. Power windows were standard for the drop top, and optional in other models. Also optional across the range was a padded safety dashboard. Base price for the 1956 Century was $2,963, or about $33,500 today.
Our feature 1956 Buick Century has been built into a stunning custom hot rod. It is finished in Sunset Orange Pearl and Cool Vanilla, features a custom-built Art Morrison frame, coilovers, rack and pinion steering, a chrome four-link suspension, Wilwood four-piston disc brakes with twelve-inch cross-drilled rotors, custom aluminum driveshaft, and a 33-gallon gas tank. The Century is powered by a 6.1-liter Gen III Hemi V8 with FAST fuel injection making 480 horsepower. The Hemi is backed by a TorqueFlite 727 transmission with a Gear Vendors overdrive that moves power to the Ford nine-inch rear end. The Century rolls on Billet Specialties 17×8-inch front and 17×10-inch rear polished wheels.
Inside the Buick Century is a full custom interior by Rod Magnus Hot Rod Interiors. Cadillac front seats and sculpted rear seat are awash in sumptuous tan leather with ivory inserts. The dash features Dakota Digital instrumentation, the steering wheel is from Billet Specialties, and the shifter comes courtesy of B&M.
This 1956 Buick Century has been featured in the August 2023 Hot Rod Magazine, was displayed at the Meguiar’s hangar at the 2022 Orange County, California Cruisin’ For a Cure event, and took Second Place at the 2020 California Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona.
This stunning Buick Century hot rod will cross the Mecum Auctions block at their Las Vegas, Nevada event taking place November 9th through the 11th.