The 1954-1957 Buick Century Convertible & Hardtops represent the return of Buick's prewar "factory hot rod." These sportier models remain reasonably affordable collector's items, though perhaps not much longer, as prices have escalated recently.

1956 Buick Century convertible, part of the 1954-1957 Buick Century Convertible & Hardtop line of collectible cars
1956 Buick Century convertible.  See more pictures of classic cars.

Century's traditional formula of a big Buick engine in the shorter, lighter Buick platform worked well in these years, particularly 1954-1955. Styling is good despite the massive size; construction and quality are also good except in 1957, when it deteriorated. These cars were very fast despite bulk -- genuine 100-mph cruisers.

The 1954-1957 Buick Century Convertible & Hardtops were a cheaper alternative to a Skylark for '50s Flint fanciers and were superb on the highway. Underrated '57s are included here mainly for styling (a sleeker interpretation of Buick's basic mid-'50s look) as well as that rare novelty, the Caballero hardtop wagon. Be aware, though, that they're bigger, heavier, and less rewarding to drive.

Pluses of the 1954-1957 Buick Century Convertible & Hardtops:

  • Still relatively affordable
  • Outstanding performance
  • Quite maneuverable (1954-1956 particularly so)
  • Readily available
  • Nice period styling

Minuses of the 1954-1957 Buick Century Convertible & Hardtops:

  • High fuel (and, some say, oil) consumption
  • Future price appreciation cloudy
  • '57 workmanship, roadability

Production of the 1954-1957 Buick Century Convertible & Hardtops:

  • 1954: conv 2,790; Riviera htp cpe 45,710
  • 1955: conv 5,588; Riviera htp cpe 80,338; Riviera htp sdn 55,088
  • 1956: conv 4,721; Riviera htp cpe 33,334; Riviera htp sdn 20,891; Riviera Deluxe htp sdn 35,082
  • 1957: conv 4,085; Riviera htp cpe 17,029; Riviera htp sdn 26,589; Caballero 4d htp wgn 10,186

Specifications of the 1954-1957 Buick Century Convertible & Hardtops:
Wheelbase, inches:
122.0
Length, inches:
206.3 (1954), 206.6 (1955), 205.5 (1956), 208.5 (1957)
Weight, pounds: 3,795-4,230
Price, new: $2,530-$3,600

Engine for the 1954-1957 Buick Century Convertible & Hardtops:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv V-8322 cid
200/236/220/2551954-1956

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