60-Year Shed Find: 1957 Buick Century

The Century nameplate got a lot of traction at Buick, as an upscale full-size car from 1936 to 1942, and again from 1954 to 1958. Then it reappeared as a mid-size auto from 1973 to 2005. In the 1950s it would be a part of the line-up that included the Special, Super, and Roadmaster. The Century used the body of the lesser cars but the engine of the more powerful Roadmaster. This ’57 Century 4-door (called a Tourback Sedan) has been living in a shed since 1962, having had its engine pulled years ago. Located in Lawton, Iowa, this two-owner relic is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $2,450.

When Buick revived the Century in 1954, it would be a hybrid car of sorts. It was given Buick’s largest and most powerful engine, the 322 cubic-inch “Fireball” V8 that was paired with a  Dynaflow automatic transmission. But that hardware was installed in the smaller, lighter Special body, making it the friskiest Buick of the day. The cars would evolve between 1954 and 1957, with the styling in the latter year being notable by using a 3-piece rear window design called the “Twin-Strutted Rear Window.”

The company had a so-so year in 1957, having slipped from its perch as the third best-selling marque to around sixth. Out of 405,000 Buicks built that year, just 8,000 of them were the Tourback Sedan with four doors like the seller’s car. While popular in the day, I can’t think of the last time I saw one of these cars in person, which means most of them are either in a collection or the junkyard now.

We don’t know much about this Buick other than it was forgotten about for the last 60 years. The seller is helping an older friend market the car because he has no internet access. The Century was his family’s car back in the day and it retired early to the family shed when it was just five years old. Since the motor is out of the vehicle and may or may not come with the transaction, we assume it’s the reason the automobile went dormant.

The Buick is wearing decades of dirt and grime, so it’s hard to determine how good or bad the body is. And the interior is quite dirty, signaling that the windows were open for a time. That also indicates that critters could have had access to the insides of the Century, which could have turned out badly. But the machine has been pulled out of the shed and is ready for someone to come by with a trailer and haul it away. To hopefully restore, but perhaps help bring another ’57 Buick back to life.

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Wow, 60 years in the shed. I wonder if any mice got in there.

    Like 4
  2. robert

    At least the hubcaps are there …

    Like 7
  3. Derek

    A bit like the other day’s convertible whatever-it-was (Olds?), it’s been off the road since before I was born. Nuts, eh?

    Then again, my Ducati S2 has now been in my garage for longer than it was on the road…

    Like 1
  4. George Mattar

    Mice love cars. Pass.

  5. Davi65

    Parked after only 5 years on the road? That Buick must have had one helluva hard life

    Like 6
    • bone

      Yes, that and the old story “listing for a friend ” . i dont buy either story, and I doubt anyone will buy this car either…at least not for that price. Nobody is going to put all the work and effort into reviving this car , while these are nice cars, this one just isnt a desirable model. Its a great parts car .

      Like 2
  6. Tbone

    Somebody tell Paola that he has a chance to get another Buick ;)

  7. tiger66

    I don’t think these Century models were ever called Tourbacks. Buick used the term only for a few years starting in 1950 to distinguish the conventional roofline cars (including 2 doors, so the term did not mean 4-door) from the fastback models and then mainly on the Special and rarely on the Super. Since there were no fastbacks after 1951, there was no need for the term and it fell out of use by the mid-’50s. In the brochures, this Century is just a 4-door sedan, not a Tourback.

    Like 2
    • Jayme Lynn

      Yes i agree, i had a 57 Buick Super as my 1 st vehicle at 13 yrs of age ! In 73 mine had the full back window no pillar separation like pictured. Loved that car

  8. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Taillights remind me of the 1953 Chevy taillights.

  9. ron wrob

    for those of you that think you can find a mint car for$1000 go to mr goodplires on YouTube and see what field junk is selling for

    Like 5
  10. Danny

    Ron, I agree with you. All I hear on this site, is generic comments (general negative)regarding a car and slamming the price. Most of these people do not have a clue to begin with, or living in their own non reality. These are what we call wanna- be’s within the industry, and probably would not have a trailer to pick up a car if you gave it to them for free. Or would want you to bring the car to them!

    Like 7
    • chuck

      It’s the Curmudgeon lifestyle that so many people embrace.
      Grumpy old men. 😂

      Like 5
  11. karl

    This car has way to much wear and tear to have been on the road for only 5 years – The steering wheel is all cracked and the door panels are all curled and sun baked , the rear bumper is rotted out and the trunk gasket is severely cracked and missing pieces , all things that would have happened while stored out of the sun . Even here on the East Coast cars dont disintegrate in 5 years ! My thought is that it maybe when the car was ten or fifteen years old the motor let go, and the car was given to a neighborhood kid who took the motor apart, only to find the engine was junk, or he couldn’t get it back together and there it sat. Even the garage doesn’t look that old .The seller is obviously a flipper just going by what year license plate is stuck on the back . I have a whole box of old license plates I could stick on a car, that doesn’t mean its been sitting that long !

  12. George Birth

    Considering how bad this one is ,motor disassembled and parts of it scattered all over, Pass.

    Like 1
  13. Robert

    The value of this car was the unique Nailhead engine. With the unknown status of the early nailhead engine, this is a high-priced shell. GOOD LUCK on a sale at this price. Make the effort to get it running and then re-price it at a higher price.

  14. Chuck Dickinson

    A Century 4 dr SEDAN? You’d be under water before you got it off the trailer, unless it was bought as a much-needed parts car.

    Like 1
  15. chuck

    Body and paint might look surprisingly good if only they’d give it a good wash. Put a modern engine driveline in it, upgrade suspension/brakes, etc, and enjoy it.

    Like 4
  16. Jay S

    This is the problem, some people don’t feel that a car is desirable just because it has 4 doors. Baloney. Look at the market for station wagons and cars with “patina.’ This old Buick could be a worthwhile project for the right person. Think and say what you want, this is an interesting find that might have a good shot at a second life.

    Like 2

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