Buick has always been among the more luxurious car marques, second only to Cadillac in terms of prestige in GM’s hierarchy, and some would say the equal of other makes such as Lincoln and Chrysler.
But there was also a performance bent to Buick, and in the mid-1960s, the tri-shield brand created the Skylark Gran Sport, equipped with the famous 401 Nailhead. The Skylark GS was the equivalent of Pontiac’s GTO and Chevy’s Chevelle SS, an intermediate coupe with a big motor under the hood. But, being a Buick, the GS was more upscale, better equipped, and of course, more costly. It became known to some as ‘The Banker’s Hot Rod‘.
By the late 1960s, the musclecar wars had really heated up. Buick offered the GS as a separate model, with a 340 (later 350), a new (non-Nailhead) 400, and eventually a 455. In 1970, they went full-tilt with the ultimate GS – the GSX, complete with a rear wing, chin spoiler, Rally wheels, Positraction, sport mirrors and hood-mounted tach, and available in Apollo White or Saturn Yellow with wide black stripes. Also available, was the Stage 1 engine package – including re-worked heads, a more aggressive cam, and some other goodies which boosted horsepower from a 350 rating to 360. Hemmings Muscle Machines noted that ‘the contemporary motoring press, specifically Motor Trend, which tested a Stage 1 to a 13.38-second ET at 105.50 MPH (January 1970), was quick to quip that the factory rating was “some kind of understatement of the year.” ‘
I found this GS Stage 1 car at the Syracuse Nationals in 2014. The glossy black paint on this car was great for not only helping the simple, somewhat elegant GS badge stand out, but also for catching the reflection of the surrounding at the show. I shot it with my Nikon D3200, Nikkor 18-55 lens, at ƒ/5.0, 1/100 second exposure and an ISO of 100. As usual, the file was cropped in Photoshop and Topaz Adjust was used to help bring up some of the colour. The original shot is below.