This LS-Swapped Buick Century Wagon Is a Land-Yachting, Off-Road Champ

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By Car Brand Experts

LS-Swapped Buick Century Wagon: A Unique Off-Road Gem

In the realm of off-roading, Gordan Bettles took an unconventional path by transforming a 1978 GMC Jimmy into a capable off-road beast. However, feeling that it was too reliable for his liking, Bettles delved into a new project to up the challenge – a Malaise-era Buick Century wagon. Let’s delve into the fascinating journey of the creation of this remarkable off-road land yacht.

The Genesis of “Evergreen Cargo Ship”

After rescuing the Buick Century wagon from the jaws of the crusher, Bettles initiated a thorough transformation. Swapping out the factory 403 V-8 with an LQ4 V-8 from a heavy-duty pickup, along with new suspension components from Chevy and Ford trucks, the wagon was elevated to a new level. This led to the birth of the “Evergreen Cargo Ship,” aptly named for its adventures in the rugged terrains of British Columbia.

A Fusion of Power and Utility

With modifications including bespoke motor mounts and a revamped suspension system, the Buick Century wagon now proudly sits on BFGoodrich 32-inch tires, ready to conquer any off-road challenge. Despite minor hurdles like a rough-running fuel pump and the need to strengthen the rear end, Bettles’ creation has proven its mettle in the Gambler’s mud pits, even doubling as a rescue vehicle for stranded off-roaders.

The Road Ahead

Looking to further enhance the capabilities of his creation, Bettles has his eyes set on installing a Ford 9-inch rear axle and equipping the LQ4 with a turbocharger, aiming to push the power output to impressive levels of 500 to 600 horsepower. His pursuit of the non-conventional and quest for more challenges continue to drive the evolution of this unique off-road marvel.


In a world where reliability and capability often reign supreme, Gordan Bettles’ unconventional approach proves that pushing the boundaries and embracing challenges can lead to the creation of extraordinary machines. The LS-swapped Buick Century wagon stands as a testament to creativity and innovation in the realm of off-road customization.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What inspired Gordan Bettles to transform the Buick Century wagon?

Gordan Bettles sought a new off-road challenge and opted for a Malaise-era land yacht that presented a blend of utility and quirkiness.

2. How did the Buick Century wagon undergo its transformation?

The transformation included replacing the factory V-8 engine with an LQ4 V-8, upgrading the suspension with components from Chevy and Ford trucks, and fitting BFGoodrich 32-inch tires for enhanced off-road performance.

3. What are the future plans for the “Evergreen Cargo Ship”?

Bettles plans to install a Ford 9-inch rear axle and add a turbocharger to the LQ4 engine to boost power output significantly.

4. How has the Buick Century wagon performed in off-road challenges?

Despite minor issues like a rough-running fuel pump and rear end concerns, the Buick Century wagon has excelled in off-road environments, even serving as a rescue vehicle for other off-roaders.

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