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3-Window Garage Dweller: 1957 Buick Century

Buick used the Century nameplate on numerous occasions between 1936 and 2005. In the mid-1950s, it was a mid-level full-size car that had the requisite tailfins in 1957, the year the seller’s Riviera 4-door hardtop was built. It was in running condition when parked 40 years ago, but time and Mother Nature have taken their toll on the lower extremities. Residing in a garage today in Houston, Texas, this old girl is available here on craigslist where the asking price is $4,000 OBO. Another great tip from T.J.!

The second generation of the Century was produced from 1954 through 1958. 1957 would be a good sales year for the company, with more than 405,000 automobiles delivered. The lineup – based on trim and size – would be the Special, Super, Century, and Roadmaster. The 4-door pillarless sedan (aka hardtop) was a relatively new body style and Buick built more than 25,500 of them carrying the Century Riviera moniker. 1957 Buicks were identifiable by their use of a split, three-piece rear window layout as all of their cars except wagons and convertibles had it. Oldsmobile also went down this path.

We’re told this Buick spent a lot of its time in Arizona before coming to Texas. But that may have been four decades ago. At some point, its owner planned to swap the generator for an alternator, but that never happened, and you will need one or the other to get this machine running again. The seller says this car ran like a top before it was parked, but all bets are off now after all these years and neglect. The odometer reading is 57,000 miles and those are said to be accurate.

Not all of the auto’s exile was spent indoors. It sat under a tree for several years and the outdoor exposure helped rust out the floorboards, rocker panels, and probably other places we can’t see so well. Most of the chrome is still present even though not attached to the Century. If the rear seat is any indication, the interior may have held up fairly well. No photos of the engine are provided, which should be a 364 cubic inch “Fireball” V8. The car just received its first wash in ages, which is reflected in the last photo.


  1. Robert White

    Far out, man.

    He washed the dust off which lets us know he cares enough to
    display the car correctly for sale.

    If I had the cash I’d buy it on the spot.


    Like 14
    • BuickNut

      If I had the cash, the time, the place, and the energy, I’d race you for it! I really love the ’58’s but this would work just as well.

      Like 6
  2. Maggy

    Money pit. 4k no way not for me . Rotted rockers and who knows what else.Cool car but if you commit to a more doors which I like you better keep it because you’ll never get your $ back out of it as in the case of this one that will need several thousand just to make road worthy.Been there done that. 1k car imo. Glwts.

    Like 11
  3. DJC

    That would be a Nailhead 364. Fireball was their straight eight. I own a 57 Special Riviera (Riv = no B pillar). Parts such as ball joints are an exclusive to that year costing three times what any other make’s would cost. I have invested at least twice what I paid for the car but these are made to enjoy, not investments.

    Like 19
    • Arfeeto

      @DJC “[ . . . ] These are made to enjoy, not investments.”

      Quite so. We routinely pay money for our diversions.

      Besides, in most cases, one who seeks a vintage automobile solely to ensure future financial return may lack good judgement. Better that he or she commit funds to any of a plethora of alternative investments that more closely satisfy personal attributes like risk tolerance, understanding of markets, timeline (to avoid capital gains taxes), and reasons for investing in the first place.

      Like 11
  4. James E King

    The article is in error. The three piece rear window was ONLY on the Special and Century. The Super and Roadmaster had a one piece rear glass. I’ve owned 2 Roadmasters & 1 Special.
    I don’t know right off which models of Oldsmobile had that feature, but I know certain models did have the 3 piece rear glass.

    Like 7
    • Donald B. Mc Donald

      I had a J2 Olds it had the three panel rear window it was a 57 -it had trip duces and solid lifters it was a two door coupe all black and it was quick.

      Like 3
  5. christopher swift

    Sorry to all the Chev fans, but I’d take this over a 57 chev.

    Like 20
  6. Ed Herndon

    I would like to make a bid higher than $4,000, how do I do this

    Ed Herndon

    Like 5
    • Erich

      Ed, click on the link in the write-up to the Craigslist ad to contact the seller and make sure it’s still available. (Craigslist poster’s generally are kind of notorious for leaving the ad up long after the cars been sold) and strike up a conversation with him directly.

      Like 5
  7. 64 Bonneville

    57 Roadmaster Riveria had the 3-piece rear window, just like the 88 and 98 Oldsmobiles of the same year. My offer is $1500-2000, just to much metal work, and what does the frame look like? BTW A/C was a very rare option on Buick and Oldsmobile in 1957, even Cadillac were few and far between with A/C.

    Like 4
  8. Chris Cornetto

    Super neat car. 4k might be ok if the engine turns. The nail head has a nasty habit of collecting condensation and rusting up. 364s are not cheap to rebuild and there are no real short cuts. The dynaflow with torque tube drive shaft can be a real treat. I am currently working on finishing a 58 Caballero. Rockers and floor pans are available and are the least expensive part of the restoration
    As said above ac is rare. This car needs to go to a person who is a car person not a flippy dealer.

    Like 5
  9. William Mace

    This beauty has a special speedometer that is linear going left to right. Also the biggest glovebox :-)

    Like 4
  10. Alan Henry

    I hope that does end up with someone who wants it, not a flipper. The paint looks pretty good for having spent “several” years under a tree. The ad says no air conditioning, which wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me, since I’ve had zero luck with any air conditioned vehicle. The car has a Denver dealer logo on the trunk, apparently that’s where it was purchased before spending some of its life in Arizona.

    Like 1

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