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Flint’s Finest – 1971 Buick GS

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GM Scene Magazine®

Chris Porter’s 1971 Buick GS

Chris Porter is a staple in the car community in and around his hometown of Saint Clairsville, Ohio, and nearby Wheeling, West Virginia. His shop, Porter’s Toy Barn, is the go-to spot very well known for detailing classics, exotics, and everything in between. Given the business that he’s in, it’s not surprising that Chris has a very interesting fleet of collectible metal tucked away and each example is spotlessly pristine from top to bottom. His interests clearly lean to the Buick camp, with a couple ‘70 GS models, a pair of Rivieras, and a Grand National, to name but a few. There are other gems in the flock, but let’s take a listen to what he had to say about this Fire Red ‘71.  

“This GS was born the 2nd week of February in 1971 in Flint, Michigan. It’s one of 902 GS convertibles built in 1971 and was sold new in Indiana. This car came very well equipped with its stunning Fire Red paint and black bucket seat interior. Over the years the car has been refreshed twice, once in 1991, and recently to the condition it is in now a full rotisserie restoration in 2015. During that restoration, the engine was sent to Automotive Machine and Performance for a Stage 1 balanced and blueprinted rebuild. The 455 produced 411hp @5,000 rpm on the dyno with a stump-pulling 527 ft.lb. @3,100 rpm. The turbo 400 was refreshed along with the factory 10-bolt 3.42 posi rear end. At this time, the builder added some Stage 1 options – N25 exhaust exit through the rear bumper, factory hood tach, and a GSX front splitter. We also went with a pro touring theme with full tubular suspension from UMI. This gave the car a lowered, more aggressive stance and handling. After I purchased the car I added 17×7 and 18×8 Billet Specialties Super Sport wheels with Diamond Back redline tires.”

While I was photographing his car in beautiful downtown Wheeling, Chris told me about how this car ended up in his stable. “It was always a bucket list item of mine to go to a Mecum auction with my father. In 2020, Covid delayed our plans, so we ended up going to Mecum Indy in 2022. I had no intentions of purchasing anything, but within 20 minutes of being there, I found this beautiful red Gran Sport. It did not go across the block until the end of the next day. I checked it over really well but then went about my day. The following day, we only planned to go in the morning. The auction was so large that it was 3:00 in the afternoon before we knew it. I realized the red GS would be crossing the block shortly so we went to watch it. I started bidding in excitement and 30 seconds later it was mine. It really was such a rush of adrenaline. That evening, I walked out to my car that I had never heard run, fired it up and drove it 6 hours home in a thunderstorm. I will never forget that experience.”

Say what you will about the big auction experience, but more often than not, buyers and sellers leave with huge smiles on their faces. The thrill of the chase is nearly as much fun as having your dream car sitting in its forever home in your very own driveway.



GM Scene Magazine®