Tidy Driver: 1969 Buick GS 350

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Finding a running and driving classic with flaws the new owner can address at their leisure is almost irresistible. Such cars allow buyers to immediately enjoy the ownership experience while leaving the required tasks as a satisfying project to tackle as time and circumstances allow. That is the opportunity afforded by this 1969 Buick GS 350. It runs and drives well, with its exterior presenting nicely for a survivor. Its interior needs love, but the parts are available to achieve a showroom appearance. It is listed here on Craigslist in Visalia, California. It could be yours for $17,500, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder MattR for spotting it.

This Buick has a subtle appearance in Polar White with a matching vinyl top. It is a restrained and quite conservative combination giving few clues that this classic carries some performance credentials. Its paint shines well for its age, while I can’t spot any vinyl issues or bubbles suggesting hidden nasty surprises. The seller states it is rust-free, and considering it has spent its time exposed to the dry Californian climate, that claim is plausible. The panels are straight, with no evidence of prior repairs or accident damage. The trim is in good condition for its age, and there are no issues with the tinted glass. Apart from the wheels, only a few badges and the hood scoop hint that this Buick has the muscle to back its good looks.

Buick produced 665,422 vehicles in 1969, with only 4,933 buyers selecting the GS 350. That makes it a rare car in the Big Picture, but it is one with genuine performance credentials. Its engine bay houses the 350ci V8, producing 280hp. The original owner focused on an effortless driving experience, adding a three-speed TH-350 automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. This was the most conservative combination offered that year, but the GS should still storm the ¼-mile in 15.7 seconds. Potential buyers will be pleased to know this is a turnkey classic. It runs and drives well, meaning the new owner could fly in and build a relationship with their new purchase as they drive it home.

The Buick’s interior will eventually consume the new owner’s time and a reasonable slice of cash if they wish it to present well. It has many flaws, from the cracked dash pad to the shredded seatcovers and the damaged door trims. All are beyond salvation, and I had no luck locating a complete trim kit to address the issues. However, every part is readily available, but the exercise won’t be cheap. A dash pad, door trims, seatcovers, and a carpet set will cost nearly $2,000, but they will eliminate most of the shortcomings. It sounds like a significant investment but would be a sound long-term one. The buyer doesn’t miss out on luxury touches, with this car featuring air conditioning, a tilt wheel, and an AM radio.

At first glance, this 1969 Buick GS 350 may seem slightly expensive, but there are factors to consider. Its panels and paint need nothing, while it is mechanically healthy. The parts required to whip the interior into shape would lighten the buyer’s wallet by around $2,000. That means the car would present at a reasonably high level for under $20,000. That isn’t pocket change, but it is about what an owner would expect to receive for a GS 350 in that state. With values climbing steadily, it could also represent a sound financial investment. Combine those factors, and this Buick is worth a closer look.

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  1. Maggy

    I think it’s fairly priced.I’m sure the owner would come down a bit as the ad says asking 17500.For around 20k after you do the interior you’ll have nice car and it’s a GS.Like the white with white vinyl.It wotks.I like the green interior too as it’s out left field kinda.I was expecting black red or white.

    Like 7
  2. DRV

    The styling has brilliant lines where they have to be perfect to work. My favorite is the vinyl top trim edge shape with the 2 other hard lines on the rear fender.
    The green is fantastic and I hope can be matched again.

    Like 3
    • Steve C.Member

      My first coordinated street racing back in the day was in one of these with a four speed. We would head out to the airport late at night, position a car at each end, and use the headlights to signal a race. Good times.

      Like 0
  3. John M.Stecz

    I love this car,wish it was closer. Took my driver’s license test on the same car that my mother owned except hers was burgundy wit a black vinyl roof and lack interior

    Like 4
  4. MrF

    A new low for a vinyl roof. Chops up the flow of the rear roof pillar, even when it’s the same color as the car. A pointless way to replace paint with a less durable material that encourages rust. A true triumph of marketing over benefit to the buyer.

    Like 4
    • maggy

      GM pushed vinyl tops for profit and to cover up the lead filler lines where the roof joined to the a pillar and quarter panel top.If you look real hard you can see em. Some easier then others depending on the quality of the job the worker did that day..

      Like 2
  5. Rixx56Member

    Funny to see what appears to be a functional
    air induction system yet has an overturned air
    cleaner lid… I really like these GSs.
    Re-do the interior and drive the heck out of it.

    Like 6
    • ACZ

      That makes it go faster in Alabama.

      Like 4
  6. dwcisme

    Looks like it’s had a lot of bodywork. The fender gaps are off and the front bumper is way out of alignment. Why is the floor beside the driver’s seat green? The engine compartment certainly shows as a white car. As for driving it away? With that seat? Looks like the back is broken so you wouldn’t want to drive it far. Personally, I wouldn’t touch it without a good look see.

    Like 2
    • Michael Berkemeier

      Definitely an all-over repaint at one time…and they did a pretty thorough job. Looks as if was, originally, green though (which looks better than white, in my opinion, especially with a green interior).

      Like 4
      • DON

        I was thinking the same thing. I’d bet the vinyl top was green too

        Like 0
  7. Alan Loncto

    Why would a car that’s supposed to be in such good shape have such a ratty interior?

    Like 4
    • Angus Mustang

      I bought a 70 GS 455, 4spd a few years back in CT that body, floors, frame, mechanical were all perfect, but the interior looked worse then this car. It took some $$ to get interior back to looking good. I could never figure out how it got so trashed or why

      Like 0
  8. Alan Loncto

    Why would a car that’s supposed to be in such good shape have such a ratty interior. Probably been beat upon.

    Like 0
  9. Michael Berkemeier

    Best looking of all the ’69 GM A-Bodies. So much classier than it’s brethren.

    Like 2
  10. Joe

    It looks like a 68′ to me !

    Like 1
    • Chris In Australia

      It’s a ’69. No quarter vent windows, rectangular rear side markers, ’69 hood, column ign lock.

      OPGI have interior kits in varying levels. Bumper fit is indeed off.

      As Ca cars and rust, my CA Skylark had some across the cowl, and around the base of the rear window. Rest of the roof (inspite of the vinyl) was in excellent shape.

      Like 3
  11. Jim theel

    I know where a 70 GS 455 Stage 1 is in a garage. Been there since 1978.

    Like 1
  12. Little_Cars Little_Cars

    My grand dad had a Skylark, same year, with that color interior. Even for the time it was overwhelming to see so much green when riding in the back on a long trip. Car sickness, anyone? Otherwise, very cool car, I’ve owned three 67-69.

    Like 2
  13. DON

    Never could get used to the rear design of these 68-69 Buicks ; even in nice shape the rear bumper always looked like it had been bent in an accident

    Like 3
  14. Joe

    Always thought the 68′ and the 69′ was a little strange in the rear quarters and back bumper. The 1970 had a much smoother transition in the rear quarter.

    Like 2
  15. BMan Lewis

    See this is the class of 69′ GM’s BMD.. I actually loved the 68-69 body designs regardless of the GS distinction… once again, props goes out to this pimpin piece of work (thought it’s a tad overpriced)

    Like 0

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