If it had survived to 2036, Buick’s Century would have lasted as long as its name implied. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Century hails from the last century, and this body style is the last Century to have been offered as a wagon. What might you pay for that honor?
Speaking of centuries, it certainly felt like that much time passed between the end of production of the original Acura NSX in 2005 and the debut of its successor. Of course, time is a funny thing and while the OG NSX’s desirability and value have grown since the end of its run, interest in the new car has somewhat flagged from the start.
That was reflected in the comments on last Friday’s 2017 Acura NSX, which at $120,000 was already showing substantial depreciation just three years from new. That wasn’t enough for most of you, however, as the car fell in a substantial 68 percent No Dice loss.
Friday’s NSX represented the ultimate expression of Honda flexing its technological prowess. The complex hybrid drivetrain, paired with a structure featuring exotic metallurgy and composite technology, makes for a car that can be relatively light, quick and capable. That also means that, down the road, it will likely be finicky to maintain and costly to own.
In contrast, today’s 1994 Buick Century wagon is about as simple a car as you will find. And to top off that comforting notion, it also has a third row in the back so the kids can enjoy the experience as well.
Buick first introduced the Century nameplate in the mid-1930s. WWII interrupted the model’s run, but it was brought back again in the ’50s. Another, and lengthier, hiatus happened in the ’60s. By the ’70s, the Century nameplate pushed the Skylark out of the way to serve as Buick’s midlevel model, and that remained the case until 2004 when the Century name once again was banished to slumber in its native soil.
This 1994 Century represents the model’s fifth generation, which was the first of the nameplate to go FWD. It’s also the last edition to offer a wagon body style, and in this car’s case, that includes a small rear-facing third row in the back-back.
There’s also woodgrain appliqué down both flanks, and that is something I think we all can agree is de rigueur for any and all wagons. This is one place where American small wagons have often had a leg up on their foreign competitors. Unfortunately, the “wood” on this Century has some rust popping out underneath, and that might require substantial clear-cutting to repair.
Of course, you could just leave it alone and drive the car as-is. It’s not like that alone is going to substantially inhibit your ability to enjoy the car. The ad claims the rest of this Century to be free of any substantial rust, and you can see in the pics that there’s little more than some surface corrosion going on underneath.
In fact, the seller claims the car to be a “cream-puff,” noting that the interior is “really clean” and that while the engine may benefit from new spark plugs and some other maintenance, it “runs and starts great.”
Aside from the rust evident on the front fender, the bodywork looks to be appreciably intact. The seller claims the car to have been garage-kept and threatens that if it doesn’t sell before winter settles in, it’ll go back into that garage until spring has once again sprung. Should that happen, maybe they’ll take the opportunity to clean up the whitewalls and replace the grille, which has a missing tooth.
There’s a modest 119,000 miles showing on the clock, and the interior seems to have gone that distance with little evidence of wear and tear. The steering wheel appears to have taken the brunt of the abuse over the years, with the beige having been completely banished from nine-tenths of its diameter.
The cloth on both the front split-bench and on the one-piece folding bench in the second row appears to be nearly as-new. So, too, does the vinyl covering on the bass-akwards kiddie throne in the way-back. That folds into the floor to provide a flat load surface, making this a very versatile ride.
Under the hood lies the GM corporate 3.1-liter OHV V6 and a 4T60-E four-speed automatic. With its sequential port injection, the L82 V6 was good for 160 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. Those aren’t much to crow about today but were pretty good numbers in the mid-’90s.
The engine bay looks like it’s lived through some inclement weather, but is otherwise intact and seems roomy enough for easy wrenching.
That’s a good thing since you’ll probably want to do any required or maintenance work yourself. After all, would you really want to pay mechanic rates on a car that cost only $2,350? That’s the price on this survivor Century, and it’s now up to you to decide if the car is worth that as presented in its ad.
What do you think, should someone drop that $2,350 asking on this Buick as it sits? Or, does its age and rust make it a poor contender for those dollars?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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