Confusing Colors? 1955 Buick Century Wagon

This find is worthy of exploration because it’s a rarely seen wagon today, a 1955 Buick Century, one of only 4,243 produced, according to Thrown in Estate Wagons for another 2,952 and you’re at a total count of about 7,100 station wagons for that year. And of course, old station wagons are hot property right now. But it’s the story around the car that piqued my interest. Located in Santa Clarita, California, this Buick family hauler is available, here on craigslist for $12,500, OBO.

The seller tells us that he bought the car from a 70-something woman who is the daughter of the original owner. Apparently, the car originated life with a green and white exterior and a red and white interior! Can you imagine that, why? I’m surprised that Buick would build such a creature but if you put enough $$$ down, and are willing to pay for it, I guess they’d build you whatever you want. The door jambs and underhood edge attest to the born-with hospital ward green. The owner later had the dealership paint the green portions red and the white roof and lower body have since been repainted in their original shade of white. While the white portions of the body are respectable, the red is faded with surface rust burn-through. The bumper chrome is pretty weak too. The seller claims 99.9% rust free but that may be based on how one defines rust. Regardless, the body shows as being pretty sound and the extensive trim is all still in place.

There are, unfortunately, no images of the 236 HP, 322 CI “Nailhead” V8 engine included. The seller does list the following improvements that have been taken: “REBUILT CARB AND FUEL PUMP WITH NEW FUEL LINES, GAS TANK & RADIATOR CLEANED & INSTALLED, NEW DUAL EXHAUST, REBUILT POWER STEERING, NEW BATTERY, AND A REBUILT GENERATOR & REGULATOR”. OK, so this Buick is not hurting for mechanical attention. Suspension rejuvenation is also mentioned but no description of the running and driving experience is stated. A rebuilt automatic transmission is in place so that means a Dynaflow unit.

The two-tone interior, which is assumed to be original, is hard to judge. The front seat bottom is covered by a Mexican blanket and there’s a lot of other “stuff” obscuring the view. The door panels are a little worn but the dash and front seat back show well. The floor’s a tough one to figure out as it looks like there’s a beige carpet that has been installed but it’s not covering the driver’s side foot well. It’s too bad there are no included images of the rear cargo bay. What do you think the small “55” placard means?

The seller suggests, “It will be a great car to drive as a rat rod or restore, or make a great street rod cruiser too“. I’m not sure about that, I’m intrigued by the original color collision and I think that’s what I’d recreate, how about you?


  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    The original color combination was certainly odd but the later switch to a red re-paint over the light green looks a lot better. Too bad the cheap paint job didn’t include the door jambs and various other areas to remove the original color entirely. Other than that, this ’55 Buick wagon is a fabulous find. Certainly rare with what looks like a pretty solid body. It seems to be complete, especially the wagon specific parts. Not a car that should be modified, this car deserves to be restored back to its factory original condition. Probably won’t be cheap, especially considering the needed chrome work but imagine how it will look restored to its former glory! Better pictures would have been nice but that aside and considering it’s a rare wagon, the price seems fair.

    Like 14
  2. swm

    Some states used metal tags as opposed to stickers when they renewed the vehicle license, so it may be a 1955 license tab.

    • Mike

      Way too big to be a 55 license tab. Another picture of it looks like it’s a folded piece of paper.

      Like 2
  3. RMac

    Maybe it was Sammy Hagar’s and he can’t drive 55 or maybe where it’s located it means that’s how fast you have to go with all the windows and vents open before the natural ac cools you down
    LOL. Looks like it was an auction tag noting the year?
    Looks like dual exhaust was added sometime along the way
    With the interior re done and done new paint this could make a nice cruiser lots of windows to open for air!!

    Like 3
  4. normadesmond

    Is this the same year as the wagon in the movie “Far From Heaven”?

  5. Chuck Simons

    The 55 on the steering column is a restaurant table number. Panera, Tom’s diners and others in SoCal lose these to diners many times for the birth year or model year or…..

    Like 4
  6. Bobdog

    I thought Roadmasters has 4 port holes and century’s had 3 – it says its a century.

    • GitterDunn

      The ’55 Buick Specials were the “3-holers” and the Roadmaster, Century and Super models were all “4-holers”.

      Like 3
    • Chuck Dickinson

      That RM 4-hole rule was not a constant, and it changed from time to time. The only constant was a RM had 4 and the Special had 3. Century and Super–“it depends”.

      Like 4
  7. CaCarDude

    Nice Buick! I had a chance to buy a ’54 Wagon like this about 8 years ago, it was running driving and in better condition than this old girl, price was $3,000
    Wish now I would have bought it! I would like to see a picture under the hood, to bad the seller did not submit one, the firewall ID plate would be nice to see and decode. The green color would have been Gulf Turquoise, the only other Green used in ’55 was a brighter Galway Green. I personally would put back to the Green as not a fan of red cars.

    Like 1
  8. GitterDunn

    I agree on the paint color, except for that red and white interior! I’d have to change that to coordinate with the green and white exterior. Otherwise, just repaint it properly (door jambs, etc.) in red and white.

    Also, those need to be WIDE whitewalls to be period-correct for cars before 1962.

    Like 1
  9. Dr Ron

    Strange as it may seem, Buicks during 1955-1956 could be had with the weirdest color combinations imaginable.
    I was four years old in 1958 when Dad traded in my loved first car, a dark blue 1949 Pontiac Star Chief. He brought home a yellow and white 1956 Buick Special 2 door hardtop… with a mostly red interior with black dots on the red seat upholstery and door panels and black carpeting, dashboard and interior metal trim….
    What was even weirder was a green and white ‘55 or ‘56 Special four door down the street that had an all red interior with black painted metal trim..
    Dad called it “The Christmas Buick”.
    I’ve seen a few oddball Buick color schemes since, blue and white exterior with a green interior was kinda stomach churning.
    It seems that Buick was the only GM division that was totally color blind in the 1950’s.
    Or I’ve just not seen weird color combinations on other mid 1950’s GM cars.

    Like 2
  10. Thomas M. George

    Back in the middle 1970s when I was working my way through school at the local Chevy dealership, we took delivery of a special order Caprice coupe with a white landau vinyl top, bright green metallic paint and a burgundy interior. Apparently the check box for white interior was adjacent to burgundy and a mistake was made. The couple who ordered the car was not happy, refused the car and re-ordered with the correct interior color. The first Caprice languished on the lot for months before being heavily discounted and sold.

    Like 1
    • Bobdog

      Sell it to the first color blind customer that walks in the show room.

      Like 1

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