Dark Secret: 1967 Buick GS 400

This 1967 Buick GS 400 is a pretty stunning looking car, and the owner says that it is an original and clean example that has only undergone a single repaint throughout its life. However, it might well be hiding a bit of a dark secret. Barn Finder local_sheriff has definitely had his radar operating recently because he spotted this classic for us. Thank you for that local_sheriff. The Buick is located in Winchester, Kentucky, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $6,300, and with the reserve now met, this GS 400 looks like it is about to head to a new home.

The owner says that the Buick underwent a repaint in its original Riviera Red at some point in the past. The paint itself looks quite good, as does the chrome, trim, and glass. He says that the Buick has no rust, but this is a point where I would tend to disagree with him. If you look at the passenger side rear pillar, you can see that the vinyl is torn away. It looks like there’s some pretty decent rust there that has penetrated right through the steel. The bubbling continues up under the vinyl, which suggests that it might be hiding a rather nasty surprise. Sadly, it looks like the driver’s side of the Buick is beginning to suffer the same fate. This is a shame because the rest of the car looks really good, and the trunk floor is close to perfect.

In general terms, the interior of the GS 400 looks pretty decent. I will admit that the carpet is badly faded, and while the owner does identify the tear on the driver’s seat, he doesn’t mention the tear on the edge of the passenger seat. It might be possible to repair both of these, although I suspect that a pair of new covers might be the order of the day. The rest of the interior looks good, with the dash and pad free of cracks, while the rear seat also looks pretty decent. The center console appears to be in good condition, while I really love the factory tach that has been mounted on it. That’s just a cool touch.

Popping the hood on a ’67 GS 400 must have felt like taking a giant leap into the future with that amazing air cleaner. Hiding under it is the numbers-matching 400ci V8, which is backed by a 3-speed Super Turbine transmission. The GS 400 also gives you power steering and power brakes. The engine and its surrounds look relatively tidy, while the owner says that the car runs and drives really well. He does admit that the brakes are soft, but they still stop the car quite well. Looking at this photo, I do spot one interesting little detail. Looking around the hood recess, especially along the leading edge at the cowl, there’s some sort of weird deposit. I’m not sure if it is polishing liquid that has run down there, or what it is. It certainly looks out of place.

At first glance, this 1967 Buick GS 400 is a pretty stunning looking car, but I can’t help but wonder what is hiding under that vinyl top. The rest of the car does look to be in good condition and would be a vehicle that would certainly grab its share of attention. The GS 400 is an interesting car from a value perspective because the ’67 model has shown some pretty strong increases in value over the past 2-years. In really good condition, a ’67 GS 400 can easily fetch prices in excess of $25,000, while $40,000 or more is certainly not out of the question. Whether or not this is a car that could eventually realize those sorts of values would completely depend on what is hiding under the vinyl. Do we have any readers willing to take it on?

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    I daily drive past a shop with anice looking ’67 Skylark convertible in approximately this same color. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is a GS400! I’ll have to take the time to stop and check it out. :-)

  2. Moparman Member

    BTW: @Adam: The seller’s idea of “no rust” and mine do not align! Odd that no mention is made of the vinyl top and the bubbling underneath it! At best, it’s going to need a new top, with some SERIOUS metal repair prior to installation.

    8
    • Steve R

      Didn’t you know, if it hasn’t broken through to the surface it’s not considered rust. Ssellers also consider it surface rust if it has only broken through the paint, but hasn’t created a hole through the backside of the body panel.

      It’s along the same lines as a picture of a five digit speedometer being proof of low mileage. Or a car is still “one owner” if a flipper that bought a car from the original owner hasn’t put the title in their name.

      Steve R

      6
      • Jay

        Thanks Steve , I own this buick that they’re talking about . Really appreciate with your comments , it’s all surface rust and it hasn’t broke through at all.You are correct , if it ain’t rotted through you can save it easily with sanding . I am reading all the comments and I am baffled by all the crazy talk .I am happy you made that comment . I will take the vinyl top off ,sand it and glue the new one on,it will be really beautiful .

  3. Gaspumpchas

    Zero feedback..Broken English in the text–roof rust is a deal breaker. Run Forrest Run—smells bad to me. Better see it in person. Good luck, caveat Emptor.
    Cheers
    GPC

    9
  4. JonSebastion

    The trunk undersides have massive rust holes 🕳 to add to the vinyl top.
    The top can be patched if one is a good welder 👩🏿‍🏭 and grinds down the weld lines etc. but the question is what’s under the clean paint lines? I think filler and patches myself unless new quarters were applied hopefully. I say bring a magnet and ask for pictures under the car.

    The trunk looks great and the interior…

    WHAT LOOKS BEST IS THE MUSTANG FASTBACK, CHALLENGER AND OTHER Mopar (Charger?) in the garage shown on EBay pictures in the Butler AKA pole barn etc…👀👍

    1
  5. Big Len

    The perfect time to lose the vinyl was when the car was repainted. Looks far better without.

    5
  6. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    I share your apprehensions, but a nice find for sure. People forget how hot those 400-or-so cid V8s were before GM uncorked the limit to 455. I have a soft spot for the GS455 but this could be one fast and stylish machine. Thanks Adam!

    4
  7. Ken Member

    That engine isn’t “hiding” under anything. Today’s engines are the hidden ones.

    1
  8. Srt8

    He meant rust free but forgot to put “is” between rust and free.

    8
  9. Mike W H

    Pretty clear what is going on under that vinyl top. Under 10k bid for this car is a deal. But repair to the top is a can of worms you best not open. Cost could be significant, maybe requiring a top transplant from a donor.

    1
  10. JOHN

    Nothing cooler than the “Star Wars” air cleaner! But that no rust comment is laughable, you can put your finger through the holes on the sail panel…

    3
  11. local_sheriff

    Now kids, this is the excact reason you don’t wanna have vinyl roofs on your classics! Not only are there very few vehicles that look good with them, they will also destroy your ride!

    Such a pity the vinyl wasn’t peeled off when it was repainted, had it been remedied earlier it might not have gotten to this point. Still – even down to the übercool Star Wars air cleaner it’s a GS, that alone makes me hope someone with the right skills/thick wallet will show it some mercy should even a donor roof or even body be needed.

    My literature states 67 GS400 ht production was 10.659; GS340 3.692 so they were never really common. Of the early A-bodies the GS is the true under-the-radar performer. Not only was the suspension beefier than on regular Skylarks; all 65-67 GS’es rode on the convertible frame.

    3
    • JOHN

      I’m not a hater of vinyl tops… the no. Old cars are old cars, and they were not exactly treated with kid gloves. The majority sat outside, were family cars, and the vinyl wasn’t really cared for. Remember, back in 1967 and other years the majority of people and the OEM’s didn’t plan for or expect a car to be around 50-60 years later. On some model vehicles, the vinyl top can really make the car. Vinyl was available in contrasting colors on some models, certain body styes and color combinations really make the car a standout. I enjoy seeing a car with a vinyl top, because so many were removed and never replaced, they tend to stand out a little. I’ve owned many cars where I left the top off during restoration, but again, some cars the vinyl top is an enhancement. Our collector cars see very little bad weather, they sit pampered in garages the majority of the time, and the odds of vinyl top that was properly prepped and installed rotting the roof out in our lifetimes are slim. At the end of the day, it’s your car, finish it the way you like!

      1
      • local_sheriff

        I’m not a hater of them either – I just think there aren’t so many vehicles that look better with them. Personally I think they tend to clutter a vehicle’s lines and pose a moisture trap.
        There are vinyl tops however, the houndstooth and Mod Top in particular, that really enhance a car’s look simply due to their uniqueness.
        At the end of the day it’s just a matter of personal taste

  12. Rube Goldberg

    Hey, quit nit picking, it’s still a great car. My nit pick is simply, were they all maroon?

    2
  13. Steve

    Underside of truck lid is rotted out, no seal, and latch painted. I want to like this car, but have a feeling its much worse in person.

    4
  14. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    “What a maroon” said Bugs Bunny. One of the best colors that year, and yes very common. Talk about broken English, to wit: “one kind find.” “Burgundy paint that is original color.” “Your trunk will let you always know that.” “Brake a little soft.” “Magnum 500s on the car.” UGH! His no rust claim is way off.. I mean look below the doors and back of trunk lid! The price ain’t too bad for a 20 footer. I think what we see dripping on the cowl is the remains of a lengthy rotary polishing job to make that paint look as shiny as possible. Mentioning Magnum 500 wheels means he doesn’t know his Buick Rallye wheels from a hole in the ground.

    2
  15. Johnmloghry Member

    This is my dream car, with two exceptions, I want a 4 speed and prefer a drop top. Can’t deal with rust issues so it’s not for me.
    God bless America

    3
  16. Neil

    I have a ’69 Mustang in Royal Maroon and it has the exact same light colored ‘runs’ adjacent to the show surfaces (the ‘weird deposit’ at the front edge of the cowl). It is residue from wet sanding and buffing… It just takes some solvent or a towel and elbow grease to remove it.

    2
  17. Edwin

    I had a 66 Skylark, 340, 3 on the tree (believe it or not…)

    That car would light them up on demand, anytime, anywhere.

    2
  18. James Turner

    I could almost swear back in 1966 when I was 20 Y O my step dad had 1965 Buick grand sport with either the 400 CI or the 455 wild cat engine. It had the auto floor shifter and console mounted tachometer. It was also red with a black vinyl roof with the Buick rally rims. This guy says 1967 was the first year for the 400. ?????

    • local_sheriff

      James; he’s correct 67 is 1st year for the 400. Up to 66 GS Skylarks were issued with 401 Nailheads. However; in the 60s Buick would normally state an engine’s torque together with the ‘Wildcat’ nomenclature , rather than displacement or hp on the air cleaner, that may be what confuses you

      • James Turner

        Local_sheriff, Thanks for the info on the 1965 having the nail head engine. I was only 19 YO then, 54years ago. Non the less, I thought the 1965 was a better looking skylark both front and rear styling. Of course his early 60,s Buick Riviera was a looker also.

        1
  19. Wayne

    Hmmmm, brakes are a little soft with a leaky master cylinder. I wonder if air in the system, rear brakes out of adjustment or master cylinder ready to fail. The fact that lies are stated in the add would stop me cold from even considering this car once the price went past $3,500.

    • Gaspumpchas

      IMHO, anything that’s been sitting should have a complete brake job with all new cylinders. If you can do tt yourself it wouldn’t break the bank. I’m wondering why a lot of these guys don’t do this for the peace of mind of selling a car with good brakes. Seems like a no brainer to this ol grey hair.
      Cheers
      GPC

  20. Wayne

    GPC, they don’t because they don’t care. This old white hair has never sold a vehicle that needed brakes. ( and I have sold quite a few) ANY more money spent is less profit, which is all they care about.

    1
  21. Wayne

    41 years ago (the day before we were to move into our first home) a drunk teenager on her way to high school in the morning. Did not quite make the corner and totaled my wife’s Vista Cruiser. I needed a vehicle quick. A regular customer was trading in his 1968 Grand Prix on a new one. The car had been well maintained but was a rust bucket. ( it was the Chicago area ) However the vinyl top was perfect with no rust bubbles or damage. I asked the former (original) owner why the top was so nice. He said that he used floor wax to seal it and give it a shine. ( dark green car with light green vinyl top) Even though the car looked like a POS. People always commented on the look of the top. I only bought that $400 beater to last a month or so. But finally dumped it 3 years later.
    Properly maintained a vinyl top can make or break the overall appearance of a car and last a long time.
    JMHO.

  22. TimM

    The fact of the matter is people paint over rust!! They don’t remove rust and skim coat it with bondo and splash paint over it!! There are many pigs out there with lipstick on them!! I would not bid on this car unless I could look at it up close and maybe go under it while on a lift!! I never had a car with a vinyl top that I didn’t take off!! The surprise is how nasty even a good looking vinyl top hides!! I bought a 72 Malibu with a 350 and an automatic!! The car was in good shape had never been redone and when I took the vinyl off the whole top of the windshield was full of holes!! It made me sick!! There was no visible signs of this at all!! I cut the section out removed the headliner and welded a new piece in!! I repainted the top part of the car white as to not repaint the whole car!!It was hours and hours of work after putting the windshield and headliner back in along with the trim I had more time and money invested then I ever expected!! I new the previous owner and I believe him when he told me he had no idea it was there!!

    1
  23. Tricky

    What about the rust on the underside of the hood to go along with the rust in the pillars….!!

    1
  24. Peter Atherton

    It looks like it may be what we in the used car trade used to call a “swimmer”.That substance on the underside of the hood looks suspiciously like silt, and the rust under the vinyl top was the result of an unplanned “bath”…..just sayin’

  25. Jeff Rogosz

    From my experience ANY rust near a windshield is most likely from the seal/gasket of glass becoming brittle and cracking driving car in the rain forces water in they will rot from the poorly protected inside metal outward that’s where bubbles come from we had a 1973 suburban brand new at 18 months the entire roof along drip rail was perforated from poorly applied seam sealer with much ado the dealer bodyshop at Don Allen Chevy replaced the entire roof they did a great job on it. Never had any roof rust again!!! still looked good when at 6 years old we had to scrap it due to severe body and frame rust . Newer urethane based glass sealer is a far cry from the old asphalt based stuff.Im amused when “bodymen” don’t pull glass for a restoration and it comes quickly back to haunt them then they start blowin silicone in to TRY to stop water infiltration your spendin good money redoing a car DO IT RIGHT

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