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Rare Muscle Car Found At Estate Sale!

Estate Sale Find

Behind that latticework and under a blue tarp, there’s a big block beast that is just waiting to be brought back to life. It’s been parked for 30 years, but is being sold as part of the late owner’s estate. He bought the car in 1987 and started to rebuild things, but never completed the job. That’s okay though because if this thing really is what the seller thinks it is, then people are going to get excited!

Whats Under The Tarp

You can probably tell there is a car in there now because the antenna and hood are visible. Blue tarps normally make me nervous because they trap in moisture, but this car is located in Nevada so maybe it’s avoided the tin worm? Anyway, let’s pull that cover back and see what’s underneath. Drum roll please…

1971 Buick GS 455

And here it is – a 1971 Buick GS 455 Stage 1 convertible! According to a Hemmings article, there were only 81 455 Stage 1 convertibles built in 1971. That’s not because people didn’t want them though. This was a very desirable and expensive muscle machine and in Stage 1 guise, it was known to shut down Hemi powered competitors!

Could It Be A Stage 1

The Stage 1 engine featured special heads, cam, carb, and more. The hood scoops were functional too! The restoration of this car will be a huge undertaking, but the end result should be well worth it. Well, as long as it is the real deal. The seller doesn’t include much information in the auction listing, but I did find a photo of the vin in the provided gallery.

VIN tag

It’s dark and dirty, but you can make out the numbers. There isn’t a ton of information about these cars online, but from what I’ve read the vin doesn’t look looks right. Do a little research though and see what you come up with. You can view the auction listing here on eBay where bidding is currently at $6,660 with only a couple of days left. If the car turns out to be legit and the reserve isn’t set much higher, this could end up being a big-block bargain!


  1. Kincer Dave

    I looked up that dealer logo on the trunk lid and that car possibly was sold at a Buick dealer in Milwaukee when new.

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    • Mercury Man

      The dealer is Rank and Son Buick. They have been closed for a number of years, the building is vacant and has been for sale since they closed. Wally Rank owned many classic cars ( the big 20’s and 30’s kind) for a number of years he hosted an annual car show at the dealership.

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      • Lonnie

        I was there once in the later 1970s and its amazing the amount of cars from the 20s- 30s mainly. car shows bore me now a days for all they mainly display is cars from the 50s and 60s which was all over when i was growing up. I always wondered where that rare collection of cars went.

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    • outatyme

      Mercury Man is correct, it was a LARGE Buick dealership in Milwaukee, on Green Bay road, Wally Rank was one of the nicest/kindest men you would ever want to deal with, the annual car show at Rank & Son were LEGENDARY, at the time, the Rank collection was nationally known. The whole city of Milwaukee mourned when Wally past away.

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      • Todd Owens

        My dad and I went to that car show every year. Among his notable cars, Wally Rank owned a 28 and a 29 Cord, a Pierce Arrow, at least one Duesenberg, Hitler’s staff car and General Patton’s staff car, with his class rings embedded in the steering wheel, one of which was from West Point. We would spend a full day there just looking at beautiful cars.

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  2. don

    fast no doubt but you apparently never owned a late 60’s hemi or 440

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    • Chris

      I have a 68 r/t charger and a 70 gsx. GSX is way faster. The charger has been professionally tuned.

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  3. Shaun

    i posted info on the facebook post. the vin doesn’t match. the “FL” is throwing it off. it should be a single letter. this vin has 2 letters. paint code is “A”, which indicates white. “000178” is 178 off the line.



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  4. Jeff V

    That engine was the highest TORQUE rating (500?) put out by Chiltons in that era of muscle!

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  5. Glen

    But it’s the Hemi design used in top fuelers, that says a lot.

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  6. jeff6599

    The 500 lb. ft. wasn’t the highest; the 550 lb. ft. rating of the Eldorado was. unfortunately Caddy didn’t have a muscle car to put it in. You car guys do know the difference between quick and fast, Correct? The Buicks are quick and that’s why they beat the Mopars a lot. The Mopars had only a 3.75 in. stroke and that just was not enough in most stock classes. The Buick has a 3.9 stroke and the Cad 500 is at 4.3 in. Story told.

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  7. Boss351

    The cowl tag does seem to match to information on the teambuick forum. FL1 means Flint Plant in the 43467FL1 All 1971 GS1 convertibles were assembled in Flint, MI and must have 434671H in the VIN. Another photo in the gallery shows the full VIN as 434671H100977.

    The PNT code 53 A translates to Cortez Gold Poly for the lower body(53) and the top is white (A).

    The body code doesn’t match to anything in the VIN as this was assigned by Fischer Body – Not meaningful in my opinion.

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  8. Lee Hartman

    The plate in the picture is not the VIN plate. It is the body tag. The VIN is on the dashboard at the left front corner of the windshield. The engine block matches the VIN on the registration, which translates to a ’71 Buick GS convertible built in Flint, MI.

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  9. Richard

    That plate that Shown is just a data the actual VIN number appears in the listing it looks like there is a Photobucket with lots of pictures and they seem to show the block and the title and the transmission has all matching numbers. With production numbers that low its gotta bring a pretty penny. Looked up haggerty’s value and it was close to $100,000 in a number one condition and $53000 in the number four condition. If this car is a five who knows guess we will find out

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  10. Chebby

    Sad pictures. A cautionary tale of what happens to your precious, hoarded crap when you pass. It’s rare…so what. 23 years of moldering under the house, of not driving to the beach in bare feet with the top down and the radio on. Then an eBay scavenger sells it all to the highest bidder, who maybe wasn’t even born when you started the project.

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  11. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Thanks for pointing out my body tag mix up guys. Looks like it’s the real deal after all!

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    i did not see and engine code on the block so it could be just a 455 car and not a stage one

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  13. John Taggart Member

    the guys above who know realize the hemi’s were chewed up by the unknown GSX th stage 1 and 2’s were MONSTERS and like the GN in 87 was the fastest production car mad I believe. GSCA will show you film after filmof the D’allasandro Brothers (spelling ) out of Canada with a stock 70GSX stage 1 wiping the hemis of the day

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  14. RoughDiamond

    I was reading some of the questions to the seller and one individual asked about and was concerned about shipping all the parts “in” the car. The seller reassured him stating how he would ship all the parts in the car and ship the block in the trunk. Now what are the chances that all those parts and especially the block would be accounted for at the end of the trip? If I was having the car and parts shipped, I would be escorting it all the way along the route.

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  15. Tom Driscoll

    Sad it’s a bench seat car, but I’ve heard all convertibles left the factory w/bench seats…can anyone confirm?

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  16. Mark 'cuda man

    In the early 80’s I came across a triple black 1972 4-speed Stage 1 convertible, one owner, in Palm Beach Co Fla. It was fully optioned with full electric including an “under the dash” Buick 8-ytack. It was all original with 80 k miles. I did everything possible as a young man in my early 20’s to purchase it. I offered a beautiful 50k mile 1973 Riviera (boat tail rear window) with some cash to acquire it. The owner who had just moved down from Kentucky with a job transfer said his dad bought it new and he just couldn’t let it go. It was an incredible car. I wonder where it is today………

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  17. John Taggart Member

    I seen buckets in 69 rag tops before

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