Fast With Class: 1969 Buick GS Stage 1

“Fast with Class” was Buick’s slogan for the Grand Sport Stage 1 in 1969. The Stage 1 option was Buick’s try at keeping up with its General Motors cousins, who continued to ramp horsepower ratings up during the muscle car era. This Buick GS Stage 1, listed here on eBay, has definitely seen better days. But will someone bring it back to its “Fast with Class” status?

There isn’t a lot of detail given about this car but the seller doesn’t hide the fact that it will need a complete restoration. Thankfully, it is said to maintain its original 400 cubic inch V8. These engines were rated at 350 horsepower but some believe that this number was rated too low. Better estimates put that number closer to 400, which would help the Stage 1 to better compete with its 396 Chevelle counterpart.

This Buick is said to have sat for the last 20 years. It’s obvious to see that the years prior to that weren’t so nice to the car. It’s stated that the only solid panel on the whole car is the hood. Saying that this project will need extensive metal work would be an understatement. Anyone looking to win this auction and undertake this project will have their hands full, to say the least.

Some will say that this project is too far gone, others will look at that Stage 1 badge on the hood and begin scheming to make this car new again. With the bidding at just a little over $1,500 what might this Grand Sport Stage 1 end up going for? And is it worth saving?

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Comments

  1. lc

    bought a ’69 GS400, a very nice example back in LA in the mid 1980’s for $600, a light metallic green job…. those were the days when the coolest cars dotted the landscape – you couldn’t wake up in the morning without tripping over the neatest stuff!

    13
  2. Redwagon

    Engine, tranny, sell the hood and any other GS specific parts. Might want to save the cowl tag for grins.

    2
    • Chris

      Pretty rare car to part out. If it’s not rusted too terribly it’s well worth restoring. Great colors and it appears very complete.

      5
  3. Rhett

    Cool car, tough project. Might just be worth it though, Stage 1’s were VERY rare in 69 feared no other muscle car, including Hemi’s. Doesn’t matter what you’re driving, line up against a Stage 1 and it’s anybody’s race….

    8
    • john taggart

      I have a 69 gs 400 4 speed rag top with 76000 miles I have owned since July 1971 a non stage I have taunted mopar and chevy owners for years the 70 gsx stage 1 or 2 would churn them all up and spit out the pieces even as heavy as it is my dream still at near 71 to own a yellow and black 70 gsx what I call the bumle bee my 69 is one of 21 been told with 4 spd 400 bench seat and rag top

      2
  4. Phil

    Did anybody else get teary eyed when you saw these pictures or is it just me? What a damn shame this was allowed to deteriorate like this…:(

    14
  5. Superdessucke

    It would leave me “Fast without Cash” but pretty neat if it’s actually a Stage 1, and probably worth restoring in that case.

    5
  6. Steve R

    The seller doesn’t say it has the original engine, only that it’s an original 400 car. If it is matching numbers the seller would be wise to modify his ad and show casting and stamping numbers. If this car doesn’t have the original engine and it can’t be proven to be a factory Stage 1, then it’s probably not worth restoring.

    Steve R

    5
  7. Lance Platt

    My first car was a 1969 Buick GS 350 which I bought from my mom in 1974. Despite low mileage and routine maintenance, I remember the drum brakes that needed turned regularly, the thermostat that stuck and blew radiator hoses until a gas station mechanic solved the mystery, and the black vinyl seats that were hot in summer and felt cold in winter. Add my bittersweet memories of the model to the rust bucket example for sale here and I’ll pass.

    2
  8. Mike

    Stage 1, as in this car is in stage 1 of its decomposition.

    8
  9. Davis

    My brother had a ’68. Hard to believe that a rear bumper could rust so completely into nothing like they did.

    1
  10. Troy s

    I really never paid much attention to these pre-’70 Buicks, something about the styling always turned me off. I’m sure they ran hard and all that, but they lacked that youthful charm of say, a GTO or SS396.
    The difference between this and a 1970 GS or GSX is huge. Still hope it gets saved.

    2
  11. Gaspumpchas

    Gone—good luck to the new owner, Ambitious but very cool.

    cheers
    GPC

    1
  12. Chad

    “…I really never paid much attention to these pre-…’
    same w/me for the pre-’66 models anything – but by G! there’s some real muscle (sleepers) in the early 60s. Nice clean straight lines (B4 the ‘bump overs’ above the wheel wells) too.

    And the reaction comes frm a guy that claims the ‘classics’ were ’35 – very early 50s.

    2
  13. A.J.

    Sold for $2800. Not a bad start. If you can do the body repairs yourself this would be doable.

    1
  14. BuickGuy Member

    Troy I couldn’t agree more. I had a 71 Skylark Custom Convertible. To me the 71-72’s were far better looking than the 68-69. Even the 70 looked a little dumpy. The earlier cars were better performers though..

    3
  15. KawiVulc

    Had a ’69 coupe in our family for a short while… Verde Green Metallic. Great looking car from what I can remember (I was 6), but it didn’t last with Dad… if I remember correctly it was the lack of power brakes and/or steering that did it. Dad was a Buick/Cadillac guy and that deep green color certainly would have appealed to him… be nice to see this one brought back but it’s going to take a long hard slog to do it.

    1
  16. z28th1s

    It is Gran Sport, not Grand Sport!

    2
  17. Herbee

    I don’t care for the Buick oiling system. I don’t like the fact the oil pump is in the front timing cover of the engine. Prices of engine parts just to expensive. If I’m not mistaken the Buick engines have a really long oil pick up that’s problematic. Couple that with the weak bottom end not a good scenario for long term engine performance.

    • Rhett

      The Buick oiling system just takes a little love and care – use an aftermarket steel spacer for the gears to ride against, make sure pre-71 cars have the larger oil passages drilled and use an adjustable regulator to dial in pressure too much and you’ll wipe out the cam bearings. The bottom end isn’t weak – the stock rods and crank can take 600 hp easy, but the thinwall casting technique allows the mains to walk around at RPM – anything over 600hp needs a lower end girdle, commonly done. The good news is that the casting was so efficient, these engines weigh about the same as a small block Chevy.

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