The Ozymandias of Cars: the Buick Century

General Motors carries the weight of much history and is often judged by its past. However, listen to the executives of the company and that burden somehow comes across as a continuous opportunity for improvement. In the marketing spin of GM, a turnaround is always around the corner. The next batch of GM cars are perpetually hailed as saviors of the firm, ambitious redesigns that will outdo their predecessors and leapfrog the competition. In one era of GM-speak, the company pursued outstanding improvements through high-profile technocratic solutions. In this image we see the shining, modern badge on the front left corner of a mid 1980s-mid 1990s Buick Century proudly advertising the techey engine technology of fuel injection. Replacing the carburettor, fuel injection improves engine efficiency while maintaining a more regular and precise supply of fuel to the cylinders. Efficiency or no, the heralded Hail-Mary of high-tech improvements like this Buick’s fuel injection look like hubris or plain false pride when the badge gleams among the various scrapes, dings, and dents of this now decades old, depreciated beater.

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