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Rare 1976 Buick Century Pace Car

You don’t see these cars come up for sale very often. This is a 1976 Buick Century Pace Car and it is located in Clinton Township, Michigan. The car is unrestored and would be considered a mid-level project that will need a lot of work. The seller believes the odometer reading of 25,318 is original. One look at the engine compartment indicates that this is wishful thinking. The car is listed here on eBay and is currently bid up to $4,550 with one day remaining in the auction.

This car is probably fitted with the Buick version of the 350 cubic inch V8 engine. The actual Indy Pace Car used to pace the race at the Indianapolis 500 was built with a nonproduction turbocharged 231 V6. This engine was used as a test model for the turbocharged 231 cubic inch V6 engine that was introduced as a production option in 1978. The actual car used in the race had a blistered hood bulge and front air dam. The car is said to have produced close to 300 horsepower using 20-22 psi of turbo boost.

The black interior looks fairly intact except the wear on the seat covers does not match with the reported mileage. all Century Pace Cars came with T-Tops and the Free Spirit decal on the side of the car. This car also has white wall tires which, I believe, are replacements as the Pace Cars all came with white letter tires.

There were 1,290 Buick Century Pace Cars produced in 1976 in celebration of the 1976 Indianapolis 500. This car is in unrestored condition and is said to be all there and unmolested. The factory T-tops were produced by Hurst and 1976 was the second year for T-tops to be available on a GM car. The first GM car to get T-tops was the 1975 Hurst/Olds. This car is being sold by a dealer that offers shipping. It has some rust in the lower rocker area but I hope it is saved and restored.


  1. Mike

    About the only thing I like about this car is that the steering wheel is pretty cool. Hard to believe 1,290 people were interested in this car even when it was new. Even harder to believe anyone would be interested now, at any price. Acquisition at $4,550 plus the thousands and thousands it would take to make it even roadworthy makes it a losing proposition. Throw in the Michigan rust and you’ve got a car not many people would care about even if it was in nice shape to begin with. No thanks!

    Like 12
    • RH

      Your comment of “Even harder to believe anyone would be interested now, at any price” has to be one of the silliest things I’ve read on here in a longtime. I get it that you don’t like it and you probably can’t afford it, but that doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way as you. I actually like these!

      Like 14
      • Daved

        “Probably can’t afford it” 🤣😂👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

        Like 3
    • bill dougher

      not true the car has a small mark up value just looks hot at ind pace car reunion the 1 there 2016 was a hit

  2. Geoff

    Hard to believe that a car with that much rust and interior wear only has 25k miles on it. Was it stored in a salt cave? Even if it has the 4bbl 350 it puts out all of 165hp. Unless one has a sentimental reason I can’t see why anyone would bother with this with this malaise era decal queen.

    Like 4
  3. JimmyinTEXAS

    I need to slow down and try to read with clarity. I read the leading as the car had been restored. LOL Imagine my shock when I got to the pictures.

  4. Dovi65

    I do like this unique vehicle, it has nice styling. I don’t usually go the flashy, look-at-me sticker packages, I’d go for this one. The mileage claim is dubious, based on the photos. However, the mileage is irrelevant; its just an old car with limited appeal, and needs a ton of rehab

    Like 1
  5. ACZ

    A 25K mile car in Michigan is like a 250,000 mile car anywhere else. Built in water leak Hurst Hatches, A/C compressor (and God knows what else) is missing. It could be a fun project but not at this price. $1K MAX!

    Like 1
    • RH

      FYI – not ALL Hurst Hatches leak. Ask me how I know. As for the missing A/C compressor, that can be easily replaced.

      Like 6
  6. nlpnt

    These late Colonnade Century coupes really look like the box the early models came in.

    Like 1
  7. Jcs

    I’d say that this cars needs are pretty obvious.

    On the flip side, if you are going for a Collonade era Regal or Century this is about as good as it gets. Cleaned up proper actually really nice cars, slightly more unique than the Cutlasses prevalent at the time.

    Like 4
  8. Korey

    I think the people that are hating on this car saying “why bother” do you even consider yourself a car person. When was the last time you even saw a 76 Century on the road the car deserves to be saved and appreciated. I bet if it was left in original condition it would attract more attention than your typical run of the mill car at a cars and coffee or really any car show for that matter.

    Like 9
    • DN

      They’d save a tri-5 Chevy, Camaro or Mustang in 10x worse shape though!

      Like 1
    • Rob Norman

      it would definitely draw “eyes of bewilderment and wonder ” hee

  9. Viva76

    The number of negative comments is representative of the number of people that buy immitation maple syrup over real maple syrup; the majority are not that smart or have a sense.
    This car is a truely exceptional version of the grand finally of full size performance cars from GM.
    With power window, AC and Ttops. The seat are beautifully crafted, and that nose is crazy rare AND designed for the race track. Has a perfectly designed spoiler to boot.
    Those of us that know what to do with a stock V8 dont rate the factory HP, its not the manufacturers fault that gas crises and bureaucracy dictated the numbers in those days.
    This one is for someone in the know, a full size mans muscle car, at the end of the muscle era, for someone who know how to change their own oil.
    The culmination of all the design aspects evolved from advancements in suspension and aerodynamics.
    I was excited to actually see one, one roadworthy,
    only one ive ever seen, and they look even nicer in person was at a farm in Iowa, and of all the cool cars there, this one was exceptional.
    OK, thats my 3 cents.

    Like 5
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      Wow, just because someone doesn’t like a car and comments to that effect, they are stupid and like imitation maple syrup. That’s pretty harsh. Maybe the covid has everyone in a funk, maybe allergies have people worked up, but dang when do we all have to make positive comments about the SAME car? Just asking for a friend.

      Like 1
    • DN

      Viva76- thank you for your 3 cents although I say they are worth much, much more! 👏🏽

    • Dex

      As far as this being “the grand finale of full size performance cars from GM”, is this really considered a performance car? Maybe. If so, can’t call it the grand finale when GM still made similar colonnade cars in 1977. I also have no idea of what maple syrup has to do with any of this. Ok, my .03 cents.

      Like 1
      • DON

        Its not even considered a full size car – This was the mid size level for Buick

  10. Daved

    This one is most definitely worth saving! Here’s one in all of its glory.

    Like 2
  11. JP Lajoie

    My aunt had one of these beautiful Free Spirit Buicks on Ontario just north of Toronto, she drove it coast to coast and to work everyday too. To this day, she still talks about her favorite car at 93 years old, still drives in the flow of traffic now in Calgary. I got a few ride in this model and it was smooth and fun, head turner helped in my neighborhood. You are going to like it or dislike it, that’s your choice, let others choose what they like or dislike too

    Like 1
  12. Rob Norman

    it would definitely draw “eyes of bewilderment and wonder ” hee

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