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High Speed Luxury: 1939 Buick Century


We have a growing audience of car nuts all over the globe, so I thought it would be fun to have a look at what barn finds are being dug out in other parts of the world. While surfing listing in Australia, I stumbled across this 1939 Buick Century here on eBay! We don’t see these often here in the States, so I was quite surprised to see one down under. These are really cool looking machines, even in 4 door form. This example needs a ton of work, but with a BIN of $5k AU or $3,800 US, it seems like a good deal! If you happen to live in Menai, Australia and can go take a closer look, we sure would love to hear about it.


These were quite luxurious and fast cars in their day. The 320 cubic inch inline 8 produced about 165 horsepower and could get these massive cars up to 100+ miles per hour! Their ability to cruise at 100 mph and luxurious interior lead to the nickname the “banker’s hot rod”.


I love the grille and fender mounted spare tires on this Buick. It really is a great looking machine and with the ability to keep up with modern traffic, it would be a fun classic to own! Restoring it will likely be costly, especially if you take it on in Australia, but I hope it finds a home there. Let’s just hope one of our Australian readers snap it up quick!


  1. Rick Forse

    Here’s my ’38 Buick here on the Gulf Coast of Texas. I think they are great looking cars.

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  2. Frank Opalka

    Right hand drive??

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  3. Peter Lee

    This was actually the first “Muscle Car,” not the GTO as the history-challenged believe. Buick put their big engine in their smaller car body. The Studebaker Golden Hawks were similar beginning in 1956.

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  4. Chris In Australia

    Factory RHD. This would have been a Holden bodied example, and a high end car in its day. Hopefully it will be restored.
    Its about 12 hrs drive south of me, so I won’t be offering an inspection.

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  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great thinking Josh! Maybe present one on every Friday? Thanks, Mike.

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  6. Dennis M

    My Mom always said the only reason my Dad asked her out was because she was driving a new 1939 Buick Century just like this one!

    They lived in far upstate NY and he often told the story of missing the train in their town and then beating it to the next stop in the Buick. “Passed it on the curve by the milk plant!”

    He also said that straight eight was torquey enough that he could put it in first gear, get out and walk beside it!

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  7. Old Ed


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  8. Lee

    Looks like it needs its Milk Crate restored

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    • tugdoc

      That milk crate appears to be holding the door up,

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  9. G 1

    The 39 grill was so fine that cars would overheat. In 40, they opened up the grill to let in more air.

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  10. Bruce Joslen

    Chris is right. This will be a Holden body. They used the split rear windows, and more curve in the trunk. Cars imported from Canada also had right hand drive in the Fisher bodies. Most GM cars here in New Zealand were of Canadian origin.

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  11. Jim Benjaminson

    Buick had a strong and early presence in Australia and there is currently a new book out about Buick in Australia.

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    If that was running, I could see some surfboards strapped on top and cruise the BEAUTIFUL coast! Don’t laugh! Bought a ’49 Cad in Great Lakes Ilionois and cruised the shoreline for surf! Yes, there is surf on the Great Lakes! Chicago will give you a citation for surfing in their Lake! Good pizza though!

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  13. David

    Hi..I’m curious..why do you always make these rather vaguely disparaging comments about 4-door cars? I don’t understand.

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  14. Jim Marshall

    An old friend of mine I knew from the early 40’s moved from Philly to a farm in Chalfont Pa in the early 50’s or late 40’s. We lost touch but we picked up again in the early 50’s. I used to visit he parents farm and remember his dad had a 38 Buick for their ride around the farm vehicle. On one of his rides he gave us in that old Buick I remember him driving over rutted roads and plowed fields and I couldn’t believe how smooth that old Buick cushioned out the bumps with that 4 wheel coil suspension.

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  15. harit


    A large number of Canadian right hand drive cars were supplied to India as well. I have a 7 seat Limo Series 90 Limited.

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