Friday, February 20, 2015

Underpowered, unloved, unregistered, and under the BQE.

I was checking out the always-fertile Hooptie garden under the BQE when I encountered a sad beast wearing a formerly proud name:
Ugh. What we have here is a 1977 Buick Century Special. The Century name was first bestowed upon a 1936 Buick to announce the fact that the car could sustain a speed of 100mph. This particular beast was born under a bad sign (that sign being 1977 in Detroit auto production), so even though it wears the Century name the top speed listed from the factory was 98mph. So close Buick, but that's what makes you Special!
Here's a clue to its failings in the speed department; a V6 badge announcing the 231 V6 2-barrel carb lurking beneath. This was the standard engine for this model and year and was overwhelmingly the choice for those who drove one home in '77. There were V8s available as options but they are rare. Amazingly the original 1936 Century had an engine only 2 cubic inches larger than this one, but it was a straight-8 as opposed to V6 and had not a lick of emissions equipment on it.
*Before we go on to the next picture, the only way I know of to identify this as a '77 is shown here in the mesh within the grill; the '77 has a single horizontal line within each opening while the '76 has 2. 
This is classic auto design for this era; small opera windows set into a padded vinyl landau roof. The GM term for this era was Collonade Styling which had something to do with the roofline and window treatment. Cutlasses, Grand Ams, and Impalas had the same look.
Someone kept going for it when their bumper was caught on something and this is the result.
My favorite color combo is blue car with white interior (common from the late '50s through the early '80s). This one has seen better days though for sure! The color that's still barely clinging to this ride is Light Blue Poly.
Sometimes you just gotta buy a wreck at auction or a junkyard, throw a Florida plate on the back, and park it under the BQE for a few months. Yellow chalk marks similar to those found on the quarter panel here can be found on other dormant beasts scattered around this same section of highway leading me to believe this is a holding pattern for someone with a body shop. That small window got smashed at some point so somebody could root around for the treasures that probably weren't inside.
Of course you are little Buick. You can be anything you dream of! Drive for the stars!
Against all odds I have the feeling that this thing is drivable. The tires all had air in them and the amount of filth on the car can accumulate in a setting such as this in a couple of weeks.
I'm an unlikely fan of this plastic front grill & headlight housing that was only around for a couple years. It was a quick way to give an old design (introduced in '73) a new look for much less cost than a total retooling. The years after this one look much smaller and even more angular, so this is truly the last gasp of huge Detroit metal.
From this head on angle the car has hopes of returning to glory. No matter what abysmal V6 was originally under the hood this is obviously a large car, so you could fit just about any motor you want into it. Leave it a soft blue color and keep those V6 emblems on the side and you'll have yourself the sleeper of the decade! Good luck ol' Blue.

No comments:

Post a Comment