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1977 Turbo Century


This car was featured in Popular Hot Rodding Magazine in January of 1978.  It's a 1977 Buick Century that was owned by Gary Bryson, an account executive for Goodyear.  The big Buick started out with a odd-fire V6 and 2.32 gearing, which was only good for a 21.06 at 65.54 mph in the mile.  After a trip to Jim Bell of Kenne-Bell performance, a '78 even fire V6 was installed along with hybrid factory/custom turbocharger set-up and ported heads.  Also added was a switch-pitch 400 Turbo trans with a high stall converter and 3.42 gears.  This made for a best 17.04 @ 83.20 mph.  Not blistering times, but this is a 4100 lb car and that's a full four-second improvement!  The cars suspension and brakes were upgrade as well.

Appearance is where this car become interesting.  Gary obviously had connections, because that's a duplicate hood and front bumper from the '76 Indy Pace Car.  The car was then taken to Molly Designs for paint.  Molly's work with Buick was very influential to the Grand National.  The car features the V6 logo, design by Molly for Buick, on the rear quarters.  The wheels are American Racing Vectors which were later used on the '82 GN concept drawings and used on the 84/85 Grand Nationals and 86/87 Turbo Regals.  All the chrome has been blacked out and for some time, the car remain all black.  Photographs before the gray and yellow/orange pin-striping defiantly resemble the 84/87 GN's.  As picture above, the influences on the '82 GN concept drawings can be seen .  Just as the '76 Century Indy pace car is the start of the Turbo Buicks, this '77 Century might be the being of the Grand National story.

 

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