Mark’s ’71 Buick GSX
I bought my first GSX as a part of a four car deal, a 70 and 71 parts car, a 71 matching numbers stage 1 and a 71 Cortez Gold GSX. I first restored the stage1 which I entered in the regular classes at the 2001 GS Nationals, It placed first in the class. I sold that car and started restoring the GSX. These two cars were the reason that we started our restoration company. I found it almost impossible to get anything done in a reasonable time for a reasonable price.I entered the GSX in the concours class at the 2002 GS Nationals and it received 392 points and a gold award. It was a blast building this car…standard 455, 4 speed with air, tilt and most other options except power windows and seats. I showed the car in a large AACA car show where it did the best it could in its’ class, a CHVA show where it got 197 1/2 points out of 200 and a few cruise nights in the local area.About the sixth week after it was finished, I was approached by a local car collector at a large cruise and he proceeded to tell me about his 71 GSX that he had special ordered new. He received it in February of 1971 and was driving it when he first saw the girl that would later become his wife….she was driving a 70 Saturn Yellow GSX. Well, he bought my GSX that night and I decided to start restoring a 70 white GSX that I had recently bought. The money from the 71 was “burning a hole in my pocket”, and I was reminded by a friend about a 71 Cortez Gold car that I had found on an obscure internet site two years ago. Well, my friend Darren Edmonds, my wife and I drove to Flint Michigan on the weekend of the Woodward Dream Cruise and bought the GSX. We hauled the car out of an old steel building, covered with dust and dirt where it had been sitting since 1989. We pulled the trailer with the car on it down Woodward Avenue and parked at a lot with other Buick nuts.
I brought the car home and put it in my garage to clean up and prepare to restore. I told the man that had bought my GSX about the car and he wanted to come and see the car. On the Thursday after I returned from Michigan (800 miles one way) he came to my house to see it. This car happened to have every option that he had ordered on his original car: Cortez Gold, saddle bench seat interior, AM/FM with rear speaker, under dash 8 track, in dash tach, front spoiler, convenience lighting, upper peak moulding, rear decklid and quarter extension trim and auto trans. The original motor was gone but the a/c compressor was a large pulley as used on the stage cars. We found a build sheet but it was for a 4 door Skylark that had a vin # 3 digits off from the GSX.
Well we all began to feel like this was possibly his original car. I traced the ownership from the man I bought it from to a man in South Florida who had bought the car in 1989 and only kept it for 3 months. He had bought it from a performance shop in Greenville, South Carolina that had rebuilt the motor after buying it from a woman that had bought the car in 1972. The man at my house had traded his car for a new Cadillac in 1972, where it was wholesaled to a used car dealer in Greenville, South Carolina.
The guy got excited and went home and started looking through old records for details of the car. He had a picture of the car sitting at the drag strip that his family owns. He finally found the trade papers from the deal for the Cadillac and verified with the vin# that this was indeed his original car. So now I have sold him his car back and my shop is in the process of restoring it to new condition. We plan to show it at next year’s nationals, hopefully both BPG and GSCA. He will drive the car alot when we are done. Oh yeah….the original motor was a stage 1…turned a 13.40 second 1/4 mile when new.
|The GSX was one of the most powerful cars ever offered by Buick in any year. 455 cubic inches of big block Buick V8 developing well over 500 lb/ft of torque. Amazing restoration by Then and Now Classic Auto too. Thanks for sharing this cool story Mark.