1936 was certainly a good year for Buick, as it managed to introduce what turned out to be popular and profitable models, not just once but several times. The Buick Roadmaster is considered by many to be the crowning achievement of that year, however it is not alone in helping turn the company’s fortune around. The 1936 Buick Century was certainly part of the success, as it was built on a platform that allowed for greater speed than any other model; this was, however, offset by the fact that it could not handle very well. Many variations of the Century were available, including a convertible (pictured), a sedan, a coupe and several others. It was also offered to coach-builders as a rolling chassis, which explains why there are so many ‘original’ customs still around.
The idea behind the Century was not a new one, but certainly one that’s remained popular: take a small, short wheel-base car and equip it with a large, powerful engine – in this case one big enough to push around a bus. The 1936 Buick Century was fitted with a 5.2-liter straight eight engine, which allowed it to reach the then-impressive speed of 98 miles per hour, depending of course on which type of body was chosen.
The Buick Century was popular, and remained in production from 1936 to 1942, when the full effects of the Second World War came into view, and Buick shifted production, in part, to aircraft engines. The Buick Century named wasn’t revived immediately after the war, but lived on in several iterations, from 1954 to ’58, and from 1973 to 2005.