The Buick Estate were full-sized station wagons produced by the Buick Division of General Motors. GM’s Cadillac Division, which was it’s top luxury division, did not offer a station wagon so the Buick Estate Wagon was GM’s most expensive and most fully equipped model for the station wagon market. Among the most beautiful ever produced was the 1958 Buick Caballero Century Estate Wagon featured here which is a rare collector vehicle today.

buick cabbalero wagon photos
1958 Buick Century Estate Caballero Wagon

1958 Buick Century Caballero Estate Wagon Design

Based on the Century chassis but with a stylish 1950s roof line, the B pillar-less hardtop Caballero caught the eye of wealthy buyers who had to have adequate cargo capacity but also wanted a vehicle that had great lines and turned heads.

The Buick Caballero offered just that. The 1958 Buick Century Caballero Estate Wagon serves as a fitting representative of Detroit’s heyday of big beautiful cars with plenty of sheet metal and stylish chrome. Automobiles of a bygone era creative design and styling.

The Caballero’s design was a rare project for the 1957 model year. The designers integrated the Buick Riviera’s four-door pillarless sedan styling into a station wagon. Among GM’s many station wagon models built during this time, the Caballero Wagon is the only one to feature this type of pillarless sedan design.

The body design for the 1958 Buick Century featured dual headlights, prominent centered medallion and a redesigned grille and gave the front an all new look. In 1958, Buick eliminated their classic fender portholes which had become a Buick badge in a way.

1958 buick centru estate wagon specs1958 was the last year for the Caballero. One of only 4,456 built for 1958. The Caballero Estate Wagon was produced for two years only in 1957 and 1958.

This very rare wagon with it’s pillarless 4-door design was GM’s only hardtop wagon. According to most automotive sources , Buick produced 10,180 Caballero Estate Wagons in 1957 and just 4,456 in 1958. With production number lower than Buick convertibles you can expect that seeing one of these Caballero Wagons on the road is a rare occurrence.

The car’s higher price over other Buick models, the high cost of tooling, and a marked  change in car buyer tastes (pillarless wagons are now considered a short-lived design fad) were all factors in the Caballero’s early demise just after a two year run.

1958 Buick Century Caballero Estate Specifications

The Century was Buick’s performance car model and the wagon was no exception. Under the hood was a 364-cubic inch “Nailhead” V8 that produced 300 HP. The unusually designed vertical-valve motor was tuned for 300 hp on the Century models, and 325 hp could be had with the optional high-performance “tri-power” carburetion package.

The Buick Nailhead V-8 was a legendary engine. It was used from the mid fifties to the mid sixties. These engines were called Nailheads because of their valve configuration. The valves sit vertical instead of on an angle like most every other V-8 engine ever produced. If you take a look at a cross section diagram the valves resemblance is of nails.The valves are also smaller than others. This appears to be the most popular explanation for the Nailhead name but you might run across additional opinions as well.

Transmission was a three speed Dynaflow automatic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

1958 buick estate wagon photosBoth the Special and Century had 122 inch wheelbases. The remainder had 127.5 inch wheelbases (including Roadmaster). Outside overall length of the Buick Cabellaro was 211.8 inches, width 78.1 inches, height 56.8 inches and the Caballero wagon weighed about 4,650 lbs at the curb.

See these additional Auto Museum Online article on the links below…

1965 Ford Falcon Wagon

1960 Buick Invicta Wagon

1964 AMC Rambler Cross Country Wagon

Reference material for this article included…The Buick: A Complete History by authors Terry B. Dunham and Lawrence R. Gustin…Collectible Automobile Magazine February 2005Hemmings Classic Car Magazine May 2014GM Buick Archives.

The 1958 Buick Century Caballero Collector Models.

buick cabbalero station wagonTo be sure, the 1958 Buick Century Caballero Wagon is a large impressive vehicle. In addition to that the model is rare since it was produced for only two model years. It’s estimated that only a total of 14,000 were ever built. For 1958 it’s estimated that only about 4,500 were built so when you see a finely restored example of a 1958 model you can expect that it’s collector value is high. As mentioned, a significantly lower number were produced for 1958.

As of this writing you can expect to see auction prices for fully restored and in excellent condition models in the range of $90,000 to $120,000.
(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)