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Buick Barn Find! 1972 Skylark GS 455

If you’re overdone with SS396 Chevelles and GTOs, Buick provides a very nice alternative in the form of the Skylark GS. Marketed as a “Gentleman’s Hotrod” the GS provided big, reliable Buick V8 power in a high quality, nicely appointed intermediate. Always worthy of consideration, today we have a 1972 Skylark GS two-door hardtop for your review. It is located in Longwood (Orlando), Florida and is available, here on craigslist for $16,500.

The Skylark Gran Sport (GS) went into production in 1965 and lasted, in a similar form, through the ’75 model year. The goal was sportiness with some flair, but like most intermediate models of the ’60s, it evolved into a full-out, performance-oriented muscle car. Engines from 340 through 455 CI, in various states of tune, saw duty in the GS. By 1972, the standard GS engine was a 350 CI V8 with two different 455s offered as options. Body styles were mostly limited to a two-door hardtop and convertible though there were two-door sedans offered some years too.

Our subject GS is a triple black car i.e., black exterior, interior, and vinyl top. The finish is faded and the seller claims that there is some rust present but the included images are marginal so it’s tough to get a thorough look at the entire picture. It is obvious, however, that there is rust brewing under the vinyl top, there are tell-tale signs streaming down the quarters. That said, the vinyl top looks to be in good nick but it’s probably going to have to come off. The seller does claim that the floors and frame are sound, however. The chrome is fair but this Skylark is equipped with the desirable N25 exhaust cut-out rear bumper – a nice inclusion. As is frequently the case, this GS is equipped with the always popular Buick road wheels.

No 350 engine for this GS, it has a 225 net HP, 455 CI V8 under the hood working through a three-speed automatic transmission. The seller states, “Runs and drives flawlessly !!” This was the first year for new SAE “net” horsepower ratings so the puny number seems a lot worse than it really is and Buick 455’s were torque monsters regardless. There was a 270 net HP “Stage 1” version of the 455 engine produced but they are a lot rarer and significantly pricier. Things under the hood appear to be original and in order, minus the new alternator.

There is only one image of the interior and it looks like Buick quality the whole way. The black vinyl upholstery and dash pad are in fine shape, ditto the door cards, carpet, and instrument panel. The desirable “horse-shoe” gear selector is in place – always a nice find. And, it looks like the original radio is still in service!

This Skylark appears to be a good choice, especially considering the price in comparison to performance competitors from other GM divisions or Mopar. The rust is a concern and the vinyl top excisement will ultimately tell the tale. Would I rather have a Buick? In this case, yes, how about you?


  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    A nice proper GS. No question about this ones integrity..

    Like 8
  2. bud lee

    Looks like rust under that vinyl trim . But nice car .

    Like 7
  3. Jcs

    Something wonky going on with the lower dash panels. Lots of rust repair needed but well equipped indeed. N25 exhaust cut outs are very rare and desirable. Cool car overall but a tad pricey considering the work required, unless you own your own body shop. Hopefully seller can send a boat load of better quality pics at first request. If not, I’d walk.

    Like 11
    • Thomas Jones jr

      I agree. Seriously, I’d personally Inspect the car.

      Like 1
  4. JW454

    The Buick is OK but, I’d rather have the 1970 GTO.

    Like 5
  5. george mattar

    wow, triple black car that is loaded with options, including N25 bumper exhaust, which you hardly ever see. It is 48 years old and has some rust, so what. At least it has every component and no stupid kiddie mods. Most of the so called barn finds on here are missing everything and the owners want stupid money for a heap of crap. Stop complaining about a little rust. Every GM A body with a vinyl top has rust, even southern California cars. Rain and the more you wash one of these cars and do not use air dry around the rear windows and it’s crunch time under the rear window. I owned two GTOs, a 69 and 70, but this is cool.

    Like 23
    • Jcs

      Perfect! You sound like just the man to buy it and fix it, George. Very cool.

      Like 7
      • Lance Platt

        The black vinyl interior retains cold in the winter and heat in the summer. By 1972, the steering had more feedback and power front disc brakes were readily available to make Buicks more maneuverable and safer. The big engine might not beat a 1970 in a drag race but will provide more than enough power for any rational driver. Car for sale isn’t perfect but should make any owner proud. Love the bucket seat, automatic floor shift combo.

        Like 5

    The seller would have been wise to contact the Sloan Museum and request a copy of the original docs. The Sloan is for Buick what PHS is for Pontiacs. I was once the owner of a triple black 1970 455 Stage 1 4 speed with tach and speed alert. Sold by new by Len Immke Buick the powerhouse dealer in Columbus Ohio. My car ended up being one of nine.

    Like 8
    • Lance Platt

      My mom bought a new 1969 Buick GS 350 from Len Immke. When she got a new car in 1974, I bought the Buick from her as my first new car. Your reference to the Columbus, Ohio Buick dealership brought back many memories.

      Like 2
  7. racer417

    NOT a Skylark. The Skylark Gran Sport was produced in the ’65 and ’66 model years only. This is a GS455, just as a GTO would not properly be called a Le Mans GTO.

    Like 7
  8. Troy s

    Would you really rather have a Buick? Well, probably not, but this triple black threat has an element of class along with power to spare. The interior is sharp looking and has all the elements of a mid sized GM performance car from that era. They just dont make stuff like this anymore, not for years. As much as I like this car or any other Buick GS455 if I went back in time I don’t know if I could have committed to monthly payments on a …Buick, what with all the other great cars being offered to speed freaks and weekend racers at the time.
    Cool machine.

    Like 1
    • Doug F.

      Troy, your last line says it all. All depends how far you go back. When this car was new it wasn’t after the young under 30 HEMI Dart or aluminum 427 Camaro crowd. These kind of cars were made for the select few over 30 who wanted something with room, comfort, and modern amenities, that was much faster and more powerful than their dad’s car. And also have fun on the highway with those young kids and their massive motors with their incredibly low gears!
      I remember as a 9-10 year old drooling after all the hot rod Chevelle SS’s and Coronet RT’s and GTX’s and GTO’s. But there was one guy that had a 69 Satellite Sport. I still remember it as one of the most beautiful and luxurious cars I ever saw. It was Yellow with a black vinyl roof and black across the bottom with chrome separating it. Had blacked out hood stripes and 500 wheels. White automatic console with bucket interior. White door panels with wood trim on doors and dash and when he opened the door there was a red light that lit to the back of the door and a white light to light the entry to the car. Had all the power too and AC. It was like a GTX made for a king. These are the kind of cars that always caught my eye, even when all my buddies had the super hot rod cars. Got myself a 73 Mercury Montego GT 351 Cobra Jet 4 speed in 1977. I now have the same thing but automatic with AC. Love me the big cars!

      Like 2
  9. Lance Platt

    The black vinyl interior retains cold in the winter and heat in the summer. By 1972, the steering had more feedback and power front disc brakes were readily available to make Buicks more maneuverable and safer. The big engine might not beat a 1970 in a drag race but will provide more than enough power for any rational driver. Car for sale isn’t perfect but should make any owner proud. Love the bucket seat, automatic floor shift combo.

    Like 1
    • Chris M.

      Man you can say that again!

      Nice car for sure

      Like 3
  10. Tooyoung4heyday Tooyoung4heyday Member

    Love the 70-72 Buicks. Who doesn’t like the look of a triple black car?!? Missed out on an Apollo white 70 GSX a few years back in need of help, still haunts me to this day. Car sat for years, stopped to look at it once but didn’t get to talk to owner, 2 weeks later car was gone forever. Hopefully it atleast went to a good home, not sent off for scrap. This one is nicely optioned and although in the downward years of power should still put a smile on anyones face. Good luck to new owner!

    Like 3
  11. Jim S.

    I saw this car at the Daytona Turkey Run. It’s a lot rougher in person. I wouldn’t want to be in it for over 10k. As always, cheaper to buy them done.

    Like 3
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Jim S.:

      Did you see it yesterday or Friday? I was there yesterday and searched the car corral looking for cars of interest but don’t recall this one. There were several ’70 & ’71s, some convertibles too, in both the corral and on the show grounds but I saw nothing, and I mean nothing, of any marque that I would have considered to be reasonably priced.


      Like 1
  12. R.Scot

    I would have to further investigate this one. The first photo shows the original GS455 fluorescent orange spray painted rallye stripe on the hood. Next photo shows that the legendary fluorescent orange spray painted GS455 stripe has been removed. Could be a possible clone, as a previous owner may have spray painted a fluorescent orange stripe across the hood in order to pass it off as an original GS455. I would definitely check to see if this is an original GS455 with all the correct matching numbers; especially the original GS455 fluorescent orange spray painted rallye stripe that was painted by the legendary “Night Time Security Guard at The Buick Factory who was bored one night and found a can of fluorescent orange spray paint and thought it would be fun to spray paint some cool stripes on the hoods of the brand new GS455’s that just rolled off the assembly line in 1972” Guy.

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