Incredible Style: 1957 Buick Century Caballero Estate

If you’re looking for a station wagon to restore, it doesn’t get much better or more interesting than this one. Station wagons with no center posts have always been interesting to me, simply because there probably weren’t many of them. While hardtop cars were made until the late seventies, the hardtop style wagons were discontinued by the mid-sixties by Chrysler and earlier by the other manufacturers. Here is a 1957 Buick Century 4 door Caballero Estate Wagon for sale here on eBay in Bakersfield, California.

This Caballero was “taken apart” before the current owner bought it and was sandblasted and painted with primer and left to weather. I believe the “taken apart” means the trim removed, not that body panels were removed. All trim is included except the button for the tailgate is which is missing. The current owner has spent about $1,000 getting some of the stainless trim polished. The car has been stored inside for the last 15 years.

The interior appears to be well preserved. I’m not sure if these are the original seat coverings, but appear similar to some found in the sales brochure. There are no rips in the seats. The dash padding appears to be in good condition. The headliner is also in good condition but is sagging. The front seat is power operated while the windows are manually operated.

The engine is a 364 cubic inch V-8 that originally produced 300 horsepower. The car does not run, but it does turn over. The mileage on the car is 64,000.

This Estate Wagon includes a set of Skylark wire wheels, while the original wheels and covers are not available. The seller had the intention of restoring this car but found something he liked better and told his wife that the Buick could go. However, if he does not sell it, he will continue to work on it to get it running and the price will rise. The starting bid is $15,000. Is this the kind of station wagon you are looking for to restore?

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Comments

  1. redwagon

    this looks to be a very solid example both inside and out of a somewhat rare and odd combination i.e. hardtop wagon. depending on the day i favor these over the chevy and pontiac 2 door sport wagons of the era.

    hagerty lists a #3 good condition at $60,000. as this is a no reserve auction with the opening bid at $15,000 there isn’t a ton of wiggle room between $45,000 and the work that needs to be done. If you have to be in the black it likely keeps you from bidding. if you’ve always wanted a caballaro (and quite frankly who the hell hasn’t?) then this may be the solid example you have been looking for. Total production was 14,642 over 2 years (57-58) with ’57 having higher production at 10,186 units.

    the sellers’ comment that if it doesn’t sell this time they will fix it up and relist at a higher amount smacks of “i know what i have” and makes one wonder why not fix it before listing it the first time? should have a ppi and learn if the engine is seized and the condition of the frame and floors at the very least.

    Like 3
  2. Fred W

    Can’t believe they spent $1000 having stainless polished when that’s one of the easiest chores to do (and hardest to mess up) if you have a buffer wheel mounted on your workbench.

    Like 3
    • Robert Rossi

      There are a lot of people that don’t know how to remove dents or even polish stainless. Many of the people I know have it done. It’s really not that hard to do. I do a lot of it.

      Like 2
  3. Andre

    lol wow

    Like 3
  4. Derek

    “the automobile-internal combustion engine-4 wheel vehicle”

    I think that a German won that particular race…

    Like 9
  5. Robert Rossi

    It’s a shame someone stripped this and never finished it. It would cost a small fortune to do the chrome on this car. These are gorgeous all restored! I hope it finds the right home!!

    Like 2
  6. local_sheriff

    Together with the 57 Olds Fiesta 4dht wagon ,the 57 Caballero absolutely tops my wishing list of wagons. (Unfortunately) there are so darn many details on such wagons, making them true, sexy masterpieces of design but also demanding a high level of DIY capabilities and thick wallet to do it right…

    Such a great find, would love to have the abilities to turn this into the classic longroof it deserves to be…Please Santa…

    Like 5
  7. Gaspumpchas

    IMHO this would have presented better if the guy blew a coat of primer on it. Pics of the underbelly and attempt to get it running? for 15 large you would think he would have tried harder. Yep if it doesn’t sell its gonna sit __ fill in the blank, years. wink wink. Guess this ol grey hair doesn’t get it. Sure is a nice car tho, but as the guys said, you dropped 15k out of the gate, then watch the bills pile up.

    cheers
    GPC

    Like 2
  8. Ron

    If he hasn’t done anything to it in the last 15 years, why will he start now? Especially now that he has his dream project.

  9. luke arnott Member

    Sorry,much as I love American cars(and I have 6),to describe everything made elsewhere as “junk” is at best erroneous and at worst “small minded”.

    Like 4
  10. Doug

    These and the ’57 Olds wagon were probably the most beautiful wagons ever built in their era, besides possibly the 56-57 Nomads. Sad to see this one in its present condition, but it can still be restored to its former glory. I’d be tempted to at least upgrade it with disc brakes and A/C. Some one with a deep wallet who loves the design might want to put a modern chassis and drivetrain under this, and put it on the show circuit, but I hope it gets driven and enjoyed where the rest of us can see it.

    Like 1
  11. Philip B

    The cost of rechroming all the heavy chrome on this thing is what would keep me away. I was born in 50, and all the big cars of the 50’s and 60’s are cool to me. I’ve done one wagon, a 58 2dr Yeoman…it does take a lot of extra work/expense for a wagon.

    Like 1
  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Dang…..soooo nice to just be sitting around.

    Like 2
  13. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Mopar guy getting rid of his GM wagon. The climate in Bakersfield is enough to blast the paint right off a car sitting out. You can tell from the door jambs the car was a really nice combo of deep red over white below the side sweep. Prep was a half-assed job to begin with. How many times do we need to say it, “primer is not a top coat, not UV resistant and/or a weather resistant preservative.”

    Like 1

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