455 Four-Speed! 1973 Buick Century Gran Sport

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A black-out grille and tail panel, subtle badges and “Gran Sport” lettering on the flanks mark the only visual cues that this Buick might be something special. The 1973 Buick Century Gran Sport in Birmingham, Alabama comes loaded for bear with a 1970 455 V8, a four-speed manual transmission, and more. The “smooth” running specimen has attracted over 60 watchers here on eBay, and one click of “Buy It Now” and $18,500 changes ownership of this rare specimen.

The 455 cid (7.5L) V8 made a modest 225 HP in 1973, but the 360 lb-ft of torque won’t be denied, and those numbers are “net,” meaning they would be higher if advertised before model year 1972. This one has a 1970 block, according to the seller. If it was a complete 1970 455 four-barrel engine including cylinder heads, it would make substantially more horsepower, 370 HP and a tectonic 510 lb-ft of torque (gross). A four-speed manual gearbox adds to the fun, and Positive Traction differential helps eliminate the “one wheel peel” when you hit the gas. A general rule for years held that big cubic-inch motors pair better with modest gears for street driving, and this car’s 3.08 ratio should let the 455’s torque launch the mid-sized Century without too much useless tire smoke. Truth be told, this Gran Sport will probably play the role of collectible, but it could become a fire-breathing monster with a high-performance rebuild and clever upgrades. Thanks to lov2xlr8 for some details.

GM hit a home run with its Colonnade Coupes, a style beginning with this 1973 model. Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac all capitalized on the semi fastback greenhouse, and for years you couldn’t snap a picture of a highway or parking lot in America without seeing these popular mid-sized people movers.

Air conditioning was by no means standard issue in 1973, but this Buick has it. Bench-seat muscle cars were no surprise in the ’60s and ’70s, with plenty of Plymouth’s Road Runners and Buick’s earlier GS models arriving by default with a bench seat, even when paired with a floor-shifter. Buyers wanting more “passing power” could order the 455 four-barrel on all Century Coupes, but the four-speed option was Gran Sport-only.

The seller reports that fewer than 100 Gran Sports came with the optional 455, four-speed, and bench seat. I’d be happy to own such a car, and I started watching them when you could pick up a decent 454 or 455 Colonnade for under $3500. Those days are gone, and they’ve broken into the five-digit realm. It might be interesting to find a completely loaded 455 Century for a stealthy sleeper build, but I’d love to spend a warm summer evening cruising in this Silver Cloud-colored Gran Sport. Would you?

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  1. Frank Sumatra

    I will be amazed if anyone finds anything to nitpick here.

    Like 12
  2. Bakyrdhero BakyrdheroMember

    I thought the 68-72 Buick Sylark/Gran sports were the pinnacle of Buick muscle car styling, but this Century is a real eye catcher. Classy, Bad Ass and very original, I like everything about this car.

    Like 20
  3. BA

    This car has it all & would make a perfect collector car / boulevard crusher with the lightest & last big block to show up
    of all manufacturers, and arguably one of the best 455 . Oh dear lord let my lottery ticket be a winner!

    Like 7
  4. Evan

    By the time Colonnade A-bodies came around, manual transmissions were rarely optioned, aside from cheapskates with 3-speed, I-6 Malibus. In a Buick, almost unheard of. I have to believe this is a “one-of-not-very-many” car. Under a thousand, I’d bet.

    Like 8
    • william stephan

      I had one loaded with buckets, PW, tilt wheel plus the 455 stage I four speed and whas told it was on of 17 ordered that way. It was fun but a TRUE lemon (sad).

      Like 2
      • Michael Berkemeier

        What color was your Stage 1 and, is it still around? I owned one too, for a while, that has since sold to another collector and is very well-known in the Buick circles. Originally, the number always tossed around was 9, however, we would later come to learn that the number was slightly higher than 9 Stage 1 4-speeds built, but still miniscule. A very rare car, indeed.

        Like 2

    The early 70s Buicks were works of art, point blank ! I wanna own this rare 455 4 speed bench seat colonnade Buick !

    Like 0
  6. Maggy

    Cool car.Always liked the collanades.The price is very reasonable.This will sell fast!

    Like 12
  7. Big C

    A rare and beautiful Buick. It really makes you sad to see what Buick has morphed into.

    Like 5
  8. eyes4color62@gmail.com CooterMember

    Of all the cars of the 70’s packing those big ugly bumpers, I always thought these and the Grand Prixs’ sported them best. I hope someone restores this rare beauty correctly, repaint included, as it will continue to climb in value.

    Like 7
  9. George Mattar

    Finally the 73 to 77 A bodies get recognition. I have owned three and seeking a fourth. Have owned a 76 Monte with swivel buckets, 76 Cutlass Salon with Hurst Hatches and a 77 Grand Prix with Hurst Hatches I am trying to buy back, but the last registered owner in Texas refuses to call me back.

    Like 0
  10. Mark

    Is it documented as a GS or cloned?

    Like 0
    • Grant Williams

      Cloning has not really hit the 73 73 …..take a look at the paint and graphics…it is for real. First off it has to be a Century vs. a Regal to have the larger pillar fastback vs. the small opera glass. Nobody is going to take the time and effort to clone these …..yet.

      Like 0
  11. Frank Sumatra

    $18,500 bought it. It sure looks a great purchase.

    Like 7
    • Stan

      Ageee Frank. Be hard pressed to ever find a Colonade that cool.
      Love it. 🏁

      Like 4
    • Howie

      Frank it was even less than that, best offer was accepted.

      Like 7
  12. Shuttle Guy Shuttle GuyMember

    Already sold. I’m not surprised.

    Like 5
  13. Mark

    If it was a legit GS with A/C and a 4 spd. It was a one of 48 car. $18.5K was a steal!

    Like 1
  14. Michael Berkemeier

    This car was a little rough around the edges and, aside from being a non-numbers matching car, was also an automatic, originally…the car sold for all of the money, in my opinion. The 4-speed conversion is cool but, if anything, detracted from the actual value (while the perceived value may have been more, that is absolutely NOT the case). Buick collectors are very discerning and, this car was well-known and discussed in depth in all of the Buick forums.

    Barn Finds, while intending to do well, is actually doing a huge disservice to the would-be purchaser who, after reading this article (and all of the uneducated comments regarding the car) may decide to purchase said car thinking they are buying the “real deal”. This car was NOT the reall deal, and was not an original 4-speed car. So, hopefully, whoever bought it did their research and wasn’t under the impression it a “1 of 100” 4-speed car, as stated above.

    Like 8
  15. 64 bonneville

    I need to start hanging out on e-bay. I don’t know how I missed this. Had no idea you could get a 4 speed in any mid or full sized car after 1972.

    Like 0
    • maggy

      Had a factory built 73 chevelle ss 454 power bench seat 4 speed, posi w/rear sway bar,pw,a/c,tilt.Light yellow with black stripes about 35 or so years ago. Still had the original itm shifter in it .I Replaced IT w/ a hurst competition plus shifter and put a stock hayes clutch in it..

      Like 2
  16. Mike76

    All of you guys saying this was a good buy need to check out some of the Buick forums where more context and photos are provided of this car that show better detail and history of this car. Someone liked it enough though. Cool car but it had some issues.

    Like 2
  17. Harley

    My Mom had a 76 Buick Regal 350 coupe. It was very similar. I drove the crap out of that thing. Was always sidewaze! Handled great! The 455 was a heavy motor. Handling suffered as a result… not to mention fuel consumption…

    Like 0
  18. CarbobMember

    A true unicorn with it being equipped with a four speed. I’m betting that the person who bought this was highly influenced by the stick poking out of the transmission tunnel. I know I would.

    Like 0
  19. ACZ

    An absolute sweetheart. Made of all the right stuff.

    Like 0
  20. Rondo

    Hi,Guys I had a 73 Buick Century 4 door.It was one of best cars I ever had.It saved my life about 3 times in accidents and never had a scratch on me.Had a 350 motor and turbo 350 trans.Got it for 200 bucks with 80,000 original miles.Dude was going to jail who sold it to me needed to sell it.I needed a car too very bad.Snatch this car right up if you can.Good luck !

    Like 2
  21. John Glover Griffith

    I don’t know why, but every car I’m interested in is already sold when I see it here. So far Barn Finds is a complete waste or time for me.

    Like 0
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      The good deals go fast so you have to be quick about it!

      Like 1
  22. David RMember

    When my parents divorced Dad got the 69 Country Squire wagon and traded it for a 73 Grand Sport, red with white bucket seats. What a cool car for us kids to ride in!

    Like 0
  23. Clark

    If you find one like this that’s not a GS with a 455 your looking at a very limited production unit. I’ve never seen one with a 4speed so I’m thinking this is also

    Like 0

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