Rare 1972 Buick Skylark GS Convertible Project

While I wouldn’t necessarily call this Skylark GS Convertible an all out muscle car, with its 190 horsepower 350 V8, it’s still a cool machine with plenty of potential. They only built about 600 of these convertibles, making this a rather rare find. Sadly, it has some serious rust issues that need to be addressed. It’s all there but needs a complete restoration. If you are up for the challenge, you can find this GS here on eBay in Point Pleasant, West Virginia with a current bid of $4k.

Rust always makes me nervous, especially when it comes to convertibles. The lack of a roof means the floors are already under considerable stress when they don’t have rust issues. Given how serious the rust is, I wouldn’t be comfortable driving it until all the rusty metal has been replaced. Maybe I’m just being overly critical, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

And as if dealing with rust isn’t bad enough, the seller admits the engine is tight. They have already had the carb rebuilt and the fuel tank cleaned out. While I appreciate that they have already spent the money on those projects, I think there are bigger issues here to be concerned about right now.

The interior looks to be in surprisingly solid condition given how torn up the top is. Being in the barn for 30 years might not have done much for the exterior of the car, but at least it seems to have protected the interior a little bit. After hooking up a battery, the seller was able to get the top to go up and down, which is definitely a plus.

Restoring this Buick won’t be easy, but given the rarity, I hope someone saves it. I can’t imagine there are too many of the 600 left. Finding parts for it might be a challenge, but I’m sure with a little digging you could find everything it needs.

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Comments

  1. Dan

    Sure cleaned up nice! And except for the holes in the fenders and quarters, it does not look dangerously rusty to me. What am I missing?

    • Josh Staff

      What you don’t see is what makes me nervous. The seller posted a couple photos of the underside by the tank, but there aren’t any of the floors further forward. With so much rust in the fenders, I’m worried about what you might find in the key structural areas. I would want to inspect the floors, shock mounts, and door sills. Fixing serious rust in any of those areas isn’t impossible, but is a bit of a pain and would need to be done if you want the car to be safe. Honestly, it could just be me being paranoid after having to fix so much rust on my Fiat convertible.

      • Jeremiah

        I guess I’m old school, but on a full frame car, as long as the seat is bolted to something solid I’m good to go. A Fiat, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated.

  2. edh

    A GS with a column shifter?

  3. Rhett

    All 71-72 GS and Skylark convertibles had a mandatory bench seat. there was a COPO-ish way to get around it and get buckets/console from the factory, but it wasn’t widely known. I’d say 99% of all 71-72 Buick A-body convertibles are bench seat…yet in 70, there were plenty of bucket seat cars…

    Like 2
  4. redwagon

    im ok w a bench seat and a column shift. this was meant for cruising not stop light to stop light. much easier to snuggle up or take the kids to an outdoor movie or out to see the stars.

  5. Tenspeed

    My second car was a 1972 GS 350 coupe that looked just like this except for a sport steering wheel and dual color matched mirrors. Mine was a little more orange with the same interior and it was a fun car. I traded my first car, a 67 GS 400 post coupe with some minor accident damage, for the 72 that had a bad Turbo 350. We rebuilt the transmission with a shift kit and it would grab second gear rubber but I had to keep oil in the trunk because it loved to consume it. I had a Sig Erson Cam, Hooker headers, and a lot of other parts to rebuild it when I had to move it on. I did learn one thing about a GS Turbo 350, they were not a standard duty transmission and had an extra forward clutch pack (5 vs 4). I miss that car!

  6. Vern

    These cars have been popping up. I just bought a 71 HT like this last fall. Mine runs very nice with floor shift auto and buckets with a.c..

  7. BillB

    It would be an easy sell if it was a Stage 1.

  8. Rock On

    Sorry Josh, when you open up the dictionary to look up a definition of rust you see a picture of a Fiat. You can’t really compare that to this Buick. The closest rust bucket GM has would be the Chevrolet Vega.

    • Josh Staff

      I know better than to compare the Fiat to an American car from a propensity to rust standpoint, Fiats seem to rust even in dry environments. I’m thinking about it more from the standpoint of fixing rust on a convertible. I know body flex isn’t as much of an issue with a body on frame design, but a roof can do a lot for structural rigidity. Hopefully, this one’s frame doesn’t have any serious rust, but from the little you can see in the photos, it looks pretty rusty.

      • Chris In Australia

        I’m going to be the contaryian here. Parents bought a Fiat 125S new in New Guinea in 1970. Sold out of the family in the early 1980s. One rust spot in the LHF fender in that time. I still have a soft spot for Fiats.
        These days, there’s a ’69 Skylark as the ‘fun’ car, but I’d love another Fiat as well.

  9. Tom Driscoll

    I LOVE my ’72 GS, 350-4 has plenty of power to smoke tires, or just cruise. Flame Orange was the most popular color that year, but kind of rare to find these days. I was grateful to find a survivor from Florida…living in the midwest – everything I grew up with rusted out, finding solid cars has been my passion for years, but I’ve learned to stay away from the baked-out desert cars. Everything is available to fix this car, and people have got it down to a science now…we’ll see it again I’m sure

    • St. Ramone de V8

      That’s a sweet GS, Tom! Thanks for the pic.

      • Tom Driscoll

        Thank you St. Ramone de V8! I’ve got a small collection of cars that each have special meaning to me – and the GS is such a well rounded car, it’s my daily driver when weather permits :)

    • Big Mike

      Nice Love the color

  10. S Ryan

    Is that a fuse going to gas tank/ trunk?
    That sounds like a great idea.

    • Tom Driscoll

      Good question, I’m stumped?

    • ACZ

      Hybrid

  11. HeadMaster1

    Hey Josh, while I would agree about worrying about rust in general, DON’T…These cars are full frame, and the frames on the drop tops are almost like two frames welded together. the body is NOT structural, you could pull the body off, bolt a seat and something to support the steering column and drive the wheels off it. I hate rust too, but don’t be a scaredy-cat

  12. Pete

    My second car was a 72 Skylark convertible 350/4 dual exhaust and a speed shift kit. It was a Custom not a GS. Royal Blue on White. One day I took my eyes off the road and hit a Pontiac bonneville in a turn and from the center of the hood to the drivers fwd door jam was flat after I got out. What I didn’t know at the time was that I could have bought a hard top swiped the frame and the front end and fixed my car. So I sold it to guys smarter than me. LOL. If you could get that car for less than 5K it wouldn’t be that hard to come up with fenders, floor pans and fix those quarters and have a solid car again. Even if the frame was toast. I have seen Chevelles and Goats worse off than that go for more money.

  13. Tim W

    Rock on is right on- owned a couple of Fiats, I think they began rusting on the showroom floor!

    • Bruce Best

      Fiats and Alfas of the 70’s had both bad paint, poor quality control, designed in rust traps and Russian steel. The last item killed most of them. Ferrari, Maserati and Lambo would not use that crap and from what I have been told used German supplied steel tubes and sheets when Italian sources were not available. Now the hand made bodies had their problems but not with assembly or with materials, at this age it is generally the deterioration of the paint over time from pollution and UV radiation that damages the paint so that the rust can start.

      Poor Fiats had the worst of all worlds, That being said I would love to have an 850 coupe or a 124 Spider and single headlight coupe. Such elegant and simple designs that were so much fun for so little cost.

  14. Ryan

    I had a 71 Skylark Conv. Nice cruiser. When I inherited it the rear Floor pans were gone. I think due to poor convertible . Drainage issues, and the front floor pans were a mess along with the rockers and battery tray area. Common on these cars. Still a beautiful car and I loved every minute with it. The rear end on these cars trumps all 68-72 A bodies in my opinion.

  15. cudaman

    In the early ’80’s I found a one owner triple black 1972 GS Stage 1 4-speed convertible. It had 90k miles and was 100% original, with bucket seats. It was fully loaded with all power/electric and even an under the dash BUICK 8-track. I tried everything I could to buy it. It was from Kentucky and ended up in South Florida cause of a job transfer with the original owner’s son. I even offered cash and a nice 50k mile 1973 Riviera. He just couldn’t let it go cause his dad bought it new. So it sat outside next to the duplex he rented. I would love to know where it is today. I wished I had taken a few pictures……

    • Tom Driscoll

      That’s a heart-breaker! I remember seeing a similar triple black GS in the 80’s, someone had done the seat piping in burgundy, that car was drop dead gorgeous!

  16. Big Mike

    I will keep mine, it didn’t start out this nice but all I had to do was front fenders, new top, and redo the seats especially the rear seat it was roached. I lucked out the guy I bought it from had already overhauled the motor and tranny and since I knew his work I knew it was a good overhaul. This summer I have plans to repaint her, as you can tell by the left front fender, the guy that painted it for me goofed in matching a repair to the fender a few years ago, when it had a run in with some Wal-Mart shopping carts, that got away from the guy trying to corral them back into the store with one of the cart pony pusher they use. Moral to that story is never park near a cart corral at any store!!!
    She is one of my Wife’s favorites for summer cruising.

    • Tom Driscoll

      Nice car Mike! it never fails, you park in the far empty part of a parking lot and come out to find someone parks right next to you!

      • Big Mike

        Well it was kind of my own fault, normally I park on the upper areas of parking lots, but this one time I was in a hurry, and parked down close, as I was coming out of the store I noticed a few people around my car and the truck parked next to me, which made me a nervous, but as I got to it I see it. The Wal Mart employee was out getting carts, and was using one of those cart ponies, well apparently he forgot to attach the strap that keeps them secured to the pony drive, well started down the lot and they came lose 20 carts went rolling down the lot and caught my left front fender, hit it hard enough it rolled the back corner into the tire and just scraped the crap out of the side of a nice truck next to me. Well we were both a little peeved to say the lest, but what really pushed me over the edge was the stupid Smart A** manager that said they were not responsible to damage caused by a shopping cart, I said I understand but it was Carts not cart that got away from your employee. The local Police was called and the Officer very nicely asked to see the parking lot video. After a bit the officer came out and said that it appeared that there was a problem with the recording equipment and that there was about 30 minutes that it did not seem to record for some reason. So the officer took our reports. About 2 weeks later I was contacted by Wal-Mart Main Office, they informed me that they would be happy to pay for the damages to the car, it seemed that the Officer filed a report that went to Arkansas, and they were not happy with the former store Manager.
        Well I replaced the front fender which I lucky had, and then instead of me painting it, I had a guy try to match it, it was close at first but I have noticed in the past few years it has changed. So this summer it is set to be sanded down fix a couple of door dings and repainted back to factory original color, I have got to have the drives seat back repaired it has a small separation in the seam.
        I will try to post a updated picture when it is done

        This Picture shows it with the top down in this angle the front fender doesn’t look that different but up close you can see the difference

  17. Mike

    Found in barn last year.In process of frame-off right now.Rust,rust and more rust but definitely worth it.Factory 4-speed car 1 of 39 so I will endure!

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