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Claimed 15K Miles: 1982 Buick Century

Between the repaint and the near-mint interior, you might think this is a genuine 15,000-mile example of a Buick Century coupe. However, it’s that same repaint that leads to some questions about the low mileage claims. But given how many of us have had grandparents with one of these in the garage, the likelihood of it being a true survivor seems strong. Find the Century here on craigslist with a $1,950 asking price.

For some reason, it looks like there’s too much beige out back, like something was painted that wasn’t supposed to be. Is it the line between the two halves of the tailights, or the trim around the license plate? Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain the respray went a touch too far. Still, it’s nice to see one of these typically throwaway cars with a fresh paintjob.

The interior is where the Century truly shines, as you typically can’t fake this level of clean. The seller says it is original and calls the color combo “gold with sandstone cloth.” Awfully fancy for what amounts to beige on beige, but it certainly got plenty of retirees to take one home. The seller says it needs a heater core and a new battery.

That new heater core could have two possible ramifications, including no heat and/or staining on the carpets if it leaked. All that said, can this odometer reading be trusted? Plenty of low-mileage cars do suffer from sun-baked paint if left outside, so anything is possible. Regardless of the mileage authenticity, this still has to be one of the nicest ones left.


  1. Avatar photo leiniedude Member

    They have another respray for sale also for about the same money. I thought maybe the old blue Olds would have been posted. Both cars for sale would be good projects. One more thing, are the instant notifications coming back? It seems like I miss
    a lot of stories anymore. Anyone else? https://roanoke.craigslist.org/cto/d/roanoke-1984-oldsmobile-ls-ciera/6884931447.html

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo john mackey

      is it a 4dr.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo john mackey

        is it a 4 door car.

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Ralph

        Click on the ad and all the mysteries will be revealed…….

        Like 1
  2. Avatar photo Ben T. Spanner

    Olds and Buick are the same seller. Maybe his brother has the local Maaco shop. Buick; low miles, 2 door. Olds V6, 4 door. If you like either, or both, go for it.

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Fred W

    “The interior is where the Century truly shines, as you typically can’t fake this level of clean…”

    I don’t get it- there are a couple of obvious stains/marks on the back of the driver’s seat. Looks good otherwise though.

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo UncleJoe43119

    Growing up, our neighbors (they were in their 80s) has that exact same Buick. My father had just bought a new Pontiac 6000 because he loved their Buick so much. He always said the pontiac, although 4 doors, was much sportier.

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Big_Fun Member

    Very nice A body coupe. Takes me back to my youth . Many of these around had the 2.5 “Iron Duke” 4 cyl. Mom had an ’86 Limited model, I had an ’87 Limited with a 3.8 V6. Great price, and, if you love the 80’s Buicks, this is for you. I have Regals and a Park Avenue from this Era, also. It’s what I grew up with! I …can’t… help…it! I have a niche!

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo dweezilaz

      If you have a niche, scratch it I always say.

      Like 8
  6. Avatar photo dweezilaz

    The respray looks odd because the inside of the license plate shadow box is painted rather than flat black.

    My parents had the 84 Olds Ciera like the one this guy is also selling.

    That car was the pivotal experience that sparked my interest in GM. Yes, ‘My Father’s Oldsmobile’ influenced my vehicle choices for the next 25 years.

    I love this Buick. Plus an Iron Duke according to the CL ad. Same as that personally influential Ciera.

    Great price. Reminds me of a 12 year old 82 Century I saw while visiting my parents. It had been repainted a light blue and had a temporary license in the window. A small family got into it and they seemed so proud of it.

    I’ve never forgotten that car or that family.

    BTW, Jeff, my throwaway Calais is getting fresh paint this summer. Road tripping to Salt Lake City first, though.

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo Kenneth Carney

    More like 115K to me. In all my days of working on cars, I’ve never heard of a
    genuine 15K car with a heater core that leaks. And no, I wouldn’t give him what
    he’s asking for that very reason. Here in Florida, it would cost close to a grand to replace the heater core in one of these cars as the whole dashboard has to come out to gain access to it. While I was there, I’d replace the stock radio with a high end stereo radio with Syrius XM in it. Then, a set of premium speakers would be next as you need good speakers to listen to good music. All that would come after I went down to Batteries Plus and bought a brand new Duracell automotive battery so I could have it driven here to Inverness–after I pay him $500 for the car. After all, That’s all this car is worth.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Miguel

    The front side marker lights are the wrong color, so maybe there was a frontal accident that caused the car to get repainted.

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo NegativeNelly

    Never liked these cars as a kid, hated working on them as a young mechanic, makes me nauseous to see them now.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Anthony James Poirier

    This exact car was my first car at 16. It was my parents them they gave it to me because it needed repairs EVERY SINGLE MONTH. It was a bad car new nevermind!

    First year for front wheel drive 2.8 V6 platform. My Dad should have never bought it in 86 as it already was rusting! After that was a 92 Camry and a 02 Altima. He was a long time GM guy gone! Luckily that horror didnt spoil my future as I bought reliable Z24 Cavaliers then two Camaro SS’s.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    I bought a car just like this for my son as his 1st car. It was about as exciting as TV golf, but it served him well. Nice ride, comfy seats, dynamite heaters/AC, they really were good cars.

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo Bob

    Possibly the most boring vehicle ever built, this design aptly demonstrates what the “malaise era” was.

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Bakyrdhero

    Two beige 82 Buick’s on the same weekend here at Barn finds? I love it. I like the Skyhawk a little more except for that rear bumper. The Centuries has nice interiors I thought and compare this to an 82 Skylark…this looked futuristic in its day for a mid size Buick.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Stevieg

    A heater core can disintegrate over time just from sitting. I myself also had a vintage car once that I bought out of an estate with 9,000 original miles that was in bad need of paint. The paint oxidized & turned from a rather putrid green/gold color to about the same color as a dead fish lol. Combine those facts with the odometer being the million mile type, I do believe the miles. That being said, I agree with Ken Carney that this is a $500 car. Things, besides the heater core crumble apart from sitting. This car is going to need a lot of work & I don’t feel it would be worth while. I am not talking profit, just common sense. This will never be a classic car. You can buy one like it that has been maintained over the years & fully functional, one that won’t need anything at all besides maintenance, for less than this. And that is if you are truly desiring a Buick Century of this era. Not many people are hot for these. If it were available for $500 (& local), I would be all over it.

    Like 0

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