Junkyard Find: 1973 Buick Century Luxus Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1973 buick century luxus wagon

One of the weirder byproducts of Buick’s Malaise Era genetic mixing with distant GM cousin Opel was the Luxus trim level. You could get Luxus badging on a Manta, a Kadett, an Ascona… or a Buick Century wagon. If only Buick had thought to append “Brougham d’Elegance” to this thing’s name… well, another lost opportunity for The General.

I found this well-used example in a Los Angeles junkyard, and in this case— for once— I feel certain that no vintage-wagon aficionados are going to rend their garments and bewail the impending destruction of another piece of our national heritage. This wagon is a straight-up hooptie, right down to the space-saver spare tire (which you know saw speeds in excess of 90 MPH while bolted finger-tight to this 4,227-pound monster).

Luxus. Yes.

I can’t help thinking of Bill Owens’ incredible book Suburbia when I see wagons like this one. You know, a time when life was simple.

Even better than a Century Luxus would have been a Buick Opel Luxus with Isuzu power and a landau roof.

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  • CougarXR7 CougarXR7 on Nov 02, 2011

    Blech. Uuuuugly. Old domestic malais-era behemoth wagons can be kinda cool nowadays, but not this thing. It's hideous. Good riddance. Murilee- were you at Ecology Auto Wrecking or one of the two Pick-A-Parts in Wilminton by any chance? Or the PAP in Sun Valley?

  • Delmer Delmer on Nov 02, 2011

    This Buick may have been a hooptie since the Carter Amin. Any 70's era Dertrot car within 5 years. I had a teacher in the early 80's that drove a hooptie late seventies Eldo- torn leather, rotted bumper extenders, sagging headliner, leaking exhaust manifold, cracked dash. Yet these hoopties could keep groaning and chugging for years. Cheap parts and easy do it yo' self.

  • Bader Hi I want the driver side lights including the bazl and signal
  • Theflyersfan One positive: doesn't appear to have a sunroof. So you won't need to keep paper towels in the car.But there's a serious question to ask this seller - he has less than 40,000 miles on some major engine work, and the transmission and clutch work and mods are less than 2 months old...why are you selling? That's some serious money in upgrades and repairs, knowing that the odds of getting it back at the time of sale is going to be close to nil. This applies to most cars and it needs to be broadcasted - these kinds of upgrades and mods are really just for the current owner. At the time of sale, a lot of buyers will hit pause or just won't pay for the work you've done. Something just doesn't sit well with me and this car. It could be a snowbelt beast and help save the manuals and all that, but a six year old VW with over 100,000 miles normally equals gremlins and electrical issues too numerous to list. Plus rust in New England. I like it, but I'd have to look for a crack pipe somewhere if the seller thinks he's selling at that price.
  • 2ACL I can't help feeling that baby is a gross misnomer for a vehicle which the owner's use necessitated a (manual!) transmission rebuild at 80,000 miles. An expensive lesson in diminishing returns I wouldn't recommend to anyone I know.
  • El scotto Rumbling through my pantry and looking for the box of sheets of aluminum foil. More alt right comments than actual comments on international trade policy. Also a great deal of ignorance about the global oil industry. I'm a geophysicist and I pay attention such things. Best of all we got to watch Tassos go FULL BOT on us.
  • El scotto No one and I mean no one on here is a UAW member or a salaried employee of the Big 3. Then again if someone identified themselves on here they would pilloried every time they posted.The comments on here are like listening to the overgrown children who call into sports radio shows.