GSX / GSX Stage1
1970 GSX 455 Stage 1 in Apollo white
was Buick's contribution to the Classic era American Muscle car list, based on the GS455 which was in turn based on the Skylark platform adding an appearance, performance and handling package available starting in the 1970 model year. The GSX Performance and Handling package was a $1,100 option on the GS455. The GSX was Buick’s attempt to increase showroom traffic on a newly designed Skylark body style for 1970 which started off slow but sales improved. The GSX was Buick's answer to Pontiac's GTO Judge, Oldsmobile's 4-4-2 W-30, and Chevrolet's Chevelle SS. Buick advertised it as "A Brand New Brand Of Buick" and "Another 'Light Your Fire' Car From Buick". It came standard with a 455ci engine with or without the optional Stage 1 performance engine upgrades during the first year of release. Although near the top of GM's brand hierarchy, the GSX hardtop's basic bodyshell was the same as the lower-priced 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle but with differing guards, grill, bumpers, doors, etc, while Pontiac and Oldsmobile midsize hardtop coupes shared a slightly different body.
Due to the late introduction of the GSX, a very special prototype was displayed at the Chicago Motor Show in February 1970 to test consumer reaction. This particular GSX had Mother Of Pearl white paint, a special fiberglass/steel ram air hood with unique modified hood scoops, one-off 3 piece rear spoiler and a prototype front spoiler, custom multicolored leather interior featuring checkerboard black and white X patterned seats and door panels. It became a hit and production started with the factory GSX looking slightly different than the prototype GSX. The GSX did not appear in the standard model catalog for 1970, however a GSX pamphlet was made available to the public. A four page, full size pamphlet announced the GSX with artist drawn pictures and specifications. Only 678 GSXs were produced in the second half of the 1970 model year beginning in March 1970. and ending in May of 1970. Just 278 were equipped with the standard 455, a further 400 purchasers selected the optional Stage 1 performance package. The impressive performance is partly due to the light weight of the 455 which is roughly 150 lb (68 kg) less than the 426 Hemi or Chevrolet 454. At 510 lb-ft the Buick 455 produced the highest torque output of any American production performance car, a record held for 33 years until finally surpassed by the Series 2 V10 Viper in 2003. The 1970 Buick GSX has, without doubt, the most extensive list of standard equipment high performance features of any classic era muscle car.
It is this last fact that truly sets the GSX in a class of its own when compared to its late '60s - early '70s peers. Every single 1970 GSX Stage 1 produced received the full list of performance and handling parts. You could buy a poorly optioned Chevelle SS, a leaf-sprung, bench seat Hemi Roadrunner or even a Pontiac GTO Judge with the smaller 400ci engine and drum brakes, but there is no such thing as an under-equipped 1970 GSX. Read more...