72 GS Convertible

Car had a small amount of rust in the trunk and rear quarters. Typical northern car. It was a low option car, manual drum brakes, hubcaps, no A/C. In fact the only real options it had were AM-FM and power steering. The price $1500!! Remember this was 1982.

I told him to keep looking, he was in college and on a budget and I was sure he could not afford to get it to just where he could drive it. That didn’t stop him, he loved the car and bought it the next day.

The next week it was at the shop where I worked in need of a new exhaust, what was left of it completely fell off. I replaced mufflers and welded the rest to get it back on the road. It wasn’t long before he realized that he was not going to be able to afford to keep it. At this point I realized the potential the car had. We made a deal that I would buy it for the price he paid (against my better judgment). I gave him a $500 down payment. Since he couldn’t drive it I lent him my 1971 Olds Cutlass “S” to use until he found another car. A few weeks later he totaled it, I was back to only one car.

I immediately got to work on my new car. I completely rebuild the front end, new tires, new brakes and wheel cylinders, and a new dual exhaust. The car drove great, I was hooked.

The following spring it was time to get to work on the body. I replaced the fender and door. My father and I gave it a new coat of paint. I replaced the top. The car turned heads where ever I went.

The next year I joined the Air Force and ended up being assigned to Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina. Safe from the northern climate I drove the car until 1988 when I moved back to New York. Now married my wife and I needed to buy a house so the car was put in storage until we were settled in a house and able to do a frame off restoration on it. She loved the car as much as I did and we started to buy parts. As it turns out I should have bought two of everything.

Life happens, we bought a house with only a small garage, we had two children. The car was on hold. Finally I was able to build a new garage with plenty of room to work on the car. Then I got transferred, bought another house with a one car garage, but plenty of room for another. A few years later I finally get my new garage built.. The Friday after Thanksgiving 2001 I started the restoration I had put on hold since 1988.

I started with the rust in the quarters and trunk floor. The floor pans weren’t too bad but the body brace was rusted. I ended up replacing it and the floor pans. Once the quarters, trunk and floor pans were replaced, I pulled the frame out. The frame was sandblasted painted with POR 15 and top coated with chassis black. All the bushing were replaced, new brake and fuel lines, everything replaced or detailed. I converted to disc brakes as well. The bottom of the car was sandblasted and repainted. I had the doors and fenders media blasted. Once the frame was back under it I rolled it back under the body. I covered the frame with two layers of plastic and lower the body back down and bolted it in placed. The sheetmetal was primed, jambs painted and put back on. I repainted it the original Cascade Blue metallic. Had all the plastic interior parts chromed and a complete new interior, I also converted to bucket seats and full console. I rebuilt the transmission. The original 350 engine was in good shape, so I did a valve job and installed new bearings.

By the spring of 2003, I was almost done. I made the decision to put some of the final details on hold till this winter. I was able to drive the car to the Rhinebeck New York show in May. On the way home a connecting rod let go, so much for new bearings! I was able to locate another low mileage 350 and had it installed by the following weekend.

We spent the summer going to local cruise nights and shows. The final details are getting done. I converted to gauges and rallye clock. Added sport mirrors. The rear bumper rechromed. I sent out the console insert to be rechromed. The top will be replaced and the top frame repainted in time for next cruise season. My wife and I love our GS even if we got it “accidentally”.