Most muscle car enthusiasts will agree that 1970 was the pinnacle of the muscle car era. Prior to that, GM had a ridiculous rule that said no more than 400 cubic inches could go into a midsize car, and immediately after that, OPEC, the EPA, and the insurance industry pretty much ended the horsepower wars. In 1970, Motor Trend magazine said that the Buick GSX was the fastest car they had ever tested. Surprised? You shouldn't be—the GSX had the hardware to outrun even the mighty LS6 Chevelle and GTO Judge. They're more rare too, yet still change hands for far less than their corporate siblings. This matching-numbers 1970 GSX represents the very pinnacle of GM's muscle car development, and if you're serious about performance, this is a car that you should examine very closely.
If you wanted a GSX in 1970, you had two color choices, code 10-10 Apollo White or code Q-Q Saturn Yellow. Yellow outsold white by about two-and-a-half to one, with only 187 Apollo White GSX Buicks being built in 1970, out of a total production run of 678, so any 1970 GSXs is a rare beast. This car carries 100% of its original sheet metal and has been given an extensive (and expensive) restoration to concours levels. There was no way to avoid the blacked out hood and stripes along the side of the car on your GSX, and why the heck would you want to do that? It looks incredibly aggressive, yet tasteful at the same time, exactly what you would expect from Buick's gentleman's express. Panel gaps are excellent throughout the car, and there's something about a Buick that just feels more substantial than the Chevy and Pontiac cousins—maybe thicker weather stripping or more sound deadener or something. Whatever the cause, this car seals up tight and is rattle-free, just like a new car would be. The finish is brilliant, using modern paints to achieve a depth and gloss that makes this car impossible to ignore at a show or on the street. Thank God it's not yellow, else you'd need a welder's mask to look at it.
Buicks kept a lot of their chrome intact on the GSX, and it's all in restored condition. Reproduction parts have gotten so good that it's just about impossible to determine what's original and what's new, and that's a good thing. At any rate, I'm guessing that production chrome wasn't this nice, that the bumpers were fitted this precisely, and that the flawlessly clear plastic of the taillights is not because they're 40 years old. Glass is tinted (it is a Buick after all), and scratch-free all around.
I continue to be puzzled as to why the Buicks are so under-rated these days, with that killer 455 cubic inch power plant under the hood. Rated at 360 horsepower @ 4200 RPM by the factory, the numbers just don't add up—with 510 pounds of torque on tap, the real number must surely be somewhere north of 410 horsepower at 5200 RPM. Whatever the number, the matching-numbers 455 in this GSX has been fully rebuilt to Stage 1 specs. That means bigger valves, a more aggressive camshaft, stronger valve springs, and revised jetting in the carburetor. Invisible upgrades include port-matched heads, intake, and exhaust manifolds, making this one sweet-running big block. Go home and get your LS6 Chevelle, and we'll be happy to show you what this Buick's taillights look like up close and personal. Cosmetically, the engine bay is ready for show, with the only variation from pure stock being a set of chrome OEM valve covers, although a set of Dante Red painted covers is included with the car for 100% authenticity. Decals, hoses, clamps, wiring, and other piece, including the ram air system, have been exactly replicated for show purposes. Note that this Buick has A/C, which is fully restored and fully functional. A/C in your LS6? Oops, sorry, not available. Interestingly enough, being a non-Stage 1 car makes this Apollo White GSX even more rare—only 199 standard GSXs were built, compared to 280 Stage 1 cars. Does it matter? Probably not, and once you drive this one, the sheer wave of torque that will absolutely incinerate the bias-ply Goodyears will have you grinning like an escaped convict.
The engine is backed by the original, numbers-matching TH400 3-speed automatic, perhaps the most indestructible automatic transmission ever created. It definitely needs to be tough to live behind this motor's torque figures, and works through the gears the way a Buick's transmission should. Shifts are smooth when you're just cruising, but crack open the throttle, and it snaps to attention like the marines guarding Air Force One. Out back, Buick wisely chose to put 3.42s in their top performer—too much more gear and all you're going to do is make expensive rubber smoke. The entire chassis has been restored, with highly accurate details throughout. From the satin black floors to the detailed suspension, which appears to be powder-coated in finishes that approximate the original raw steel, to the correct exhaust system, this car will show well at any level. Of course, everything is new or freshly rebuilt, so if you want to put this car on the road (and I recommend that you do), you can do so with confidence. Flowmaster mufflers are the lone deviation from stock, but they sound amazing and perhaps even make some extra power, so who is complaining? Wheels are the best looking factory wheels ever made, with G60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GT tires for an absolutely authentic look and feel.
The black bucket seat interior is the perfect mix of performance and luxury, done as only Buick could have done it. The seats are full of fresh foam and new seat covers, and the carpet and headliner are new. Door panels are correct with unique GS badging, and the dashboard is full of restored gauges. There's no tach, because it lives out on the hood, thanks to Buick's raid on the Pontiac parts bin in 1970. The console houses the coolest automatic shifter ever invented, and the woodgrain adds an upscale touch. As I said, the A/C blows cold, the original radio works properly, and all the details that make the GSX unique, like the padded steering wheel, have been restored. The trunk is well finished, with a new mat, along with a matching bias-ply spare tire and original cover. Of note, the GSX uses slightly thicker trunk tension bars to support the added weight of the rear spoiler.
Perhaps thanks to this car's careful ownership and dry climate for most of its life, the tank sticker is intact (albeit hard to read) and we have the build sheet from behind the A-pillar as well. Things like the original owner's manual are, of course, included, as well as an album of restoration photos and a pile of trophies that this car has already won.
Look at the prices on LS6 Chevelles and GTOs, then look at the price on this gorgeous Buick. I'm still puzzled as to why these cars aren't the kings of the muscle car hill—they're faster than almost any other A-body, offer Buick luxury and grace, and you can't argue with the biggest torque numbers of the era. They're also a lot less common and harder to fake, so you don't have to worry about clones like you do on a Chevelle or GTO. Add in a matching-numbers driveline, factory A/C, and a spectacular restoration, and this particular GSX is the one to own. Drive it, enjoy it, take it to the Buick Nationals and have a ball, that's what this car is all about. Call now before the market catches on and discovers what awesome cars these really are.
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After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.