Hot Drop-Top! 1969 Buick Skylark GS400 Stage 1

After 25 years of dry storage this rare 1969 Buick Skylark GS400 Stage 1 in Rochester, New York awaits a new owner here on eBay. Despite hailing from Rustchester, this one-of-212 GS 400 Stage 1 convertibles built in 1969 ( appears mostly solid. The seller says this drop-top spent its early life in Florida, then Summer-only cruising in New York, and finally a quarter-century nap in storage. While the word “rare” is beaten to death on eBay, this one qualifies in my book.

Several statements in the listing indicate the seller is not a car person, most glaringly the use of the phrase “all original survivor” followed by descriptions of its 30-year-old respray and a list of updated parts; are those wheels original? Prior to ’69 the Stage 1 package was dealer-installed, so this represents the only year of a factory-assembled Stage 1 in this body before the Skylark’s redesign for 1970.

Praise Allah! The interior looks appropriately not perfect for an “original” car down to what looks like a factory radio. As documented in this Hemmings article, the ’69 GS 400’s rating of 350 HP is generally understood to be underrated. Doing the math backwards indicates these Stage 1 engines made more like 390 HP.

The listing describes the original 400 cid V8 as having the “6555cc heads.” Though rather amusing to picture, especially with the this hot factory motor’s 11:1 compression ratio, the four-digit combustion chamber size seems farcical. documents the heads as casting 1231109 which describes as having a realistic 69 cc combustion chambers. Since this number is neither 65 or 55 why is the listing off by a factor of nearly 100? According to the seller “All components are # matching” including transmission and rear end. It will take a $29,500 opening bid to get the auction rolling. Generally speaking “When the top goes down, the price goes up.” Where do you value this specimen of Buick’s muscle convertible?


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  1. RoKo

    Starting an auction with a $29500 price, I doubt this will get any bids. Once again a greedy seller wants money for work that hasn’t happened yet.

    • Shawn Pangburn

      42% add for Stage 1 0ption

      Like 1
  2. redwagon

    One of my all time favorites. Was too $$$ for me back in the day and now I have other priorities to spend $$$ on. However I know this would be glorious once finished correcting for any rust issues.

  3. Flmikey

    Not original wheels…and that 30 year old re spray may include 30 year old bondo…that being said, this car is so worth restoring…but not at that price…hope this car gets the restoration it so deserves…

    • Andre

      They’re late 2nd gen Camaro/G-Body MCSS wheels… far from original

  4. JW

    Sorry to be a pooper here but for me when the top goes down my bank account closes as I’m no fan of convertibles. My wife says it’s because I can be a @ZZ and a knife can be a lethal weapon to a convertible guy who has previously stated attributes.

    • JDSport

      Those are interesting reasons to not want a convertible. I use the word interesting out of respect of site rules.

  5. Brian Scheel

    Owning a 68 GS 400 Convertible 14667! I believe it is worth restoring, but way over priced for start $
    Notice it has the chrome valve covers, cruise control, and A/C, suggests it should be correct also said a Florida car, hence the A/C Convertible!
    Wheels appear to be Z-28, Monte SS!

    • SSPBill

      A buddy of mine also had a 68 GS 400 Convertible w/ 4-speed back in the ‘90’s. According to the GSJeff site it was one of 351. I had no ideas at the time it was that rare. We would pile in and take it up to Ontario on fishing trips. Those were good times.

  6. Duff

    I think somebody did some “fancy maths” and they are trying to say that a 400 cid engine is a bit more than 6.5L. Actually, 6,554.84 cc.

  7. gaspumpchas

    Not sure why these guys start with such a hi price,thats a sure way to scare off potential buyers. Start it low and put a buy it now price.Another thing is ,to get that car up to snuff it’ll be a 30k resto…My$.02 worth…

  8. Dan

    Why do you think that the (brilliant red) engine block looks as if it has just been painted? Pictures from above and the oil pan below reveal beautiful red paint–while the rest of the engine and compartment are filthy with dust. Weird.

    • Tommy D

      I noticed that too…motor has had work (or just paint), why not disclose that? And get rid of those chebby wheels…sure to turn off a buick lover.

  9. Angrymike

    Welp, someone put a bid on it, that’s a lot of money for a car that needs so much.

  10. mike D

    one somebody bid the starting bid. wish him luck !

  11. jw454

    At that starting bid, this one will be staying right where it is. He needs to start out at about a third of where he is if he hopes to get any bids.

  12. CCFisher

    “Our new, pre-bent rear bumper takes the stress out of backing up! Hit a pole? Nobody will know! Every 1969 Skylark looks like it hit a pole! We’ve even designed the bumper to fit poorly at the extremities to complete the look.”

    • John Taggart Member

      bumpers are hard to find luckily for me when I restored mine I found both new front and the so called non existant rear brand new back in 87 when I did the car also have one rechrome I bought fully wrapped but when opened found the chrome separating the core is perfect I may get that down out of my parts storage this year and send for a new rechrome good unbent bumpers as so hard to find and yes my original rear has a tiny crease from you guessed it backing into a pole my 69 GS has been mine since August of 71 and is a plain jane no power anything or ac bench seat with 4 spd and 400 76582 original miles

      Like 1
  13. Elrod

    Poor pictures/low resolution. Rear bumper damage/wrong wheels. Engine is sorta painted, but not well done and the rest of the motor compartment untouched. (probably just as well) Rear quarters look rough, but pictures don’t confirm (hmm) Nice project car for a dedicated Buick guy. It needs 25k min to restore. I don’t see the value at this price, but someone does. Seems like a lot of cash for an original radio…

  14. Brian Scheel

    The bidder is probably the sellers brother in law/friend!
    2500. to 3500 is what I would go!
    Nice to know the first 6 of VIN?

  15. Dan

    “Stored for 25 years” takes you back to 1992. Sure doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.

  16. On and On On and On Member

    I think there’s something wrong with me, but did anyone watch the Mecum Auction from Chicago? I saw really great cars at cheap prices compared to stuff like this GS 400. What am I missing? I saw a cute redone clean nice 1964 Buick convertible sell for 10k. Other cars all seemed to sell for way less than what you would put into them. Should I buy some of these and flip them on BF? Why buy a job when you can own a fixed up one for less. Ok, Ok, I spoke my peace now I’m going back to more great Wisconsin Beer.

    • Superdessucke

      Prices will come to earth. Just wait. To me the harbinger is that ’89 Thunderbird SC that was just on here a couple days ago. World renowned in 1989, it would put 90% of the 60’s muscle cars to bed and was one of the best American cars ever made up to that time.

      Everybody knew about that car. Yet a super low mileage true barn find can’t even garner $3,000 for a starting bid! The Spirit R/T featured recently was an early 1990s icon that’s not exactly setting the world on fire either. No one’s willing to spring even nine hundred bucks for that.

      That should tell you everything you need to know about how Gen-Xers and the Millennials feel about performance cars. They just don’t care.

      • Steve Visek

        Agree except for the “Spirit R/T featured recently was an early 1990s icon”.
        Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Now that is funny.

      • Superdessucke

        A boxy, highly desirable icon. Yes it was.

  17. Troy S

    Nice car, but I still like the ’70-72’s better, especially the GSX. It was the 455 that really made Buick a serious threat amongst the other muscle of the day.

  18. Tommy D

    Give us some real numbers; block, carb, distributor, rare/original only equals value when the facts are out. Who knows if it’s a real stage-1? Is it in the vin? And I think the stage-1 lure is really for the ’70-’72 455 cars (better looking inside and out IMO).

  19. Clay Bryant

    Had the twin to this car back in the early 80s that I also bought in Florida.At the time,I had a 340 hp, saw the Stage One convertible for sale the last night we were there. It was 60 miles away so bought it sight unseen and flew back to get it after I got the family home. As I remember it, they were 360hp and I really bought it to see what the difference was. A price was right to. Was later surprised to find I owned 2 of the 1776 GS 69 convertibles. HP is not the deciding factor but foot pounds of torque. These had 488 fp and out of curiosity I looked up for comparisons, a 68 L-88 Corvette I had years before and it was at 480 lbs. Although driving home on not new tires, I could step down on it at 60 and feel the ass end want to come around. Fun car to drive but drove the other one more. A young man saw me in Lincoln, Nebraska one night driving my other one and stopped to tell me he had one too. About a year later, he called me and asked if I still had it. His had gotten T-boned on the streets there and wanted to know if I would sell it. Having satisfied my curiosity, I made him the deal of the century for what they at worth now. If anyone in Lincoln knows of the car, let me know here. That car asis, is a 20-22 grand car. They go like stink.

    • JimmyinTEXAS

      LOL, the rare 1776 model. I remember reading that George Washington drove one of those after the Revolutionary War. Just kidding of course. I like the GS model but in a coupe for me, please.

      • Clay Bryant

        Coupes are for chickens……………..Why would you keep your GS in a chicken coupe….?

    • John Taggart Member

      I love my 69 GS rag top signal red restored in 87 to original other than radio which I did replace with a cassette am fm mine is 400 4 spd bench seat pretty rare no power plane jane no power brakes windows steering nothing just the big powerful 400 76000 miles and owned since 1971

    • Troy S

      The L88 427 was a full on race mill, wasn’t it?

  20. Clay Bryant

    I forgot to add, so many people on here don’t realize the cost of major body work at 75-85 dollars on up an hour and this car is fairly straight so add the bucks up. I’m 73 now and was around when 10 dollars an hour was “tall cotton”…….

    • john taggart Member

      if you lpok around you can find some pretty good hobbyists with their own garage out behind the house that will do a great job for much less than that his is what mine looked like from an amateur hobbyist and his wife who loved restoring

  21. John Taylor

    In my opinion this is way over priced, what people need to be a wear of is when they get a car that has been in storage for a long time all of the oil seals will need to be replace, the diff oil will most likely have turned to a jell type of substance, one car I had after doing all of the wheel bearings and engines seals along with the diff and trans seal, I thought great and headed off for a drive, now this was a genuine low mile car but had just been sitting in a friends barn for 16 years, bummer the seal feel out of the steering box and oil everywhere, now worriesbut thought maybe best to check the internals out, blow me down the worm was pitted and everything needed a full rebuild. Maybe you can be lucky but just a warning to everyone who thinks they are getting a bargin barn stored for many years car. You will need to go through everything mechanically eventually.

  22. John Taylor

    When you look closely that is really not a great example, surface rust around the door frames etc, personally I’d say a $7,000.00 would be top dollar. Consider the costs of bringing it back to a nice car and paint, I am not even talking concourse condition just a nice ride.

    • Clay Bryant

      Get real……..almost a 50 year old car………..

  23. Tom Member

    I am not a fan of this car or year BUT if the auction started at 5K it would roll to 30K + anyway. The thing I believe most of you are missing is that YOU would not but this car. However, it is a GM, 67-71 muscle car. Convertible. I am not a fan of convertibles but they bring $5-10K more than a hard top in many cases. Big motor option. One of 200-300 made. How many are LEFT? Not many = rare and desirable to the huge Buick following out there of which am not necessarily a part of. This is a great find. worth restoring. YES, probably more money will go into it than current market says it is worth. IT will NOT go down in value in the years to some. Stage 1 convertible. I respect everyone on this sit but it is my opinion that those of you saying the car is worth very little money just don’t know what you are looking at. Ok…send the hate mail.. T.

    PS – Everything I stated is all true PROVIDING the car is real.

    • Tom Member

      Convertible with AC on top of it = more rare. 4 speed would have been better for value in my opinion. Auto trans opens up resale to more buyers.

    • John Taggart Member

      as an owner of a twin except has white trim lines down the side and black interior with 4 spd and not a Stage 1 (I wish) I agree and hope your right values wise the day will come when its time to kiss good by after owning since August of 1971 and still only has 76000 original miles

  24. Joe M

    I see alot of these in non convertable form at car shows, and you can still talk to the original buyers. They seem very proud of these cars. I’ve never seen a convertible. I wonder if people equate these with the impalas and caprices of thier day, so the values never seem to be appreciated.

  25. John Taggart Member

    here are pictures of my 69

  26. Robert

    restored right it could be worth 100k but at that price and restoring it that’s what you will have in it LOL

  27. What?

    Considering restored, numbers matching 1969 Stage 1 hardtops could be purchased for around 30K, buying the discussed convertible is worth 30? Point of reference- a few years back a NUMBERS MATCHING, FRAME OFF 1969 Stage 1 4 SPEED sold for around 80K (Cameo Cream)..So.. this one would bring around 100K? Only way to make money on this one is to buy it for at or under 10K and perform ALL of the work yourself. Bumpers- $1200, interior $2500+, let’s say the carb and distributor are NOT numbers.. there’s $2000 right there. Oh, that shifter is from a Camaro or Chevelle.. SO, there’s another $200-$300.. Unless you are buying to own, you’ll quickly be upside down on this one..

    • Bill

      Wrong that shifter/console is OEM on all 1968-1969 GS’s. I have owned 2 and I also work in a Buick Parts Department and sold parts for these cars.

  28. Mike

    That original radio has Chevy outer knobs on it.Hmmmmmm.

    • Clay Bryant

      I don’t have my original teeth either but I can change them about as fast as a person can change knobs on a radio.(Maybe faster. Want to set up a race…..?)

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