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Buick GS



History

1965-1975






Introduction: The Buick GS started life back in 1965 as many GM intermediate muscle cars did, as an option on an existing model. Through fine tuning, it would become one of the most formidable muscle cars of all time -- from a company not normally associated with performance.


1965 Buick Skylark Gran Sport




Comments: The success of the 1964 Pontiac GTO encouraged Buick to produce a muscle car of their own. General Motors placed a corporate maximum of 400 cubic inches in their intermediates, but Buick just shoehorned their existing 401 cubic inch fullsize car engine into their Skylark to create the Buick Skylark Gran Sport. Called the Wildcat 445 (due to its torque rating), this Buick engine dated back to the 1950s and was known as the "nail head engine" due to the size of its valves. All Skylark Gran Sports, hardtop, pillared coupe, and convertible, received the convertible's beefed up frame and a special suspension. The model was an instant success and almost 16,000 were sold in 1965. Not bad for a first try.

Production:
2D Coupe: 2,282
2D Hardtop: 11,351
Convertible: 2,147

Engines:
401 V8 325 bhp @ 4,400rpm, 445 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.

Performance:
401/325bhp: 0-60 in 7.8 sec, 1/4 mile in 16.6 sec @ 86 mph.


1966 Buick Skylark Gran Sport




Comments: The 1966 Buick Skylark Gran Sport received more power and new styling for its second season. All Skylarks gained new rear slooping sail panels that extended the rear roofline beyond the back window while Gran Sports were distinguished by blacked out grilles, GS badging, nonfunctional rear-facing hood scoops, and simulated front fender vents. The old 401 engine returned producing 325bhp, but now there was a hotter 340 bhp version. This engine dropped 0-60 and 1/4 mile times by 1 second and 1/2 second respectively. Despite these improvements, the Buick's higher price compared to other GM intermediates resulted in a large drop in production, as only 13,816 were produced.

Production:
2D Coupe: 1,835
2D Hardtop: 9,934
Convertible: 2,047

Engines:
401 V8 325 bhp @ 4,400rpm, 445 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.
401 V8 340 bhp @ 4,600rpm, 445 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.

Performance:
401/325bhp: 0-60 in 7.6 sec, 1/4 mile in 15.47 sec @ 90.5 mph.


1967 Buick GS 400




Comments: For 1967, Buick got rid of its old 401 cubic inch engine and brought out a brand new 400 cubic inch engine as well as a new name, the GS 400. The new engine put out the same 340bhp as the top 401 engine, but was a more modern design, better running, higher revving and sported a futuristic air cleaner. Appearance wise, the hood scoops now faced forward but were still non-functional. Performance wise, a new 3 speed automatic was introduced, which many testers performed over the 3 and 4 speed manuals. 1967 also saw the introduction of the "junior" GS, dubbed the GS 340 in honor of its 340 cubic inch engine. It was no slouch either but was often overshadowed by its bigger brother.

Production:
2D Coupe: 1,014
2D Hardtop: 10,659
Convertible: 2,140

Engines:
GS340: 340 V8 260 bhp @ 4,200rpm, 365 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.
GS400: 400 V8 340 bhp @ 5,000rpm, 440 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.

Performance:
401/325bhp: 400/340bhp: 0-60 in 6.5 sec, 1/4 mile in 15.20 sec @ 95 mph.


1968 Buick GS 400




Comments: The Buick GS underwent a drastic structual change for 1968, losing 3 inches of wheelbase and 4.4 inches of overall length. Overall weight increase due in part to massive rear end styling and sail creases along the sides. The junior GS's powerplant received an increase to 350 cubic inches but the 400 cubic inch unit stayed the same. A new model was introduced, the California GS. Sold exclusively in California, this model was basically a GS350 but with special "California" badges and trim, a standard two speed automatic transmission, a vinyl top, chrome exterior trim and wheels, and the DeLuxe steering wheel. A very rare dealer installed option was also introduced in 1968 and it treated the 400 cid engine with a hotter cam, 11.0:1 compression, stronger valve springs and a reworked transmission. Officially pegged at a mere 345bhp, or just a 5 bhp increase over the base 400 cid engine, experts believe that it was more like 390bhp and it dropped 1/4 mile times by 1 second or more. It was called the "Stage 1 Special Package" and was an indicator of great things to come.

Production:
GS350 2D Hardtop: 10,530
GS400 2D Hardtop: 10,743
GS400 Convertible: 2,454

Engines:
GS350: 350 V8 280 bhp @ 4,600rpm, 375 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.
GS400: 400 V8 340 bhp @ 5,000rpm, 440 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.
GS400 Stage 1: 400 V8 345 bhp @ 5,800 rpm, 440 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.

Performance:
400/340: 0-60 in 6.8 sec, 1/4 mile in 15.2 sec @ 92 mph.


1969 Buick GS 400




Comments: To fend off increasing competition, the Buick GS finally received standard functional hood scoops for cold-air induction. Buick claimed this increased horsepower by 8% and torque by 6% throughout the rev band but did not change the ratings of the engines. The GS350 and California GS powered by the 350 cid engine continued but the big news for 1969 was the addition of two options for the 400 engine, Stage 1 and Stage 2. The Stage 1 boosted output to 345bhp while the even rarer Stage 2 boosted output to 360bhp.

Production:
GS350 2D Hardtop: 4,933
GS400 2D Hardtop: 6,456
GS400 Convertible: 1,776

Engines:
GS350: 350 V8 280 bhp @ 4,600rpm, 375 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.
GS400: 400 V8 340 bhp @ 5,000rpm, 440 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.
GS400 Stage 1: 400 V8 345 bhp @ 5,800 rpm, 440 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.

Performance:
GS400 Stage 1 - 400/345: 0-60 in 5.8 sec, 1/4 mile in 14.4 sec @ 97 mph.


1970 Buick GS 455




Comments: 1970 saw the greatest Buick GS of all time. GM finally lifted its corporate ban of engines larger than 400 cubic inches in an intermediate body and Buick responded by stuffing a brand new 455 cubic inch engine into its restyled GS. The 455 boosted more displacement, bigger valves, and a hotter cam than the 400 and was also mated to standard cold air induction through functional hood scoops. The 455's was rated at 350bhp and a stump pulling 510lb-ft of torque. This was the highest torque rating of any production engine besides Cadillac's 472 and 500 cid V-8s, and no engine achieved it at a lower rpm (2800rpm). If that wasn't enough, a Stage 1 package brought a hotter cam, bigger valves, and a revised carburetor. Buick said this amounted to 360bhp but most testers believed that it was more than 400bhp. To top it off, Buick also introduced the GSX appearance package. Available in only Saturn Yellow or Apollo White, the GSX package added front and rear spoilers, contrasting body stripes, meaty tires, hood tach, and a heavy duty suspension. All this added up the ultimate Buick muscle car of all time. The GS350 was also available, but the California GS was dropped. The 350 V8 received a significant increase in power up to 315 bhp and 410 lb-ft. Not bad for a small block.

Production:
GS 2D Hardtop: 9,948
GS455 2D Hardtop: 8,732
GS455 Convertible: 1,416

Engines:
GS350: 350 V8 315 bhp @ 4,600rpm, 410 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.
GS455: 455 V8 350 bhp @ 4,600rpm, 510 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.
GS455 Stage 1: 455 V8 360 bhp @ 4,600rpm, 510 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.

Performance:
GS455 Stage 1 - 455/360: 0-60 in 6.5 sec, 1/4 mile in 13.8 sec @ 101 mph.


1971 Buick GS




Comments: 1971 was the official beginning of the end of the muscle car era. Pressured by increasing government regulations and increasing insurance premiums and gasoline prices, GM decreed that all its engines must run on low-lead gasoline, leading to a drop in compression ratios and a corresponding drop in power ratings. The 350 engine lost 55bhp to 260bhp while the 455 and 455 Stage 1 lost 35bhp and 15bhp to drop to 315bhp and 345bhp respectively. The GSX trim package was now available in a wide range of colors, including red and black.

Production:
GS 2D Hardtop: 8,268
GS Convertible: 902

Engines:
350 V8 260 bhp @ 4,600rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.
455 V8 315 bhp @ 4,400rpm, 450 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.
455 Stage 1 455 V8 345 bhp @ 5,000rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm.

Performance:
455/315: 0-60 in 6.9 sec, 1/4 mile in 15.3 sec @ 96 mph.


1972 Buick GS




Comments: Continuing government restrictions and a dwindling muscle car market would make 1972 the last year the GS was based on the Skylark line. Government regulations now required engines to be rated with all accessories in place, a "net" rating. Although the actual engine output hadn't changed from 1971, the power ratings dropped considerably. The standard 350 dropped to 195 bhp while the 455 and 455 Stage 1 dropped to 225 bhp and 270 bhp respectively. The GSX was still available, and the standard ram air induction piece changed from having two square induction pieces to one square one and one triangular one.

Production:
GS 2D Hardtop: 7,723
GS Convertible: 852

Engines:
350 V8 195 bhp @ 4,000rpm, 290 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.
455 V8 225 bhp @ 4,000rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 2,600 rpm.
455 Stage 1 455 V8 270 bhp @ 4,400rpm, 390 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm.

Performance:
.


1973 Buick GS




Comments: With the end of the Skylark based GS, the GS banner was carried on by a GS option on the 112 inch wheelbase Buick Century coupe. This was distinguished by discreet decals, blacked-out headlamp surrounds and grille, fat wheels and tires, and the only manual transmission option in the Buick lineup for 1973. Gran Sport engine options started as low as a two barrel 350 cid V8 producing a mere 150 bhp (net), but started to get interesting with the 225 bhp (net) 455 cid V8 option, which was available on any Century coupe. Exclusive to the Gran Sport, however, was the 270 bhp (net) Stage 1 455, which had camshaft, carburation, and air cleaner changes and came standard with a Posi-Traction limited slip rear end. Few cars for 1973 were faster than a Stage 1 455 Buick GS, which shows how far performance had fallen by this time. Only 728 Stage 1 GS's were sold in 1973.

Production:
GS 2D Hardtop: ?
GS Convertible: ?

Engines:
350-2 V8 150 bhp.
350-4 V8 195 bhp @ 4,000rpm, 290 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm.
455 V8 225 bhp @ 4,000rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 2,600 rpm.
455 Stage 1 455 V8 270 bhp @ 4,400rpm, 390 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm.

Performance:
455 Stage 1 - 455/270: 0-60 in 8.9 seconds, 1/4 mile in 15.3 seconds @ 90 mph.


1974 Buick GS




Comments: The GS name moved over to the Apollo platform for 1974. The once mighty 455 V8 was dropped. The GSX package was still available, and consisted of a Rallye steering wheel, a special suspension, power front disc brakes, styled wheels with trim rings, sport mirrors, a stripe package, and body side molding. Engine choices were either a two-barrel 350 V8 rated at 165 bhp, or a four barrel version rated at 175 bhp. A total of 1,562 GSX's were built.

Production:
GS 2D Hardtop: ?
GS Convertible: ?

Engines:
350-2 V8 165 bhp.
350-4 V8 175 bhp.

Performance:
.


1975 Buick GS




Comments: The GS name moved back to the Century platform for 1975 but it was just a mere shell of its former glory. True Buick GS production ended in 1972 and Buick performance would not surface again until the turbo-charged Buicks of the mid 1980s.

Production:
?

Engines:
?

Performance:
.








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