Technically, a century lasts 100 years, but this 1942 Century is 80. And at 80 years old, it is winning awards and turning heads as much as it did when it was new.
“As beautiful as it is rare, Buick only made 1,229 of its most popular body style, the Century Sedanet,” the listing reads. “This was the fastest U.S. sedan until production was halted in February 1942 because of the war.”
To understand the history of the Century, we have to look at the car that preceded it. The full-size Series 60 model first came out in 1930 on the General Motors B-platform with an OHV straight-six and evolved from there. When the Buick lineup was reworked in 1936, changes were applied to design, engineering, and naming conventions. The Century name was born to identify various types of vehicles in both two-door and four-door configurations.
The seller states that the two-tone maroon and taupe paint on this 1942 is flawless, and Buick experts must agree: This car took second place in its class at an Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) national meet a few months ago. Capping off the period-correct look are the toothy waterfall grille, the generous chrome side spears, and the wide-whitewall tires.
Power comes from a rebuilt 320cid Fireball inline-eight coupled with a three-speed synchromesh manual transmission. The seller has provided a 30-second YouTube video illustrating a cold-start sequence, and the car fires up with ease.
True to the seller’s commentary in the listing, Century production was indeed cut short in the 1942 model year (specifically, on February 4, 1942) because of the onset of World War II. After that, the Century name would take a hiatus for over a decade until a new generation debuted in 1954.
“You won’t find a better example of automotive Art Deco,” the listing concludes. “This recent restoration turns heads wherever it goes.”