The 1970 Buick GS 455 was a beautiful muscle car. The Buick was and is about luxury and providing better comfort and driving experience. Buick wasn’t about power and performance, it was about luxury and brand identity. Buick’s cars were always more expensive than the other car models when comparing with them.
John DeLorean is considered as the grand designer of a pathway that leads the Pontiac Motor Division to use the 400 cubic inches V8 engine to beat the competition. Buick also joined the 400 V8 clubs in 1970 as soon as the GM decided to lift its ban on the 400 cubic inch engine limit for mid-sized cars. Buick decided to take this instance to create a truly competitive muscle car while maintaining its prestigious looks and ride quality.
Buick decided to offer a 455 cubic inch V8 engine as a performance option. So, in 1970, the Buick Motor Division released the GSX, a trim option for the Buick GS 455. The Buick GSX came with beautifully matched striping and a matching spoiler. Though many muscle cars of the day featured stripes, the stripes on the GSX looked more special and matched when comparing with the other rivals. The Buick GSX was unveiled at the New York Auto Show in April 1970. The show car was painted in Saturn Yellow, which ended up being the most desired color option among muscle car enthusiasts and collectors alike.
Though the Buick was supposed to get a 3.64 real axle ratio rather than the 3.42 real axle ratio that came as the standard for all the GSX cars. Last-minute emission control challenges made the engineers provide all the Buick GS cars with a standard 3.42 ratio.
The GSX differs from the regular GS 455 in a few ways. The GSX is sharing the same 455 cubic-inch V8 with the GS 455 as well as the standard 3.42 rear axle ratio. It came with a special Rallye steering wheel, front disk brakes, a four-speed manual transmission unit, and a hood-mounted tachometer, the front, and rear spoiler, black bucket seats, g60-15 tires along with beautiful chrome 15×7 wheels, Rallye ride control suspension package.
Though the power output of the 455 cubic-inch V8 engine was just 360 horsepower at 4600 rpm, the GSX Stage one had a torque rate of 510 lb-ft at 2800rpm, making it much faster on the streets. At 60 mph speed, the engine turns 2800 rpm, right at the torque peak to provide instant power and acceleration, making it one of the fastest accelerating cars at the time. This engine is considered one of the best Buick engines of all time.
The base price of the GSX was just $3283. The GSX added the Ralley instruments, GSX beauty package, and a custom interior package for an additional $1195.87.
Except for the ornamentation, you could order all the equipment on the standard GS 455 as extra paid options. Because of this reason, most buyers were a little hesitant to pay that extra money to buy the GSX as the ornamentation were not that important after all.
The Buick 455 GSX is one of the rarest Buick models as well as one of the rarest muscle cars of all time. Only 678 GSX hardtops were made for 1970. Out of these 678, only 278 came with a 455 V8 engine. The other 400 were provided with a 400 V8 engine, and these were called the Stage one package. 282 Stage one GSX cars came with the Turbo 400 automatic transmission while 118 came with the four-speed transmission.
The GSX package provided the GS 455 with the best handling capability for a muscle car at the time. The steering was precise and quick due to the variable-ratio engineering. The suspension engineers working on the car made a perfect job of figuring out the perfect combination of springs and shocks, the anti-roll stabilizer bars, wheels, and tires that you could get on a GM A-body. The G60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GT tires were the biggest and the most premium tire set that you could get on an American car in 1970. Due to these reasons, it is considered the best handling muscle car ever.
1970 also marked as the first year that GM made widespread usage of the rear anti-roll stabilizer bars on their cars. Until 1970, the only GM that produced a car that used the anti-roll bar system was the Oldsmobile 4 4 2. After 1970, the anti-roll stabilizer bars began to appear on Buicks, Pontiacs, Chevys.
The black interior and the black padded steering wheel were made with first-class material. The interior cabin was also equipped with sound deadening to make it feel more luxurious. Even though the 455 cubic-inch V8 engine made howling noises under the hood, barely anyone could hear it while being inside with the windows closed. To get some engine noise at all, you had to drive the car at full throttle to open the four bores of the Rochester Quadrajet. Even though that sound was not uncomfortable at all. With the optional 3.64 rear-axle-ratio, the whole package got even better.
The Buick GSX was a fast car. It was capable of running a quarter-mile in mid 13 seconds with a top speed of 103mph. This car is considered one of the fastest Buick cars ever. This was the only muscle car of its generation that could pull that kind of serious performance without being too noisy.