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Mario's Tribute to 1956 Buick Centurion XP301

1956 Buick Centurion Concept Car

1956 Buick Centurion XP301 Concept Car. The centerpiece of GM legendary Motorama shows.

The 1956 Buick Centurion XP301 was the combined talent of Harley Earl and Charles ‘Chuck’ Jordan.

Original 1956 promo shot of the 1956 Buick Centurion.

Another original 1956 promo shot of the 1956 Buick Centurion.

1956 Buick Centurion at the GM Motorama.

Interior view of the Concept car at the 1956 GM Motorama.

The car has a fiberglass body and retractable seat belts.

It has wing-like rear fenders later seen in the 59/60 Chevy and 59/60 Buick.

Manufacturers admired the design of the long hood with headlights recessed behind the bumper.

It has a 325-hp, 344-ci Buick V8 with four carburetors and a variable pitch Dyanflow auto trans.

344ci 325hp V8 with 4 carbs.

344ci 325hp V8 with 4 carbs.

The small video screen provides a rear view from the rear camera.

You can see the camera in the center top of the rear of the car.

The Centurion uses a freestanding speedometer with a fixed indicator and rotation dial.

The XP301 made the move to integrate ideas and designs from an airplane cockpit into the modern day automobile.

It has automatic front seats when you open the doors the seats slide back for easy entry and exit.

It has a clear bubble type dome for the windows and roof. The wraparound roof copied the canopy from a jet fighter with a full 360-degree view.

It has a transmission gear selection dial located on the steering wheel.

Four bucket seats in the Buick Concept at a time when only sports cars had them. Also, note the use of headrests.

The Buick Centurion was a four-passenger vehicle that had bucket seats for both the front and the back of the car.

The car had a bubble dome for the windows and roof. It became the basis for the modern-day sunroof.

The fenders were very much jet-like, and they were so stylish that Buick adopted the design to use in some of their later models.

This Concept Car was saved and now sits in the Buick Gallery & Research Center Museum in Flint MI.

The inside was trimmed in red leather and brushed bright metal. Other designs of tomorrow include a cylindrical digital clock.

A cantilevered steering wheel positioned the steering shaft down the center of the car, allowing more legroom for the driver.

The car’s headlights are deeply recessed into jet turbine-like housings.

Wing-shaped rear end adapted in the 59/60 Buick.

Canopy top with full 360 degree view.

Jet engine look rear end.

Show time.

Ready for take off.

Unique car at shows.

Always a crowd pleaser at various shows.

It attracts many curious on lookers at the shows.

Nice rear view photo of the Centurion.

Nice front view photo of the Centurion.

The 1956 Buick Centurion XP301.

Video and audio clips

1956 Buick Centurion XP301

1956 Buick Centurion XP301

1956 Buick Centurion XP301

1956 Buick Centurion XP301

On display

On display


More Cars of the 1950s
More Buick Coverage

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Mario on Aug 9, 2021 said:

The 1956 Buick Centurion XP301 Concept Car was another GM Future car developed by the studios of Harley Earl and "Chuck" Jordan.

It is another great example of the Jet Age inspired designs in cars of the fifties.

In 1956 the Design Studios were already designing the 59 and 60 models and we can see the influence in them by this car.

The canopy top inspired the T Top and Sunroof as well as many other features. Fiberglass again was used to smooth out the sharp edges which were hard and expensive to manufacture at the time from steel.

Welcome to the Jet Age of design. Nice job GM!

[Reply to this comment]

azmusclecar on Aug 9, 2021 said:

I must say Mario......this is one awesome show car. I see a bunch of ideas tha made their way onto production cars. Small things like the headrests. I know that would be one HOT interior in Arizona in July. When people say they live life in a fishbowl, I can see being in that car and experiencing that. Great post young man. Keep up the awesome posts.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Aug 11, 2021 said:

Thanks Rob, this is one concept car that really stands out! I too see many advancements in this car later used not only by GM but other manufacturers as well. Good to hear from you Rob, Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on Aug 13, 2021 said:

I wonder what this Jetson age road saucer is worth today. Mucho dinaro I would guess.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Aug 14, 2021 said:

You're probably right George, it's worth millions!

GM has owned this car from the beginning and it can be seen at the Buick Museum in Flint MI where it's been. Cheers!

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on Aug 14, 2021 said:

When this Covid nightmare is over, I would love to visit that museum in Flint. I have always enjoyed the many wonderful museums in the good ole U.S.A.. One of the many things I miss during during this whole Covid melt down, is visiting my family and friends in America. I am a proud Canadian but I have always loved my connections with Americans, relatives or friends. I am looking forward to when I can travel in the good ole U.S.A. again. Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Aug 15, 2021 said:

I hope you get to see your family and friends here in the USA George and the museum in Flint soon. Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

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