The 1972 Buick Centurion was different than all of the luxury cars that came before it, at least according to this vintage Car and Track road test. Even though Buick had previously been among the guiltiest offenders when it came to building soft, spongy and wallowy luxury cars, according to host Bud Lindemann for 1972 "ol' softy got some new leg muscles"
For Car and Track's money the 1972 Buick Centurion was the best buy in the Buick fleet and apparently a welcome departure from the soft luxury cars of the era. "Motated" by a 455 big block capable of pushing the 4500 pound car to a 9.4 second 0-60 time, the Centurion looked surprising comfortable flying around Car and Track's test track. When the big car's handling wasn't enough the "banger up front had enough wallop to power it through the corners" according to Bud Lindemann.
You only need to take a look at last week's 1969 Ford LTD vintage road test to see that footage of a big luxury car flying around Car and Tracks test track is usually sloppy, hilarious and a little bit terrifying. Lindemann's description of taking these boats through the slalom course is about what we would expect:
"(Big luxury cars) used to wallow strain scream and hiss. Finally after knocking over most of the cones our driver would park it and get out, a little worse for the wear."
In stark contrast, hooning the 1972 Centurion around the test track looks somewhat reasonable and downright fun.