(first posted 4/4/2013) As you might recall, my part of the country is chock full of A-bodies, particularly the Cutlass Ciera and Century variants. We Midwesterners stuck with GM far longer than those on the West Coast; as a result, I average 10 to 20 A-body sightings per day, mostly four-door sedans. A Century or Ciera wagon might be pretty common in Eugene, but when I see one around here, I notice!
We’ve covered the FWD A-body history numerous times. In a nutshell, these cars were introduced in 1982, as two- and four-door sedans that were joined by wagon versions in 1984. While the earlier models had some quality issues (sound familiar?), by the late ’80s and early ’90s these cars were pretty robust. By 1994 they were still available, except for the attractive but slow-selling coupe, which said sayonara after 1993.
The 1994 Centurys came in four-door sedan and four-door wagon models, in Special and Custom trim levels. Although the Limited had departed after 1993, the ’94 Custom used its same interior. The wagon was available only as a Special, with the plainer seating.
The woody Estate Wagon (a ’93 is pictured) was also still around, and would remain so until the 1982-vintage Century was retired after 1996.
Despite its age, the platform remained very, VERY popular–and not just with rental car companies. I cannot speak for the East and West Coasts, but here in the heartland these Centurys and their Cutlass Ciera siblings were all over the place. Of course, they were popular with the type of people who enjoyed early-bird specials, but they weren’t the only ones.
For those of you who prefer Toyotas and Hondas, let me try to explain. No, these GMs may not have been as refined as, say, a Maxima or Camry of similar vintage, but they were still attractive cars, even in the mid-’90s–at least in your author’s humble opinion. By this time, they had become reliable and had a nice, cushy ride. Folks out West might like carving corners and going out for sushi, but your average Midwestern guy would prefer a nice, smooth ride down Telegraph Road and stopping at a Cracker Barrel for chicken-fried steak. That’s just the way we are!
In 1989, a new sedan roofline helped nudge these cars into the modern era, but they still delivered an appropriately American middle-class luxury-car feel, thanks to Buick’s vaunted DynaRide, plush interiors with lots of room and simulated wood trim and, on the Limited and 1994 Custom, pillowed seating for six. There was even leather available, although it was seldom ordered.
It was a safe choice for folks who’d probably been buying middle-class GM brands from Jerry Lundegaard-types since the ’60s. As the 1994 brochure put it: “Century is an automobile designed to meet the requirements of those who demand exceptional quality. Century is, in every measurable way, worthy of the Buick name.”
Buick might have been more than halfway to senior-special status by 1994 (cars like the Park Avenue Ultra kept its reputation relatively solid for a few more years), but at least here in the Midwest, owning a Buick still meant something to a lot of people.
Standard features on the ’94 Century included anti-lock brakes and a driver’s-side airbag. The center armrest contained slots for CD storage, and fold-out cupholders–an important new feature for many ’90s car buyers. Buick’s smooth DynaRide suspension set the Century further apart from its Oldsmobile sibling–except for the wagons!
The standard engine was the 2.2L port fuel-injected four cylinder, which produced 120-hp @ 5200 rpm and 130 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm. The fine 3.3L V6 was no longer available, but the 3.1L V6 with sequential fuel injection was optional. It provided a little bit more oomph, with 160-hp and 185 lb-ft, at the same rpm ranges as the four.
The single Special wagon model was available with painted sides or the aforementioned woodgrain, and also in two- or three-seat versions. These were quite capable little haulers, with 74.4 square feet of cargo area. And unlike the silly Country Squire-on-stilts SUVs then exploding in popularity, these were rather economical and a snap to park. The dimensions were quite tidy, with an overall length of 190.9″ and a 104.9″ wheelbase. Light, too, with a 3,134-lb. curb weight.
But it didn’t matter. The SUV scene eclipsed any wagon sales, and the A-body long-roofs suffered for it. Though the sedans were popular right up to the end in 1996, the wagons were seldom seen after 1989-90 or so. I don’t have the figures for the Century, but sales of the Cutlass Cruiser, its Olds twin, were 9,809 in 1994.
Only the die-hard wagon fans still bought these by the mid-’90s, and I suspect today’s CC was purchased by a retired gentleman, considering its Light Driftwood Metallic paint, beige interior, and whitewall tires. What I really like on our featured Century was its optional 14″ alloy wheels. These wheels are my favorite, and although they were prominently featured in the brochure, were seldom seen on actual cars. From my observations over the years, my guess is that the wire wheel covers were ordered on roughly 65% of Centurys, with 20% having the standard full wheel covers, 14% with the styled steel wheels, and the remaining 1% having these alloys.
The few Century and Cutlass Ciera wagons I see around here are pretty rusty and bedraggled, but when I spotted this very nice example at a local car lot, I had to check it out, just for the wheels alone! I always liked the instrument panel on these–it seemed quite a bit more upscale than the Olds version. I remember wandering around the showroom at Key Dodge-Buick-GMC when my folks were ordering their 1992 Grand Caravan ES, and although I really liked these cars, the burgundy Century sedan (with matching interior and wire wheel covers, natch) looked quite vintage compared to the white over tan ’92 Bonneville SSEi sitting ten feet away.
I frequently tagged along when Mom had to take the car in for an oil change, so I could hang around and get all the nice deluxe full-line brochures! I always liked the Century and Roadmaster, so I have every Buick brochure from 1992 to 1996. And although I remember Century sedans in the showroom, I don’t recall ever seeing a Century wagon, though I do remember a couple of Roadmaster Estate Wagons–another Buick I’d love to own.
It is only in the last 4-5 years that Buick’s luster has returned, with cars like the 2nd-gen Lacrosse and Regal GS. Will we ever see another Buick wagon? Probably not, because even though there is an Opel version of the Regal that comes in wagon form, all the people who whine and moan about no wagons in the U.S. would probably not buy a Regal GS wagon as a new car, so approximately four would be built.
This is likely one of the sturdiest front-drive cars ever built in the United States. I’m wanting to say somebody has coined the phrase “Cockroach of the Road” for these, but I could be wrong!!!
As the proud owner of a ’93 Century purchased 14 months ago with only 41,000 miles (now at 56,000), the amount of pride the stereotypical retail buyers had for these is amazing. Mine had the oil changed every 500 to 1000 miles, there were towels kept over the seats to save the fabric, the window sticker is still in the glove box ($17,000 new), and the old man (key ingredient in this) waxed everything – including the wiper arms – repeatedly.
Recently a guy in his mid-50’s was eyeballing mine in the grocery store parking lot. He asked if it was mine; when I told him it was, he smiled and said his wagon was also a ’93 in the same color and it had 303,000 miles at the time, running as good as it did 20 years ago. My point? Longevity and durability at a bargain basement price.
Give GM long enough and they will hit a home run. By about 1990, they certainly had with these.
Somebody has already given these A-bodies cockroach status here on CC (Lawrence Jones).
Oh, I know! I was being a bit cheeky in the early morning hours.
I have one
The zoom in photo of headlight assembly shows how untidily they were positioned inside their housing. Awful. That’s the headlight, the jewel and highlight of a car’s exterior. One can assume how carefully the parts unseen by eyes were put together. Precisely assembled they were not. I think they were reliable in the way the AK-47 were reliable, their design is simply tolerant of imprecise and haphazard assembly.
19 years later, it may be a liitle bit dangerous to assume that the headlamps you’re looking at were put there by an assembly line worker…
might be, they are glass lenses, not the cheap plastic ones found on everything else.
Hey, A-Body experts… I have a question.
These wagons were available with both rear air deflectors and also an upside down rear wiper. Has anyone ever seen a wagon that was equipped with both? I look every time. Though the A-Bodies have almost vanished down here.
This is the type of thing that keeps me up at night, LOL.
I was wondering about the wiper/deflector too…glad I wasn’t the only one…!
I put a pre-enjoyed air dam (snow remover) on a ’92 Century wagon that had a rear wiper installed at the factory. Turns out the wiper gets in the way of the air flow and the air dam won’t clear the window as well as if it weren’t there.
My advice; Take a sleeping pill.
Where do you live…Hell?
My 93 Century wagon Estate (with the wood) has been the most reliable car that I have every owned. I bought it in 1997 with 50K as a utility vehicle and now has 209K and still going strong. The 89-93 have the slightly destroked 3300 V6 which is basically the younger sister to the venerable Buick 3.8V6. As was said in the article, the wagons are relatively light so the 165HP torquey Buick V6 moves the car strongly. Mine is loaded with almost all available options – white, blue navy velour, wood, power everything including seats, wire covers, and the rare leather wrapped three spoke steering wheel.
It is a bit different looking now because its unusual but people don’t seem to mind. White exterior with wood is pleasant and has a classic look/feel. It has white walls but I put 195/70/14 to help a little bit with the driving control.
People ask why GM discontinues such cars even though they are incredibly reliable and profitable (even with lower sales due to cost amortization). The fact is, at least until recently, with easy auto loans encouraged people to buy and they wanted something new even if it meant a reduced experience. But I think people are figuring out that a good car with no payments is an asset this day and age…
The A body, especially in its later years, was kind of an anomaly. The buff-rags absolutely despised it but the buying public loved it. Most of the cars were fleeted and I can remember circa 1993 seeing one year old fleet cars going out the door here in Soviet Canuckistan for $8895, fully equipped. That, ladies and germs, is a screaming deal for a car that was quite good at its mission in life: reliable, comfortable and economical family transportation. GM sold millions of these things and made money on ever one.
GM is now a zombie waiting for death because it cannot see the above point. If GM today came out with a good family sedan at a good price (like the much maligned Roach) they’d sell loads of them. GM shouldn’t even try to compete with Honda and Toyota. If they could undercut the Accord by 20% on a new car and 50% on a one year old used car, they’d be making money.
Just like they made money on the Roach.
Well said sir.
Ohhhhhhhhhh. Do want. I have a thing for wagons anyway, and a clean, unmolested, going-on-20-year old Century would be just about perfect.
I saw a ’96 Roadmaster Estate Wagon for sale in Terre Haute, IN, on Saturday. Blue over woodgrain. $3950, which struck me as being a little high. But man, do I ever keep thinking about it. Darn thing wouldn’t fit in my little garage, though.
The high price might be explained by three characters: LT1. Probably the best engine to ever grace the bay of a B-body.
Roadmasters have minor cult partly because of the before mentioned LT1 but also because they are full size and traditional. With the LT1 its like having your cake and eating it too. I had a 95 for a while back around 2004-2006 and had no trouble selling it for a good price. Plus it can actually tow so I could be more efficient than a truck/SUV. I got into the 20s on the highway in mine.
I would love to have any of the last B-wagons (I had an ’87 Caprice wagon) but in this area, almost all of them, even the Buicks, have been put to use as utility vehicles by the handyman/painter/gardener crowd (LA denizens with sketchy documentation, frequently) and beat to hell (a Roadmaster can handle a good-sized ladder). All the sedans have been donked.
My brother-in-law had a Pontiac 6000 wagon for years, may still have it. It would be about an ’88 or ’89. Good car overall.
Frankly, I would gladly buy a Regal GS wagon.
A bodies were very popular on the West Coast, though less so by the ’90’s. Especially the Cutlass, which I think benefited from name continuity as the RWD Cutlass was very common here in the ’70’s and ’80’s. Not so many wagons, though, as wagon territory was pretty much a duopoly of Volvo and Taurus. Now it’s a monopoly – Subaru Outback. The rear profile of the A Body wagon is particularly nice: Audi Avant-esque without the excessively space robbing shallow slope of the Audi.
My grandmother had a Pontiac 6000 wagon, which I still think was the best looking A body wagon. Light blue with wood paneling, and the third seat which she called “the rumble seat.” She bought it new in 87, and I remember thinking the dash looked space age. It held eight of us, and made a yearly journey from Florida to Jersey for about 13 years until she traded it for a Buick Park Avenue. I’d love to find one of those today, but the only A bodies I see here are Centuries and Cieras, with the occasional Celebrity.
“…Will we ever see another Buick wagon? Probably not, because even though there is an Opel version of the Regal that comes in wagon form, all the people who whine and moan about no wagons in the U.S. would probably not buy a Regal GS wagon as a new car,…”
One guy on Deviantart photoshopped a Opel wagon to turn it into a Regal wagon
I was interested to note during my Christmas 2012 trip to the Lancaster, PA area, that A-body wagons were surprisingly common. Especially so since they have pretty much disappeared from the Houston area, where I normally hang out and where one thinks they’d have held up better than in the Northeast salt belt.
Anyway, here’s one that I posted to the Cohort a couple months ago; not quite as pristine as the featured car, but not bad. I also shot examples of the Chevy and Olds versions during the same trip; If I could have found a Pontiac 6000 wagon, I’d have had the full set!
One feature that these cars have that is nice is that the rear lock is a two way key. Turn it to the left opens only the glass hatch. Turn it to the right and the whole liftgate opens.
I’ve long missed this feature and don’t understand why it’s disappeared. Is it a noise or waterproofing issue? I’ve looked at the hatch of my RAV4 and see no reason why it can’t still work, other than that consumers no longer think it’s worth the price. It sure does make carrying long items easier, without the silliness of driving around with the entire hatch open.
My Dad had a late 80’s woody Century. Better looking front end before they leaned the nose into the wind. He had a loaded Century sedan before that- constant electrical glitches. My sister had an 84 Pontiac 6000 (horrible premature rear wheel lock-up) which she traded for an 86 Century wagon. In both instances that was their last GM product. Dad bought a Corolla wagon- because of its reliability reputation and his last car was a lovely Millenia S which he called Miss Millie.
I love wagons and I love durable, low-maintenance cars. So, I should love these. My one problem is that I cannot get out of my mind a ride I had in a Pontiac version back in the late 80s. The car’s structure seemed surprisingly willowy, and every piece of the dashboard rattled and squeaked over every bump.
All that said, I still find this particular Buick attractive. If I were to buy one, though, my fear is that it would give me the same feeling that my other 80s GM cars gave me – they were rational, sensible choices that were a lot like taking medicine. I bought them because they were good for me. I did not, however, really enjoy them. I realize that there are others for whom the inside of a GM car feels like home. I am just not one of them, for whatever reason.
I noticed that too, I put a strut tower brace in the front, and just for grins made a shock-tower brace for the rear.
Made a difference in the feel of the car, though I wound up taking the rear brace off as it cut trunk volume in 1/2 and I was moving in and out of dorm rooms at the time.
Wonderful cars! I’d love to have a `93 wagon with woodgrain, the 3.3 V6, and the older, less old-folk friendly dash layout.
This car is actually about an inch longer than a 91-01 Explorer 5 door wagon, and the exact same width.
I know, I’ve compared the dimensions with my then new to me ’86 Pontiac 6000-STE sedan and it was dead on the same for everything but height including passenger volume but with less headroom than the Ford.
My STE had the lowly iron headed 2.8 fuelly but could go quite well for the time. These were quiet cars, though I never cared for the Buick’s Dynamush suspension. After two of them with my parents cars I’m glad to replace the factory blown shocks and struts on their Rendezvous (and I mean blown from the day it rolled off the showroom floor)
I’ll still stick with my STE as my A-body of choice or an 6000-SE wagon.
I appreciated these cars for their no frills utilitarian appeal and comfortable ride. The 3.3 V6 was a good engine coupled with the tough 3 speed auto (TH125, I believe?) for power and reliability. Most repairs were easy to perform, with inexpensive and plentiful parts. I don’t think I would have purchased one new, but secondhand the Century wagon was a good deal.
Long live the wagon!
“I sat right here and said I didn’t want any Tru-coat!”
One of my neighbors had a blue Century wagon as a company car, one of the last; he liked it well enough but it was not what he would’ve chosen with his own money. And it’s amazing to think it was concurrent with the ovoid Taurus!
I’m not that sure the business case for a new Regal wagon would be that bad – compliance costs are what they are, but above that all wagon-specific components could be flatpacked from Rüsselsheim to Oshawa so duplicate tooling would be limited to one set of jigs. The same would apply to Ford Focus and Fusion,
I think that ends up being another case of “the costs would be digestible … if there were a market for it.” Wouldn’t a Regal wagon end up competing with the Enclave crossover in price and audience?
Its not fashionable to have a wagon now, hence all the crossover SUVs. I think the Cadillac CTS wagon is the only one GM is making ironically…
Even the Regal sedan has been made redundant by the Verano, and there’s way too much overlap with Chevrolet to begin with.
The biggest obstacle for a Regal wagon is the new Encore. I haven’t seen one on the road yet, but there’s one on the dealer lot I drive by every day. The dimensions of that thing, especially combined with a Buick grill, make it look like a cartoon. What were they thinking?
My uncle bought G and A body wagons in the 80’s, 90s, and 2000’s. Loved wagons.
He now has a 2 wheel drive Jimmy and what to him a ‘modern wagon’, an HHR.
I had an HHR, and despite it’s retro styling, it felt like a thoroughly modern little car. I wouldn’t be opposed to having another one…
And of course I saw an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera wagon today.
I remember attending the Chicago Auto Show in 1996 and seeing a wood-trimmed Century wagon. I was shocked that they still made these. This was pre-internet, so the only information I had on new cars came from the buff publications, which, needless to say didn’t waste much verbiage on the Century.
The new Chrysler vans had just come out at the time, while the Explorer and Grand Cherokee were the hottest vehicles on the market. In the late ’80s, our neighbors had a black Celebrity Eurosport wagon (that shared a garage with, of all things, a Volvo 240 DL); That car seemed out of date even then. By 1996, the woody Buick was a laughable relic.
That said, I’m a sucker for Buicks, station wagons and wood paneling.
Looking at that rear facing seat, I’m having flashbacks of my dad’s 84 6000 LE Wagon. Same exact seat but different color. I knew that the Century lasted long into the 90’s but I never realized that the wagon version did as well. And yes, the best thing about these A body wagons were how light they were and how much you could fit inside. You occasionally even still see one of these Centurys roaming around here on the East Coast, probably because of their longevity. Now a 6000 or a Celebrity is a rare find in these parts.
There are still a few Celebritys around here, including a wagon or two. The 6000 is rarest by far; I’ve only seen two or three in the last year, all of them sedans.
I seriously haven’t seen a 6000 around here in years. Pretty much anything before 1995 is rare around here though, unless it is a car that has some kind of a following, like a Jeep or Mustang, pickup, etc…
My Centurys were the most reliable of the eight A-bodies I’ve had. The gray ’88 sedan with the 2.5 4-cylinder had 217K when I got it on eBay for $275, I took it to 231K and the guy I sold it to put another 20K on it before trading for a Civic. That Civic blew the motor a week later, he should’ve kept the Century. The blue ’89 sedan with the 3300 had 229K when I got it on eBay for $250 and 238K when it got impounded for expired tags. I couldn’t afford to get it out of impound. Then my parents bought the white ’95 Century sedan with the 2.2 4-cylinder new. They put 224K on it, gave it to me in 2003 as a gift, I put another 46K on it and traded it for an Aerostar in 2004. 270K on the car and it still looked nice, drove nice, and got 25mpg in town and 32mpg on the highway just like the window sticker said it should.
The Cieras were too heavily abused to be reliable. But I paid $175 for the one and scrapped it for $100, and paid $225 for the other and scrapped it for $160 after getting some use out of them. The Celebritys cost me $132.50 (eBay), $400, and $300. The eBay one got me back to Texas from Indiana with no brakes and I kept it for a year. The $400 one got me around for six months but the dealer who sold it to me never got me a title and he bought it back rather than get sued by me. The $300 one blew a head gasket after a month and I never got around to fixing it and had to scrap it.
I would rather have an ugly old reliable car that costs pennies to run than anything modern.
Love this shot of a Celebrity Wagon from the movie Serial Mom. Dreadful movie, but some great action shots of Kathleen Turner driving the wagon.
How DARE you insult Serial Mom? It’s one of my favorite John Waters movies.
I think the 3.1 was no worse than the 3.3. It made about the same power, torque peak was higher, but might speak to better upper-midrange power which is what you want when the transmission kicks down on a two lane road. It’s probably a wash, and from an engine which might have weighed less. Also, it was hitched to a 4-speed at the end.
Honestly, I don’t understand why people like to say the domestics dropped the ball and gave away so many sales to the imports. That wasn’t necessarily true. Ever drive a mid-90s Accord with their jerky automatics? Ever drive one full of passengers with the A/C on? There were very good reasons to buy domestic, especially GM, and cheap, smooth torque was one of them. So was standard ABS.
This was a timely post. I drove by a rust-free, upper trim level white ’88 Cutlass Ciera on I-70 in Indiana tonight.
The scary thing is, I’ve been in some almost-new Hondas that still have the jerky automatic!
Naturally I have an affection for these A-bodies, because they remind me so much of my first car, an X-body Skylark.
Granted these were far from state of the art, but they were well put together. I had a reason to open the door on one a couple of years ago and it brought a smile to my face when I noticed the nice solid feel of it opening and closing.
The CC effect in action—a black Century Estate Wagon passed us yesterday, up here near Boston. It’s probably been five years since I’d seen one of those specifically, but I do see three or four A-body variants a month, on average, even around here.
I had a 1984 Century Custom sedan. I inherited it from my grandmother after her license was pulled. It was a two-tone light brown over dark brown car, with whitewalls and the locking wire wheelcovers. Its original powerplant was the loathed carbuereted 3.0 liter V-6. After that mysteriously seized up overnight one morning, I replaced that wheezing old mill with the multi-port fuel injected 2.8 from a Cavalier Z-24, along with the 5 speed stick. It was a bit of a PITA getting everything to work right, and required some fabrication, but I made it work ! The grin factor increased immensely !
A-body Celebrity sedans were available in Mexico from 1987-1989 with the 2.8L MPFI and 5-speed as standard. I’m not even sure automatic was available, I never see them for sale on OLX for example. They also had Chevrolet Cutlass Eurosport coupes and sedans (think Cutlass Ciera with a Chevy badge and ground effects like the XC/GT models) and Chevrolet Century sedans. I don’t think they had any wagons south of the border, though, I’ve never seen one for sale.
As the years go by I know now that these are going to be harder to find. I spotted a light blue metallic, woodgrain-free, 1992 Century 3 seat wagon on CL the other day for $800 and I am going to try to pick that up before it’s gone. It has the 3300, probably no overdrive, and hopefully will survive under my care for awhile. I’ve owned eight A-bodies since 2000, two Cutlass Ciera sedans, three Century sedans, three Celebrity sedans. Didn’t pay more than $400 for any of them. But it’s time for a wagon.
Incidentally, the Japanese LOVE these Century wagons with woodgrain and they have developed a cult following there with amber turn signals on the fenders, roof racks, and everything:
The export models got Celebrity wagon tailgates and tail lights with an amber section up top for the turn signal, and the backup lights were aside the license plate. I like the one in the video with the Cragar S/S chrome wheels. That’s nice. But I have different plans for whatever 91-93 Century wagon I get. I’m doing it up as a Buick “SportWagon” to visualize what an A-body Century wagon would have looked like to complete with the Volvo Cross Country, Subaru Outbacks, and Audi Allroads. It will get plastidip on the header panel, wheel wells, bumper covers, and rockers, larger 16 or 17 inch wheels from a late model LaCrosse or Lucerne, SportWagon badges from a ’68 or so Skylark, rear wiper and air deflector, a better exhaust system, ski/bike/board roof rack, leather seat covers, a center console up front (I was thinking of using one from a 97+ Regal sedan), and EVENTUALLY (when I actually find all the bits) the AWD system from a 90-91 era 6000 S/E or STE AWD. I’m hoping to have minimal issues getting the axles and transaxle in place and hope it works well with the 3300 engine. May have to chop up the 6000 quite a bit to get everything out I need.
Gee, I wonder when it comes time for me to retire my 93 Century wagon (white with wood and navy interior and 3300 4 speed OD) I should place an ad in a Japanese newspaper. I might not get anymore than I would here, but be interesting to know my car was being sent overseas to live on as a new dream…
There is a funny thing about American cars overseas. The domestics have pretty much conceded the compact and midsize market to the Japanese, but everyone loves the specialty vehicles. Cadillacs, old traditional Cadillacs, pop up all over the place in the world. Yes, not as daily drivers, but I do know of at least one sheep herder in the northern side of Iceland that owns and drives a 1960 Coupe deVille. I remember visiting a friend in Belgium in 1999 and riding with him in his 1968 Cadillac driving through the tiny cobblestone one car at a time streets how everyone looked at us. The car barely fit but it was a sight to see. Of course that day trip cost us $120 (what a tank of gas was worth then) but hey it was worth it.
Both the 3300 and 3100 made the same power and torque figures at 160 and 185 but the 3300 made the power a little lower in the RPM range. Also the 3300 was available with both the 125C and 440/4T60 transaxle both tied to a 2.73:1 final drive ratio. The 3100 came exclusively with the 4T60 trans but was mated to a peppier 2.97 axle so produced quicker 0-60 times compared to the 3300 cars.
I thought perhaps you guys would like to see my ’84 Pontiac 6000 wagon that I recently acquired. The plan is to fully restore this one, and she’s in great shape for the age!
Wow, 6000s are the rarest A-bodies by far. And an early one to boot! We have done a couple of posts on 6000s in the past–I see you’ve already found the one on the red ’84 woody. Here’s another one: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/cc-outtake/cc-outtake-now-thats-more-like-it/
Hey guys! I got my 92 Buick century a few years ago, as a sort of hand-me-down. Best Vehicle to own! I have nothing negative to say! However, I received the vehicle without the third row rear-facing seats! I’ve been looking for two years off and on all over online auction sites, and have to date seen only three pictures of the third row seating (two of them being in this curbside classic article), none of which were advertising a sale! I assume any who reads this is a Buick fan, so if you have any information on who where i could get this rear-facing third row seat for a 92 buick century station wagon, please by all means let me know!
Much appreciated! I hope you enjoy my fun little additions to my car (I also have a lightning bolt hood ornament)
I kind of like the yellow steel wheels–gives the car a bit of attitude.
Not sure what part of the country you’re in but here in the Midwest it seems like most of the remaining wagons are three-seat models. You can easily spot them due to the opening vent windows in back.
I am pretty sure that any A-body wagon between ’82 and ’96 would have the same third-row seat. The only significant updates were in ’86 and ’89. Of course, you’d want to make sure before you bought the seat. Good luck with your wagon!
Actually, it’s possible to use the rear seat from ANY of the A’s in one that didn’t have the seat originally.
One small caveat, though. The seat belt mounts are already present in the floorpans, but NOT the metal brackets to hold the seat bottom in place.
In my Cutlass Cruiser, I added the third row seat, including the trapdoor, and the seat release from a Celebrity wagon. It fit perfectly.
Did you ever get the third row seat? What color are/were you looking for?
I have had Three of the Buick A-body wagons. A 1992,’94 & a ’95 models.I love these wagons.Sadly one of them was a victim of rear end collision.They have incredible drive ability. Also my 1994 Chevrolet Caprice Wagon is awsome power performer with the LT1.
I always believed the low center of gravity of a wagon was a much better safety complement in high winds than the soccer mom mini vans and SUV’s.
That is a nice wagon. I will never understand the appeal of crossovers and SUVs; I’m just not a “truck” guy. I think a wagon version of the Buick Verona would be really great (there’s already an Opel version), but we’ll probably never see it in the States.
Me neither…Most SUVs and trucks are deathtraps.
Their higher center of gravity, MIGHT save further injury, but if those models were the same height as a passenger car, most wouldn’t last in a collision.
Ugly and dangerous…NO, thanks.
Those BMW crossovers and Honda Crosstours are the worst styling offenders.
I’d rather have an AMC Eagle sedan, at least it looks manly. 😛
I am desperately seeking tail lights (either the complete assembly or replacement lenses) for my uncle’s 1994 Century Wagon (he loves the car soooo much, we just might have to bury him in it!…Of course, only after he’s passed away!..LOL)….
I am having a hard time finding these (either OEM or replacements, even just the red glass/plastic would work, as he is currently using red tape to “create” lenses)…most parts sites I am finding will let me specify year/make/model but NOT “wagon”…
ANY suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!!
See my other post –
Hi! I’m trying to figure out what to do with my 94 Century Wagon & googled & found these posts. It has 157,700 miles & the transmission is newly acting up at times; I’m told eventually I won’t be able to get into/out of first or reverse. Plus, there’s something funky about the gas tank; after it gets less than half full it starts stalling a lot. So, I’m wondering whether to scrap it, donate it, or sell it cheap if there’s someone out there who wants it for parts – or wants it bad enough, dents & rust & all, to put in a new tranny. I know old cars can go a long time – I’m still mourning the loss of the predecessor to this car, my beloved 67/68 Dodge Dart 9 years ago (67 body, 68 Slant Six 225 engine), but the wagon’s been needing a lot of work for a car I only drive around town & the reg expires 9/27/15 & I want to transfer its plates to an upcoming new (used of COURSE) purchase… but I will miss that third seat! Last October I drove my 6 German cousins all around our upstate NY town by sticking 2 of them in that “rumble” seat! 🙂 Thoughts? Mary, you still need tail lights? 🙂
I just acquired an ’86 Century Custom wagon. A one owner car with only 128,000 km on it. Iron Duke engine. Now my ’84 Pontiac 6000 wagon has a stable mate….
> Will we ever see another Buick wagon? Probably not, because even though there is an Opel version of the Regal that comes in wagon form, all the people who whine and moan about no wagons in the U.S. would probably not buy a Regal GS wagon as a new car, so approximately four would be built.
As it turns out, Buick did bring the Opel-based Regal wagon to the U.S. in Subaru Outback-style TourX trim only; your estimate of U.S. sales was only slightly low.
I can only wonder how much of that was down to marketing push or lack thereof. It was launched just before GM sold off Opel and was essentially an orphan from day one.
That’s part of it, but I wonder how many people looking for a raised, butched-up wagon even thought to check out Buick.
I have seen exactly one of these in the wild, in Texas.
I’m not sure it even showed up in the “Buick lineup” shots in their commercials.
And I wanted one…if it was two-wheel-drive, sans lift and body cladding…
Every body style has its ups and downs. From my observations, drag still has a place in determining fuel mileage, and wagons may become the next big thing when people tire of SUVs and crossovers, simply out of our attraction to novelty. I am weary of tall vehicles, and Might be thinking about a late model Golf TDI wagon with a DCT for the next ride.
Now, in the 2020’s, GM A bodies have disappeared in the MW, from age and rust.
Once cars hit 20+ yrs old, junk yards don’t keep them long. Also, working class buyers move to newer ‘cheap cars’. The virtual successor to A bodies these days is the 2004-08 Grand Prix or 2008-12 Malibu for ‘popular GM beater’. More Malibus going forward.
A coworker of mine still drives a blue Ciera wagon
I still drive a 94 Buick Century wagon (extremely similar to the one in this photo, same color interior and exterior.) I paid $1,000 for it in 2015 with 95,000 miles, it now has over 170,000 miles. It has the 4 cylinder engine and gets great gas mileage. I’ve definitely put money into maintaining it, but it does everything I want a car to do, and unfortunately there’s nothing like it left on the market… an 8 seater mid size wagon with a front bench that’s easy to parallel park. I intend to keep it going as long I can.