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Deal Of The Century: 1939 Buick

1939 Buick Century

In 1936, Buick gave their cars names instead of numbers. The Series 60 became the Century. The usual upright radiator grill was replaced by a grill that followed the body shape. This Century is listed here on craigslist in Sacramento, California. The $4,900 asking price seems reasonable. There’s only a little surface rust and the engine is free. Unfortunately, the interior was redone in black vinyl. This old Buick does look nice from a distance, though.

front seat

The dash looks complete and original. The seats and doors have sadly been redone in vinyl.


Here’s a peek at the 320 CID, 120 horse engine. This looks complete and original as well. The owner will be trying to start it today.

left rear

It looks pretty nice from this end as well. The interior is decent, but not at all original. This could be a nice driver as it is. The museum’s Buick Special is really nice to drive, ponderous but smooth. This Century is likely an older restoration. The interior looks like it was done in the ’70s and the tires look too nice to be 60 or 70 years old. What would you do with this old Buick? You could drive it like it is and redo the interior back to original as funds allowed. Better brakes would really be nice, as would A/C.


  1. Rock On Member

    I think that I would look for something newer before I ever added air conditioning to this car.

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  2. grant

    Clean it up, fix the interior as time and funding allowed and drive the snot out of it. This is cool. Nice find.

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  3. Doc Holland

    I have a ’39 4 door convertible which is same frame and front end as the sedan here. It’s a beast to drive, my wife won’t even try and the brakes…well, being generous I’d say it stops smoothly, just don’t try and panic stop. It’s a smooth riding cruiser and that 320 ci motor will pull it easily to 80 giving it some time. Supposedly it was capable of 100 (century) but I won’t be the one even with good brakes, tires and a rebuilt suspension. It’s a Harley Earl design and it’s beautiful to look at. This is a pretty good value (and no ac please)

    Like 1
  4. Jesper

    Lovely old car. Its a shame that some people build hot rod’s out of these old historic cars.

    Like 1
    • Roger

      I like pure restorations but I love restomods . We should remember hot rods / restomods give many many classics a chance to live on otherwise the would not get.

      Like 0
  5. Mike

    Nice looking old ride, I think I would fix it up, redo the seats to period material, and make it a show car. I agree with Rock On I would not waste the money to put AC in the car. I have a 49 Chevy 3100 5 Window Truck, and during the Summer months I trailer it to car shows, that way the Wifey does not have to sweat her but off on the drive. But me if I am going to a mid summer car show by myself, I have 2 55 ac, the way it was meant to be!!!!!!

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  6. Matt Tritt

    AC? It’s actually not that difficult to convert non-power brakes to power byt adding a Hydrovac and redoing the brake lines a bit. The Buick chassis has lots of room for a remote vacuum booster.

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  7. Old geezer

    I owned a 37 with dual side mounts. Wonderful cars, excellent torquey straight 8 that could take off in 2nd gear. These buicks are the best riding cars of that era due to their excellent chassis and coils all around. I’m always surprised why they don’t bring as much money as its competitors. if it was closer to me, I would be in way with trailer and cash.

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  8. bcavileer

    Funny how GM stuff still had bug eyes and a trunk hump while Ford went more streameline. Dodge really went forward with the 39 luxury liner deluxe. But this looks way more like the 20’s styling then the art deco style of the late 30’s.
    Kinda dumpy in my opinion. But the car would be waY better without the cheap seat redo. Yuk

    Like 0

    Good old vehicle! Drive it, show it! It doesn’t have to be a show piece. People who appreciate solid old vehicle will be happy with you for saving it and not cutting it up!

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  10. Danny

    No A/C. I live in New Orleans and the only reason I ever turn on the A/C in my Honda Fit or my 97 Avalon is that these newer cars were not meant to be driven with the windows open when over 25 mph. Stupid! I have only had a 6 cars that had A/C. I had a 53 Buick Special 2 door, white roof and red body. I had brake problems, left front drum kept locking up due to brake cylinder leaking. The final straw was the drivers window regulator broke and I could not get the window up. I went to the Buick dealer who told me they don’t have parts for something that old. That was in 1967. 14 year old car and could not get parts!

    Like 0

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