Buick Series 60 Century

In early 1930, the Buick division was struggling on domestic car market and needed innovations to reach the American customers once again. After all, the world was still feeling disastrous effects of the Great Depression, leaving many people homeless and in fear for their future.

General Motors controlled almost half of the entire United States automobile market at the time. In these dynamic times, many prospective businesses bankrupted and projects failed to even begin.

Buick turned the corner when Harlow Curtice took over the division in 1933, consolidated the sales and manufacturing process. By 1938 Buick market share reached 8.8%, a stunning result of new company policies.

In 1936, the Buick Century was presented as a part of Series 60 lineup, based on 320 cu in 120 hp engine with the ability to reach a top speed of 100 mph. The name originates from the British phrase "doing the century" which was used to describe a vehicle going 100 mph, which one of the Buick executives suggested for the prototype.

Buick Series 60 Century had rather low production for models other than the conventional four-door sedan and coupes. The Series 60 styling incorporated popular Art deco look. Thus Buick Century featured founded grilles, vertical bars, and rearward sweeping lines. A sliding gear three speed transmission with floor shift controls, along with hydraulic brakes was standard equipment.

The wheelbase measured 122 inches, completing what would become traditional combination of light body and big-Buick power. Model proved rather popular among the wealthy Americans with over 17,800 four door sedans and 3,762 two-door Victoria Coupe units produced. The most expensive model was priced at $1,135, a bit higher than the basic price.

1937 Buick Century was marked by steel Fisher Unisteel turret-top body, in essence allowing wider instrument board and additional interior space for the passengers. Sales for the four door Sedan model surpassed 20,000 units, steadily gaining the market share.

The 1937 Buick Century Series 60 models are favored as highly desirable body styles among the collectors, especially two door sedans and later rare open phaetons and convertibles. The following year Century models continued to have success, in part thanks to the fantastic speed results achieved at various racing events.

Extra features included radio, heater, dual side mounts, driving lights, and grille guard. On the international market, the Century was sold under the name Buick Regal in Japan, due to the fact that Toyota already owned the right to "Century" name. Nowadays, the model is still popular for good styling and has decent fan community. Being the best all-around Buicks of the period, it isn't uncommon for Buick Series 60 Century Phaeton to win awards at numerous car shows.

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