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Original Paint? 1956 Buick Century


Covered in a thin layer of dust this ’56 Buick Century is a great looking project. Packing a Nailhead V8 and most likely original paint, this Buick appears to be a nice survivor. In running condition but with some needs, this Buick is offered at $8,500. Find it here on craigslist out of Atlanta, Georgia.


This being a 1956 model Buick Century, the 322 cubic inch Nailhead V8 is rated at 255 horsepower. The Nailhead is a runner, but is in need of a fuel pump.  The engine and bay overall look pretty good with the only real eyesore being the rusty battery tray. The firewall and inner fenders look nice, and the engine looks reasonable as well. This is an automatic transmission and power steering car, so it would be a comfortable cruiser without a lot of strain from the driver. The engine bay and the entire car looks to have been sitting for a while as there is an even layer of dust or dirt over the entire car. The engine bay would likely clean up a little better with some compressed air.


Peeking inside reveals a not too bad off interior. The driver side of the bench seat is ripped needing some attention, but the back seat is very nice. The dash pad looks very nice, needing only a wipe down. The dash has some minor paint wear on the glove compartment, and on the center portion of the dash. The steering wheel looks remarkable solid and crack free. There are a few draw backs to this interior. It appears there are some missing door panels, and the ones that are there are a little rough, but there. The most curious thing about the interior is the new floor pans installed on the passenger side of this Buick. We aren’t exactly in love with these patch panels, but we can appreciate that someone was trying to keep this Century on the road. The exterior of this Buick tells a very different story displaying a very nice paint finish that may very well be original. Studying the exterior does not reveal any rot, but there are a few areas on the driver side where there is some chipping paint. Looking at the driver side rear door sill area reveals more patching that is again not our favorite thing to see in a classic car. But getting past the patches, this Century is a real head turner. The only other thing to make note of is the front and rear bumpers look to be spray painted silver. The grill looks good with only minor patina present.


With great looks and potential, this Buick could be revived and made very nice. Are you a fan of these mid 1950’s Buicks?




  1. Terry J

    The 1st of the Century series was 1936 and was so named because it could do 100 mph! I always liked these 2nd series Century cars. :-) Terry J

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  2. dj

    To many doors,I can find cheaper in better condition but will not buy them with 4 doors because collectors also will not buy them.

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    • Ck

      I’m with you dj to many doors and too much $$.The 2dr 56 from last wk was much nicer than this one . Good luck trying to get $8500.00 This old Buick is worth around $1500 bucks. Its a nice car to cruise around in but I dont think it would have much resal value when you get tired of it.

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  3. Moparman Moparmann Member

    My great uncle had an exact copy of this car!! I was fascinated by the ribbon speedometer! :-)

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  4. DJS

    I to think two many doors but might be fun for a driver to local car shows but not my pic,

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  5. hans grafftenberg


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  6. grant

    I love it but I’m afraid of it. Looks like more holes in the drivers floor and the sills just boggle my mind. The interior is done, as well. Is it really worth $8500 this way?

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  7. Vince Habel

    In the hardtop style I don’t think it has too many doors.

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  8. G 1

    What keeps happening to the original air cleaners on a lot the cars I see ?

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    • Trickie Dickie Member

      Air cleaners are no doubt removed for the pictures. They are BIG and block a lot out of a picture

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  9. charlie Member

    4 doors but no B post, so I think quite attractive, and the bargain type body of 50’s cars

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  10. Rustytech Rustytech Member

    It seems like the values have been climbing on these pilar less four doors lately, I’ve seen the tri five Chevy’s bringing upwards of $25k recently. In its current condition I don’t think it’s worth $8500 though.

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  11. Mark S

    The thing about patch panels is not so much that it has them and more about workmanship. One of the pluses to doing a panel this way is you can use slightly thicker metal which makes it easier to weld them in, as the thicker metal acts as a heat dam. Usually what I see is there only stitch welded in which leaves the tin worm some where to start. They need to be fully welded in order not to leak. Another thing about patches they need to be uniform and well fitted this works best if the floor of the car is not the well style common on most car after unibody construction came along. When the floor is flat from the centre hump to the top of the rocker then why not use a piece of sheet steel, once it’s in your going to grind your welds, scratch the sheet with course sand paper, prime it, paint it, coat it with a sealer, and then cover it with carpet or rubber matting. Here’s the thing where I live I can buy a 4’x8′ x20 gauge piece of sheet steel for about $100.00 and there’s no way your going to get a floor pan or trunk pan for that kind of money. I mentioned a day or so back about my take on restoration costs and how they get out of hand so guickly, and this is one place that a DIY guy can keep on budget. This car is never going to be a concours show piece on the stage at B/J auction all it needs to be is a nice simpathetic refurbishment and you’ll have a great looking hobby car. The fact that it’s a hard top IMHO makes it that much cooler.

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  12. John Deebank

    This was my 1st car 4 drs and standard transmission. I have a soft spot these mid 50’s Buicks. I buried that ribbon speedometer many times and past the 100 mark. I could lay rubber into 2nd gear. I was 16, $350. in 1964.

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