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WHAT IS A BUICK MUSCLE CAR

     The Buick V8 engine, nicknamed the Nailhead because of its small intake and exhaust valves which resembled nails, became popular with hot-rodders in the 1950s and 1960s, because the vertical attachment of the valve covers, in contrast to the angled attachment of other V8 engines, enabled the engine to fit into smaller spaces while allowing easy access for maintenance.

By 1967, Buick was making quiet history with more conventional V8s that had abandoned the "nailhead" design but made much greater power. For the 1967 model year, Buick renamed its "Gran Sport" performance models as "GS" models. In 1970 this was headed up by the powerful GS455 Stage 1, named for its 455 cu in engine, with its high performance "Stage 1" package. Built on the same "A-body" platform as the Chevelle, Cutlass/442, and LeMans/GTO, the GS cars were performance based vehicles spawned from Buick's Skylark line, and shared all of the A-Body GM offering's tendency for good looks. Both hardtop and convertible "GS" models were offered.

Midway through that year, Buick debuted its GSX model, which was an appearance package rivaling that of the GTO "Judge". GSX colors ran the spectrum that year, if that range included just yellow and white. Subsequent GSX models offered a variety of colors to go with the GSX signature hood blackout treatment and the swept wide pin striping vaguely reminiscent of the famous Buick "sweepspear". GSX models could be ordered with 350, 455, or 455 Stage 1 engines, and were outfitted with the usual GS options such as dual hood scoop hood with functioning "ram-air" intake, and dual exhaust. Horsepower ratings for the Stage 1 455s were a relatively mild 360 hp (or 370 depending on sources), but featured 510 lbft (690 Nm) of torque at 2200 rpm, good to propel the relatively weighty GS455 Stage 1 equipped cars to quarter-mile times of under 13.4 seconds. Buick halted GSX production after the 1972 model year.

 
 

 
 
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