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29K Miles? 1973 Buick Centurion Hardtop Coupe

“Whether it’s a family car or a very personal road car, depends on whether your family is with you or not.” So says a 1973 Buick brochure, enticing potential customers to their full-sized personal luxury-sport car. The seller has this gorgeous 1973 Buick Centurion hardtop coupe posted here on craigslist in San Jose, California and they’re asking $11,000 or best offer. Here is the original listing, and thanks to Tony P. for sending in this tip!

Why I don’t buy Powerball tickets I’ll never know. Probably because I’d buy every vehicle shown here, but this one really stands out for me. What a beautiful car, I wouldn’t change one thing about this one, and that’s rare for me. The seller even provides a range of photos including – are you sitting down? – a nice photo of the engine! I may need a minute. Ok, I’m back. This Bamboo Cream-colored coupe is just about perfect, in my opinion. Vinyl top and all. The seller lists the mileage as being 29,000 miles and it sure looks like it could be accurate.

Buick offered the Jan Brady-like (middle child) of the full-sized Buick lineup, the Centurion, for only three model years: 1971, 1972, and 1973 as seen here. It was positioned between the LeSabre and Electra and I don’t have to do a cheesy Photoshop “what if they came with four doors?…” exercise here, because they did come with four doors! But, those four doors were under a hardtop, so even when there were two extra doors, it was a beautiful design. There was also a convertible. I can’t quite tell if there is or should be bumper-filler material in the back, it looks like a big gap there.

There could have been vinyl here but the 60/40 front seats appear to be a nice cloth, although, I don’t recognize this pattern from the Buick brochure. Maybe they have been reupholstered? It looks factory and perfect, but maybe in need of a good cleaning. The back seat looks perfect. Ok, I found one thing I’d change, I’m not a big fan of aftermarket gauges. I realize that they show what’s going on better than it’s-too-late warning lights, though. A power driver’s seat, power locks, and power windows? Yes, please. This car just keeps on giving.

Speaking of that, the clean engine compartment houses the biggest engine available for the time in Buick’s lineup: a 455-cu.in. OHV V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, which would have been factory-rated at 260 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque when new. It sends that power through a GM THM-400 automatic to the rear wheels, and expect to get about 9 MPG while taking 9 seconds to reach 0-60. Hey, it’s good to have a balance. I’m also positive that this car will fit nine people if three don’t mind riding in the trunk. This car has new power door locks, new brakes, new shocks, a new stereo, new tires, and a new tune-up. This looks like a gem to me, folks, what do you think about this Centurion?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Marvin Granger

    Great car. We had the 4 door version as Driver’s Ed cars. A benefit of growing up in Flint Michigan.

    Like 13
  2. Avatar photo Mike76

    These big Buicks drive nice. I remember being put to sleep many times in the back seat of my parents 71 Centurion. That big, torquey 455 proved too much for my older brother and he had an unexplained encounter with gas pumps and and an attendants station and tore the entire driver’s side of the car apart. Still don’t know how he accomplished that but it ended with the Buick sent to a scrap yard totaled by the insurance company. You don’t see too many hardtop Centurions around. This one has been for sale for a good while.

    Like 7
  3. Avatar photo cold340t

    I used to drive by a Red 71′ Centurion for daily over 30yrs. It was a Stage1 455/auto. For over 30yrs. never went to ask the owner about it. Something I regret to this day. About 15yrs. ago I drive by and it’s gone. Wonder how many Stage1’s they made?

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo 4 barrel

      Stage 1 are you sure? You loss man if it was.

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo Jon Rukavina

      I trained in a basic ’69 LeSabre 4-door. No chrome window pkg , blackwalls ,but it did have full wheel covers.

      Still remember the instructor slapping my right hand off the top of the seat back when I went to back out of the parking spot. “Hands at 10 & 3!”

      The night before my test had a big snow storm and the crabby instructor knocked off points for going over the snow covered center line + parallel parking 3′ from the curb because of a giant snowbank!
      I still passed. 79 gets the same result as 100; a license!

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Zen

    Gorgeous car, I hope it finds a good home. I wish I could buy it!

    Like 6
  5. Avatar photo Chunk

    Odometer reads 36,283 so it’s starting off a little fishy. Then again, it’s not that far from me and I’m getting tired of my more raucous ride, so…

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo Big Bear 🇺🇸

      Go for it Chuck! And let us know! 😀

      Like 11
    • Avatar photo Big Bear 🇺🇸

      Sorry meant Chunk.. fat finger issue. 🤦

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo GMCorey

        Love the 1960’s – early 70’s Buicks. My mom worked at a Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, and Opel dealer in upstate NY. I had a 1970 LeSabre coupe white, black vinyl roof, great ride! Later I had a 1972 Regal coupe that was gold with black interior and vinyl top. Both cars had 350 CI and those beautiful chrome wheels, looked great, very reliable. Bought the Regal on a Wednesday and left for Florida spring break on Friday. Great memories!

        Like 3
      • Avatar photo Wademo

        Good to see the 455. So many had 350’s.

        Like 0
  6. Avatar photo BA

    Wow ! I know I have sung the praises of the Buick 455 a true big block designed in house before GM started engine swapping and same engine used in the 1970 Stage I so needless to say this car has untapped horsepower! That being said this car does check every box I can think of! Talk about a car with potential!

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Sal Monella

      I love these full size 2 dr Buicks …but when a seller claims 29K miles, the odometer reads 36,200 and the front seats are completely redone incorrectly this example would give me pause

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Jon Rukavina

        I was a little suspicious of those seats myself. And the difference in said mileage and actual . Did the seller drive 7,000 more miles since original posting,? Hmmmm.

        Like 0
  7. Avatar photo K Hodges

    My dad bought a 74 Buick Le Sabre new. It had the 455 and 4 barrel carb. It was a four door though. It was blue with a white top and blue interior. In 97 my mother sold it for $ 900 with 27,000 miles original. It was in showroom cond. when she sold it. Also had a 58 Buick Super 4-door. I loved that car. It was a tank. I drove a 71 Ford galaxie with a 351 Windsor a C6 trans. It ran good. The motor was tough. I gave it hell and it kept on going. Couldn’t hardly kill it.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

    These were everywhere around my area. Quite a few went through the yard by the mid 80s. I drove a red 72 Lesabre convertible with a 455 and a 400 th. The car was smooth and rode beautifully as did most of these GMs of the time.

    Like 8
  9. Avatar photo Stan

    Fabulous Buick. 👌

    Like 7
  10. Avatar photo Nelson C

    I believe that these were the best looking of all the big bumper cars. First you have a Centurion, the bankers hot rod. Then it’s loaded to the hilt and a pleasant color. I’d be happy as anything to roll down the road in this beauty.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo carlnepa

      Great article! I looked for a Centurion convertible to replace my ’64 Wildcat convertible I had sell because of selling my house and losing my garage. All I saw were cars with the 455-4bbl.
      I knew what mpg I got on my ‘Cat with the 401 nailhead. I also knew what my Dad’s Impalas & Caprice’s got with the 350 2bbl. I was not going to buy a car getting single digit mpg. I drive and enjoy my cars too much.
      I found a red ’68 LeSabre convertible with a 350-4bbl and I fell hard. I had her out and about today. Oh, on a good day with the wind in my back I get about 14 mpg + or -.

      Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Truth

    Now THAT’S a fantastic car at a great price. If it were anywhere near me I’d be going to see it and buy it.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Robert

      My uncle had a 72 centurion with the same interior but dark brown in color same engine very nice riding car with plenty of power

      Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Randall Tefft Sundeen

    This is what Detroit does best, it is sad to look at today’s shoebox people movers today and realize that style is only a memory!

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Willam Gulbrandsen

      Yes, there was indeed a Centurian model of ambulances sold in the 1970’s. I often wondered how the samw name gets shared between industries.

      Like 0
  13. Avatar photo PL

    We’re surprised that Buick only used the name for such a short period. Although the name originated from an earlier concept car, legend has it that they had to pay to use the name, from an ambulance company.

    Like 5
  14. Avatar photo Marko

    Did my drivers test, back in 1976 in my parents 1973 Centurion.

    What a fine example of a classic luxury coupe.

    If only I had a garage to keep it.

    Like 7
  15. Avatar photo Calvin wyche

    No fillers front or back which is not uncommon for those Buick. But replacement are available for it

    Like 5
  16. Avatar photo Homer

    Numbers don’t line up on the ODO dial.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo 4 barrel

      I think that is turned over. Too old a vehicle to have those low miles. Used cars people lie…

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Tom

        You’re right they lie for a buck. They’ll get there reward in heaven. Lol 😆 🤣

        Like 2
  17. Avatar photo Tom

    It definitely has rolled over on the miles. People lie a lot. It’s still probably worth the price. Just don’t lie to me. I still love it. Lol 😆

    Like 7
  18. Avatar photo Greg Davidson

    Dad had the 4 door, same color, brown leather/vinyl, Riviera wheels! Great car! He traded it in on a ’75 Riviera, gray metallic, grey plush interior (we called it coffin comfort!), red pin stripes, telescope wheel, 8 track, WOW! Learned to drive in that car.
    Thanks for bringing back fond memories!

    Like 1
  19. Avatar photo Douglas Threlfall Member

    Remember the opening of the movie “Used Cars”? He was “spinning the prize wheel” back a few thousand miles…

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Driveinstile Member

      If memory serves me right… Wasnt he rolling the odometer back on a Buick?

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo 4 Barrel

        Only on the Riveria’s I believe.

        Like 0
  20. Avatar photo Kenn

    So many items replaced also a clue to true mileage. That being said, it’s still a bargain.

    Like 1

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