1973 Buick Centurion Convertible: Big Red

Buick Centurion Convertible

There’s something magic about a great big red convertible with a monster V8 under the hood. Loud in more ways than one, this Buick fits the bill. The Centurion is located in Los Angeles, California (what better place for a convertible?) and is listed for sale here on eBay where the opening bid is only $99 but there’s a reserve to meet. There’s not a lot of written information in the ad, but some important things jumped out at me right away: No rust, transmission and engine in great condition, and 455 V8. How can you go wrong with that trio? The only issues listed by the seller are a missing rear window and a tear in the side of the driver’s seat that hopefully can be fixed by replacing that single upholstery panel. I love the Buick factory wheels and the paint looks fine for a driver. I’m guessing it’s a repaint given the visible orange peel and general shine but at least emblems were removed and replaced rather than masked or sprayed over. Yes, I’m aware it will considerably fatten the coffers of your local filling station owners, but what a car for the summer! I’m probably lucky it’s so far away. What do you think this car is worth, and are you interested in making it yours?


  1. MH

    What a beautiful car. I would buy it if I had more garage space.

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  2. kenzo

    definitely an interstate cruiser. Did they really make red cars with brown interiors?

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  3. don

    this car has been for sale for a while now, this is probably the third listing for it, agree, not sure about the red on brown color combo.

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  4. Rhett

    Nice car, without really scrutinizing the ebay listing I’d guess it’s worth 8.5k all day long.

    On the positive side, it’s complete and well equipped, and being from California presumably rust free.

    On the negative side, the famed “scissor top” on this car needs alot of work already – the rear window popped because the guide stanchons are either missing a tension spring or missing altogether, and the center bow looks to be tweaked, likely due to bad ball sockets and lack of guide cables.

    Back to the positive – these are awesome driving cars, and the handling doesnt give away the crushing weight, likely 4600 lbs or more with AC. Niether does the performance from a good running 455 (the lightest Big Block ever, weighing maybe 100 lbs more than a small block Chevy?) In fact, a guy is running one of these in the Pure Stock drag series, equipped with the Stage One option (a detuned version of the A-Body motor, available in full size cars in 73-74, despite the stickers this car did not come from the factory equipped as such) and 4.10 gears, the car runs 13.8’s at 99mph all day long. THAT is quick for what ultimately was one of the biggest cars ever to come out of Detroit.

    A car to consider.

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  5. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    I’m glad you folks liked this one too. My daughter and son-in-law are in California right now on a trip and I flirted with the idea of bidding and asking them to drive it home if I won. Note: flirted, not executed!

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  6. Chuck

    I have that very same car in maroon. Stomp on the pedal & it will burn rubber for half a block.

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  7. Jim G.

    Used Cars
    written by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
    Stanley Dewoski (Dan Barrows): Oh, I’m just browsing.
    Rudy Russo: Hey: Terrific. Terrific, Stan, that’s what we’re here for. Here you can look, browse, peek, touch, feel, taste, smell–do anything you want, take all the time you want. Nobody’s gonna pressure anybody around here, Stan. You know something though, Stan? I really think you ought to buy this Buick. I think you ought to buy it today, right now, you wanna know why? ‘Cause that Buick is You. The color is you. Look at it: That Is Your Car. Stanley Padowski IS Buick Centurion Convertible. Now, I know what you’re thinkin’ Stan. You’re thinkin’, “Can I afford to buy a car like this?” Huh? Am I right? Seriously, Stan, you can’t afford NOT to buy a car like this. Now, I’m gonna make it easy for ya…You add this whole thing up, you take in account inflation rates, insurance savings, gas savings, ease and comfort, and you’re gonna come out ten thousand dollars ahead just for making this deal–Well, Hell! The prestige alone at owning a Buick Centurion Convertible can’t even be measured in terms of dollars and cents, am I right?

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  8. sunbeamdon

    MMM (note CAPS for emphasis!) – I’m going to watch this one – easy west coast drive to Seattle. Maybe an $7,000 car needing $3,000 work (retail). Bad AC is first concern

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  9. DENIS

    It’s no show car, it’s a fun car…a bit of maintentenance, and go cruise with the top down..I wish it was closer, I’d chase it.

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  10. jim s

    0 feedback seller has 5 interesting cars for sale on ebay. i too think this would make a fun driver if the reserve is not set to high. nice find

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  11. Chebby

    Great cars. I had a 1973 in Delta 88 Royale flavor. Only a 350 but it could move, and the trans was a TH375 which I’d never heard of, but the smoothest shifting automatic I’ve ever driven. Mine was a $1,200 total rust bucket but I put 12,000 miles on it and even drove it from NJ to California. 75+ mph all day long. A burned valve finally turned it into a serious smoker, if I had it now I’d probably know how to fix that.

    That Genuine Morrokide vinyl interior is very hard wearing stuff. Mine was bright white and it really made the car pop. “Cookie Monster” was mostly blue on top and rust below the beltline. But from inside the car it looked like a million bucks. The scissor tops are known to be trouble, mine went down fine but had trouble coming up, so I used to balance in the middle of the car, flicking the power top switch with my toe, and grabbing the top header when it started faltering, and easing it up over my head where the motor could resume closing it. Top stayed down most of the time anyway. Used to be a giant hole above the muffler that would make you feel drunk and sleepy with the windows up (:-0) til I found it and patched with JB weld and a Beware of Dog sign. Problem solved!

    Cookie had a glass window with a factory rear defroster THAT WORKED and it was the best option to have ever. I have never seen another GM convertible with that defroster, and I always check…. That piece of glass was the most valuable part on the car.

    Fun fact: you can drive freeway speeds in moderate rain with the top down, without the front seat passengers getting wet. It just goes right over you.

    I’d love to have another one, but gas was a dollar when I owned mine and these have 26-gallon tanks. The filler is behind the license plate and if I filled the tank all the way and drove up a grade, raw gas would spill out the back like a Molotov cocktail. Guess that’s why they dont put the fillers there anymore. Good times.

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  12. charlie Member

    I have a ’93 Allante with a glass rear window in the convertible top (as well as in the removable hard top) and defrosters in both and both work – but I guess the top is Italian and not really GM.

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