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Thread: Help with production totals for Hi-Perf 455's?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    21

    Default Help with production totals for Hi-Perf 455's?

    Hi everybody! New Centurion owner and just found your site. I just purchased a 72 Centurion rag top, it's loaded with options, and the W code 455 Hi-Perf engine. It also has a 3:42 posiaxle, dual exhaust etc! It's like a Muscle car supersize. I was wondering if there are any known production totals for these cars with the W option? I was told there are 2,395 72 rag tops, but that's the only numers I can find. Also, does anyone have specs for this engine? I found the carb number to come back as a 1972 GS 455 carb? It looks like a factory item, ? Any help or direction is greatly appreciated?
    Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mahopac, New York, United States
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    Nice score Paul. Indeed you have a rare one.
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- Thomas Jefferson

    Rick Martinez

    1973 Centurion 455 convertible - My show & tow car
    1970 GS455 Racecar
    9.25 @ 144.83, 3070 lbs

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Paul,
    Welcome aboard! It is always good to add another Centurion member. Your total for production of the 72 converts is off by one. There were 2,396 units built.

    The number of converts built with the A9 High Performance 455 was 232 or 9.68% so you do have a pretty rare one indeed.

    If you care to do a P/M and list all your options including color and interior, I can provide you with the production information.

    Someone else will have to help with the carb question though.
    Bob Alberini BCA 3038
    Columbus, OH
    Centurion owner since 1973

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
    Location
    Saint Charles, Missouri, United States
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    2,039

    Default

    What is the exact carb number?
    Adam Martin
    BPG# 1358
    BCA# 39765
    1970 Buick Skylark Custom 455 Coupe


  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Hi Guys! That's great news Bob! What do you mean by a p/m? I can attach the build sheet jpeg if that helps with listing my car options? And as for the carb number question? The number on my carb is 7042240 MB then has the date number of 1162 underneath, which I was told is the carb was built on the 116th day of 1972. With the engine being a Hi-Perf 455, I figured the fact that it comes back as a 1972 GS 455 carb made sense. I am going to try to post my buildsheet and hopefully, you guys can tell me a little more about my ride?
    Paul
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6

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    Paul,
    I was not prepared for what your build sheet revealed. I don't have the time right now to give you the full break down but I will soon. Is your car still sporting its bright yellow paint (Sunburst Yellow)? If so, it has its original SCO paint which was a Skylark only color and available on other series as an extra cost option. A total of 33 (1.38%) Centurion convertibles were built in this color and yours is the first legitimate Sunburst Yellow one I have come across in documenting these cars for 35 years! So if you thought your high performance engine was pretty special (and it is), I would love to see your face as you read this. You truly have a very, very special and unique Centurion convertible. Keith Bleakney (my3buicks) also has a SCO 72 Centurion convert but his is Flame Orange and only 25 of those were built. I hope we get to see some photos because I've always wondered what one of these would look like.

    A p/m is the personal message feature and I may or may not use that to give you the option totals.

    Wow, you made my day and it'll excite some of the other Centurionaholics as well.
    Bob Alberini BCA 3038
    Columbus, OH
    Centurion owner since 1973

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Puyallup, Washington
    Posts
    625

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    Bob, thanks for alerting us all to the unique color of Paul's car.

    Paul, we'd enjoy learning anything you can tell us regarding your car's history. It would be especially interesting to hear about the original buyer's reasons for ordering the car with its unique option mix.
    Brian Laurance, BCA # 5168
    A Centurion driver since December, 1970

    1971 Centurion Formal Coupe

  8. #8
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    Sep 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default

    HI Guys! Wow. Thant's awesome news Bob! I saw that special paint option and new it wasn't a small deal, but the engine is what caught my eye! I have to inform you guys first, this car has been sitting since 1990, some of it babied, some not. To answer some questions, it still has the Sunburst paint, although some spotting is showing and fading in certain areas. The white top is almost pefect. I also see on the buildsheet, the hand written option "Paint Stripe Black " the car does sport a thin black pinstripe from the nose to the tail. It looks real nice. It must have been a gleaming ride! Also, the person I bought it from was the original owner, he ordered the car new, then sold it in 75 to a local woman, then bought it back in 1976 and has had it till now! I have the 12-23-76 MA title, mint shape. He also told me that even though it states wire wheel covers, it actually came through with the chrome plated wheels/mags. I have all 5, 4 are still under the car, the spare looks to be an original tire. Does anyone know what that tire is supposed to be? I have more to disclose, but it's getting late! ha-ha So Bob, does it mean, that there is 1.38% of the 232 Hi-Perf 72 rag tops painted Sunburst Yellow? like one of three cars? ha-ha! anyway, I hope to hear the rest of the info you decypher from the buildsheet soon, Bob!! Thanx to all for the help, keep the info coming!
    Paul
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Newark, DE
    Posts
    609

    Default Nice

    Welcome aboard Paul. You've found yourself a true ride there my man. The potential look when you get her cleaned up along with all that performance to boot! I am jealous! Looking forward to watching your progress. Where are you located? Looking for some locals to catch up, but there are very few of these babies around here. (Newark, DE) Did find a guy who just bought one that lives pretty close. Trying to track him down so I can get him on this board. Anyway Paul...... cheers to you!
    Steve
    72 Buick Centurion Convertible - Current (Purchased in 2007)
    71 Buick Skylark Convertible - (mistakenly sold when I thought it was time to "grow-up"!)
    02 GMC Yukon XL - Daily Driver
    00 Jeep Wrangler - My "other fun" car...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
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    Thanx Steve! yeah, I'm new to these "big" cars, lol, but I'm a car guy since birth! Always have had a love for cool rides, and when I spotted this one, even though it needed some TLC, I saw it in my mind as a completed car and decided it was worth grabbing. only after I found this site and posted the questions, did I find out that I have a real gem here and it made my week when Bob told me just how rare this ride really is! That got the blood pumpin'! And, using your comment about being "grown up"", I don't see myself as ever being grown up! lOL! I'll always have some old car that I will play with, I mean, if that cars are cool when you're young, then they'll always be cool no matter how old you get! You guys have been great in helping me out, and I'm looking forward to hearing from Bob on the breakdown of my buildsheet! You haven't forgotten about me already have you Bob?/ LOL!

  11. #11

    Default

    Hi Paul,
    I was just afraid you might not check your personal messages on this site because I sent all the information to you a few days ago and apparently you haven't checked it. You should see that you have one unread message and once you've checked it, a lot of your questions should be answered. If not, you know where I am.

    I really hope you'll bring your Centurion back to its original glory and I also encourage you to contact the original owner to learn absolutely as much about the car as possible. Questions such as why he chose the color and option list would be interesting to learn and few of us can talk to the original owner so learn as much as you can.
    Bob Alberini BCA 3038
    Columbus, OH
    Centurion owner since 1973

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    21

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    HI Bob, thanx for the reply! But I have no idea where to get personal messages on this site? This is the only question I posted, so I don't know where to get more info from members? Please help???

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Puyallup, Washington
    Posts
    625

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    Paul, look at the upper right hand corner of your screen. (Scroll to the top.) You'll see "Welcome, Mr W Code". Below that, you will see a link for Private Messages.

    Please let us know if you can't retrieve the message.
    Brian Laurance, BCA # 5168
    A Centurion driver since December, 1970

    1971 Centurion Formal Coupe

  14. #14

    Default

    Thanks, Brian. I was going to give Paul the information but you've already done it and I'm sure he will now find it.
    Bob Alberini BCA 3038
    Columbus, OH
    Centurion owner since 1973

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweden
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    1,426

    Default Two questions

    Did the Centurions with the W code 455 Hi-Perf engines always come with dual exhaust?
    Ive understood that it was common to add options at the dealerships, did they ever go that far as replacing engines?
    Per

    Buick Centurion two door hardtop 1973
    Hyundai Santa Fe 2006
    Honda Accord 2009
    Cadillac Seville STS 1999

  16. #16

    Default

    That 3:42 posi rear axle is a rare treasure. Posi traction is a very rare option and there are long posts about the bewildering variety of axles GM stuck under these cars. The bottom line is that it's almost impossible to upgrade an existing axle. The only practical way to get a posi is to find one, and replace the whole rear axle.

    Your car is truly LOADED with options and it looks to be in really good shape. A buff of the paint, some rust repair and you'll be well on your way.

    Sheetmetal for these cars is hard to find, so keep an eye on eBay and Craigs list. The front end and doors can come from an Electra, LeSabre or Centurion. The rear quarters are the hardest to find.

    Being a MA car you'll need to check the undercarriage for rot. Some problem spots are the outside front corners of the drivers and passenger floor boards, rear floor boards and under the rear seat just above the muffler. My car had rust problems around the body mounts in the trunk.

    A good wash, buff the paint and this thing will look tremendous.

    John.

  17. #17

    Default

    I hope you guys will bear with me as I'm going to try to answer three different questions in one post.

    PER -- Yes, the W code high performance 455 always came with dual exhausts but dual exhausts could also be ordered with the standard 455 and, in that case, the code on the VIN would have a U. The standard 455 with single exhause, of course, had the much more common T code.

    JOHN -- You bet the 3.42 Positraction axle was a rarity. Only 48 72 Centurion convertibles were built with it.

    PAUL -- As you've not responded to my Private Message yet, I'm wondering if you have found its placement on the website. Your information is there and I want to ensure that you get it.
    Bob Alberini BCA 3038
    Columbus, OH
    Centurion owner since 1973

  18. #18
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    Mar 2007
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    Sweden
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Alberini View Post
    PER -- Yes, the W code high performance 455 always came with dual exhausts but dual exhausts could also be ordered with the standard 455 and, in that case, the code on the VIN would have a U. The standard 455 with single exhause, of course, had the much more common T code.
    Thanks Bob for the clarification!
    I have received an additional document from the first owner of my car that made my heart skip a beat at first sight . Its some kind of invoice with all the options listed and the first one says High Performance 455 Cu. In Engine W/4. Surely you can imagine my excitement; however the option code was A9 which is the normal T-code 455-4 engine if I got it right. Since the 350 was standard on the 73s, I suppose they might call the 455 cid High Performance?
    The charge was 124 dollars for the A9 option according to the document.
    Per

    Buick Centurion two door hardtop 1973
    Hyundai Santa Fe 2006
    Honda Accord 2009
    Cadillac Seville STS 1999

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Hi Bob!
    Gents!

    Yes, I did get the message you left for me with the production totals! Awesome news! I guess having that level ride option and the 3:42 posi along with the W code and Special paint really brings a smile to my face!
    That's amazing that you have all that type of factory info! One thing I mentioned earlier about my car is the first owner did order the wire wheels (which looks like those are hard to find also) but when the car arrived for him to pick up, the chrome road wheels were on it. I am in the process of getting in touch with him to ask him more questions, got any I should try?
    Thanx again Bob! Keep me informed!
    Paul

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Sweden
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    Congrats Paul
    Looks like you have hit the jackpot buying that Sunburst Yellow Rag top
    Per

    Buick Centurion two door hardtop 1973
    Hyundai Santa Fe 2006
    Honda Accord 2009
    Cadillac Seville STS 1999

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