Tuesday, November 21, 2023

1955 Buick Century CHP Police Car

For those who knew the 1950s, a black-and-white ’55 Buick sedan will always be Broderick Crawford. The actor portrayed Dan Mathews, chief in the Highway Patrol television series that debuted in October 1955.
In the early 1950s the California Highway Patrol was looking for a vehicle that could keep up with hot rods and sports cars. The result was one of the first cars built specifically for police, the Buick Century. Buick executives had returned from a trip to the UK and said that the British referred to going 100 mph as "doing the century". The executives liked the Century name. Buick built 270 of these two-door sedans, 135 with manual transmissions, 135 with automatics. The body was lightweight, the cheapest car in the Buick line. The engine, however, was the 322-cubic inch V8 rated at 236 horsepower. It came with oversize drum brakes. The April 1955 issue of Highway Patrolman magazine reported “the car developed 148-horsepower at the rear wheels and reached a wheel speed of 108 mph". In 1956 the Century's base price was $2,963.