Gran Sport Grocery Getter: 1971 Buick Sport Wagon

First things first—no, this isn’t a real GS wagon; there’s no such thing. But, as the ad text says, it is one “really cool wagon!” This ’71 Buick Sport Wagon has gotten a little extra flair added on over the years, so the question is whether that, plus the basic goodness already baked into this V8-powered grocery getter, is worth the asking price of $14,900. That’s already reduced from the initial ask of $16,500; let’s head to Clearwater, Florida to check it out here on craigslist, with thanks to Rocco B. (archived ad).

You probably remember the Buick Sport Wagon as that division’s version of the raised-roof Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, but beginning in 1970 the Buick lost its skylights (and the extra five inches of wheelbase that gave it room for a forward-facing third row seat). In essence, the 1970-72 Sport Wagons are just a regular Skylark wagon, replacing the earlier Special longroof. This example wears a sharp shade of avocado green that lends itself well to the addition of matte-black muscle car stripes, and GS badges applied liberally drive home the message.

Backing it up underhood is a 350-cubic inch V8. Presumably this is the mill that this wagon came from the factory with, but the ad is a little light on such specifics. It does mention a new carburetor, starter, and electronic ignition, among other recent upgrades. In its original spec, this Buick-designed engine—not to be confused with the popular Chevy 350—put down 230 horsepower. The ad enthusiastically describes the car as having a “muscle car look & engine,” so perhaps the 350 has been beefed up some, but even if not it should be perfectly adequate for cruising and the occasional mild burnout.

All we’re shown of the interior is the back seat, which looks…fine. Although room isn’t an issue, comfort isn’t really an early-70s A-body’s strong suit, but it’s all durable enough and shouldn’t be hard to fix or replace any torn, cracked, or damaged parts. Those hanging shoulder belts are a throwback, though, aren’t they!

Above all, this wagon is a sharp looker. I’d have to know more about what went into making a “GS” out of it, besides paint and badges, before I could say whether it was worth its asking price, which otherwise seems a little steep. Still, if money were no object I’d let my groceries fly around in back as I fishtailed out of the Safeway parking lot—would you?


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  1. Cmarv

    Got one with a 455 .

    • Redwagon

      Nice wagon. I like it better in red and without the rack. (And w the 455 of course!)

      • Bob

        What rack?

      • britcarguy

        The shiny thing above the rear window is a wind deflector, not part of a rack. They were popular aftermarket, and sometimes factory options, intended to keep the rear window clean by creating an air curtain of sorts. Fail.

      • George

        supposedly if you drove with the tailgate window in the open position without the wing it would suck exhaust gasses into the vehicle and put you to sleep…sometimes permanently.

    • Cmarv

      I’d take $20k for mine , and it has a GS driveline front to back ,nice interior with bucket seats and cold A/C .

      • 75 Hurst/Olds

        Beautiful car Cmarv. If I only had an extra $20k laying around. The flat roofs look so much better than the oddly proportioned Vista tops.

  2. slickb

    I would fry those tires away way before I got to the store!!!!!! great find

  3. Dave Mc

    Nice to ask 15 g’s for a $3500 car.
    It’s a free country I guess.

    • Mike S

      I was going to ask what he was smoking while he was watching Barrett’s Auction

  4. Dave Mc

    I wish I still had this one. Paid $600 for it finally rusted out from under me.
    I still have the badges but that’s it.
    She was a beaut.

  5. Steve R

    It’s embarrassing that the seller would use the term GS wagon for that car. It isn’t even a half hearted attempt at a clone without the hood and air cleaner. The price is out of line.

    I’d be surprised if there isn’t a whole bunch of ugly under the paint.

    Steve R

    • jdjonesdr

      Ignorance is bliss!

  6. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Who takes a picture of the back seat only? Doofus. Front seat probably has a Mexicali horse blanket on it. This is a hauler so why not show us how awful the cargo area is? I’ve done badge-only conversions to Buick Specials to make them more like Skylarks. This looks to have only gotten a cursory upgrade (grille, side badges, rally wheels) The engine is truly nothing to write home to mama about….

    Like 1
  7. 68custom

    not even close to a GS clone, 6k max!


    no 455? epic fail

  9. Alex

    Wow such a nice car and its only 2 hours from my house if I had the money I would go down there and look at it and see what it really is.

  10. Comet

    The dead leaves on the cowl and inner fenders may speak to the amount of love this overpriced wagon received.

  11. Wrong Way

    Not this one! I am surprised that it’s not a rust bucket by now! I just don’t like GM vehicles I don’t care which angle I look at! I have honestly tried! I will take Ford any day!

  12. 64-442

    Wow, I bought this car back in 2011 for $9900 on eBay and it was mint. Came from NC and was dealer owned, all original paint and interior and no rust ever. It was a full GS swap (engine, suspension, and even had the air cleaner) minus the hood. It had the black paint, dual exhaust, wheels and badges applied to finish it off. Right after we got it the tranny started slipping and rear started making noise, so it has a rebuilt tranny and rear. Had the front seat redone as it was sagging, but vinyl was still nice. The A/C was converted to 134a and worked great! It was an awesome cruiser and ran great too, its too bad its bouncing around between buyers and being molested of it’s original parts.

  13. Maestro1 Member

    Sellers have to make a better effort at honestly showing the merchandise.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Unfortunately, there has never been total transparency in this hobby… least for the 50 years that I have been involved with it and I’m almost positive, long before that. :(

  14. Troy s

    I like the wagon, looks pretty neat with that paint color and black hood and all, but them GS badges got my hopes up, maybe a stage 1 455, 455 of some sort at least, but no, it has a 350 with a high performance air cleaner, kinda ruined it for me. GS 350 and earlier GS 340 were nothing great, although they looked sharp.

  15. KenStewart

    My first car was a ’71 Buick Sport Wagon. I still have dreams about that car. I would live to find one in reasonable condition for a reasonable price to restore. Now that I cn afford to do all the things I wanted to do to it as a kid.

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