British cars have more dignity when parked in a mittel European setting. American cars don’t fit into the landcape of the British Isles at all. How do these cars look in Scandinavia?
Here’s a 1972 or 1973 Buick Centurion, famous as Buick’s shortest-lived model. Behind it, some Denmark.
A learned reader will be able to precisely identify the year; my guesstimate is based on the grille design. It extends under the lamps (not for 1971) and explains why my ’84 Century did the same kind of thing (it didn’t work on the Century).
My considered opinion is that a US car fits right in to Scandinavia, especially the townscapes of Mid-Century Modern which this photo nearly is. The 1973 car would have been designed at the time when the International Style had reached its zenith. Isn’t it a peculiar irony that American cars at this time emerged from an utterly different set of references?
Modernism didn’t touch Detroit. The Buick is not very elaborate: one dramatic falling swage and a busy front end. In 1973 the Italians headed into sharp boxiness and the French followed. Mercedes toned down their Baroque and BMW kept it simple. However, as the Euros embraced less is more, the stylists in Detroit dived headlong into Victorian curlicues, especially on the interiors.
Wikipedia says the Centurion was promoted as a mid-level luxury car while the Wildcat it replaced offered a luxury/sporty character. Did customers really have such a finely calibrated sense of Buick’s line-up? The Centurion sat between the LeSabre and Electra. Most of the exterior is the same as on the LeSabre: so the Centurion can be seen as really an engine/trim package with a model name of its own.