By 1969, the growing segment of people who wanted big horsepower in
their cars was too big to ignore, so Buick joined in a big way with
the Grand Sport, or GS for short. This 1969 GS400 is a wonderfully
deceptive muscle car, packing a brutally fast 400-inch big block
and a bunch of luxury features, all wrapped in that plain black
The GS really needs no introduction, as it eventually evolved into perhaps the nastiest machine on the street in 1970. The Buick's calling card was, of course, an iron fist in a velvet glove and it combined luxury and performance better than just about anything else of the era. Dressing it in black is the perfect demonstration of that effect, giving it a subtle yet imposing stature that fits it like a tailored suit. The sheetmetal underneath is straight enough to use with black paint, and given the vast sums of cash spent on this hardtop, it shouldn't be surprising. The stock hood remains, including its V-shaped "power dome" that still wears '400' badges to warn the unwary that this isn't your mom's Skylark. A matching black vinyl top gives it a more formal air, and it seems right on a Buick, even one designed for wheel-to-wheel combat. Sparkling chrome, a super-straight grille, and bright stainless trim around the wheel arches add a bit of jewelry to an otherwise serious look. Only the emblems appear to be untouched, and they're showing a bit of age, but that's hardly a demerit.
The parchment interior fits like a crisp tuxedo shirt on the black Buick and packs a lot of features you'd expect in a car like this. It's surprisingly understated, not deviating much from the standard Skylark setup, and still includes a bench seat and column-shifted TH400 3-speed automatic transmission. The gauges are all factory-issue and you didn't get much, even in the high-end Buick, but a set of auxiliary gauges under the dash have come to the rescue. A/C was a big part of the GS's appeal, and it's been upgraded with Vintage Air components and R134a refrigerant, so it's reliable and powerful today. A modern AM/FM/CD/iPod head unit with Bluetooth connectivity is the heart of the audio system, and powers speakers stashed throughout the interior. The trunk is pretty stock and wears spatter paint and what is likely the original mat.
Although it looks pretty stock, the numbers-matching 400 cubic inch V8 under the hood packs a ferocious punch and a huge wallop of low-end torque to get it off the line. That twin-snorkel air cleaner is factory-issue, one of the cooler air induction systems of the period, and the bright Dante Red block remains the center of attention when you open the hood. Correct decals on the air cleaner and valve covers highlight that this is a performance Buick, and aside from the modern A/C compressor, they worked pretty hard to keep it looking stock. It starts easily and pulls the A-body around with authority, and there's a nice growl from the stock-style dual exhaust system that is uniquely Buick. The original 10-bolt rear end plants the power and the power brakes have been rebuilt to ensure safety with all that horsepower on tap. Classic Buick road wheels are still fitted, wrapped in 225/70/15 Firestone Firehawk radials.
Beautifully built at a cost way over the asking price, this Buick does everything well. The great looks and all-day comfort are just icing on the cake. Call today!