To keep original, or not

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by stricklystage1, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. stricklystage1

    stricklystage1 New Member

    Hello, I am new to this forum. I am conducting a frame off restoration on a 1972 GS stage1. My dilemma is the car was a factory automatic then converted to a 4-spd manual at some point in its life. I like the 4-spd but i am trying to go as original as possible. Should I leave the 4-spd in the car or go back to the th400? How do you guys feel this effects the value of the car?
  2. Guy Parquette

    Guy Parquette Platinum Level Contributor

    I vote to go back original. Especially if its a real Stage car.

    Oh, And welcome here! Its a nice place with good people.
  3. 71gs3504sp

    71gs3504sp Well-Known Member

    First off, do as you please, but if it is was my car I would is keep is as original as possible.
  4. flynbuick

    flynbuick Guest

    We have owned them both ways. If it not a concours 72 car that I planned to show and I already had the correct 4 speed components in place, I would probably leave it alone. If it is not a concours car, I do not think the 4 speed modification will substantially devalue the car. Unless you have the original BB trans with the VIN, it will not be a number matching car either way.
  5. David G

    David G de-modded....

    I'm with Jim on this one. Unless you don't like driving a stick, then by all means go back to the auto. But not having the original TH400 takes a bit away from going back to an auto, if the idea is originality.
  6. ilikebmx999

    ilikebmx999 Well-Known Member

    I'll agree with the last two, unless everything else on the car is numbers matching as original (and you have the original trans) then I'd keep the 4 speed. It'll most likely be more desirable than a non vin matching auto trans installed in its place.
  7. staged70

    staged70 RIP

    I'm willing to bet a 4 spd won't hurt the value on a 72 stage 1 if you have the original automatic trans then when you sell you can offer it with the car
  8. oldsmobiledave

    oldsmobiledave Well-Known Member

    Enjoy the car as a 4 speed and gather the correct parts for the conversion back to auto should you choose to sell to pass along to potential buyers.
  9. wkillgs

    wkillgs Gold Level Contributor

    You you building it to enjoy it, or to sell it?
    I'd keep the 4 speed. It can be converted back to an automatic in the future. As said, the 4 spd conversion is unlikely to reduce it's value significantly.
  10. flynbuick

    flynbuick Guest

    If you heard Tim Welborn, the well know Alabama? MOPAR collector, at the recent TV Mecum broadcast, he stated that for 4 speed cars he adds 25% over an automatic. Now, he was talking about factory 4 speed cars, but still there is some carry over value to conversions in my opinion.
  11. cjp69

    cjp69 Platinum Level Contributor

    Hagerty valuation guide says to discount their values by 20% for an auto, right in line with what Tim is saying.
  12. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    I agree. I think the car being a non original 4 speed conversion is going to be worth more like that than if you were to go back to the automatic. Everyone wants a 4 speed Buick. Thats like sending your girlfriend in for breast reduction surgery :Dou:
  13. flynbuick

    flynbuick Guest

    When is the last time you saw a stranger obviously excited about seeing a muscle car walk up to the window, look in, and say, "Darn, it is a 4 speed. I was hoping it was going to be an automatic". :laugh:
  14. sriley531

    sriley531 M.M.O.G.

    I'm with the others, if you dont have the matching numbers transmission then I'd go with the 4 speed since it's all already there. If you have the original transmission, that'd change things (for me anyway). Plus, like Jim said, people get a kick out of it. I converted my SBB/auto skylark to a BBB/4 speed and I get far more comments about the trans than I do the engine.

    But above all else, if you're building this car for YOU, make it how YOU want it and don't look back! It's a bad#ss car no matter what trans is in it!
  15. Guy Parquette

    Guy Parquette Platinum Level Contributor

    Ok, I'm out voted here. Idk, didn't think about the non oem trans maybe being gone. But about the breast reduction. I think "upgrading" to a non oem 4 speed is more like buying your girl friend a breast enhancement.
    And I had both, the 4 speed upgrade and the other, and there is just no comparison to the real thing!:eek:
  16. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
  17. Mattias

    Mattias Member

    I'd keep the 4 speed. If you think you might sell it someday, pick up a th400 and keep the original linkages if you have them. You can always convert it back if you have the parts.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
  18. JZRIV

    JZRIV Platinum Level Contributor

    Oh that funny

  19. ewickers

    ewickers New Member

    I prefer the original.
  20. JayZee88

    JayZee88 Well-Known Member

    First off its up to you, but will offer some advice. If the conversion was done with factory parts then it comes down to which YOU prefer. Value won't make a huge difference since it's a factory auto. Now I have a few questions.

    Do you WANT it a auto or manual?
    What's your plans for the car? Manual = more fun, auto = more convenience.

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