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Junkyard Gem: 1992 Buick Century Woodie station wagon

Murilee Martin

The Detroit station wagon with fake-wood exterior paneling had a good long postwar run, but minivans and — increasingly — sport utility vehicles were giving such wagons quite a beating in the showrooms by 1992. Buick was down to just two woodies by 1992; here's a discarded example of the front-wheel-drive Century, spotted in a Northern California self-service yard.

Buick sold big rear-wheel-drive Roadmaster wagons with Simu-Wood™ siding through the 1996 model year, but the smaller Century was fairly plush.

American car shoppers didn't insist on real-looking "wood" on their wagons, although Chrysler went much more three-dimensional with their plastic wood that did GM during this era.

This one has the 3.3-liter Buick V6 engine, rated at 160 horsepower. This is not to be confused with the unrelated GM 60° V6, which was available in earlier and later Centuries.

If only these seats could talk, they'd tell many tales of sibling battles and spilled fast food.

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