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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder January 27th – 31st, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 16th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.
From their 1964 launch, GM’s new midsize A-Body models were a runaway sales success story with attractive styling, extensive options, and sheer value for the dollar. Capable of accommodating every available GM passenger-car powerplant, Buick’s new-for-1965, Skylark-based Gran Sport attacked the rabid performance market exploited by fellow GM Division Pontiac and its GTO. Decidedly upscale and capable of delivering outstanding performance, the Gran Sport featured a reinforced convertible frame, heavy-duty underpinnings, and a 401 cubic-inch V-8 engine lifted from the full-size Wildcat, belting out 325 horsepower and 445 pounds-feet of tire-smoking torque.
A major redesign for the 1968 model year brought a sportier new look courtesy of a three-inch reduction in wheelbase length and long-hood, short-deck styling with crisply tapered fenders and a distinctive “sweepspear” treatment echoing Buick’s famous Roadmaster of the late-1940s. Like its other GM siblings, the Skylark was available in virtually every conceivable body style, including convertibles, coupes, hardtops, sedans, and station wagons. This basic design theme continued through 1972 and it ranks among the most popular with today’s enthusiasts. The Gran Sport was steadily refined and updated, eventually powered by a new-design 400 V-8 replacing the venerable “Nailhead.” The Stage 1 option took the GS to new performance levels for 1968 and ’69. Cancellation of GM’s corporate edict limiting its intermediate models to 400 cubic-inch engines freed Buick engineers to drop their new 455 cubic-inch unit into the Skylark for 1970, endowing the sophisticated Skylark GS with monstrous power and performance. Curiously, Buick rated the high-performance Stage 1 455 conservatively at 360 horses and 510 pounds-feet of torque for 1970 – the same as the basic 455 engine – but performance was equal to – or better than – all competing supercars of the era. Not even the switch to lower compression in 1971 and ’72 could blunt the Stage 1’s performance, with massive torque and lightning quickness being the Buick’s calling cards.
This GS 455 convertible from 1972 clearly benefits handsomely from a complete frame-off restoration performed with care over a 12-year timeframe. While the car is not numbers matching, it is nonetheless highly period correct, with the engine rebuilt to Stage 1 specifications. Subtle and desirable upgrades include electronic ignition, an aluminum intake, ceramic-coated block hugging headers, stainless-steel exhaust, and wider rear wheels. Every piece of this car is either new or rebuilt to new specifications, with excellent paint and body fit clearly evident and the interior trimmed to match. Delivering an “as new” driving experience with only about 100 miles since the restoration was completed, it features great colors and performance, with an outstanding top-down driving experience. As such, this GS 455 convertible is a great find on all levels.