Skyparts? 1971 Buick Skylark GS Convertible

There is not a lot of this Skylark left, but there is enough to make it a worthwhile project. When it left the factory, this was a 1971 Buick Skylark Gran Sport 4-speed convertible. According to the seller, this is one of 51 made in 1971 with a 350 V8 and a 4-speed manual. While the original drivetrain is long gone, the shell remains. Find it here on eBay in Alabama with bidding at $2,021 and reserve not met. This is a rare car, but it will be a serious project for the new owner. 

Under the hood is, well, nothing. Also, the hood is on the roof. What originally would have been here is a 350 cubic inch Buick V8. Some Skylark Gran Sports came with the larger 455 V8, so the 350 is the smaller engine available. The original engine and transmission are long gone and were missing when the seller acquired this car, however the z-bar mount for the shifter linkage and the hole in the floor for the shifter are still in place as evidence of this cars original configuration.

If the exterior wasn’t enough to scare you, the interior is an entirely separate adventure. The dash and gauge cluster are complete removed with wires left dangling haphazardly wherever gravity takes them. There are many other parts of this car, such as the grille and passenger fender, inside of it but there appear to be very few interior components save for the original front bench seat and original rear seat. Because it is a 4-speed GS convertible, somebody will certainly save this car, but it will be an ordeal!

When in good condition, these are really eye-catching cars and the GS badges will make an car enthusiast take a second look. Evidently, this one was sitting in a warehouse for a number of years before the seller purchased it with the intention of restoring it but as we all know life sometimes gets in the way. Many of the hard-to-find parts are either in place or included with the obvious exception of the drivetrain, but sourcing a period correct Buick 350 and 4-speed transmission will be more fun than it will be challenging. Seeing a car like this in this condition really makes you question what chain of events lead it to be this way! If only cars could talk. Would you take this project on?

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Comments

  1. slickb

    this car makes want to cry, I would take on the project though if i didn’t have a 68 tempest i’m working on.

  2. Nova Scotian

    I’d be surprised if it ever gets back on the road. Too far gone, unless it was a high collectable. IMHO.

  3. darrun

    I’m certainly not an authority on Buicks, but being a a factory GS, 4 Speed, Convertible, I don’t know how a Buick enthusiast with garage space could pass this up. If the convertible specific parts are present, a four door sedan could be picked up cheaply for a lot of common parts to get this project well on it’s way.
    I hope it gets saved, by someone that can’t afford to pick up a restored car. A true restoration would be astronomical. but an enthusiast who doesn’t need a 100 point restoration could get this car back on the road and have his dream car.

  4. TriPowerVette

    “Some Skylark Gran Sports came with the larger 400 V8”? Yes, in 1967, 1968 and 1969; but in 1971, it was a 455.

    My brother and I had a 1969 GS400 Stage 1 Convertible with A/C; A 1970 GS455 Convertible w/A/C & and 1970 GS455 Stage 1 A/C coupe.

    These are spectacular runners, especially in Stage trim. Out of the box, they had 510 lb/ft of torque.

    Depending on the reserve, I am considering this one.

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      Thanks, I’ve corrected it! I can only imagine how one of these runs!

  5. Jay M

    Hard to believe someone used this as a parts car.
    Still, if you are patient, parts are available and do come up on occasion.
    This would take a lot of labor and parts- so you would have to buy it inexpensively.
    And this is assuming that you know how to reassemble it yourself.
    If you have to pay for labor, it’s not for you.

  6. XMA0891

    TriPowerVette – I admire your ability to look at this heap and proclaim it salvageable. Not getting all preachy – I might be able to properly apply a coat of wax… But God gave you a gift. Wish I had the time, talent, money and SKILL to say “I can fix that”.

  7. OIL SLICK

    rare = $

  8. Van

    This wold be great. Just look for a good parts car and your golden. This would be one of the eazier cars to fix. Or have a shop do a custom. Imagine a Pro Touring GSX convertible with an LS7.

    • TriPowerVette

      +Van – My thoughts exactly… but a warmed over 455 will be more than enough, and a lot less adaptation.

      • Van

        Wasn’t the 455 stage 3 listed with 500 lbs of torque. They say it’s easier to get power from a buick, but I assumed that was up to just over 1 HP per. Admit it though, a modern light weight engine would enhance the cornering. I’m all about g force in the turns.

      • TriPowerVette

        +Van – There was no Stage 3 that I am aware of. All of the various GS455 variants were listed at 510 lb/ft.

        The 455 Buick weighed the same (roughly) as a small block Chevy, due partially to the fact that the entire front of the motor was a single aluminum casting which contained the water pump, oil pump and distributor housing, a la Mopar, making the engine very light weight.

        When I say, a la Mopar, it is for good reason. Buick was the beneficiary of some ex patriot Chrysler engineers in the 1960’s and they went about making a clean sheet of paper engine that could hang in there with the best of them (Hemi’s, 427’s, etc…).

        As a side bar, ANY Mopar wedge intake manifold will fit the Buick 455, with the addition of 1″ spacers. They are THAT close to being a Mopar.

        GM catalogues and Kenne Bell used to offer them. But they are easily fabricated.

        Therefore; I admit nothing. That GS455 is a lot of performance for not a lot of money.

        Thank you for your comment, though. I gave you a thumbs up for effort.

        P.S> – If you are all ablut cornering, you should know that my brother’s brother in law ran one for years in outlaw sprints. Tore ’em up.

  9. AF

    Skytrash or Skyscrap

  10. Jay

    I don’t think a 400 was offered. Believe it was a 350 or 455 in 70-73 tim span.

    • Garry Ford

      in 65 and 66 401 (touted as a 400) was offered, 400 and 340 were offered in 67,in 68 and 69 350 and 400 were offered, 70,71,72,73,74 350 and 455 were offered and you could order the Stage1 package for 69 through 74. Buick engines were lighter because they used a “thin wall casting” method for their blocks.

  11. Maestro1

    I think your time would be better spent on something else.

  12. ACZ

    Stage 1 was an RPO. Stage 2 came over the parts counter in pieces and DIY. No such thing as a Stage 3.

    • Garry Ford

      Stage 2 was a do it yourself or have the dealer install.

      • Troy s

        And then go out and lay waste to all comers. Absolute rocket ship.

  13. Dallas

    None of the GS markers are here especially the rear bumper with the cutouts for the dual exhaust or GS emblem on the trunk. Should be noted that this was a factory air car. Thanks for your input Tri-Vette for those us that weren’t of age or were only able to view the hi-po cars of the day from afar.

    • TriPowerVette

      +Dallas – Thank you for the kind words. However; you made one mistake… The GS rear bumper cutouts for exhaust were optional and VERY RARE. None of the 3 GS’s my brother and I have had, had them, and I have never seen one that did. My brother has. Ours had turned-down tips. Gave you a Thumbs Up anyway.

      On the other hand; the Olds 442’s and Rallye 350’s all had them. If you see one that doesn’t, it is either a fake, or had incorrectly repaired rear damage.

      • TriPowerVette

        As an afterthought, the above only applies to Skylarks. It doesn’t apply to Riviera GS, since we have no experience with those.

      • Dallas

        TriPower you are correct as I viewed not only GS but also GSX cars on the internet which appear to be points cars that have the turndown non-bumper exhaust as you and your brothers did. One would figure Buick would have made the cutout exhaust standard especially on the GSX.

  14. Nrg8

    Dunno why but that shot of the inside door showing the original color really appeals to me

  15. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    That color appears on the reveals of the hood scoops too Nrg8. I remember that color…must have looked like a Hot Wheels car when I was delivered to original owner. By the way, SOME of the Gran Sport emblems are still present. Not sure about the dual exhaust on a 350 car. Do we know this would have a bench seat with the 4 spd?

    • TriPowerVette

      +Alexander – In the early 1970’s, I drove a 1967 or ’68 427 Nickey Camaro. They wanted too much money. It had a bench seat, 4-speed, and dog dish hubcaps on stock painted wheels!

      You should see the shifter in a Dodge or Plymouth with a 4-speed and bench seat. It looks like Superman’s exercise equipment.

      BTW – They wanted $2500 for the Camaro… I ended up paying $1750 for my HemiCuda convertible. Much better deal at the time.

  16. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    I’ve seen far more Olds 442 with cutouts on the rear bumper for dual exhaust than any Buick of this era–Skylark, GS or Riviera. Are we sure we aren’t confusing our GM intermediates from this period?

  17. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Just a few years ago, I borrowed a friends 1973-74 Dodge Dart Sport (Duster lookalike) with a slant 6 and 4spd on the floor while my other vintage ride was off the road. The bench seat had a cutout for the dogleg shifter. The car got a lot of glances because it looked like it might have something more devious under the hood. Friend even dressed it up with period-correct road wheels and matte black graphics used on the 340 cars.

  18. 1971 GS

    If the first VIN numbers on the Buick for 71 are 43467 then it is a true 1971 Buick GS. There were 902 production convertibles for that year and only 51 GS 350 cars made that year. The grill in the car from the picture appears to be the correct GS grill, not a skylark front grill.

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