455 Four-Speed! 1970 Buick GS Stage 1

Motor Trend (January 1970) clocked a 1970 Buick GS Stage 1 at 13.38 seconds and 105.5 MPH in the quarter mile, proclaiming it the fastest muscle car they had ever tested. This 1970 Buick GS Stage 1 in McHenry, Illinois lacks the original 455 monster motor, but retains its original four-speed manual transmission and rear end, according to the listing here on eBay. There’s plenty of rust-through, but what’s left is highly original and complete. At least four bidders have raised the market value of this blue Buick above $9500. Thanks to OldCarMemories for some details.

While the normal GS 455 laid down a wicked 350 HP and a foundation-shifting 510 lb-ft of torque, buyers who wanted to turn the power knob to eleven could pop for the $115 Stage 1 treatment including bigger valves, a hotter cam, ported heads, and appropriately massaged carburetor tuning. All of this added, well, 10 horsepower. Yeah; right. On paper that is. Scared Shiftless saw 400 HP on an engine dynamometer from a stock-spec Stage 1 motor through cast iron manifolds.

About one third of Stage 1 hardtops, 664 of 1785, came with the four-speed manual gearbox in 1970, according to ThePartsPlaceInc. Obviously you didn’t need to slip the clutch to burn the stock tires or lay down a blistering quarter-mile pass, but the extra gear over the available three-speed automatic makes for more flexible real-world driving. I’ve never owned a big-inch muscle car (technically the Buick 455 is not a “big block” because it’s physically similar to the 350) with a four-speed, but I intend to, and this rusty bucket of potential has me all tingly.

Aside from the subtle hood scoop and some badging, there’s not much to identify the GS or Stage 1 as carrying a big stick, or in this case a giant club. Even the stylish road wheels could be ordered on many non-lethal Buicks. Like many a GS, this one came with a vinyl roof, and I’ve seen sedate color combinations like brown with a black vinyl top, perfect for assassinating your neighbor’s stripe and wing-laden date magnet.

The seller graciously shows several areas of complete metal failure due to rust and lists off parts that need replaced, along with some that may not. Potential buyers may well search for donor cars in between bids. What’s your high bid on this four-speed Stage 1 hardtop?

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Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    Car is rough and missing that wonderful original torque monster. Nothing matched the numbers of the Buick. HP is nice but that isn’t what gets you moving, just keep feeding it another gear and go go go.

    Like 12
  2. David

    Gezz. This is the one. The first four double nickel is gone, let’s git another and do it again.

    Like 6
  3. piston poney

    LS SWAP, no im just kidding id burn it to the ground before i did that, find the correct motor and build it to be even more powerfull.

    Like 4
  4. JoeNYWF64

    I thought only the later GM colonnade cars rusted like that – in areas you don’t expect.

  5. Chris Glasser

    Some incorrect info in the article. The Stage 1 heads weren’t ported; they had larger valves and the combustion chamber was machined around the valves to unshroud them. Also, the 455 most certainly was a big block, along with the 400 and 430 that preceded it. These engines used a completely different block from the 215-300-340-350 small block Buick engines.

    Like 9
  6. BigT

    I’m local to this guy, he was asking 28k for this car on facebook before getting grilled and took it down.

    Like 6
  7. Rixx56 Member

    I vaguely recall the article in MT. I have
    that edition in a box… somewhere. I’m
    guessing their test car was equipped
    with an auto trans, but still remember
    being impressed by a 13 sec 1/4 off
    the showroom floor.

    Like 3
    • Camaro guy

      The factories were well known for providing the press with well tuned ringers the average guy buying one of these and taking it to the strip would do well to get a 13.9 more than likely a 14 something but the potential was definitely there

      Like 3
  8. tim priddy

    The GSX was the king……yellow or white was all you got

    Like 1
    • DVSCapri

      Yellow & White only GSX was only for ’70. ’71 had a few more colors added & ’72 (having just gone back to a “trim” level) GSX’s could be almost any color a Skylark was. Personally I’m partial to a somewhat lighter Blue than the article car, there was a nice Red & always – that Limefire Green!!

      Like 2
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        Ugh. While I was growing up, my grandpa had a Limefire Green Skylark sedan…I was not impressed but it wasn’t the paint. It was the awful brocade cloth interior, painted roof, boring wheelcovers and overall clumsy looking sedan body.

  9. Troy s

    I’d like to see that Motor Trend test on the Buick. Other magazines were no where near that quick. Hot Rod magazine called it “Mr. Muscle for 1970”, the numbers were good but low 14’s. Another publication , I believe hi performance Cars, also had one. Low 14 or 14 flat, of course they were even tweaked for the strip by the editors,
    Then there was a baseline all hooked up for street and from there the removal of the air filter and lid, loosening or removing belts altogether, even opening the exhaust up as had been with the 427 Galaxie. Then the published time or stated time held as gospel was lower than Joe Blow’s completely showroom fresh screamer. But who left them bone stock anyways? If you raced you’d about have to incorporate some extra power, or become a spectator of numerous tail lights.
    I figure if the car was really quick completely stock you were one step ahead of the other guy already, just an opinion of course.

    Like 2
  10. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I’d much rather have this for $10k over that ragged out 69 Camaro above on BF. Much better base.

    Like 2

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