My Dad’s Century Turbo Coupe

The cars I remember my dad having included a Seafoam Green ’51 Ford 2-door, a red and white ’55 Chevy 2-door Del Ray, a gold ’62 Chevy Impala 4-door hardtop, and a tan ’68 Buick Skylark 2-door coupe. I was working at GM Design Staff, and dad expressed an interest in getting a ’78 Turbo Regal. I told him that was an old man’s car (even though he was 68 at the time), and that he should wait a year and get the new ’79 Buick Century Turbo Coupe.


My dad’s 1979 Buick Century Turbo Coupe

I ordered the car for him, and he flew to Michigan in December 1978 to go to my wedding and to pick up the car. His eyes were as big as saucers when he saw it. It was silver with light gray interior, just like the car featured in the brochure that year. He stayed in Michigan for a couple of months, and finally drove it back to California. He and mom took a road trip in the car to Michigan in the fall of 1979. But in early 1980 he was diagnosed with cancer, and died in July, ten days after his 80th birthday. Before he died he trusted Jesus Christ as his Saviour.

I drove the car a few times in California while visiting the hospital, and I remember it being fun to drive. He sure loved that car, possibly because it gave him bragging rights with his brother Harry who always had big, powerful Pontiacs. He finally had a car that he didn’t have to make excuses for.

The Ultimate Buick Turbo that Buick Never Made

The problem for Buick is that they never really had a suitable platform for the Turbo V6. Conservative styling doesn’t really lend itself to performance cars. That all changed in 1989 when Pontiac installed the last of the Buick Turbo V6s in 1,550 Pontiac Trans Ams as Indy Pace Cars and replicas. The cool thing is that there were no mechanical modifications to the actual pace cars. The TTAs had all of the best performance parts available in one package. They were fast and handled like, well, not a Buick. I wish my dad could have seen that one.


Ad for the 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am

Ad for the 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am


1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am Artwork

Artwork I did of the 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am. 


My 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am

This is my car. Number 297.

1 Comment
  1. The Turbo T/A was heralded by all the mags of the day as the best, most complete and well rounded T/A ever. Sadly, I never got to drive one. I had no money at the time and no salesman would never let someone like that even go for a test drive. Maybe someday. At the time I thought GM was really onto something. I thought they might turn a new leaf. With the Turbo T/A, GN, GNX, and the Quad 4 and Northstar V8 on the horizon, it seemed as GM was on the cusp of something big. Alas, it was not to be. So sad that such great promise was squandered.

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