Unrestored Muscle: 1970 Buick GSX Stage One

Buick GSX’s are such neat and uncommon muscle cars. This 1970 Stage One car appears mostly original with some touch ups along the way. Not quite as shiny, and solid, as when it was new, this Buick is in need of some attention. Rust has caught up to this one, but its level of originality and completeness, make it an excellent restoration candidate. For sale at the “negotiable” value of $47,500. Find it here on Hemmings out of Northfield, Minnesota.

The massive 455 cubic inch V8 lump is present, and is claimed to be an original numbers matching unit. With the spark plug leads pulled off, I think it is safe to say this Buick hasn’t been awake for a while. The condition of the engine is not mentioned, but I would hope that the engine isn’t frozen. The engine bay is dusty and dirty, with some mild rust. Famous for its 510 ft-lbs of torque, this engine looks mostly original with the exception of the air cleaner lid, and the aftermarket coil.

Looking inside of this Saturn Yellow machine reveals a relatively nice condition interior. Granted, the bucket seats are ripped, but this interior is claimed to be in original condition. I personally question that statement as the carpet is very nice, as is the rubber on the gas and brake pedal. Despite those items, it is believable that the rest of the interior is in original. The dash and console look very nice, with no evident cracking, or wear. There are a few wires hanging from beneath the dash on the passenger side.  The rest of the interior is not easily seen from the photos, but seems to be in good to fair shape.

From a far, this Buick doesn’t look half bad, getting up close and personal with this machine reveals its flaws, but it still isn’t half bad. There in rust in the bottoms of both front fenders, rear wheels arches, and quarters. There is also some rust on the edges of the wheel wells in the trunk. The driver side rear quarter is a little wavy from some sort of an accident as well. Taking a look underneath reveals that the floors are solid, although covered with surface rust. Despite the rust concerns, the seller has some OEM sheet metal that can be purchased outside of the sale of the GSX. Very original, with some potential, the “right” Buick GSX’s have sold for 6 digit firgures at auto auctions. A restoration will be extensive, but this one has originality going for it. Do you think restoration costs would outweigh this Buick’s restored value?


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  1. gotboost6

    For that asking price it should include the sheet metal if offered the 47,500.

    Like 1
  2. redwagon

    this will be a veritable crap ton of work w that rust and at 47k to purchase + restoration it will not be cheap.

    so where else are you going to find a factory yellow car w over 500 ft # of torque?

    • Scot Douglas

      Camaro ZL1. :D

  3. Jeff V

    Nice find, but, big but! If it was clean, NO major work involved, prob a 50K$ car tops!

    Like 2
    • Tom Member

      Jeff you are right if this is NOT a true GSX. IF, and I say IF this is a real GSX, you are about $50-100 K off. A real GSX Stage 1 1970 (wish it had a 4 speed) is a very low production car, a true muscle car beast with all the buick luxury. a customer of mine has one in a convertible… awesome car. VERY rare. anytime a muscle car has a production number in the 100’s made, in todays market, 6 figures plus for a restored car is a guarantee. Buy it for 45K it will take 50K plus to make this neglected (terrible !) GSX right. I think even a nut and bolt resto would be the right money spent and still have some upside and IF A REAL GSX it will definitely only INCREASE at an INCREASING RATE in value in the years to come. I don’t often say these things about most cars.

      • JRATT1956

        Classic Cars .com has a 1970 GSX for $59,995 and if I hit the Power Ball Wednesday night, I will be calling them on Thursday. LOL. It is a much better looking looking car than this rust bucket.

        Like 1
      • John

        Just so you know, the ’70 GSX was in hardtop only.

        Like 2
  4. dirtyharry

    I just was looking at similar car for 49k and it is a rag top. Apparently, this car is lacking some documentation, but appears to be a GSX in most every way. I personally don’t care about “documentation.” I doubt most BF readers care either. I am going to drive my cars and that includes dropping the clutch and smoking the tires. If you just want to look at one of these, buy a poster.

    • Tom Member

      If this car is real, documentation is EVERYTHING. it is the difference between $50K and a 1 in front of that 50.

      I disagree, most BF readers are knowledgeable enough to know that documentation determines the price. In many cases, like this car above, no documentation of it being real….no deal. never get that price for a skylark GSX clone especially in that condition.

      I agree with you, drive and enjoy. nice car in the photo. maybe a little high on the money unless it is clean underbody and underhood as the top and was done right. Being at Volo, probably a great car and worth the 49K.

    • al8apex

      Volo is notorious for having ghost cars

      • ags290

        Excuse my ignorance, but what is a “Ghost Car”?

    • Jim S.

      It’s a clone. Buick never made a GSX convertible. Real shame, because it would of been some looker.

    • Charles Moore

      That is a 1970 GS Stage 1, NOT a GSX. All GSX models were hardtops and had the stripes down the sides and over the spoiler. These cars were great performers, but the Buick 455 had a weak bottom end in the block. Most that were driven hard didn’t live long with the original block, so watch for fake “matching numbers” cars. Those that weren’t flogged are rare. Oldsmobiles held up very well to hard driving.

    • glenn merlini

      its a gs not a gsx they never made a gsx ragtop

  5. Bingo

    I think this car was restored once before, maybe in the 80’s when seemingly every issue of “Muscle Car Review” had one featured.

  6. Curtis

    For $47,500 go to a Mecum Auction or even a Thursday or Sunday at Barret Jackson and find a very nice clean car to buy……

  7. CJay

    One sold at Barrett Jackson for $170,000. It seams that as soon as one sells for high dollars it drives the price out of reach for the average guy. As soon as you send big dollars to restore it to the quality that will bring that price, it becomes unreasonable to use as a driver.

    Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I saw that one go past the block and was surprised at the price, but the commentators did a good job of explaining why.

  8. Radiomoose

    A fully restored GSX Stage 1 sold at Barret-Jackson over the weekend. Now it was a 4-speed but still, the price was high! $187,000!!


    • CJay

      $170,000 plus the $17,000 (10%) buyers premium comes to the $187,000 that is what Barret Jackson shows on their website. I posted what the gavel went down for.

  9. Jeffro

    #2 car on my bucket list! Unfortunately, as pricing looks,I’ll kick the bucket before I own one.

  10. Mitch

    It’s been sitting about 30 years, according to the Ohio license plates.

  11. Gunner

    As a previous owner of 4 GS Buicks, this is indeed a very rare and desirable car. In checking production numbers for the Stage 1, there were 118 4-Speeds, and 282 TH400’s produced. Nevertheless, 47K is a lot of money, and this Buick will require a substantial amount of work to restore. Odds are the buyer will find more things in need of repair as work would progress. This is another example of a rare and beautiful musclecar neglected. IMHO however, this particular car is worth negotiating a purchase price, and allocating the necessary funds to restore. Additionally, I believe that regardless of the car, it should always be driven to some degree, and not simply looked at like a piece of art. :-)

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      And the listing is perfectly timed to coincide with the one that went on B-J for big bucks.

      Pretty smart move.

  12. MH

    Nice car and very close to my house but no way for that kind of money

  13. nessy

    I’m an Olds guy as many of you know. However, I will defend the Buick GSX all day long. If this is a correct matching number GSX, it is a very special Buick. It was built to compete with the Judge and the Hurst Olds as far as the loud flashy factor is concerned. With the hot Buick 455 under the hood, it ran right with the best of them. It’s at least a 30k car in this condition and will continue to climb as other muscle cars become harder to afford to the regular guy. The Buick’s time is coming. You will see..

  14. Rustytech Member

    Another #5 car priced more like a #3 car. While this is a great car, and I have fine memories, having driven one back in the “cheap used car days”, I wouldn’t pay more than $25 to $30k for it as is, then at least there would be a possibility of recouping the investment to bring it back to a #2 car. Value completed $95 to $115k

  15. Tom Member

    This car, if real, is in a league of its own with the Hurst 442’s, the Chevelle LS6, Hemi Mopars, Big Block Mustangs – Ford Cobra Jet cars……it is not a Buick Skylark. Not a Skylark GS….. but a GSX Stage 1. that is like saying back in the late 80’s the Buick GNX was not much different than a Grand National. Never a huge fan of those cars but the Grand Nationals were very nice and good performers and the GNX’s were bad ass….period. this car, if real, is as every bit rare and collectable. Just as rare as big block corvettes where only 100’s of them were made. hard to pay 40-50K for a car needing this much work but if its real it is worth investing 6 figures for sure.

  16. Moparmann Member

    Why do people think spraying ordinary red primer on a rust spot will halt its’ advance?? :-)

  17. Len

    My uncle had one of these as a hardtop in the same blue as the convertable with the 4-speed. He owned a fish market and used it to make deliveries. In the summers as a pre-teen I would go with him and wear the seat belt. NO-ONE wore seat belts in the 70’s. He insisted.Went through rear tires like they were a dime a dozen. Needless to say, it was parked, sat, rusted and was promised to me for my 18th b-day. He never made good decisions. 6 months prior, he got it running and started driving it again. After a night of adult beverages he proceeded to not negotiate a turn off of a bridge and there went my present. Barely survived but twisted that car in more ways than I care to remember. He did give me what was left before he passed away a few years later. Engine, tranny and rear helped me purchase my first car and better yet brought another Buick of that era back to life. I kept the air cleaner though, told the buyer it was lost in the wreck. In a way, he probably saved my life. I would have killed myself with that car

    Like 1
    • Jay

      I sold my 71 GS convertible also because it would have killed my oldest two boys. Those cars were bad on tires and rea ends.


    PRICING is getting out of hand. It depends if your a buyer or a seller.

  19. Gary Fogg

    47k and no AC ??? What the *** ?? :)

  20. Tom Driscoll

    Too rusty to be a driver, and once restored – too valuable to drive…where’s the fun in that? Glad I snatched a survivor back when these were affordable. It’s really nice to enjoy your favorite car and not be afraid to park in the home depot lot!

  21. Tom Driscoll


  22. Chuck

    A few comments from someone who owns a 1970 GSX Stage 1, 4 speed and has for over 35 years.
    1 The blue car is NOT a GSX.
    2 This car can be authenticated VERY easily. A picture of the trim plate (as long as it has not been faked) would be proof. There are other ways if needed. I don’t want to state them here so others can fake a car.
    3 If my memory is correct, a total of 687 GSX’s in total. The numbers by Gunner above for Stage 1’s is correct. So, it is EXTREMEMLY rare and well worth over $100k restored. Probably from $130 – $150k if done properly. The one just sold at BJ was a 4 speed and worth more, but with Buyers premium, that one went for $205k. An Stage1 Auto went for $150k (I think) last year at a different auction (Mecum I think).

    This one will be a lot of work and will cost a lot to restore, but unless trying to get a quick flip, will be worth more than you put into it in the future. All of the rare parts, except mirrors, appear to be there.

    And they are extremely fast!!!

    • Tom Driscoll

      Fast looking, but no faster than any other ’70 stage 1

  23. Joe Muzy

    Just because Jesse James tried armed robbery in Northfield MN why does this seller think he can do it. Way over priced .

  24. Ck

    Have a friend who had a 70 GS with a 455 and a 4spd ,Yep they are FAST.Nice cars for sure.I would not pay this kind of money for this car.But only because it would cost a fortune to get it where it needs to be to ever get your money back.Let someone with deep pockets restore this one.You would be better off buying one thats already done.If ya have that kinda money buy one done and enjoy it.

  25. G 1

    Way to much emphasis is placed on these types of cars, (muscle cars). I personally wouldn’t own one. Give me grandpas 4 door Chrysler. At least it hasn’t been pounded to death. You can’t make it original so all you got is a hacked up mess.

  26. Ck

    On a different note What happend to the list at the botom of the post with all the different options .I’m missing it.

  27. HeadMaster1

    Put down the crack pipe…..nearly 50 grand for big block engine just rotting away in a iron-oxide travel tote……. Yeah it’s rare…..I’d put my money into a skylark, build a faster, better clone (tribute as the kids call them now) for say $30k total, and just laugh at whoever pays this kinda money for a rusted wreck of a car…..I had a 69′ 442 with a built Olds 455, so I’m sure this isn’t any better than that……

  28. JRATT1956

    I think I could do some of the work myself and be done at $22K. Hell for $47,500 I could do 2 cars, sell one and only have $10K in the one I kept.I have worked on all my cars since age 18 and bet I have paid mechanics less than $2,000 since 1974 and I have owned 25 different cars. Being poor and never making more than $35K per year and having a dad the was a mechanic and auto body mechanic.What choice did I have. My dad always said if you can fix it yourself you will have more money in your pocket to enjoy life, and he was 100% right.

    Like 2

    Turbo 400, boxed rear control arms & sway bar, 12 bolt with posi tag, original dash tag, other very hard to find parts, all still in same place! I vote real thing :)

  30. Tyler

    WOW! I had no idea these were that rare. In 1984, I was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, & bought a sweet 70 Camaro from Colonial Chevrolet. They had a white GSX on the lot just like this one for, if I remember correctly, $1495. I chose the Camaro for several reasons, it was half the price, wasn’t white, & had a 307 with a 3 speed. With an enlisted man’s salary, I could barely afford the insurance, no way I could have afforded the gas that 455 would have used.

    Talking about hind site being 20/20! We really need Doc Brown to finish that time machine already…

    Like 2
  31. Melvin B.

    Like you said Tom. If it’s a real one. It’ll be worth putting another six figures into it. Not me unfortunately.

  32. Burzel

    Almost bought a ’72 GS Stage 1 as a teenager in the late ’80s. Looked nice but had bondo in the orange bodywork, and after a vigorous tire-smoking test drive the steering wheel fell off upon returning to the seller’s driveway. Walked away from that one but I always wonder what might have been… asking price was $2K IIRC :-D

  33. Chris hugar

    Love the car. I had a 71 Skylark the 350. Replaced it with a new Regal in 1978 and always wondered, where’s the meat, but double the mileage. Looks pricey but what do I know. I’m on my 2nd rice rocket, having traded in my 12 year old Grand Marquis.

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