1 of 478! 1974 Buick Century Gran Sport Stage 1

In Buick parlance, “Stage 1” represents the extra lever you pull when you never want to meet a car that looks just like yours except with more horsepower. By 1974, Stage 1 became an option package on the Buick Century and could be combined with others, such as with this 1974 Buick Century Luxus Colonnade Coupe, Gran Sport Stage 1. The Thayer, Missouri classic comes to market here on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $9500 and a Make Offer button as well. Dig those Kelly Charger tires! I put those on at least two ’70s GMs back in the day.

The 1974 Stage 1 455 cid (7.5L) V8 is no joke. The slowest Gran Sport’s 350 cid (5.7L) V8 made 175 HP and the non-Stage1 455 upped the ante to 225. This car’s Stage 1 package adds 50 HP for a total of 275, the same as the ’74 Corvette! This one runs but, sadly, with a rod knock. The underhood equipment looks highly original, including some often-bypassed emissions hoses, and seems to match up with the window sticker. The seller knows Buicks, and this is a rare one!

While a ’68-’72-style console could be ordered, this one came with the upgraded Luxus interior and dating-friendly bench seat. The $31 Rallye Steering Wheel sets a sporty tone. With air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, and tilt-wheel, this Buick has some comfort to compliment that Stage 1 power.

Numerous sources have called out the Colonnade coupes as a good choice for future collectibles, with special models like this Stage 1 and the 455-powered Oldmobile 442 W30 leading the charge. I’m no expert but the Buy It Now may look like a bargain in a few years. What’s this 1 of 478 power coupe worth to you?

Thanks to hemmings.com for some details.

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    Rods knock knock knocking on heavens door …

    Nice looking body / interior

    Fix the rod then sell but the owner knows that at a machine shop it’s around five grand complete rebuild 🤔

    7
  2. Veeser

    Yes please, rod knock and all. The rust makes me a bit wary but I still want it.

  3. David Ulrey

    The price isn’t completely outrageous but 5k would be much better. I don’t think it should be bought as a money maker but it could be a great car for someone that appreciates it. Not everyone would appreciate it but I do.

    20
  4. Miguel Member

    Once I had a 1974 Regal with a floor shift automatic and a 455 under the hood.

    At the time I didn’t know it was a special car.

    7
  5. Ike Onick

    The best thing about this is that someone might start using the moniker “Rod Knock” after reading this write-up.

    5
  6. jeff

    As the older so called muscle cars are being priced out of reach The cars of this generation are rightfully gaining the respect they deserve some minor hop ups will put their performance on par with older muscle cars but unfortunately after market replacement parts may or may not be easily obtained Nice car restore it back to semi stock rebuild 455

    12
  7. Superdessucke

    As a former owner of a ’74 Century Luxus with the milquetoast 350 2-bbl, with this same interior in white with carmel, I find this very cool. Not sure about 9.5k worth of cool given the need for an engine rebuild and likely a complete update of the rubber in the car but cool all the same. Despite the Stage 1 option, would a ’74 Century ever be worth the 25k investment you’d have in this when all was said and done?

    Hate to be a vulture but I’m waiting on the next economic downturn before making the plunge on my next older vehicle. Now seems to be a better time to buy a new hot rod of one’s dreams!

    2
    • Superdessucke

      ** My 25k guesstimate assumes leaving the exterior patina as-is. If you wanted to bring the body, chrome and trim back to factory glory, that’d be another 10k, leaving you with a $35-40k 1974 Buick. I love people’s economic confidence these days but I dunno…

      1
  8. Troy s

    Really like the interior in this one. Big bad black Buick, best looking of the bunch from those years with good power. It’s not even close to running like a ’70 Stage one 455, but the lower compression should work better with today’s unleaded fuel. I personally don’t believe these years will reach the values of the real muscle cars, would of already happened by now.
    Fix her up and drive and just enjoy the car for what it is.

    3
  9. Mimo Jones

    7.5 Litres to get 285 HP….to push a 2 tons of metal….Yikes…..Focus ST gets 250 out of 2 litres and in 20 years will be worth a heck of a lot more. I agree with the comment that if these were going to get crazy priced, they would have already. People who grew up with them would have been scooping them up.

    2
    • Tony Primo

      Can you lend me your crystal ball 🔮 Mimo? Your prediction on the Ford Focus is pure fantasy. If you really feel that is the case, you should buy as many as you can afford now to fund your retirement.

      8
    • JoeNYWF64

      The 455 even in ’74 put out a ton of torque at LOW rpm. That’s the way i like my motors. Not tiny motors under high pressure & stress.
      “The buick 455 was one of the first “thin-wall casting” engine blocks at GM, and because of this advance in production technology, it weighs significantly less than other engines of comparable size (for example, 150 lb less than a Chevrolet 454!! and only 25 lb more than a Chevrolet 350)!!”

      The modern ford con-fusions & croak-uses not only have transmission issues(been wisely discontInued), but in 20 years will all be in the junkyards cause no one will be making the incredible # of computers/body control modules to keep em running, even if they weren’t discontinued. Smart way to sell new cars.
      The ’74 buick with pts & condensor will be running nice & smooth 100 years from now, if there’s gas. lol
      I’m not saying a ’74 will ever be desireable, but the ’72 & older ones are & will always be – especially with 455 or 400.

      9
    • Miguel Member

      Why are you comparing technology from 1974 to whatever year you think is a good one for a Focus?

      5
  10. Dave

    For any matter, just to find one from MO that isn’t devoured by rust is a miracle in itself.

    2
  11. Stevieg Member

    I am with Superdessucke, I am trying to be a vulture too. However I am weak, which is why I am broke lol. And why I have a full 3.5 car garage, 2 car parking slab, & I need to rent storage.
    I really need to unload some things before my next stage in life, which will be happening soon. Maybe it is time for me to list things on Barn Finds.

    1
    • Miguel Member

      OR, you can buy a house in Arizona with a lot of land and move your cars there. You probably won’t find the same cars again and it sucks to keep looking for something you already had.

      4
  12. ACZ

    I would really like to have this one except for the price. I wonder if he’d take a couple of Rivieras in trade? $5K for a complete engine rebuild? I don’t think so, unless you drop off a lump of sludge on the machine shop’s floor and expect to have them deliver a spit shined masterpiece back to you. What happened to doing your own assembly?

    5
    • Miguel Member

      ACZ, I bought a 1969 Ford XL with a 429 that needed a rebuild. I found a re builder in Las Vegas that did it for $1200.00.

      Yes I had to do the auxiliary stuff, but it was a good rebuild for little money on a big block.

      Of course that was back in 1990.

      3
      • Jack M.

        So almost 30 years ago. Price would have doubled once or twice since then.

        4
      • ACZ

        Miguel, depending on what is necessary, that may even be high. I just have a hard time believing someone in this hobby wouldn’t do it themselves. I’ll grant you, you can’t cut a crank at home or plane heads but that’s all sublet work. Building your own engine is 3/4 of the fun. Almost everyone owns a torque wrench and a decent set of tools.

        6
      • Miguel Member

        Well, my engine had a hole in a piston, but I am not sure what other work it needed. I also had a Mercury 390 rebuilt for my 1963 S-55 and it cost the same.

        I doubt they would be any where near that price today.

        Some people can’t do the work at home. There are a lot of tolerances and torques that need to happen correctly, or it is a waste of time.

        2
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Glad it survived……

    1
  14. James Martin

    The flipper tried starting it with out priming pump. External oil pump in the buicks, if they sit a long time, oil drains from pump. Without priming pump and try starting it dry, is why rod started knocking. If only one rid easy fix set of bearing maybe turn crank( depending on what rod bearing did.) And put her back on the road.

    1
  15. ACZ

    Don’t forget to check the cam bearings. They are the weak spot in a Buick V8 oiling system, either big block or small block but not nail head. Typically the result of overheating, the cam bearings can melt a little. This can be seen as bearing material dribbling down from the bearing. That causes loss of lubrication to the mains and ultimately the rods. Being the last thing in line to get oil, a rod bearing(s) gets wiped out. It’s been seen many a time.

    1
  16. David Rhoces

    …..it’s still gutless

    • Rhett

      That statement come from personal experience?

      1
  17. Rhett

    9500.00 is all the money for a 74 Stage that needs engine work and paint, however if it’s solid, the interior really looks that good and you can build an engine this is a great car.. I have a 73 Stage1 car, and it is my favorite road car: handles, brakes and accelerates like a much newer car.

    Despite the pavement crushing weight of the Colonnades, there are surprisingly 4-5 73 Stage cars involved in stock or stock appearing racing, mine runs mid 13’s and the fasted crank off mid 12’s with consistent ease.

    The 73 Colonnade’s engineering worked so well, it went on to become the underpinning of the 77-96 GM B-Body with many common components. (Including the Impala SS)

    As far as future collectability, the Gran Sport was the only Colonnade with a high performance engine upgrade available. Olds came close, with a 270 HP V code motor available in manual trans cars, but it was not called a W-30 , and it was the only manual trans engine available.

    They may be an acquired taste, but these cars are undervalued and set to jump.

  18. Bobby Bair

    I know the young gentleman that owns this car. I was also there when it was started. All procedures and extreme care was taken starting this car. The bearing was spun by the original owner back in the 90’s.
    He is also not a “flipper”. He is a true advocate, very knowledgeable, and very, very fond of all things Buick.

    1

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