Buick Centurion Reviews from North America

1971 Buick Centurion 2-door 7.5 Liter 455 Cube V8 Stage 1 package

Model year1971
Year of manufacture1971
First year of ownership1975
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 7.5 Liter 455 Cube V8 Stage 1 package Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired31000 miles
Most recent distance214000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Impala

Summary:

A big, comfy cruiser with big personality and character to match

Faults:

Over the years, many minor maintenance issues, mostly due to age and neglect.

Brake calipers.

Since 1975, 2 alternators.

2 water pumps.

A/C compressor and evaporator, converted to the new freon last year.

Rebuilt differential a few years back due to leaking/contamination.

Valve cover gaskets several twice.

Rear main engine seal leaks.

May do an engine rebuild soon.

General Comments:

She's big, bold and powerful, dark blue with a black vinyl top and those stunning authentic Buick chrome wheels. My pride and joy for 35 years now.

The car has never seen snow or salt, and I always try to keep it out of the rain as much as possible.

I bought the car in 1975 because of the foolish emission standards the government was forcing on automakers, and they were trying to promote cars like the Chevette and Pinto. I wanted to own a car with character, style, and power. Not a tin can, throw away econobox. My car still had close to 300 horses, versus a pitiful 205 in 1976 Electra.

The car still runs and drives like a cloud, though time has roughed it up just a bit. The body is still solid, but the paint is faded. I know it will be costly, but as I have time I will have it repainted to its original glory. It doesn't have all the new fancy gadgets but at least I can work on it myself without hooking it to a computer. The air conditioner will frost my windows if I turn it down to low.

The interior is as comfortable as any Buick made today. I used seat covers for most of the car's life to keep them from ripping and tearing, which was pretty common in older cars. The headliners on these old ones don't seem to sag like the newer (late 1970's-1980's) ones.

The big 455 V8, if driven conservatively, can achieve close to 18 MPG on the long trips. Keep in mind the car was designed for comfort, style and power, not fuel economy. The motor in this car is bigger than the motors in most modern pickup trucks or even school buses. If your right foot is heavy, you will pass everything but the gas station, and you will know your tire salesman on a first name basis.

A few years back, I got rear ended by a Toyota Camry. My trailer hitch took out his radiator and nearly demolished the front end of his car. My rear bumper now has two tiny dings and a few scratches as a result.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2010

19th Apr 2010, 03:47

I believe your Centurion had 315bhp from its 455ci V8, I thought it was horrible that the 1976 Electra's only had 205bhp, when it should have at least 300bhp. I definitely agree that the emission controls got way out of hand in the mid 1970s.

1972 Buick Centurion Sport Coupe 455 (7.5L) 4BBl

Model year1972
Year of manufacture1971
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 455 (7.5L) 4BBl Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired113000 miles
Most recent distance118000 miles

Summary:

Unbelievable comfort and performance

Faults:

We bought the car with an crated GS455 installed and approx 5K miles on it. The transmission was rebuilt, hoses and belts swapped. Been trouble free and FUN car. It took 3rd place in an LA Area auto show in the post WWII category.

General Comments:

This looks likes granny's car, but it has unbelievable reserve power even at highway speeds. Terrific cruiser that gets more than a few looks as we pass others on the freeway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2005

7th Dec 2005, 17:27

Hmph. A 1971 ANYTHING would get looks on the freeway just by virtue of its age. You must spend a fortune on gas for this boat.

8th Dec 2005, 00:26

I sure wish that they made cars the way they did in 1971, that was the golden era of the automotive industry I can tell you that much, you don't see a lot of the Centurioun's around I can tell you that much, wasn't the Centurioun the sporty version of the Buick Le Sabre?

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 2 reviews