Buick, Chevrolet, Coupe, Reviews
Jun8

Buy/Drive/Burn: Ace of Base A-Bodies From 1979

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  1. After our most recent Rare Rides post, your author perused The Big List of BDB Ideas and discovered a suggestion commenter Sgeffe made many moons ago. He suggested the most basic coupe A-bodies on offer in 1979. Feeling cheap? Let’s get weird.

Buick Century

Buick’s Century nameplate dated back to 1936, and the model entered its fourth generation in 1978. New that year, Buick applied the Century name to all its midsize offerings save for its standard-roof coupe, which was called Regal. The most basic engine was the 3.2-liter Buick V6 (196 cubic inches), paired with a three-speed manual. Basic Century customers longed for the Century Turbo Coupe, on offer only for 1979 and 1980. It was powered by a turbocharged Buick 3.8-liter V6.

Chevrolet Malibu

The Malibu was a brand new entry into the mid-size market for 1964, as it appeared as an upper-level trim of the Chevelle. Throughout the next two generations, until 1977, Malibu was constrained to a Chevelle trim. 1978 saw the name become a full-fledged model, as Chevelle was discontinued. Chevrolet held off on a fastback Malibu coupe, opting instead for a more traditional formal roof. Malibu saw the debut of a new family of 90° V6 Chevrolet engines, the most basic of which was the 3.3-liter, 200 cubic inch version. It sent 95 horsepower through the three-speed. The desirable coupe was the Classic trim, where the Chevrolet 350 V8 was available to complement the standard vinyl roof.

Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon

In production since 1961, the Cutlass Salon heralded the fifth generation of Cutlass, and it was the last instance where all Cutlass offerings were rear-drive in nature. General Motors placed much stock in the Oldsmobile A-body offerings, as evidenced by its variety of available body styles. The most basic engine available was the largest of our trio: a 3.8-liter (231 cubic inch) V6 from Buick. Base Salon customers stared across the showroom at the loaded Salon Brougham coupe with its waterfall grille and 5.0-liter (305) Chevy V8.

Three malaisey coupes with V6 power and few amenities. Which one gets a Buy?

[Images: General Motors]

– Buy/Drive/Burn: Ace of Base A-Bodies From 1979 –

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