Questions about 1971-72 GSXs

Discussion in 'The "Paper Trail"' started by rkammer, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. Duane

    Duane Member

    The 71-72 GSX’s were not downgraded to anything. In 71 & 72, the Option was still the same as it was in 1970. The only difference was in 70 the “option package” was all or nothing, while in 71-72 it was “a-la-carte” with your base GSX option and other options as wanted.

    It was just a different way of ordering the cars. You have to remember that over the Spring of 1970 the insurance companies skyrocketed their premiums. At that time it was almost the same cost to insure a performance small block as it was to insure a big block the year before. By offering small block versions you could get the same bold look, but could still afford the insurance. (I have an article from that time period questioning if there were going to be any “Super Cars” in 1971.)

    The low body numbers were only used on the 43437 body style, and only at the Flint Michigan plant.

    That plant was run by Buick, all others were run by GMAD, General Motors Assembly Division, and I have no idea how they tracked SCO orders.

    PS, a lot of guys like the 71-72 cars better because they were all different, with different option loads.

    Ya know, like all the 70 Yellow cars look the same and so do the GN’s. That same statement could also be why some guys like the turbo cars better then the GN’s, because they were different.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2023 at 10:44 AM
    Brad Conley and 71GSX like this.
  2. dynaflow

    dynaflow shiftless...

    ...GSX was kind of the same. You could now get WA5 with a 350. WA7 and UB5 had to be ordered separately, as well as RPO options C1, G1, H6, O6, U9, and Trim 168 (black vinyl buckets) to be a GSX (and sadly the fat grip was gone). On the other hand, you could put a GSX front/rear spoiler and hood tach, in any combination, on a 350/455 GS coupe. Likewise a GS convertible minus rear spoiler. IMO, WA5 had become just a trim option:(.
    ...does that mean that GS convertibles could have WA7 and/or UB5 without an SCO trim tag or low body#. In '71, only 3 were made that way, so this is a longshot question... 3 '87 GNs were also different, in that window stickers before then had Model: 1987 Regal 2 Dr Coupe, with WE2 Grand National in Option list, whereas after then, Model was 1987 Grand National and no WE2 Option listed. WE2 was still on trunk lid SPID. In its last 4 months of production, like GS becoming a Series rather than staying a Skylark option, GN became a Buick Model. The last GN was built December 10, mine was Dec 1 per broadcast sheet...
  3. Duane

    Duane Member

    From what I understand any 71 that came with a “GSX” type part, as in front or rear spoiler, or hood tach, would have been a SCO car. As to the SCO on the tag or a low body number, for convertibles, I never had any info on any of those cars so I could not tell you. Also the convertible body numbers are low to begin with, as they did not make many, so if they put some numbers back, how would you know.

    I was the one that figured out the low body numbers for the 71 SCO Coupe cars.They didn’t start making the 71 X’s until later in the production year, and the body numbers were not matching what they should have been for that time period, so I knew something else was going on. I forget who I talked to about this, but do remember hearing they set aside some numbers for the SCO cars.

    This was also proven when we started looking at the microfilm for the 72 cars. Except for the ones ordered in the beginning of the 72 model year, all the SCO cars had low body numbers.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2023 at 10:46 AM
  4. dynaflow

    dynaflow shiftless...

    ...thanks again. My reason for harping on the SCO/body# thing comes from "GSX option orders will be produced in the same time duration as any normal sold or stock order" part of bulletin. I know you mentioned parts availability, but it's still hard to believe that the SCO process as we understand it could be seamlessly fit into the regular production schedule. Just wondering out loud if '71 change in GSX option had anything to do with SCO cars coming thru without usual tag/body# identifiers, or was it simply "stuff happens"o_O...
  5. Duane

    Duane Member

    This would have been true for the Standard production 71 GSX’s only, not for other SCO cars.

    The 71 GSX’s came in 6 different standard colors so there was no problem there.

    The problems with the 70 rear spoilers trying to blow off the back of the cars or delaminating, had been fixed, and the parts were most likely in stock by then.

    The process they used to stripe the cars had already been figured out by then, and one of the painters had already stepped up to the plate to stripe the cars, so there was no issue there.

    The cars were ordered off of standard Wholesale Car Order Forms, with the SCO items hand listed on the forms, so they could be turned over to the Zone offices with all the other orders. No hold up there.

    I don’t see any issues to hold up the production/sequencing for the standard color GSX’s.

    I see you are still bothered by the cars not having SCO on the cowl tag. Those tags were developed and installed on the shell by Fisher Body.

    The cars were assembled at Flint Final Assembly by Buick, not GMAD, or Fisher Body.

    Flint Final Assembly ran off the paperwork, which today we call build sheets. As stated earlier in this thread, the POBF sheet (Production Order Body Final) and probably also the POCP (Production Order Chassis Paint), had the SCO information at the bottom. The Body Shop Inspection Sheets also had info on them so they knew how to build/stripe the cars.

    I know many of us would like to see SCO on the cowl tags, but Buick did not use that info to build the cars, so other then making sure everything was correct when Fisher dropped off the shells at final assembly and Buick “bought” them, they could care less about that tag.

    Also I do know of one particular 71 GSX that was held up in production, and that would be Brad/Drew’s Black GSX. The date codes of the parts on his car are almost exactly 2 weeks later then any other 71 Flint car with the same body build date. I imagine the idea of painting semi-gloss Black stripes on a Gloss Black car threw the production team for a loop, so it probably took them a while to figure it out, and sequence the car. Ultimately that car was shipped to the dealership with the red pin stripes only and the dealership added the Cortez Gold stripes there.

    I hope this answers your questions as I really don’t know how to explain this any better.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2023 at 9:46 AM
    Brett Slater and Mike Sobotka like this.
  6. dynaflow

    dynaflow shiftless... it now, thanks again for taking time to straighten me out. I was putting cowl tag on par with VIN tag in terms of significance. Your POBF/POCP/Body Shop sheet explanation corrected my misperception...
  7. Duane

    Duane Member

    For my 71 Stage 1 GSX I have the Body Shop Inspection Sheet. I believe they may have been developed by Fisher, but would need to check on that. Anyway that sheet has a special UPC code on it, for what we believe is a rear quarter panel emblem, and a big Crayoned “X” over the code, designating it as a GSX.

    For my 350 GSX I had the POBF, where everything is spelled out.

    The deal is that Flint Final Assembly was run by Buick, and Flint Fisher Body had to do things the way they wanted, so there was most likely different procedures in place then for the other plants.

    …….and here is another thing. Zach Hamlin contacted me. He still has the original window sticker from when his brother bought the 71 GSX new.

    Zach thinks the window sticker has the SCO number printed on it. It is put away for safe keeping now, but when he has the time he will check it out for us.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2023 at 10:03 AM
    tdacton likes this.
  8. Duane

    Duane Member

    Zach did send me copies of his info and the SCO number is clearly printed on the window sticker.
    dynaflow, gsconv and tdacton like this.

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