1972 Buick GS 350 Convertible

1 of 645 built, 1 of 68 sold new in Canada


Jump to a section to see the restoration:

Chassis (Completed Aug 13, 2004)

Body & Paint (Completed Jan 7, 2006)

Driveline (Completed Feb 3, 2006)

Electrical (Completed April 11, 2006)

Interior (Completed May 19, 2006 )

Final Assembly (updated Sept 28, 2009)

 

Completed pics and video (July-Sept 2009)

How it started :

While I was on an local endorsement course for the Boeing 737 in Oct 2000, a gentleman in my class and I were talking about Buicks, since he owns a 1987 Buick Grand National. I was telling him about my car and he said he knew of one possibly sitting near his house, very rusty but complete. We went to look at it, and turns out it was a 72 GS 455, #'s matching but the engine had a spun rod bearing. I thought it would be good for parts, so we asked the owner if it was for sale...turns out it was, but I had to buy BOTH cars and when I asked about the other car, he replied that it was a 72 GS convertible!


Despite my better judgment (never let fear and common sense hold you back!) I ended up buying them. This page will follow the progression of the #'s matching ragtop, since I've always wanted a convertible. Both cars were purchased Nov 13, 2000.

This is the ragtop once I had it on a friends farm. It was later trucked back to my garage. I was told this car had an interior fire in 1987, and has not been driven since. The previous owners had collected a small amount of parts for its rebuilding and had already replaced the doors. The top mechanism has some damage and obviously the interior is gutted. This was probably a good thing, since the carpets were thrown away and the floor was bare, this kept rust from starting in the passenger floor area (which is a really common problem on convertibles). Also, they had removed the floor drain plugs which was a good idea. You can see the front fenders have the usual rot in the lower corners and the lower quarters have some rust as well...pretty minor stuff for a 28 year old convertible.


This car had been partially repainted at one time. Hood is ok. Doors need to be replaced, but I have extras. Windshield trim is on the way, along with several other small pieces.

Dec15,2000


Since my convertible was built in the US and then sold new in Canada, a phone call to George Zapora of GM's vintage department resulted in a letter which listed all the options and some information on the car.


The convertible was built in Flint, MI on September 1, 1971 (well that is what the paperwork says but the date code on the trim tag is 08E or fifth week of Aug 1971) and sold new at Jenner Pontiac Buick Ltd of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It was Flame orange (ironic, isn't it??) with a covert (light tan) top and saddle (brown) interior. Earth tones were the style in 1972, I guess. Some of the options include notchback bench seat, tilt, tinted glass, power windows, power steering, power disc brakes, chrome road wheels, rally suspension, 3.08 posi, rally gauge cluster, map light mirror, and a factory tape player in addition to the radio (anyone got any 8-tracks laying around??). Buckets were not available in 1971 or 1972 on the GS convertible, except for a couple SCO or special order cars that were built.


I have confirmed that it does indeed still have the original engine. I will most likely remove and store it but have not decided whether to replace with another Buick 350 or go the 455 route....


Also, GM stated that this car is one of sixty-eight (68!) GS convertibles sold in Canada in 1972. Total production of 1972 GS 350 convertibles was 645, with 601 automatics like mine, 39 four speeds, and five "three on the tree" cars. There were an additional 126 GS 455 convertibles (114 auto, 12 4-speed), and 81 Stage 1 convertibles (66 auto, 15 4-speeds) built in 1972.


Did a VIN search for previous registrations and any accident damage. The car was sold new in Edmonton, Alberta, yet the first time it was registered in this province was Sept 1, 1984 (I also checked BC, Sask, Man and Ont so where was it for the first 12 years?). The registration then transferred on Sept 8, 1987, and then again on Sept 22, 1987. Follow the five links on top of this page for the restoration of this unusual car.


Feb 22, 2001


Some updated information on the 1972 Buick GS convertibles, maybe you will find it useful. There were 645 GS 350 verts like mine, 126 GS 455 verts, and just 81 Stage 1 verts in 1972. There is no breakdown between the three models for the following information, it simply applied to all 852 cars.

1972 Buick GS Convertible Paint Color Breakdown
NUMBER PRODUCED COLOR SALES CODE DATA PLATE CODE
131 Flame Orange Z 65
113 Burnished Copper M 63
101 Fire Red R 75
87 Sunburst Yellow Y 56
76 Stratomist Blue B 26
59 Hunter Green I 48
47 Seamist Green F 43
40 Arctic White C 11
40 Antique Gold U 57
38 Heritage Green H 36
33 Cortez Gold Q 53
30 Sandalwood J 50
11 Silver Mist V 14
10 Regal Black A 19
10 Cascade Blue T 24
10 Crystal Blue D 21
5 Deep Chestnut K 67
4 Vintage Red X 73
2 Nutmeg N 69
2 Royal Blue E 28
2 Unknown, Special Order SCO SCO
1 Emerald Mist G 45

 

Top breakdown:

NUMBER PRODUCED COLOR SALES CODE DATA PLATE CODE
498 White 1 A
201 Black 2 B
99 Sandalwood (Covert) 5 T
54 Green 9 G

 

Interior breakdown:

NUMBER PRODUCED COLOR SALES CODE DATA PLATE CODE
429 White Notchback Bench 245 135
197 Saddle Notchback Bench 246 136
150 Black Standard Bench 128 138
76 Green Notchback Bench 240 130

Some things to note here. Black was only available with the standard bench. Buckets were not available on the 71 or 72 convertible. Also, 72 white is either off-white or bright white depending on who you talk to! As always, changes were ongoing and not always documented.

March 6, 2006


Here is a sample of some of the more interesting options on the 1972 buick GS Convertible. This is for all 852 convertibles built.

 

NUMBER PRODUCED OPTION PERCENTAGE OPTION CODE SALES CODE
526 Air Conditioning 62 % C60 I6
517 Power Disc Brakes 61 % JL2 C1
463 Tinted Glass 54 % A01 L1
429 Chrome Plated Wheels 51 % P05 V2
257 Power Windows 30 % A31 R1
253 AM-FM Radio 30 % U58 D5
251 Tilt Steering Column 29 % N33 S7
248 Rallye Steering Wheel 29 % N31 X2
193 Through Bumper Exhaust 23 % N25 E6
185 Gauges And Clock 22 % WB7 U9
165 Rallye Firm Ride And Handling Package 19 % F41 H6
146 Wide Oval G60-15 White letter Tires/Chrome Wheels 17 % PJ4 F7
115 Speed Alert 13 % U15 K3
107 8 Track Player 13 % U57 D0
106 3.42 positraction 12 % HT5 G1
103 3.08 positraction 12 % HT4 G4
90 14.6 to 1 Fast Ratio Power Steering 11 % N41 C5
89 Gauges and Tachometer 10 % WB8 U7
68 Canadian Special Items 8 % Z49 R2
66 Custom Seat Belts/Front Shoulder Belt 8 % AK1 J3
62 Cruise Control 7 % K30 S6
56 Rear Window Defroster 7 % C50 M7
54 Block heater 6 % K05 M8
50 Electric Door Locks 6 % AU3 T2
4 Super Sport Wheels 0.5 % PA6 V7
1 Hood Mounted Tachometer 0.1% !!! UB5 UB5

 

Engine and Transmission

NUMBER PRODUCED ENGINE OPTION PERCENTAGE OPTION CODE SALES CODE
645 350 Powered 75.7 % L77 A7
601 350 & T350 Automatic 70.5 % L77 & M38 A7 & B5
39 350 & 4 Speed Manaul 4.6 % L77 & M20 A7 & B3
5 350 & 3 Speed Manual 0.6 % L77 & M13 A7 & B6
126 455 Powered 14.8 % L74 A9
114 455 & T400 Automatic 13.4 % L74 & M40 A9 & B2
12 455 & 4 Speed Manual 1.4 % L74 & M20 A9 & B3
81 455 Stage 1 Powered 9.5 % L75 A1
66 455 Stage 1 & T400 Automatic 7.7 % L75 & M40 A1 & B2
15 455 Stage 1 & 4 Speed Manual 1.8 % L75 & M20 A9 & B3

 

Some interesting things here. 62% of all 1972 GS convertibles had air conditioning. A surprising number did not have disc brakes. Surprisingly few had the rallye ride option, which again is odd given the cars "performance" nature. Only 54 cars came with a block heater, so that pretty much tells you where most cars were sold new (kinda odd, you would think all 68 that came to Canada would have block heaters although I suppose on the west coast it is not needed). The front shoulder belt option was not very popular (go figure). Gauges and clock were more popular than gauges and tachometer. The Canadian special items I do not know much about, it did include extra anti-freeze and fuel though.

The 350 powered 3 speed manual was the base driveline package.

Percentages rounded off to the nearest 1% for options, engines to the nearest 1/10 %.

March 13, 2006


Car turned 45 years old today!

Sept 1, 2016


Original Buick road tests


1970-72 GS Factory photographs and literature


Reproduction Parts Page


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