Paul Katsus a muscle car enthusiast, would like to bring to your attention the Buick GSX; the pinnacle muscle car in the era of the sixties and seventies. Buick had an outstanding contribution to the muscle car time capsule, even though is not usually the first car brand that comes to mind when naming fast muscle cars. But, numbers don’t lie and in 1970 a Motor Trend road test of the Buick GSX produced some amazing stats. The GSX had some impressive bragging rights for performance cars like 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and a quarter mile time of 13.38 seconds at 105.5 mph. Motor Trend stated that the 455 GS Stage 1 is "the quickest American production car we've ever tested." Customers could get the 1970 GSX in any color as long as they were “Apollo White" or "Saturn Yellow." Either color came standard with wide black stripes down the hood and smaller black stripes down the side. To further emphasize its performance image, on the hood sat a tachometer from the Pontiac parts bin.
The V-8 power came from a massive 455 cubic inch engine which was officially rated by the factory at modest 360 horsepower. But, like many high output engines of the era, it was unrated for insurance purposes. The 455 engine had a weight advantage of 150 pounds over other General Motors large block mills, which of course helped with faster acceration. The 455 in the GSX has been estimated to have a true output closer to 400 and maybe up to 425 horsepower, with the $199 Stage 1 option. Torque outputs did not face the same penalties as horsepower outputs from insurance companies, so were more accurate. This proved to be a blessing for the GSX, which produced the highest torque output engine at the time. In fact, the torque output of 510 lb-ft at 2,800 rpm was not surpassed by an American car company until the 2003 Dodge Viper! For those look to other brands for performance, that is more torque than the legendary Hemi Cuda or 1970 LS6 Chevelle!
The GSX was built for performance and came standard with a load of performance extras. Performance enhancing performance included higher lift camshaft, bigger valves, (Stage 1 option had a slightly higher compression rate than the “standard” 455), a Positrac differential, beefier springs and a revised jetting for the carburetor. Even the transmissions (both stick and auto) were improved.
Factors that put the GSX high on the collectability list (besides its awesome muscle) was that it was released late in 1970, so consequentially not many were built that year, and a very limited were produced over the next few years. In 1970, there were – 278 - standard GSX’s built, and an additional - 400 - Stage 1 Performance Packs models. In 1971 there were even less produced, only 124 examples were made and in 1972, even less, a minuscule 44 units were produced. A highly collectable car, these Buick GXS with matching numbers cars are fetching over $200,000 at auctions. The Buick GSX proved that a luxury car could be manufactured with outstanding performance. The GXS is high performance car that is often forgotten when people recall the pinnacles of hi-performance standards of the golden days of the American muscle car era. Paul Katsus is glad to shed some light on an often overlooked classic car that set the muscle car record for a long time.