53k Mile Survivor: 1973 Buick Century

The Century nameplate had three separate stints at Buick from 1936-42, then again from 1954-58 and finally from 1973-05. The latter occurred with the rollout of GM’s Colonnade design and styling that began with the third generation in 1973. This ’73 Century coupe looks to be a beautiful survivor that the seller pegs at being 95% original. It looks great from head to toe and is said to run perfectly. The car resides in Lakewood, Colorado and is available here on craigslist for $15,500 FIRM. But a partial trade for a Harley might be considered.

With the rebirth of the Century in ’73, the Skylark named was shelved for two years only to come back as a compact. The Century used a mid-size, rear-wheel-drive platform that worked equally well for the Chevy Malibu, Oldsmobile Cutlass and Pontiac LeMans through 1977. The seller’s coupe has only 53,000 miles on the odometer, but spent time in New Jersey, Ohio, Florida before coming to Colorado. We get to impression the seller recently acquired the car, driving it from the Sunshine State to the Centennial State with zero issues along the way. We’re told it has a clean Florida title, but the collector plates are Colorado.

This has an interesting color combination, i.e., black exterior and green interior. But both present well. The seller categorizes the quality of what may be the original paint and upholstery as maybe 9 out to 10. The photos of the undercarriage show what looks to be a new car, yet its 48 years old. No evidence of rust in the sheet metal or chassis that we can see. The car comes with a few items that were installed by the dealer instead of being on the build sheet, like rally wheels and an 8-track tape player (those were the days!). The only thing not working on the car is the clock. Unfortunately, no factory air.

This Century is powered by a Buick 350 cubic inch V8 with its original carburetor that’s never been rebuilt and runs great. The TH-350 automatic transmission is said to shift like it should.  Recent work has been done on the car that adds to the turn-key qualities of the automobile:

  • Battery cut-off because of the limited use of the vehicle
  • Dual exhaust (replacing factory single exhaust
  • BF Goodrich T/A tires and all fluids

The buyer will receive a ton of old paperwork, including the window sticker, build sheet, dealer purchase order, shop manual, sales brochure and service bulletins. According to the production figured provided by the seller, this car is one of 56,154 built in 1973, but when was the last time you saw one of them on the road? The seller apparently wants to get a motorcycle, so he would take $10,000 cash and a bike worth $5-6,000 if the subject two-wheeler happens to scratch his itch. Thanks, Gunter Kramer, for bringing this tip to us!

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    (IMO) One of the best looking cars of the colonnade bodies! This one appears to be a well kept beauty. The only way it could be any nicer, would be to have buckets and a console and full “gages”. GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 12
  2. Miguelito Loveless

    I would definitely make this a Low Rider.

    Like 6
  3. Rhett

    Interesting car – this one has the front bumper tucked, which cleans up the styling for some..these cars are the direct descendant of the 70 F-Body and 71 B/C body engineering triumphs, and are incredible riding and handling vehicles. Yeah the whole colonnade thing caught some people off guard and styling is a love/hate thing but these are really great cars, and Buick drivetrains and build quality are the best of the best. Just don’t get it wet..!!

    Like 11
    • Howard Kerr

      I wasn’t sure what was going on with that front bumper, the way the rearmost corner blocks the side marker. I knew there was something going on, but….?
      Beautiful car, though that green interior is a bit odd. I know that in the 70s there were more interior colors than we now have, and a Camaro Red Book I have somewheres tells you what colors of interior and exterior were ” allowed “, though there were always exceptions and ” mistakes ” on the assembly line. But green?
      The car looks fabulous otherwise, I almost don’t care that it isn’t the formal roofed Regal 2 door. Unfortunately, no A/C, how could someone stop before ticking that option on the order?

      Like 5
      • man ' war

        It gets hot somewhat in Colorado’s front range during the summer, but the ‘hot’ season comes and goes so quick which may be the reason one would opt out for the AC option.
        Also, I keep seeing this add. It has been for sale for quite a while.

    • NovaTom

      Tucked the bumper but left the huge bumperettes – strange look.

      Like 2
      • Vin_in_NJ

        My first thought was the bumpers did what they were intended to do… take the shock of a minor collision and got pushed in.

        Like 1
  4. local_sheriff

    Buick’s version of the Colonnade is definately my personal favorite too. Always loved that swooshy curve going from its fender tip almost to the rear wheel arch. That together with the lean forward ass makes it look like it’s moving even when parked.

    I have a thing for beautiful green interiors so I definately fell for this though I understand most won’t find it very exciting. 15K for a Colonnade is IMO quite optimistic, however I wish anyone GOOD LUCK finding another specimen this unmolested in and out. Would simply love to own it

    Like 5
    • man ' war

      That ‘swooshy’ curve that you are talking about, the Hyundai Sonata had what is described in the write up on Wikipedia as “Fluidic Sculpture”. Maybe someday it too will appear on Barn Finds.

  5. morrisangelo

    Many years ago (probably the early 80’s), when visiting Tustin, CA, I wasted some time in a nearby junkyard, and as I was walking through, there sat a striking 1973 Stage-1 automatic Gran Sport that was green with a white top and white interior.

    It had some sort of small engine fire, which is why it likely got junked.

    The car was very picked apart, but it left a lasting impression on me to this day. I can still see it very clearly in my mind. Just one of those ‘moments’.

    Like 3
  6. john hugh

    green gut,no a/c..ill pass

    Like 1
  7. ADM

    I agree with the styling. Good looking car. Buick build quality, handling, and brakes were the best of the bunch, at the time. Bud Lindemann did a test on a ’73, with the 455, and his test bears this out.

  8. JoeNYWF64

    It’s a tossup between this & the Grand Am on looks for ’73. Why they sold ANY of the not so handsome sister car(not Olds) is beyond me.
    Just noticed astro ventilation appears to have been discontinued on non a/c ’73s!
    The fresh air outboard foot vents are still there, but the outboard face vents appear to be dummies – certainly on the driver’s side.
    I like that steering wheel cover more than the older aftmkt style.

  9. GS350
  10. bull

    Nice $8500.00 car!

    Like 3
  11. B-Boy

    I had a ’73 in the mid 80s.

    Bought it in White Plains NY, drove it to Buffalo NY. It lasted 2 Winters. It disintegrated in the Buffalo weather. I never saw a car rust so fast.

    It drove like a dream. It almost floated down the road.

    Like 2
  12. nlpnt

    I’ve long suspected that, like the ’59s, Buick got through the Colonnade styling assignment first and all the other divisions were forced to adapt their hard points. That, and this slim-pillar/big triangular quarter-window coupe body was the purest expression of the style all others were derived from.

    The green brocade bench seat interior is pure “they don’t make ’em like this anymore” nostalgia and looks to be in good shape, the only quibble is a black car without a/c as what would likely be a summer toy. Does anyone still do T-top conversions?

    Like 1
  13. JoeNYWF64

    I guess that’s an air pump on the upper driver’s side of the motor, but probably doing nothing even tho it is still belt driven, since i see no hookup at least to the pass side exh manifold.
    With the rusting comment above, i wonder what in the world happened for ’73 regarding who made the new body panels, the source & quality of the metal , & the prep for paint, compared to earlier models. Same factory/assembly line as the ’72s?

    Like 1
    • ACZ

      It’s likely fully functional. Buick did not use the tubular a.i.r. manifolds like a Chevrolet.

      Like 1
  14. John Fredrick Haut

    Why is exhaust cut off so short?

  15. george mattar

    Love Colonnades. Have owned five, most recent being a silver 77 Grand Prix SJ with 30 factory options. Car cost more than $8,000 new. Sold it like an idiot to a jack ass who flipped it immediately. Who is the jack ass now? Anyway, I am looking for a 73 Grand Sport. Agree with you guys this is the best looking of the 73 Colonnades. Saw a triple black Stage 1 four speed at MACAN in 2018. Not for sale. Car had like 5,000 actual miles. Yes, drove these cars new. Float down the road. Do not break down. No stupid computers. But yes they rusted. Keep them dry, keep out of the salt and it will last.

    Like 1
    • bone

      They didn’t rust as much or as fast as the 68-72s mid size GMs, and the frames were a lot tougher

      Like 1
      • JoeNYWF64

        Why is it a lot easier then to find a ’68-72 chevelle than a ’73, or even the wildly once common ’77 cutlass? Beause the colonaides & 2nd gen f bodies & vegas, etc. rusted ALL over the body where you wouldn’t expect them to rust just stiing outside getting wet! lol
        The ’68-72s were used just as much in bad weather & fared a lot better IMO.

        Like 1

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