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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: Buick’s 100 mph Century sport coupe

Pick of the Day: Buick’s 100 mph Century sport coupe

Big engine in smaller, lighter car in 1936. Isn’t that the muscle car formula?

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It was billed as Buick’s “Head start to Happiness.” 

“You know a straight white road where the new leaves wait to whisper in the breeze of passing. You know a pretty girl with laughter, ready lips and an eagerness to taste the fresh caress of a soft spring night upon her cheek. Take a pretty girl, and on that moon-splashed road let the Century tell its own quiet-voiced story of power and steadiness and even keeled comfort.”

That was not only from an advertisement from decades ago but also from the current advertisement for the Pick of the Day, a 1936 Buick Century 66S sport coupe, on ClassicCars.com.

The car is being offered by a private seller located in Fountain Hills, Arizona, who notes that this Model 66S Sport Coupe is one of only 1,079 produced that year, and this is one of only 331 with dual side-mounted spare tires. The car also has a rumble seat.

1936 Buick Century

The seller notes that in 1936 Buick was trying to appeal to younger buyers with its “Head start to Happiness” advertising campaign, and had introduced the Century as a model name to show that the car, smaller and lighter than usual, could travel at 100 mph, thanks to a 320cid straight-8 engine with 120 horsepower.

The engine was standard in the Roadmaster and Series 90 Buicks, but now was in a car smaller and several hundred pounds lighter.

“This ultra race car represents the beginning of performance or maybe even American muscle cars,” the seller contends.

The seller reports that the car was built in Flint, Michigan, on October 16, 1935, and at some point was in Kindred, North Dakota, at least long enough to get an oil-change sticker applied to its door jam.

In 2010, that car “was purchased by a Buick collector in Florida who had the car restored by Realistic Auto Restorations in St Petersburg, Florida.”

1936 Buick Century

The car is done in factory-correct Trouville Blue paint and the interior features “correct Bedford cord-dash and moldings have professional wood grain finish.” 

“I believe this car has all the options available in 1936 including special steering wheel, special paint, dual side mounts, rumble seat, factory radio and heater – also aftermarket fog lights.”

The car is being offered for $55,000. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

8 COMMENTS

  1. if only we could see ahead, i owned a 1942 Century fast back , it was quite unique, it had the Roadmaster big engine , BUT had TWIN 2 barrel carburators ,and a larger factory exhaust system!
    me at the time young and dumb did not realize it was a rare car, bought it off a local car lot, for $125 dollars!
    winter came and i did not know about antifreeze, ice cold night, split the block wide open!
    it wnt to the junkyard! Duhhh.

  2. This car makes me wish I had a spare $55k! I’ve always been a Ford guy but I’ve owned a couple of Buicks and developed a soft spot for them over the years. That smooth, effortless power and that smooth, quiet ride have few rivals.

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