Until Buick made this car, GM had some issues in the 1966-1971 War of Horsepower. They were clawing behind Chrysler and Ford Motor Co, thanks to a directive from GM that no intermediate car (midsize today) could have an engine larger than 400 cubic inches. In 1970, that restriction was killed off, and the Buick engineers went bananas.
So, the Buick GSX was born right then and there, which involved plenty of heavy-duty suspension equipment (for the era) and an evil 455-cubic-inch V8 lurking underneath the hood. This was an engine that was capable of making a 426 Hemi soil its underpants. Buick claimed 360 horsepower at 4200RPM and 510 lbs-ft of torque (tires are overrated in the Nixon era)–but that was just to keep the insurance companies happy. Testing claimed a 13-second quarter mile time (Motor Trend got it down to 13.38 seconds) at a trap speed cresting right over 100MPH. Buick definitely lied to the insurance companies to make sure people would buy the car–it was likely making at least 400HP once the tach broke over 5000 RPM, and was capable of scaring plenty of Hemi cars and hot rodded Ford Torinos. Alas, thanks to the high price tag (this one was almost $5,500, or just about $500 less than a new Lincoln Continental) and low production, only 679 left the factory, with 398 in Saturn Yellow and the rest in white. This four-speed model was proudly displayed this fall at Radnor. Enjoy the photos.
-Albert S. Davis