The name Century was magic for Buick, having made its first appearance in 1935 and experiencing its swan song in 1996. In 1953, Buick had celebrated its 50th anniversary by bringing to market the GM division’s first V-8 engine, a modern 322-cubic-inch overhead-valve design nicknamed the “Nailhead” for its small, unconventionally positioned valves.
Two years later, Buick pledged the 1955 Century to be the “Hottest Buick in History” and the model certainly lived up to its performance reputation. This was the “lightweight” Buick, yet it featured the division’s most powerful engine; a 236-horsepower version of Buick’s V-8 mated to a newly improved Dynaflow automatic transmission. 5,558 Century Convertibles were sold in 1955.