Most people would never imagine Buick as a major player in the muscle car market.
However, both in the 1970’s and the 1980’s Buick muscle cars were some of the fastest around and today they are some of the most sought after.
In the 1960’s Buick decided to create its own performance car after the success of the Pontiac GTO.
The Gran Sport shared the same underpinnings as the GTO and Chevy’s Chevelle.
But, at that time, each division at GM still produced their own engines.
The GS received Buick’s Wildcat 400 cubic inch engine, which was a little larger and produced more torque than Pontiac’s 389 cubic inch engine.
However, the GTO was still faster because the GS was a little heaver and had a few more comfort features that appealed to Buick’s more mature customers.
Never ones to stand by, Buick’s engineers went to work on this disparity and by 1970 the Gran Sport was a dominate performer. Motor Trend Magazine declared the GSX 455 Stage I the fastest car they had ever tested up to that time. This was one fast car, and with the wild paint schemes available, it was a car that received attention on and off the race track.
Buick did a repeat in the 1980’s with the Buick Grand National.
The mid-sized muscle car market was completely empty with most manufacturers producing front wheel drive cars.
Buick changed this by stuffing a turbo V6 into an all black Regal and redefined the market again.
This car evolved into one of the most fearsome cars of the 80’s.
During the last year of production, Buick added the GNX option.
This heavily modified version resulted in one of the fastest cars of the decade.
The car was even faster than the Corvette which undoubtedly upset some Chevy Engineers.
The car was never a huge seller, but it did wonders for Buick’s image and brought many potential customers to the showrooms.
In many ways these cars serve as poster children for the muscle car movement.
They were fast, they were mid-sized and they stood out in any crowd.
What an experience owning one of these beasts must have been!
Muscle Cars is dedicated to providing information on all the great muscle cars of the past.
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