Introduced in 1936, the Buick Century emerged as a mid-range model, nestled between the Special and the Roadmaster in Buick’s lineup. Sporting the shorter wheelbase of the Special but equipped with the potent engine of the Roadmaster, the Century quickly earned a reputation as the hot rod among full-size Buicks.

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After a brief hiatus in 1942, the Century made a comeback in 1954, following the same successful formula. Its nameplate saw retirement in 1958, only to resurface on a midsize model in 1973, maintaining its presence until 2005. Surprisingly, the Century made a modern-day appearance in China in 2022, gracing the fourth-generation GL8 minivan.

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Bypassing the latest Century, my focus is on the 1958 model, a standout among full-size cars. Part of the second-gen design introduced in 1954, this Century, based on the smaller Special body, housed the formidable 322-cubic-inch Fireball V8. Over the years, it underwent incremental updates, reaching a peak of 300 horsepower in 1957.

While 1958 didn’t bring a power boost, it marked a significant aesthetic transformation for the Century. The redesign lavished chrome upon the car, turning it into a flamboyant land yacht. The “Fashion-Aire Dynastar grille” dominated the front, boasting 160 chrome squares. Massive bumpers, extensive chrome trim, and bezels for taillights made the Century a dazzling spectacle.

The 1958 model year was pivotal, not just for its design but also because it signaled the end of the full-size Century. With sales totaling 37,566 units, it was overshadowed by the more affordable Special. Today, surviving examples are rare, and this green two-door Riviera hardtop, one of 8,110 built, stands as a testament to the era.

# FAQs: Unveiling the 1958 Century

## FAQ 1: How did the Century earn its reputation as a hot rod?

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The Century, introduced in 1936, carved its niche by combining the shorter wheelbase of the Special with the powerful engine of the Roadmaster, making it the hot rod among full-size Buicks.

## FAQ 2: Why did the Century see multiple revivals?

After its debut in 1936, the Century experienced a brief hiatus in 1942 but returned in 1954, maintaining its presence until 2005. A surprising resurgence occurred in 2022 when the Century name adorned the fourth-generation GL8 minivan in China.

## FAQ 3: What defines the 1958 Century’s design?

In 1958, the Century underwent a remarkable design overhaul. Chrome became the focal point, with the “Fashion-Aire Dynastar grille” and extensive trim, making it one of the most flamboyant cars of its time.

## FAQ 4: Why is the 1958 Century significant for Buick?

The 1958 model year marked the final chapter for the full-size Century. Despite sales reaching 37,566 units, it was overshadowed by the more affordable Special, making surviving examples, like the green two-door Riviera hardtop, rare and historically important.

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