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1969 Buick GS 400 Stage 1 Convertible

  • Price: Ask a price!
  • Location: Smithtown, New York, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Buick
  • Model: Other
  • SubModel: Stage 1
  • Type: Convertible
  • Trim: Stage 1
  • Year: 1969
  • Mileage: 129,575
  • Color: Red
  • Engine size: 400
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Power options: Air Conditioning, Power Windows
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Interior color: White
  • Options: Convertible
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

1969 Buick Other Stage 1 Description

I am a private seller, not a dealer or car flipper and have owned this car since December 2009. 1969 Buick gs400 stage 1 convertible with 129,575 miles. A very rare car as it is one of 212 GS 400 stage one convertibles produced in 1969. This car is currently 1 of 14 listed in the national registry. Of these 131 were automatics. How many have a white bucket interior with power windows and Air Conditioning I don’t know, but it can’t be many. Engine is correct and original with RS and vin # on block . The transmission was not correct when I purchased the car. In 2014 I purchased a correct 1969 “BB” stage 1 transmission and had it rebuilt and installed. I felt this was as close to original and correct as I could get. The car still maintains its original 342 posi rear. The car is very correct and complete. I would describe it as a very, very nice driver. A balls fast driver, but a driver none the less ! It was originally Turquoise Mist Poly, now signal red. Pictures do not represent the color well. It is a deep correct signal red, that is even and true throughout the car, It has a white bucket seat interior with power steering, power disc brakes, Air Conditioning and Power Windows. To my way of thinking it is basically a one repaint survivor car .

If you have followed these cars and their pricing you would know that the 1968/1969 GS 400 convertibles are one of the only muscle cars to have risen consistently in value during the recent economic downturn. The Stage 1 convertible being the rarest of these and 1969 being it’s first year as a factory option have made it a sought after investment vehicle.

Going by the description on Hagerty.com I would consider this car somewhere between a #3 and #4 car. Hagerty puts the value at $56,200 in #4 condition, minus 20% for auto, or $44,960. I have been offered high 20’s by two flippers who want to restore it and then sell it for a profit so I feel what I am looking to get for it is in the right ballpark.

You can find a restored one for $80-120K or, a clone, replica, tribute or what ever they want to call it with stage one emblems on the hood and a 455 that someone wants 40K for but rarely, if ever, do you ever see a correct unabused numbers matching stage 1 convertible in this condition. This car is a chance to invest in a rare vehicle that will only increase in value.

I strongly recommend looking at or having the car inspected prior to bidding. I am taking a very un-ebay approach and going through every bit of the car as I see it below. My number is listed at the end of the car description. Please call or email with any questions. Or if you need further pics.

The body:

The body is very clean and very straight and has the original panels as far as I can tell. I am no body expert but I did put a magnet all over this car and it stuck everywhere. That being said I am sure in almost 50 years of existence some work must have been done to it.

The paint job is driver quality. The car appears to have been repainted only once some time ago. Well done at the time. The paint has some chips here and there but one needs to get within a foot or so to really start to pick it apart. Unless you were doing a show/restoration paint job there would be no reason to touch it. It shines beautifully and one can clearly see images reflected in it. No dents or heavy scratches. One very small ding on the passenger fender that you can only see from particular angles that I am told a paintless dent removal guy could get out easily but I never bothered because it is nothing that bothered me that much. The weakest part of the body is the doors. They have some bubbling on the front bottom that was on them when I bought the car and has not gotten any worse. I have a set of 100% straight rust free doors I had shipped from California that I have stored indoors that will go with the car. The hood has some minor imperfections in the clear coa, right on the angled edge that mounts the stage one emblems, once again not in your face ugly but there . I have a pic of each emblem so that you can see what I am describing.

The trunk had some surface rust that I brushed down and treated with Eastwood rust converter. It was pretty much confined to the factory channels in the pan where moisture could sit. I haven’t taken it any further. No rust through or rot that I can see.

When I purchased the car in 2009 the floors were looking weak. I had them completely professionally replaced. Front and rear pans, toe boards, center brace and seat brackets. I wish I hadn’t rushed into changing them. They weren’t really bad and I soon realized that I would probably keep the car as i, as a one repaint survivor. The frame is perfect.


Once again I would say driver quality. The bumpers look great walking around or right up to the car . If you sit on the ground right in front of them you can find flaws and would re-do them in a complete restoration. I love searching out parts. If I found a piece of stainless or trim that was original and nicer than what I had on the car I would swap it in. The chrome piece on the outside driver’s side windshield pillar has a couple of small dings on the very bottom. I have a beautiful original piece to replace it that will go with the car. Otherwise, in and out it is all very nice but once again what I would consider a nice driver quality.


New carpet when the floors were replaced in 2010. Car has less than 1500 miles since then so carpet is “as new”

White interior has no rips or splits. There are minor imperfection, and not many of them, that you can find if you go over every bit of the vinyl. From outside the car you see nothing but a beautiful interior. I installed a restored/rechromed dash bezel. The dashpad is perfect. When I did I put a new headlight switc, all new dash bulbs, and a super clean working a/c heat switch. The cigarette lighter doesn’t work and the clock works but doesn’t maintain accurate time. It has the original AM radio in the dash (not connected) and a professionally installed hidden stereo/CD in the glovebox. The front door panels are cut with speakers installed but although I am somewhat morally opposed to that I have to say it is a very clean and tasteful installation that I wouldn’t touch. Car looks stock but the stereo cranks. The weakest part of the interior is the rear side panels above the armrests. Nothing horrible but something I would tweak along the way. All the small interior chrome pieces are very nice or new.

Convertible Top :

Complete professionally installed new Top including pads, glass window, and well cover are less than one month old and amazing. At the time the front bow was found to have previously repaired rust and was replaced with a restored one shipped in from Florida . 400 bucks for the bow, ouch but even though I was selling the car, I couldn’t see not doing it right.

Engine and mechanical:

When I bought the car the original engine had 40 miles on a fresh rebuild. I have put approximately 1500 miles on the car since then. Every little piece on the engine, like chrome valve covers, nuts, and wire loom studs, the small details of a correct Stage 1 are where they should be and in good shape. In the year prior to my purchase the car had had a new gas tank, fuel pump, heater core, rebuilt motor with new pistons/valves/camshaft and carburator. Rebuilt hydraulic pump for the top, Mallory distributor, coil and wires. New front springs were also installed.

In the first year I owned it I had new upper control arm bushings, new front brake pads and brake hoses, new rear brake shoes and wheel cylinders and new rear brake hoses and steel lines

I do not have the original carburator or distributor.

The tires are all in great shape with the fronts being near new and the rears having less than 500 miles on them.

What is still left to be done:

- A/C and heat. Been on my list but haven’t gotten to it. When I replaced the dash I put in an excellent used a/c heat control. Works well. Blower motor works but is a little noisy. Heater core supposed to be new, currently by-passed. A/C compressor appears to be a recent rebuilt and limiter looks new as well. My mechanic felt is was never charged up after the engine was rebuilt but I honestly have not explored it any further. Having only driven 1500 miles in 5 years it obviously sees only nice weather.

- Windows all work but rears are slow. Rear needs a little help going up and one of them has a switch that only works one way so it has to go up from the main drivers switch. Drivers window can move front to rear on track but works fine. Haven’t gotten to that yet !!

- Gas gauge can be intermitant. I am going to try and get that fixed before I sell the car but assume it won’t be as I cannot guarantee it will be done.

Ownership history as I know it:

2009-present- me in New York

2002-2009 – previous owner and his boss traded it back and forth from Arizona to North Carolina and back with neither one ever restoring it as they both wanted to do

1980-2002 One owner in Arizona

1969-1980 Told was in Arizona but have no firm information

From the stage1registry.com website:

From a performance aspect, the stage1 option consisted of larger valves in the heads (1970-up 455 engines only: intake valves increased from 2.00 to 2.125 and exhaust valves increased from 1.625 to 1.75), stiffer valve springs (used a dual spring setup), rejetted carburetor, recurved distributor, special high-lift camshaft, high-volume fuel pump, different oil pump spring, bigger oil pickup tube diameter (for 1969-1970 only, starting in 1971 all 455s had a 5/8'' OD tube), heavy duty cooling (7 blade fan), special TH400 transmission (if so equipped - see below for details), and a positive traction (posi) rear. A 10-bolt posi rear was standard for all years, with rear gear ratios of 3.64:1 for non A/C cars and 3.42:1 for A/C cars in 1969 and 1970. Starting in 1971, all stage1 Gran Sports received 3.42:1 rear gear ratios.
From an appearance aspect, all factory stage1 Gran Sports came with chrome valve covers, nuts, and wire loom studs. 1969 model year cars had valve stickers which stated '400-4 Stage 1' and contained 'Stage 1' hood emblems alongside the ram air scoops. 1970 - 1974 model year cars had an air cleaner decal which stated 'Stage 1'. 1970-1972 Gran Sport models had stage 1 badges on the fender under the 'GS' emblems, while 1973-1974 models had stage1 badges at the front of the fenders.
Engine production codes for all years are two digits and are stamped between the #5 and #7 spark plugs (drivers side rear), on the surface of the block just below the head . The second digit must be an 'S'.

Automatic transmissions have a tag on the passenger side (figure T2) that contains the code identifying the transmission application. Stage1 GSs came with heavy duty transmissions with a 2.48 first gear. ALL had (or were supposed to have) steel flat washers (instead of wave type) and 6 plate clutch packs (instead of 5 plates with wave washers). These types of transmissions were referred to as a 'Cadillac sprag' transmissions, and were used in high torque applications. The servo spring was different, in addition to the valve body pressure.

If you have further questions or need specific pictures please call me at 631-404-7313.Evenings 5-10 EST would be the best chance to reach me. I want you to know what you are buying and to be happy with your purchase. See the car or have it inspected prior to bidding if at all possible. You are bidding to buy the car, not see it and decide. Please have the money and the authority to spend it or don’t bid. A non-refundable $1000 deposit is required within 24 of auction end. Cash or verified certified check required before car will be released to buyer. I will assist you in shipping in any way possible. Car is available for sale locally and I reserve the right to stop this auction at any time.