Buick commanded tremendous respect in the American automobile scene. That’s fitting for a make that produced a million vehicles within 15 years of becoming a GM subsidiary in 1908. Buick even made tanks for the military during World War 2. Did you know that the triple-shield Buick logo is actually a Scottish Military Emblem? That’s because Buick’s founder was Scottish-American.
The hoary American automaker is more than 120 years old. It was one of America’s earliest marques, known as Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company before changing to Buick Motor Company in 1903. The Buick Gran Sport 455 came 62 years after Buick joined GM’s roster, but it wasn’t the first Gran Sport in Buick’s GS series lineup. Buick has marked its high-performance muscle cars with the Grand Sport badge since 1965.
The GS series stood out from others by combining high performance and luxury. With the 1970 Gran Sport 455 (GS455), Buick continued its enduring tradition of blending comfort and power in one package. The 455 replaced the GS 400 produced two years prior and was equipped with a 6.6L engine capable of 340 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque.
The 400 was offered in hardtop and soft-top body styles, and it is widely believed the engine was intentionally detuned to reduce insurance premiums. Eleven years post-launch of the GS455, Buick went on to win two years back-to-back the NASCAR Manufacturer Championships. As you will eventually find out in this article, the 1970 Buick Gran Sport 455 featured significant upgrades on the GS400.
Overview Of The 1975 Buick Gran Sport 455
The powertrain is the 1970 Buick Gran Sport 455’s main highlight. It was the same year GM lifted its restrictions on engine displacement, leaving brands like Buick to experiment with big-block engines with up to 455 cubic-inch mass. The fruit of that newfound liberation was the birth of high-performance machines that helped define the muscle car era, starting with the GS 455 Stage 1.
The 455 in its name speaks directly to the car’s BigBlock V8 455 cubic-inch engine. The engine had a factory output rating of up to 360 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque at 2800 rpm. Buick introduced the GS455 with a significantly scaled-up engine tied to a Hurst-shifted performance 3-speed and 4-speed manual transmission.
The powertrain included super-strong shock absorbers. We’re talking improved engine ventilation, revised porting, and a new camshaft. The engine featured a performance camshaft that optimized the timing of the valve openings; bigger valves with stronger springs in high-flow cylinder heads to increase air intake into the engine to optimize rpm, functional twin hood scoops to introduce cold air into the engine and combustion chamber, and higher engine displacement.
These may not seem like much today, but no other production car of that era equaled the same torque rating except Cadillac 472 and Cadillac 500ci. GS455 Stage 1 is severally proven to exceed the factory-rated horsepower by at least 30hp. The 1975 Buick GS 455 came in Stage 1 and Stage 2 variants.
The car actually had “GS Stage 1” or “Stage 2” printed boldly on the engine and the emblem on its side, and the GS signature on various parts of the car, such as the rear and the driver’s side door panel. They also had the Buick logo embossed on the back of the side mirrors. The steering wheel could tilt back and forth, making it easy for the driver to adjust the steering wheel height.
It’s evident on this car that Buick did not envision a hotrod at the expense of comfort. Customers could get the car in convertible or hardtop body style. Both came with a textured black grille with the GS logo on the left side. Moving on to the interior, the sofa-style front and rear seats were made of vinyl in beautiful black, blue, or sandalwood colors. Individual front seats were optional.
How Much Is The 1970 Buick Gran Sport 455 Worth Today?
The GS455 is not so hard to find, but you should look in more than one or two places when shopping for this all-American nostalgic muscle car. Prices start at $17,500 at auction sites for classics such as Hemmings. That’s not bad for a car that sold for $3000 plus in 1970, around $22,000 in today’s money.
In that year, gas was 36 cents a gallon, and the average price for a new car was $3,500. What we can deduce from all this info is that a car of GS455’s caliber today would not sell for $22,000, all things considered.
According to a ConceptCarz vehicle evaluation analysis based on auction results and sales data, the 1970 Buick Gran Sport 455 has a current average sale value of $67,833 in used car listings. The analysis showed that between $58,000 and $184,000 were paid for a perfect condition 1970 GS455 that still is a used car.
What might break your heart about the story of Buick is that the inventor himself, David Dunbar Buick, died poor in 1929 as a Detroit Police Inspector after he was edged out of the company he founded.
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