1939 Buick Century
Often called "the first muscle car" or "the banker's hot rod," the
Century combined the smaller Special body with the 320-cubic-inch
eight, putting out 141 horsepower. The result was an excellent
power-to-weight ratio giving a top speed in the vicinity of 110 mph
and lively acceleration. At about half the price of an Auburn
Speedster, the Century was a performance bargain.
This 1939 Buick Century was purchased in December of 1987 by
Ellsworth Scott. He happened to come upon this car when he went to
Foster's Auto Rebuilders for a general car service. He inquired as
to whether it was for sale and was informed that the owner was the
Rev. Charles Walker, Pastor and renown concert pianist. He was
looking to sell because he didn't have the patience, nor the funds
to have it restored.
Bathed in beautiful flawless black and highlighted by in this
writer's opinion the best Art Deco Brite-work on any car, this is a
really beautiful car. The styling goes right down to the door
handles which utilize the triple horizontal bands which is emulated
on the hidden hood release which doubles as a side vent for the
hood, the bumpers, and even the bullet style headlights, and turn
signals ( the 1939 Buick was the first car to have turn signals).
Speaking of which, the rear turn signals are not incorporated into
the brake lights, but rather blink from the trunk lid where they
double as an Art Deco styled Buick badge. Fronting the car is a
thin banded grille with the shape of your grandfather's mustache.
This widens its way down to a pristine front bumper. Right behind
which is another Buick design coup where the front fenders curve
into, and under the grille. The rear fenders do this somewhat as
well, however the front is more exaggerated. Running boards, a
chrome belt spear trim, and a hump back trunk lid finish off the 4
door car which not only gave the Caddy a run for its money
power-wise, but definitely design wise.
Plush felt benches stretch from door panel to door panel, and
present in good condition. They show little wear and seem to be
almost original. Keeping in the Art Deco mood, the Maroon metal
dash, houses plenty of Deco styled Horizontal and Vertical lines of
chrome, and instrumentation. Fronting this is an original banjo
style steering wheel, with a few cracks in the surrounding edge
Baklelite. The center design with the Buick type and graphics is
another highlight. The headliner is near perfect, as are the
matching door panels. Carpeting is fair to good, and is a light
gold, and floods the floor in the front and spacious back seat.
Speaking of the rear seat, it has armrests with built in
ashtrays...but of course!
The Straight 8 stretches from grille to firewall, and as noted
above, with the transmission will yield the 100MPH
Areas of surface rust, and patina abound, however it is
structurally sound. The only area of concern exists where the
running boards meet the body at the upside rocker. There is filler
there, and it appears to be somewhat dried out, however with a firm
step on the running board, it holds as very strong.
Take a gorgeous glass like black paint, drape it over a beautifully
styled limo-like body, and put on loads of chromed Art Deco styled
trim and brite-work, add a really comfortable interior, a few
innovations, and a straight eight, and you have the Century. Aptly
named because it truly would travel at 100MPH (a Century of
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 300 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania,
conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76
Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and
our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for
more information or to come see the vehicle in person.