The Centurion name was first used on a Buick concept car in the 1956 Motorama. It featured a red and white fiberglass body, airplane like interior design and a full clear "bubble top" roof.
The production Buick Centurion was sold from 1971 through 1973, replacing the Buick Wildcat as the sporty rendition of Buick's full-size car. The name Centurion was a play on another Buick name, the 1937-1958 Buick Century.
Visually the Centurion was nearly identical to the Buick LeSabre, featuring different badging &
grille work, minimal chrome trim, and marked by an absence of the portholes usually found on big Buicks.
The Centurion often was equipped with Buick's five-spoke "mag" wheels. Body styles included two-door and four-door hardtops, and a convertible.
The Buick Centurion model number was known as a 4P. The Centurion was offered with 2 engines a 455 in³ big-block V8 and 350 in³ small-block V8. The '71 Centurion produced 315 hp @4400 RPM and 450 ft-lbs of torque @2800 RPM with the 455 and 260 hp @4600 RPM and 360 ft-lbs of torque @3200 RPM with the 350.
In 1972 the car industry switched over to SAE meaning instead of power being rated at the engine it was now rated at the wheels. The
1972 and 1973 Centurion had the same power curves. This time offering for the 455, 225 hp @4000 RPM and 360 ft-lbs of torque @2600 RPM, while the 350 offered 195 hp @4000 RPM and 290 ft-lbs of torque @2800 RPM.
Total Centurion production was 110,539 units, including 10,296 convertibles. With a 3-year existence, the Centurion had one of the shortest runs in modern Buick history.