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 lb·ft (690 N·m)
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.