Nailhead V8 Survivor: 1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible

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If you were looking to combine performance and creature comforts in a muscle car in the 1960s, the Buick Gran Sport was a good choice. Since Cadillac didn’t sell those kinds of automobiles, the Buick was the next best thing if you were shopping General Motors. This 1965 example is rare in that only 1,426 were made with an automatic transmission and a retracting top (yep, a convertible!). This car looks to be in excellent condition and some (if not all) of the paint could be original. Summer’s here, so if you want to have both a classic car and a ride with fresh air, what’s not to like here?

The mid-size Skylark was not the only Buick to be called a Gran Sport, but it was the best-selling (compared to a Riviera, for example). The 1965 model year was the Gran Sport’s first outing. When you ordered a GS, you got a 401 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8 that just scraped by GM’s then-limit to cap engines in intermediates at 400 CI. The output was 325 hp with a 4-barrel carburetor. No mention is made whether this one is numbers matching, but it has an automatic that went into two-thirds that year.

We’re told this automobile has been well taken care of and drives very nicely. Everything works as it should, including the power to and driver’s power seat. It’s also said to be a “very original car” so much of what you see here should be from the factory except for consumables. The car has posi-traction which will be helpful with the kind of torque the Nailhead should produce. The machine is also documented, with its original order form, dealer advertising, and GM Protect-O-Plates.

Some of the paperwork hints that the Buick could have under 40,000 miles, but the seller is making no such claim. The vehicle will go to its next home with some spare goodies like a pair of convertible top boots, carpeting, and various odds and ends. No trades will be considered when you arrive in Fremont, Nebraska to take possession. That’s after viewing the car here on Facebook Marketplace and agreeing to $17,000 as the purchase price. A shoutout to T.J. is deserved for this great tip!

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  1. Tbone

    I need it

    Like 2
    • Tbone

      Ad says powerglide. This should be a Turbo 400, correct? Maybe even with a switch pitch? Multiple people on this site will know.

      Like 3
      • Bub

        You may be surprised. They put the Powerglide in just about everything.

        Like 9
      • notinuse

        My guess would be the Super Turbine 300 transmission.

        Like 20
      • Stan

        TBone, a 4sp conversion would be okay in this GS 🏁🙌

        Like 9
      • Norman K Wrensch

        Chevy is the only company to ever have the powerglide available, all the rest of gm used the turbine 300 2 speed, two totally different transmissions and the 300 was stronger then the powerglide.

        Like 5
      • Paul

        I had a 66 GranSport and that would be a Super 300 trans. Basically a 2 speed version of a turbo 350 with a switch pitch convertor. A powerglide would have blown with the nailheads 445ft lb of torque. Mine with a 2.73 gear would pull to 70 mph in low and about 140 in drive limited to the valves floating LOL.

        Like 4
      • Rex B Schaefer

        Super Turbine 300 2-speed trans!

        Like 1
    • Al camino

      Then buy it t bone buy it !

      Like 1
      • Tbone

        I would but according to my wife, lately I’ve been spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave and I need to cool it. But doesn’t the wife thinking it’s a bad idea PROVE that it’s a good idea?

        Like 21
  2. David

    Knew a fellow with 2 or 3 of these – I hope he buys this one

    Like 1
  3. Oldschoolmuscle

    Ah if i had some cash i would buy this Always liked these…

    Like 5
    • Patrick

      This car was top of the muscle car fleet in its day. It is worth a full restoration but I have 9 cars and my wife will kill me if I went after this. The engine alone is worth it. Yet I don’t know what they are asking for it.

      Like 1
  4. mick

    Wow, beautiful car!

    Like 5
  5. Nelson C

    Worked for a Guy whose mother’s car was one of these. I thought it had a Wildcat 465 but I may not remember correctly. Very cool old car. Drove it once. Thanks for the memory.

    Like 1
    • Paul

      The wildcat 465 was in the Rivera and Electras. Buick always called the motors by their Torque ratings so 445 for the GranSport. Mine was a 66 and would smoke the tires like no other car I have owned.

      Like 2
    • Lewis H

      The Wildcat Grand Sport had a 465 in it. We had one

      Like 2
      • Bunky

        It was actually a 425 ci engine, but, as explained in the article, Buick liked to identify engines by the torque output- which was 465ft.lbs. for that engine.

        Like 2
      • mick

        Buick never made a 465 CID engine. The largest factory engine was the 455 CID from 67/68 to somewhere around 1976-ish. The largest factory engine before that was the 430 CID which IIRC, was never installed in the mid sized cars, only in the bigger LeSabre and up.

        Like 0
  6. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    Yes this is a very nice convertible, but for me it’s gotta be a 4 on the floor, wide ratio or close ratio is okay. a/c is preferable as sitting at red lights with top down and no cold air blowing on you in Houston is treacherous. As a young dude in the military back in 65 I saw an ad for one of these in yellow and I fell in love, almost re-enlisted to get the money, but then realized I’d rather go home. In May 1967 I did go home but couldn’t afford a new Buick.

    God Bless America

    Like 5
  7. ACZ

    I had a dark green 66 GS with a 4 speed many years ago. One great ride!

    Like 3
    • Paul

      Mine was a light green auto with a wonderfully big front seat LOL Was my high school ride.

      Like 1
  8. Charles Herwig

    I want it but at the moment can’t do it but the price is slick fit a nice classic head turning tire burning ride

    Like 1
  9. GuernseyPagoda

    My brother is interested in buying the car, but we can’t get a returned message from his FB posting. It is not marked as pending or sold yet, as of the time I am writing this. We’ll see.

    Like 3
  10. Stoney End

    Had a lipstick (or was it Flame?) red on red sport coupe (2 dr sedan). Not ripping fast but comfy driving cruiser with power. This convertible looks like a fun keeper ride with some room to improve..

    Like 1

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