1979 Buick Century Custom Fastback Sedan.

April 3, 2012

18 comments


18 comments:

Jim said...

Showroom new!

Anonymous said...

How does a monstrosity such as this EVER make it off the drawing board and into production?

Amazing that a design such as this can make it through all the levels of approval for production. Same with the Pontiac Aztek...you mean no one raised their hand and asked "really?...we're serious about this?"

motocrossed said...

If the whole back end (window and trunk lid) opened, I.E, hatchback, I could almost understand the style. But sloping the rear just for style sake, kind of stupid

Anonymous said...

"reference quality"

QCJCS said...

There are some automotive design elements for which I've never understood the genuine attraction. The rear end of this Buick is one of them. I like it for its inherent ugliness and lack of function.

Another design element that has always mystified me is characteristic of some large American luxury cars of this era: the ubiquitous fake convertible roof, complete with snaps along the base.

Dave said...

Hey Anonymous, I totally agree! I think it's even funnier that the biggest violations of aesthetic come from GM- the Citation, the Celebrity, the Malibu... even today... the HHR, the Plymouth Prowler etc. It seems like instead of creativity in design, they try to retro redesign. Let's face it- a remake of a bad movie is almost always worse. It seems as if the 'niche marketing' has worn out it's welcome. Maybe we are onto something here.... let's try this- come up with retro redesigns of really ugly cars.... a sport utility crossover Aztek II? (Monster truck tires, AWD, duallies) How about a hybrid rally sport Vega II? Ford could introduce the Super Edsel. Any other ideas?

Anonymous said...

I remember thinking how ugly this body style was when it first arrived on the market. Now all these years later, the ugliness is starting to become interesting...

The style alone may have been controversial, however what I find incredible is that somehow this car made it to production without the ability to roll down the rear door windows. What was GM thinking? They weren't alone with bizarre market offerings - Ford's original Fox-body cars (Fairmont, Zephyr, Mustang, etc) came with the horn button on the end of the turn signal!

In the second era of two-tone paint jobs, this color combination is a bit hard on the eyes. It would be nice to see car manufacturers try two-tone paint again.

Anonymous said...

When you think of the layer upon layer of corporate suits who have to sign off on these terrible designs, you can't help but wonder "how does this happen?"

I guess everyone is afraid to say anything. What must have the conversations been like around GM when the Aztek was being developed? Did they really think this was a good idea?

this is anonymous 1 by the way...

Justin said...

Sit here and call it ugly all you want, it beats the generic silver drone mobiles that are churned out nowadays. Love the 2 tone, and it's in showroom condiition.

Turbo said...

These are rare as can be to begin with, and how often do you see one in such excellent original condition? I believe there was an Oldsmobile variant of this body style as well.

Tony Piff said...

yep, ben bagged an aerobak last may.

Anonymous said...

That is my car. It is not a Buick Century Custom. It is a Century Special which was the lowest priced 4 door and the highest volume selling sedan of 1979 Buick Centurys. Only 7,364 produced which is one of GM's all time lowest selling volumes for a post 1960's production model. Rare !!!

Obviously only one or two people who posted comments here even have a clue about automotive history. The others are just idiots wanting other people to read their BS.

Oldsmobile Curtlass Salon shared this body style which GM promoted as Euro style. Olds outsold Buick in this body style by 4 to one but was low volume for Cutlass.

This car is built on GM's final and newest rear drive platform and this car drives like a full size luxury vehicle. Being on a mid size chassis it handles almost like a sports car.

If you don't like it's looks and style, go buy a new featureless egg shaped, trimless and style less new car. And in one ugly solid color as two tones are not available.

Gary said...

I think GM was always the leader when it came to cutting costs. The others would always follow.

GM seemed to be the first to stop using front vent windows. Then Chrysler and Ford stopped.
Then GM started using "opera" windows in the rear of two-door cars, so no need to have roll down rear windows on coupes. Others followed.
Then GM had the audacity to make rear windows fixed on some of their mid sized and small cars (they gave you a small rear vent you could flip open near the c pillar). Then Chrysler followed with the K car.
I guess enough people complained and they stopped with that nonsense.

Chris M. said...

I've always kind of liked these, for the oddity factor if nothing else. Though it has also always baffled me that something that looks for all the world like a hatchback isn't one. I guess they couldn't get the body shell stiff enough for such a large opening? GM was a font of bad decisions in those days.

As far as late 70's GM cars go, though, you can do much, much worse. The A- and G- bodies were really good cars; sure, they didn't handle well or beat anyone at the stoplight drag race, but they were rugged, reliable, and very comfortable. And I think some of them were really good looking, in a late 70's sort of way. Perhaps I'm biased (I own a '79 Malibu myself and also owned an '82 for a while), but there are quite a lot of them still around.

And, for the record, the fixed rear windows were utterly ridiculous.

clifton.ra said...

Tu-tone paint makes the rounds, but never seems to catch on like in the '50s.
I bought an early '88 Chevy Beretta in silver/gray. They sold a medium-blue/dark metallic-blue and a white/burgundy combo, too. Maybe several others. The beltline separated the colors, top and bottom.

The silver/gray and medium-blue/dark metallic-blue were subtle. Very 80-ish metallic. Similar to a ground effects package in contrasting color or flat black, but it was paint applied to the standard body and not a wheel flare kit.
The white/burgundy looked like a '56 Bel-Air combo. Not 80-ish.

Anonymous said...

We had an 81 Buick Century which was the notchback style (80 and 81 only). Their theme for the car was calling it "the little limousne"; it was true, it was quiet and comfortable. I thought the 78-79 fastback 4 door was kind of weird, mainly because it was sold as a Buick and an Olds, and instead Pontiac and Chevy got the sedan versions. They reversed these body styles and the divisions they were sold under when they came out with the X cars in 1980. I really like the 2 tone tan and gold paint- especially how the rocker panels are the same color as the hood/roof/trunk. I saw the actual owner posted here- you have to give that person credit- someone out there loves something unusual that other people don't really like, and has the courage to try to keep it going all these years later. It's 34 years old after all - pretty amazing!

Anonymous said...

I just saw this car today parked at Interstate Fred Meyer, I googled Buick hatchback & I found this website with the car I found, cool & I have a pic of it too on my phone

Anonymous said...

I like this style car as a solid color and 14 inch factory mag wheels. I also think the rear doors on a 78-80 century wagon would swap over to allow rear windows to roll down.