During the time of A-body GM cars such as the Pontiac GTO “Judge”, the Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2 W-30, and the Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport 454, Buick decided that it wanted to carve a niche for a doctor’s car that hauled ass with the blue-collars. The 1970 Buick GSX stands alone among the others with it’s absolutely absurd gross torque rating that is rated over 500 ft lbs below 3000 rpm. With it’s 455 cubic inch Buick engine (Pontiac and Oldsmobile offered their own brand of similarly displaced 455 cubic inch engines, Chevrolet offered the now well-known 454) it certainly measured up to the rest, and with the good looks that A-body platform provided, it was nice edition to General Motors high performance stable.
I absolutely love this time in the automotive industry. Not because it rings nostalgically with me like all the baby boomers I see spending astronomical sums of money to own one again before they’re worm food, but because they’re from a time before the evils of badge engineering. The above cars may have shared a general platform, but they all got different body work and sheet metal, had engines designed completely different for one another and were all gunning to be the top dog under GM’s banner. It wasn’t about making a car that was better than a Charger, ‘Cuda, or Gran Torino, it was about having a car that was better than the one being done by an “in-house” brand. I think that the friendly rivalry kept the imagination and output high, even if all the different parts and pieces being made by each brand was a nightmare for the bean counters.
Personally, I’m an Oldsmobile fan so I’ll always root for the rocket, but the Buick had a lot of what the Olds had too. It was luxurious, sporty and made mountainous torque. I also love the fact that in 1970 you could either get your GSX in this yellow that you see, or white and it came with the black stripe on every car. It’s a striking combination, especially combined with the stark, almost trim-less, face of the car. As you may have noticed in the pictures, this one has a 3-speed slushbox that is operated via a classic horseshoe console shifter.
Though I think it’s best feature is the rubber stuck to the back quarter panels of the car from the owner making mince meat of the tires with it’s earth-moving torque. There’s no Buick made today that compares.