Running Barn Find: 1936 Buick Century Sedan

1936 Buick Century Sedan

Up for sale is this first generation 1936 Buick Century sedan. While Buick doesn’t make a Century anymore, it is amazing how long the nameplate lasted. It is listed for sale at a current bid price of $4,700 and no indicated reserve. It is located in Arroyo Grande, California. The seller does not provide the VIN in the listing, but they do note the title is clean and 99,000 miles are posted. You can view more here on eBay.

1936 Buick Century Sedan

Under the hood is a fully functional 320 cubic inch inline 8 cylinder engine. They do not have any specifications on which transmission is in the car, whether it be manual or automatic. The photos of the interior do not help solve that mystery either. According to the listing, the oil pressure still remains strong, but they do recommend that the carburetor be tended to along with the rest of the fuel system.

1936 Buick Century Sedan

The interior photos provided are not the best, but they do offer a glimpse at an original condition seat and dashboard. It is filthy and will need a good deep cleaning. There appears to be some wear and tear in the bench seat up front. That is understandable for how old this vehicle is. There is no word on when this car was tucked into storage. Thankfully it doesn’t look like any critters have destroyed the inside.

1936 Buick Century Sedan

The Century name did not last continuously since 1936, but it certainly is interesting to see how far back it goes. Buick build quality has always been stable and semi luxurious. My family had and still has Buicks. One of them used to be a fifth-generation Century. My daily driver in college was a Regal and my current daily is a Rendezvous. If my budget allowed, I think I would scoop this Century up. Buicks have always been good to me! How about you?


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  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    This car looks really great, and how much greater would it look if it were washed? Sometimes I wash my cars whether they need it or not, but definitely if they need it!

    Like 12
  2. Ken

    I can guarantee you this car has a standard transmission. The Dynaflow, Buick’s first automatic transmission, did not appear until after the war.

    Like 10
  3. bultaco

    It would be a 3-speed floor shift manual.

    Like 7
  4. Robert White

    If you watch Alice’s Restaurant this car is in the scene where Guthrie dumps the garbage from the van into the gully and gets spotted by the old folks driving the 36 Buick.

    Nice car IMHO.


    Like 7
  5. ken tilly UK Member

    Of all the American cars that I have owned, the 1951 Buick Super comes out as my favourite. I would take ANY Buick before any other make of American car. Next up would be Imperial followed by Lincoln, Cadillac and Oldsmobile. All the others you can keep.

    Like 6
  6. Ken kittleson

    The Century was the banker’s hot rod in 1936 with the 8cylinder in the smaller chassis, kind of a prototype muscle car but 30 years ahead of its time. Love the side mount spares!

    Like 5
  7. Bob McK Member

    I really NEED this car parked in my shop. It looks to be really solid and with a new interior would make a great driver.

    Like 9
  8. Del

    looks pretty good for price

    Like 1
  9. John Member

    Yup, great car’s, back when I was 16 a towing company W/wrenches had a 36 Buick that was an impound(Police), no one ever claimed it. One day we took it for a ride before selling it and it had long legs, quiet, rode well, mohair interior, that was 1952-53. Was a nice car…We just bought a 2019 Buick Inversion,
    Not the made in USA, but still is quiet, very good Chinese workmanship but worry about the rubber in it.

  10. Kevin Mummery

    The joke growing up as a kid in Michigan was Buick made the Century to commemorate the average age of a Buick owner.

    Like 5
    • Robert L Roberge

      Rumor or not? The Century was so named because it was capable of 100 mph.

      Like 4
      • Joe

        I’ve read that’s how it got it’s name.

  11. ken tilly UK Member

    I would say it’s definitely a rumour.

    Like 2
  12. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Being a Buick man myself I would like to have this car, but I’d have to buy a new house on bigger lot with bigger garage to accommodate my 64 Riviera and current daily driver. Besides I’ve promised myself my next one will be a 67 Skylark convertible with factory 4 speed. Hope it goes to a Buick lover.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  13. Ken Carney

    Yeah, this car has the 3-speed all syncro
    Tranny alright. And yes, this was the first
    Buick to top 100 MPH. It was the hot
    Buick in ’36. I’m sure it was a favorite of
    both gangsters and rum runners alike.
    We too own a 2001 Buick LaSabre with
    over 200K miles on it. Mute testament
    to the quality of these fine automobiles.
    So yes, I’d really rather have a Buick!

    Like 2
  14. Brakeservo

    I thought all Century’s had twin carbs on their straight 8s! And how can one NOT know that a ’36 Buick would only have a 3-spd manual. Oh, and by the way, no power steering, AC or cruise either!

  15. Dave

    I’m helping to restore a ’36 Buick that is still original family owned. Beautiful cars.

    Like 1
  16. Chas358 Chasman358

    A friend’s family owned a ’38 Buick back in the day. It looked a lot like this one. Unfortunately, being a Michigan car, it was badly rusted. He and I moved it from the Grandparent’s house in Detroit. We were towing it when a Detroit Police car came up along side. He asked if it ran, which it did, so we finished the 5 mile trip under power of the straight 8 which ran great. Terrific old car!

    Like 1
  17. Chas358 Chasman358

    I just looked at the pictures on eBay, one is of the back seat. The ’38 Special I mentioned earlier had a HUGE back seat like this one. I remember sitting in it and barely being able to touch the front seat with my legs!

  18. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    There were three or four Buick Specials from 38, 39, and 40 on our farm back in the 50’s. My brothers drove them. The 40 was my dads car until the knee action shocks quit working causing the car to bounce excessively on the coil springs. When dad couldn’t buy new shocks the car was parked in the back of the farm.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  19. Ken Carney

    The ’37 and ’38 models were my favorite
    Buicks from the ’30s. Been that way since ’71 when I saw one in the February
    issue of Rod & Custom Magazine. I don’t
    recall the name of the fellow who built it
    but man, was it sharp! He kept the 320
    cube straight 8 and added a homemade
    intake manifold holding 3 carbs. The
    innards were beefed up using Norris
    flat top pistons, full-pressure oiling, and a
    special order Crane cam. I think the head
    may have been ported and relieved as well. It looked bone stock and neat as a
    pin. I can’t recall much more about it
    except the impression it made on my 16
    year old mind when I first saw it.

  20. John B.

    The steering wheel looks like all of the material has come off the frame; I don’t remember them being that small. Heck I would like to have it even if it didn’t have a steering wheel! Good luck to both buyer and seller!

  21. Marshall

    I think one of those was destroyed in a British documentary which came out in 1965 (in surprisingly good color…on YouTube) about old junker cars accumulating in England at the time. The body on that car was still in good shape. The sad thing was is that it was an antique even back then. But that’s how desperate the Brits were to get rid of old cars back during the 60s.

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