Pick One: 1972 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W30 or Buick GS Stage 1?

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

These two 1972 muscle ragtops are painted in the same Flame Orange hue and feature the top engines in their respective lineups. How do they compare?

Flame Orange 1972 Buick GS Stage 1

Nineteen seventy-two was a difficult model year for American performance but, considering General Motors lowered compression one year before the 1972 federal mandate, the public already knew what to expect. The biggest impact on GM performance was the method in which horsepower was measured: the 4-4-2 W30 went from 350 horsepower gross to 300 net, while the GS Stage 1 went from 345 gross to 270 net. Nonetheless, they both were able to pull solid 14-second ETs — not like 1970, but among the fastest cars for the model year.

They are almost equally rare too. Oldsmobile produced 113 4-4-2 convertibles with the W30 package, while Buick produced 81 Stage 1 GS convertibles. Narrowing the Buick down, only 15 were built with the four-speed transmission. If the W30 was a four-speed, it would be one of 33.

Check out the AutoHunter Cinema video from Barrett-Jackson’s 2023 auction in Scottsdale and then tell us which car you prefer if you were in the market for a powerful convertible in 1972.