Last fall, I was relocated due to my job. While awaiting the sale of our house, we rented a house in our new location. Being built in 1963, the garage was simply too short for the wife’s beloved Ford E-150 conversion van to fit inside. The only option was parking on the street, something she would not consider. She suggested leaving the van back at our house and purchasing an inexpensive car for the interim. What a woman!
Doing the obligatory scan of craigslist, I found just the ticket. It was a one owner 1993 Buick Century with a 3.3 liter V6 and all of 41,425 miles. It was a bargain. Two days later it was in my garage.
The original owner of the Buick was going to the nursing home and I dealt with his son. When test driving the car, I asked if the rear tires had been replaced. The son whipped a small binder from the glove compartment and scanned it. He said, no, the rear tires were the original 19 year old ones installed by Buick (that had 11 psi of air I later discovered). He also told me his dad usually changed the oil every 500 to 1000 miles. The interior is a time capsule. I did ask him what the small cotton globs were on the seats. He stated his parents kept towels on the seat and it was residue from the towels.
He also said there was a twin to the car floating around Jefferson City (mine is on the right).
Since purchasing it, I have discovered about four™ such twins in Jefferson City plus these cars are all over Eastern and Central MIssouri (and I’m only counting the Buick’s, the Oldsmobile’s are almost as plentiful). Wikicars stated Buick routinely sold about 100,000 of these Century’s annually during the 1990’s and many of those were to fleets.
That is likely so. However, it seems that most of those 100,000 cars from each year are still in daily use with some really showing it.
The man who bought my Buick originally truly loved the car, having never let it sit outside over night. Thankfully, his sensibilities did not allow him to opt for the “Pimp It Up” Special, as some have been forced to endure.
After purchasing the Buick, my wife saw this particular little number and was fascinated by it.
Having always had a soft spot for wagons, she momentarily wished ours had been born as a wagon. She said it had to be rare. Little did she realize what else is running around town…
Now, here’s the punchline: All of these Buicks pictured were found within 1.5 miles of my house. I didn’t have to scout them out; I can think of about three more here in town that I didn’t photograph. Three of these cars were within two blocks of my house with two of them parked across the street from each other. Never have I seen, or maybe I’ve simply never noticed, so many cars of a particular vintage still floating around in daily use. Since buying this car, I’ve seen many other such Buick’s between Jefferson City and St. Louis, still hauling people around in reasonable comfort with reasonable economy.
There was a reason GM sold so many of these and now I know.