Junkyard Find: 1984 Buick Century Olympia

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1984 buick century olympia

Buick was one of the major sponsors of the United States Olympic Team for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles— you know, the Games that got boycotted by the Evil Empire as payback for our boycott of the 1980 event— and the centerpiece of that sponsorship came in the form of a very special car: the 1984 Buick Century Olympia. We last saw one of these rare machines back in 2014, and now the Junkyard Find series returns with another, found in the San Francisco Bay Area a couple of months back.

The Century Olympia came in white with gold pinstripes and sported special exterior badging.

Not only that, the Nearly Velour™ seat upholstery had purple USA Olympic Team logos on the headrests.

’84 Olympics officials got a fleet of Buicks to drive around during the events as well. I wonder if my friend who got busted for knocking over all the cones on the bicycle-race course (the night before the event) in his Toyota Hilux got hauled to the Laguna Hills slammer by a rent-a-cop driving a Skyhawk.

Power in this car came from the 3.0-liter version of Buick’s venerable-even-then V6 engine. This engine made 110 horsepower, which was better than the base Iron Duke four but not quite as righteous as the 3.8 V6 in the Century T-Type that year.

Did I buy the handsome analog dash clock out of this car? You know it!

Here’s what that clock looks like in night mode.

Junkyard employees bent the decklid so badly, trying to open it with no key, that I had to shoot the set of vintage California political bumper stickers from strange angles.

Sam Farr was in the State Assembly when this car was new, then moved on to Washington DC to represent the 17th Congressional District (which, at the time, included this very junkyard). Barbara Boxer and Bill Monning get decklid sticker shoutouts as well, so we can assume that this car lived most of its life in the San Francisco Bay Area. And how many cars have you seen with a bumper sticker from Bill Richardson’s 2008 presidential campaign? Believe it or not, the campaign website still exists.

Is a special-edition A-Body Buick sedan with California-style rust around the edges worth anything? No, it is not.

This car stayed in production all the way through the 1996 model year (the year in which Buick shoppers could get an Olympics Edition Regal), albeit with a not-very-radical facelift in 1991.

Because it’s a Buick, the Century doesn’t let the feel of the road interfere with your tranquility.

For links to nearly 2,200 additional Junkyard Finds, please visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.

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2 of 25 comments
  • Millmech Millmech on Aug 17, 2021

    Suggestion/Request - Perhaps post movie of the Surgical Operation of opening locked trunk/boot with only a forklift. "Crack the Safe, Leave No Marks"

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Aug 23, 2021

    Little late for this response, but that clock has a “quartz” label on it, but it doesn’t act like it in the video! The 1983 Regal Custom Sedan my parents had (the last of the three-binnacled, black-over-silver gauges IP) had an analog quartz clock that moved second-to-second like a wristwatch. My guess is that Murilee had an extra 12V electric movement laying around? Surprised that Century had a clock option — I’ve never seen one so-equipped — especially since all but the base AM radio had a digital clock built-in.

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.