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Nice Patina? 1968 Buick GS400 Convertible

You’re looking at a rarity! It’s an early member of GM’s A-body lineup (Chevelle; Tempest/LeMans; F-85/Cutlass; and Skylark/GS), that managed to dominate the intermediate marketplace between 1968 and 1972. The Skylark and GS from the years ’68 and ’69 seem to be the least frequently encountered, however. Today’s find, courtesy of numskal, is a ’68 GS400 convertible, one of only 2,400 to roll off of GM’s Flint assembly line that year. It’s said to be all original, so let’s look it over – these just don’t turn up often and rarely grace BF’s web pages. Found in Orange County, California, this Buick drop-top is available, here on craigslist for $21,500.

To state the obvious, the finish, which appears to be Tarpon Green Mist (Code P), has seen better days. It has a lot of what looks like sun damage, typically more evident on the horizontal surfaces. The seller mentions a past repaint so I’d suggest that the “original” description is not too accurate. The body, itself, seems to be sound with no indication of crash damage, dents, bent bumpers, etc. No rust is mentioned and that’s good to know as this vintage A-body is no stranger to that foible. There are trunk images included, and some surface rust is revealed, but that’s pretty normal for a convertible and it doesn’t look serious. Speaking of being a convertible, there are no images of the folding top in the raised position, so there’s an item worthy of inquiry. Finally, as GM a-bodies go, Buick took a rather radical departure with the rear half of the Skylark/GS, at least compared to their Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile cousins. I wouldn’t say that it’s a controversial design, but opinions always seem to be mixed.

The interior possesses an interesting configuration as it’s outfitted with bucket seats, but there’s no center console and the gear selector is steering column-mounted. The black vinyl upholstery is certainly not at its best. The top of the rear seat backrest has been patched with black duct tape and the driver’s seat is wearing some sort of funky cover, likely hiding sun, age, and use damage. From what can be seen. the door panels look OK but no other views are available and the seller says nothing about the environment’s overall condition.

Being a GS 400 means a 340 gross HP 400 CI V8 is handling forward motivation and a Turbo-Hydramatic 400 (“Super Turbine” in Buick’s parlance), three-speed automatic transmission makes the rear wheel connection. Other than the red spark leads, the engine reveals itself as Buick originally intended while it is stated that it, “runs and drives great“. The mileage is recorded as 100K miles, which likely means more, so it’s hard to say how much life the big V8 still possesses.

The seller mentions, “nice patina paint” and I suppose that’s subjective, but I’ll have to disagree. I don’t think that the “patina” thing does a doggone positive thing for this fairly rare and seldomly encountered, powerful convertible.  Yeah, it’s a great find/car, but I’d have to repaint it, how about you?


  1. ClassicP

    Remember the days when the ad would read needs paint nowadays they want to charge you for the fade lol personally that wouldn’t bother me

    Like 14
    • Jon

      I think for rarity of this and looks it like it’s all there…I think it’s a fair price.
      This is a very restorable classic…

      Like 8
  2. Michael Berkemeier

    Take the incorrect decal off of the air cleaner, for starters. It looks ridiculous.

    Like 13
  3. Barry

    Seems a little pricey to me for all that it needs. 12K is more than reasonable offer in my humble opinion.

    Like 7
  4. TomP

    Even more rare are the GS California and the GS Colorado. My cousin has a super rare GS Colorado convertible with operable hood scoops. I think it has a 400 too.

    Like 5
  5. Nelson C

    GM really had a grip on styling during the 50s, 60s and 70s. You can tell these cars from a block away. Buick not only had the side sweep but the “W” incorporated into the front and rear, this being more of a vee. Everyone talks about having a “sleeper” but a Buick GS was the ultimate sleeper.

    Like 4

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