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'56 Century Hubcap, Script, and Hood Scoop Variations?


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I've noticed some variation between my Century and parts advertised on E-bay and elsewhere:

1) I have the large hubcaps that cover almost 100% of the wheel. They have the plastic Buick inserts. But I've seen some smaller "dog-dish" styles advertised. Which is correct?

2) I have the "Century" in script on the rear doors. But others advertise the more block-lettered version. Which is correct?

3) My hood scoop has the painted grill, but I've also got a spare scoop that has the actual ventilated grill. What is correct?



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Interesting questions. I suspect the full size hub caps were optional, and most cars got them. I also had a NY City area 56 roadmaster once with the painted hood scoop. My Super however came from a warmer climate ( California) and had the open grill in the scoop. Do you know where your car was manufactured? That might be the best clue to which one to use.

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Guest imported_MrEarl

I have "heard" that the screened scoop came on earlier models and after many complaints of water, dust and trash coming through them and messing up the engine compartment they closed them in with painted metal to look like the previous screen.

I think JD is right re the full chrome wheel covers being a popular option. In 54, Roadmaster was the only series that came with them as standard. I really like the little dog dish with beauty rings and the painted pinstripes on the wheel in between though.

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Ah... 1956 Buicks. I love '56 Buicks smile.gif

The wheel covers were part of the accessory group "M" and were standard on 50,60,70 series and optional on 40 series according to the factory order sheet I have. I am not 100% sure, but I think the "full" style wheel cover was the only one actually made for 1956, yet I'm sure the older dog dish style ones would fit. I have not seen examples of the earlier dog-dish style on factory 1956's. I have sets of originals and (believe it or not), a post-1956 reproduction set that is ever so slightly different than the OEM Buick ones-- even back then, someone was making and selling wheel cover knock offs.

I think Lamar is correct about the "screen" on the hood scoop/ornament. It started out with the open mesh design, and after too many complaints with bugs and dust going straight into the silencer "snorkel" opening of the oil-bath air cleaner, a replacement was devised that was the stenciled "screen" solid piece. I have examples of both, but I don't recall if I looked for part numbers to verify when the cutover occurred. I think I saw it listed in an unabridged service bulletin somewhere about the replacement campaign. The key issue is that the large "silencer" oil bath air cleaner, aka Snorkel, when properly mounted facing straight forward with the little supporting bracket underneath the snorkel, has it's intake opening / mouth right behind that "screen" and would ingest anything coming through.

As for the script look of the Century rear door emblem, that is correct. It differs from the block-looking Super and Special scripts.

"Snorkel". I think this is a '55 engine bay, but the snorkel is the same on 56's.


1956 Hubcap. I think this where you can see the difference between 1956 and 1955, but I'm not 100% certain on this. The center "buick" emblem I think is smaller on the 1955. notice the amount of real estate visible on the surface, both are 15" wheels.


(I think this is a shot of Willy's 1955 wheel cover at the 2007 Buick Nationals).


Early Mesh Style Screen


Late Solid "Stencil" Screen




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Thanks for all the insights--and the photos!

The other explanation I had heard about the hood scoop is that the mesh version was used only on AC-equipped cars.

I've got the snorkel air cleaner as pictured, and had seen a TV program once where a Tri-5 Chevy had its hood ornaments turned into intake scoops that were plumbed to the air cleaner. It wouldn't take much plumbing to do the same with the mesh screen and the snorkel air cleaner.

I've also seen '56 air cleaners without the snorkel--what models used those?

As a side note, I no longer use an oil bath in my air cleaner--I found a paper filter that fits and seals perfectly. I think it was off a mid-80's Chevy S-10. I'll have to look up the part number.


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Guest imported_Thriller

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: RTMartens</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I've also seen '56 air cleaners without the snorkel--what models used those? </div></div>


My Special has just the straight oil bath air cleaner without the snorkel...of course, it is a Canadian-made car, so may not be the best to judge by. It has a production date of May 30, 1956, so is definitely a late car and has the plate ornament without screen.

Photos, including the engine bay, can be seen at my '56 Special page.

From the Dealers' Confidential Price List effective Oct. 31, 1955, option 133, Wheel Trim Discs had a suggested maximum retail price of $20.40 (list $17.85) for all Special, which is more expensive as an option than the "Conventional" two tone paint (but less than the "Special" two tone and about 40% of the cost for tri tone paint.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Buick Bonery

I'm not so sure that all 4 barrels got the snorkel air cleaner. I have 2 Supers with 4 barrels, and they had round air cleaners.

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