Vino Velour: 1978 Buick Century Limited Aeroback – Sold?

by | Jul 2022 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

August 7, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Many enthusiasts point to GM’s 1970 compact cars (think Vega, Monza, and later Citation) as the low point in Malaise Era design for the brand; we argue that the 1978 and 1979 Buick and Oldsmobile Aero coupes and sedans were the lowest. Not only was the squared-off aero design very polarizing, but to save a few pennies the four-door sedan models also did not feature roll-down windows for the rear seat passengers.  This was still at a time when factory air conditioning was still an expensive luxury option most consumers passed on.

This 1978 Buick Century Limited Aero Sedan, originally listed in July 2022 on Craigslist in Newburgh, New York, appears to lack air conditioning to compensate for the lack of standard ventilation.

As the sole pricing data point available, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is just twenty-five dollars less than this guide’s #3 “Good” appraisal of $3,525.

Following the heels of its squared-off and downsized full-size 1977 models, GM downsized its intermediate line for 1978, reducing wheelbase by four inches and curb weight by nearly half a ton. The Century was initially offered as an “Aero back” fastback two-door coupe and a fastback four-door sedan along with a station wagon model (sharing bodies with the Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon). The car was over a foot shorter, several inches narrower, and several hundred pounds lighter than its predecessor. GM discontinued big-block engines were discontinued and the new base powerplant was Buick’s new 196 cu in (3.2 L) V6 introduced specifically for the Century and Regal. The 231 cu in (3.8 L) V6 and the Chevrolet 305 V8 were options.

The two fastback models (along with the Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon) proved very unpopular. So much so that for 1980, the fastback four-door sedan was dropped in favor of a conventional notchback four-door sedan and sales improved nearly five-fold.

While this 1978 Chevrolet Malibu Sale Training video currently posted on the Emulsion Alchemist YouTube Channel has nothing to do with Buicks, at the three-minute mark, the narrator goes to great lengths rationalizing GM’s rear door, picture-window design, and how engineers tried to elevate the ventilation challenges:

The seller does not provide much information in their description but based on the pictures provided the wine-colored velour interior looks like new, save for the discoloration of the door armrests, which can easily be redyed to match. Unfortunately, the lack of an engine picture combined with a shot of the dash not showing an under-steering wheel “crotch cooler” vent has us thinking this 1978 Buick Century is a non-A/C equipped model.  With the lack of rear roll-down windows but plenty of glass, we feel this car is very warm to drive.  At a negotiable $3,500, this body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive Century makes a compelling candidate for a sleeper LS build.

Here’s the seller’s brief description:

“$3,500 obo. 95k miles, runs good, clean interior. V6

Show or go: What would you do with this 1978 Buick Century Limited Aero Sedan?  Please comment below and let us know!

  1. Vino Velour: 1978 Buick Century Limited Aeroback – Sold?

    I’d enter it in a demolition derby.

  2. Vino Velour: 1978 Buick Century Limited Aeroback – Sold?

    Sorry for the previous typos

    I have access to a 1978 powder blue century aero. Auto, 6 cylinder 2 door. Perfect white interior with factory cb radio.
    6125 miles. Never registered, used by the mother of the owner of the dealership.
    Hasn’t been started in 22. years. Few tiny surface rust issue fender
    Don’t know if I should leave as is and try to auction or replace all fluids get it running to sell at auction. Seems no gas in tank.. But of course everything will need to be gone
    Any thoughts would be appreciated


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