Original Drivetrain Included: 1971 Buick Skylark GS 455

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Muscle car sales were waning by the start of the 1970s, but that didn’t discourage manufacturers like Buick from taking a serious swing at performance models. Its GS 400 had served it faithfully for 1968 and 1969, but it upped the ante in 1970 by releasing the GS 455. Our feature car rolled off the line in 1971, and while it isn’t 100% original, a deeper investigation confirms that it isn’t the end of the world. Its most pressing need is a new home, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Chalfont, Pennsylvania. Bidding sits below the reserve at $18,100, but there is a BIN figure of $37,500 for those viewing it as an automotive must-have.

The best way to view this Buick is as a survivor-grade car. The seller claims it wears its original Cortez Gold paint and Briar Brown vinyl top. It has never undergone any repairs or restoration, and the steel is all as it left the factory. Therefore, it is fair to expect something less than perfection. The paint has accumulated chips and scratches but still presents well and shines nicely for a fifty-two-year-old car. The vinyl has some defects, and even if the rest of the car remains untouched, replacing it so that it doesn’t become a water and rust trap might be wise. There could be a couple of minor exterior rust spots developing above the wheel arches, and these should also be addressed before a small problem becomes a big one. The hood won’t appeal to everyone, but this photo confirms the original item is included. The chrome and glass aren’t perfect, but their condition is consistent with a survivor-grade classic of this vintage. The enormous hood scoop, black powdercoated 15″ Weld Drag Lights wheels, and dog dish hubcaps add a touch of menace, suggesting there is more to this classic than meets the eye.

You would be forgiven for considering this Buick’s interior as the car’s highlight, and it is undeniably gorgeous. However, we will soon see that other aspects of this classic would be strong contenders for that honor. The interior received a professional retrim, leaving it in virtually as-new condition. Faulting the upholstery, plastic, carpet, console, or dash is impossible. The faux woodgrain and simulated chrome on the dash do exhibit wear, but replacing those items would help this interior threaten perfection. The original owner ordered this Buick with air conditioning and cruise control. However, the A/C compressor is removed and included in the sale. Aftermarket additions include a tach and gauge cluster mounted under the dash, but these small changes are acceptable to monitor the more profound ones under the hood.

The 1971 GS 455 was a genuine muscle car, with this classic’s original engine sending 315hp and 450 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a TH-400 automatic transmission. Power assistance for the steering and front disc brakes will lessen the driving effort in a car capable of storming the ¼-mile in 15.2 seconds. This is a case where those figures are both relevant and irrelevant. This Buick no longer features its numbers-matching drivetrain, but don’t become worried about originality. The seller has carefully stored every removed component, including them in the sale for those wishing to return this classic to its factory form. Powering this beast is another 455 of 1971 vintage, but this one has been breathed on heavily. The builder started with a 0.030″ bore before dropping in forged pistons, a KB Maxi 3 hydraulic cam, and high-rev lifters. The genuine Stage 1 cylinder heads have been ported and fitted with roller rockers. The V8 inhales deeply via a single-plane intake and a custom-built Quick Fuel carburetor. The mixture is ignited by an MSD ignition, with spent gases exiting via a set of ceramic-coated Mickey Thompson headers, a Mandrel-bent 3″ exhaust, and Spintech 9000 mufflers. The seller confirms this brute produces 358hp and 364 ft/lbs of torque at the rear wheels, with those ponies finding their way to that point via a Tri-Shield Level 2 Turbo 400 transmission and a 12-bolt Posi rear with 3:73 gears. The seller indicates the car is in excellent mechanical health and should be considered a turnkey proposition. It drives like a dream, but poking it with a sharp stick unleashes a beast. The new owner could leave the vehicle as-is, but returning it to its factory form would be straightforward with the original parts included. However, there is a third option for consideration.

Okay, what would you do if you became the new owner of this 1971 Buick GS 455? Would you enjoy the car in its current form, or would returning it to a numbers-matching state be your focus? Me? I’d probably drive and enjoy this car mechanically untouched. I would squirrel the factory drivetrain components away in the back of my workshop, carefully wrapped and appropriately treated for safe long-term storage. If the day came when I decided to send the Buick to a new home, returning the car to its original form to maximize the sale price would be my tactic. Do you agree?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Stan

    Not too many cars besting this Big Buick light to light 🏁

    Like 15
  2. Mike76

    Didn’t y’all post this Buick just a month or so ago? Slow today? Okay, okay, I’m done be curmudgeon-y…can never see enough Buicks. This golden tire burner sounds mean AF. Seen a few videos of it both idling and driving and this is definitely no sleepy go to the Kroegers to buy some pumpernickel Buick. Light your fire and your tires. If I owned this GS, I’d be throwing money at the gas station attendant everyday, kinda like when I was in my 20’s, only it was at dancers at the Pink Poodle.

    Like 7
  3. ThunderRob

    That’s a copy of the Stage 2 hoodscoop used on the couple that were produced for racing and testing.While not correct for a 71′,it’s keeping properly in the Buick race history theme.

    Like 9
  4. ACZ

    Another re-run.

    Like 1
  5. C Force

    I would keep it the way it is,alot faster and more fun to drive.A 12 second car versus a car running in the high 15s…why de-tune it?

    Like 4
    • Edwin Haggerty

      I would call you names that you can’t print here if you took out the 455. Who doesn’t want a 455? I would drive it like gas was 69¢ a gallon with no regrets, smiling as I complimented your 400 equipped car saying ” Man your car must be really fast ’cause you were flying when I passed you!”

      Like 1
  6. Old goat

    The car got to have more torque than listed. It’s a Buick not a small block chevy.

    Like 3
    • Grape Ape

      There’s some parasitic loss thru the auto trans. It’s likely got something around 440hp and 450 ft/lbs at the crank. The build improved the horsepower over the original for better top end and 1/4 mile.
      Have something just a little better with 3.23 gears and it’s a lot of fun. Fairly confident this Buick is fun with those numbers.

      Like 2
    • Francis Dunn

      The hood got to go put the original one on other thing that it’s a good looking car remember the Buick grand sport was gm top luxury muscle car back then

      Like 1
      • Mike StephensStaff

        My thoughts exactly Francis, lose the attached hood forever and reinstall the one on the driveway, then I’m set for life.

        Like 0
      • Grape Ape

        Agreed, original hood please. Call it more of a sleeper look, if not sleeker.

        Like 0
  7. Mister Green

    And some other guy on the list wants $45k for a thrashed converticle Chevelle??

    Like 5
  8. Randy R Gruber

    Wow what a stunner always thought the buick gs was underappreciated

    Like 7
  9. Greg

    I wouldn’t fix a thing, just drive it like I stole it!

    Like 5
  10. edward kasica

    I would drive it as is and keep the hood scoop just to piss people off 🤣

    Like 0

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