Rare Gran Sport Variant: 1968 Buick GS California

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I’m guessing almost everyone who’s even a modest muscle car fan has at least heard of the Buick Gran Sport.  In a nutshell, it was sort of an attempt to rid the company of a mindset they thought had developed that the Buick brand mainly appealed to older buyers, and the concept succeeded, even though the GS is still sometimes lovingly referred to as a gentleman’s muscle car.  One variant that’s kind of rare is a car known as the California, sometimes called the California Special, such as this 1968 example for sale here on Craigslist.  Fittingly, it’s located in San Diego, and can be yours for $4,000.  Gunter Kramer spotted this one and shared it with us, and we’d like to thank him for the tip!

The California first became available as a ’67 model in, you guessed it, The Golden State only.  It remained a Cali exclusive for a couple of years but became available elsewhere for its last hurrah in 1969.  The car started out with Buick’s 340 engine during the first year, but for ’68 came standard with a 350 and a Quadrajet 4-Barrel, which produced a very respectable 280 horsepower.  Unfortunately, only bits and pieces of the motor remain with this one, and there’s no transmission, either.

The body is claimed to be overall straight, but the car was originally also equipped with a vinyl roof, and there’s lots of surface rust present on top along with some holes as well.  At least the material is gone and the buyer can see what it looks like underneath, and fortunately, on the outside, the car seems to be pretty much complete.  It also comes with 5 Buick wheels.  We don’t get any photos from the underside, but we do get to see inside the trunk, which appears solid for the most part but there are a handful of small holes to contend with.

Inside, the front seat is MIA, and the rear seat has been removed but comes with the sale, although it’s going to need recovering.  Most things still intact in there are looking fairly worn too, even though the headliner appears to be pretty good.  Some positive news is that with the seats gone, we do get to view most of the floor, and from what I can tell it doesn’t seem all that bad, from the top side anyway.  It’s going to take quite a bit of work and resources to get this GS California back on the road, but if you’re into Buick rarities this one may be a worthwhile project, and on a high note your initial investment isn’t going to break the bank.  What are your thoughts on this one?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Troy

    Not a horrible price considering what we have seen other classic cars sell for personally I never cared much for this body style but someone is going to get a fun project

    Like 6
    • Gary

      I don’t mind the body, but the rest wheel wells suck, they look like a 55 Chevy

      Like 0
  2. Heck DodsonMember

    Have you priced new seat frames on a 1968 Buick GS recently? Much less an age appropriate replacement drivetrain? What you’re paying for is a rolling chassis and rear axle. Lots of value for someone who already has a donor drivetrain for her.

    Like 5
    • Max

      Or for someone like me who just wants it for the sheetmetal which appears to be pretty darn straight.

      Like 0
  3. Mike

    Ok.. picture this because it’s really true…..

    I had a friend in high school in Wisconsin in 1985. His parents let us cruise in their dark green 1969 skylark four door sedan. The grille was punched out and we had a coat hook for the radio antenna….

    My friend was about 350 pounds and wore extremely loud Hawaiian shirts….

    We went cruising for chicks…..well…we didn’t get any…

    It was fun anyway being with an obnoxious loud fat man in an absolutely hideous. 1969 Buick in bad condition.


    Like 7
  4. Mike

    That’s a pic of the car except it was dark green, had no wheel covers, the grill was punched out, and the radio antenna was a a rusty coat hook…

    We went cruising for chicks anyway and came up repeatedly shorthanded.

    Couldn’t even attract any fat chicks….

    It was hilarious…had tons of fun…

    Like 2
    • Ken Oke

      Sorta like John Candy in Uncle Buck

      Like 0
  5. BA

    455 4 barrel 4 speed are my thoughts

    Like 4
  6. Chris

    Factory A/C car, current wheels are Jaguar. I’d rather a hardtop.

    Like 2
  7. MarkMember

    I spent 4 hours at a Buick Dealer trying to buy a new 67 Califonia GS with a 3-speed. Just couldn’t pull the trigger, a cash flow issue, as a college sophomore but I wished I would have. The later-year body styles don’t resonate with me and I have come close to buying my “one that got away” ride a few times.

    Like 1
  8. rayburn

    My step dad was a GM kinda guy, he bought a new 69 GS California Buick back in the day, 350/auto, black top and interior. I thought it was cool as a 9-year-old kid, still think they are…

    Like 1
  9. Douglas Riser

    My dad bought a new 68 GS Cal, green v/t w/yellow body in Indiana. From the same dealer he bought a new 69 GS Cal, red w/white v/t and interior. I bought it from him later. My sister bought the 68 from him. Northern Indiana is not very kind to cars.

    Like 0

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