One Family Owned: 1970 Buick GS 455 Stage 1

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Although the muscle car wasn’t dead by the turn of the 1970s, diminishing sales numbers and impending legislative changes meant the end was in sight for the breed. However, there were still legends rolling off production lines, including the 1970 Buick GS 455. It offered excellent performance, but our feature car ramps that up as a Stage 1 version. It has been part of the same family since the day it left the showroom floor, but it is time for this solid and unmolested survivor to find a new family to protect and preserve it. The seller has listed it here on eBay in Folsom, California. The bidding has raced past the reserve and sits at $28,600.

Enthusiasts seeking a rock-solid restoration candidate that is unmolested may struggle to look beyond this Buick. It has spent its life in its current location, and the favorable climate has preserved its steel nicely. The seller admits there is pitting on the inside of the trunk pan courtesy of a leaking seal, but it hasn’t deteriorated to penetrating rust. Therefore, treating it now means the car’s underside will remain original and structurally sound. A few small spots are visible on the lower rear quarter panels, but these appear patchable. I spotted what looks like pinholes developing in the lower front fenders, although tackling those should be straightforward. The Glacier White paint has its share of imperfections. However, it may prove acceptable following a polish if the new owner pursues preservation over restoration. The grille is damaged, but the remaining trim would only require attention if the winning bidder seeks perfection in their build. The GS rolls on its original wheels, and I can’t spot any glass issues.

The 1970 GS 455 possessed genuine performance credentials, but the Stage 1 version took those to a higher level. This is one of those cars, and while the “base” GS produced 350hp, the Stage 1 placed an official 360hp and 510 ft/lbs of torque under the driver’s right foot. There has often been conjecture about the power figure because Buick regularly pulled engines from the line for testing. One of the Development Engineers recalls that of the fifteen engines tested, the least powerful produced 376hp. This car’s numbers-matching 455 sends its power to the rear wheels via a three-speed TH-400 automatic transmission, with power assistance for the steering and brakes part of the package. The GS 455 left no doubts surrounding its performance credentials once the driver floored the gas pedal. The journey down the ¼-mile took 14.6 seconds, which could never be described as slow. The seller indicates this classic runs and drives, although it is unclear whether it is roadworthy. They include some fresh air cleaner decals and new foam for the Ram Air intake. As with the exterior, the winning bidder must choose between preserving this aspect of the car or pulling the engine to detail everything as part of a high-end build.

This Buick’s seats wear aftermarket covers, but they represent the only interior change or modification. The photos are inconclusive but appear to support the seller’s claim that the dash and pad are in good order. The carpet might respond to a deep clean, but budgeting for replacing it, the cracked wheel, and the faux woodgrain would be wise. The remaining upholstered surfaces look good for their age, while the new owner receives air conditioning, bucket seats, a console, an AM radio, and a tilt wheel.

So, preservation or restoration? Which would you choose if you found this 1970 Buick GS 455 Stage 1 in your workshop? Whatever your approach, you must compete with the ten people who have submitted thirty-five bids if it is to become a reality. Are you prepared to do that? I would hardly blame you if you did.

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. CadmanlsMember

    Torque is king and what starts these underdogs in motion. Set up properly these wheel standing beasts will best about anything beside them naturally aspirated on a 1/4 mile track. Best part is Buick was the gentleman’s muscle car. Went to school with a Buick guy well known in the Buick circle today, great cars.

    Like 19
    • Rick
      • Rhett

        I know both owners of those cars, and while it shows the outcome of how both those cars ran 10 years ago, it’s not truly representative of the famed Buick vs.Hemi rivalry. BTW, the Buick ran 11.8’s before it was retired and the Dodge still shows up at this race and makes one run in the 11.4’s , immediately disqualifying itself.

        Like 0
    • Stan

      💯 Cadmanls.
      The real boulevard bullies, best dressed, and luxurious, to go with the huge power.
      3.64 ⚙️ rear gear standard equipment, w the Turbo400 Hydramatic. Wow.

      Like 10
  2. Charlie Feuer

    These were the true sleepers of their time. The problem was that the rear-end is so light… My mother had a ’71 Skylark Custom Convertible with a 350 in it. I used to light up the tires just by stepping on the gas pedal, much to the joy of my friends! Same held true for my father’s ’68 Firebird. He used to put furnase grates in the trunk for the winter…

    Like 10
  3. Rickirick

    There’s many great reasons why 10 bidders have taken this Buick to almost 30 G’s already. Charlie is right, “these were the true sleepers of their time”. Along with their brothers at Oldsmobile in 1970. My uncle had a Buick wagon w/455 in it back then. Just raw awesomeness.

    Like 8
  4. Steve

    I bought a 70 Stage 1 in 79 for $600, was smoking when warmed up and the paint was tires. Not knowing how these cars would appreciate in 30 or 40 yrs, and people would rescue them as rusty buckets from junkyards and make money on them, I am sorry to say I parted this one out. Kept the engine, gave the Ram air hood to my brother in law for his Skylark as well as the tachometer. Who woulda known.

    Like 0
  5. Rick bourbonMember

    Street race in the late 60s early 70s. Had a 66 Mustang was doing 12 6 and a quarter. Ran up against one of these guys at a light, by the time I hit 3rd he passed me like I was standing still. Bad part was even that his wife and kids in the car.

    Like 21
  6. LarryS

    Love this car but definitely would like to see some pictures of the underside. Rust in lots of places in the pictures provided. Some suggestions that it could extend deeper (e.g., the metal patch(?) on the floor in front of the gas pedal).

    Like 1
  7. Mike76

    This is the kind of Buick that you dream of finding. If the disto, carb and all #’s match, this is the perfect resto candidate if you have the financial means. However, if it were mine, I’d tackle the drivetrain and suspension, get some new seat covers, carpet and any other interior trim that needs redone and purchase some high quality refinishing products and see how much I could bring that glacier white paint back to life. I like restored cars as much as the next guy or gal, but as I have gotten a little older, something about these true survivor cars that interest me so much more than a concourse restored car. This is a really solid Buick no matter which path of action the new owner wishes to pursue.

    Like 13
  8. Ed

    I ordered a 1970 GS 455 Stage 1 with a four-speed and not much else except $75 special-order paint in 1964 Corvette Daytona Blue Iridescent so the steering wheel in this car is curious as mine had a three-spoke brushed metal wheel.

    Like 8
    • LarryS

      A three-spoke sport wheel was an option in 1971. Maybe they introduced it at the end of the 1970 model year?

      Like 2
    • Rhett

      Thats the standard 69-70 Custom trim wheel.

      Like 2
  9. Oldschool Muscle

    I would restore it, drive it and keep it…

    Like 5
  10. ccrvtt

    510 lbs-ft of torque – Isn’t that the reason this car is reputed to have walked a Hemi Charger? Bidding seems to indicate that more than a few people know what this is.

    Like 11
    • Robert

      On street..yes at times the buick dose not compare to a hemi on the track they are still today used in top fuel and umder a buick funny car body enjoy

      Like 0
  11. Tim

    If I had the cash this would be in my garage in a heartbeat. My first car as 16 year old was a sea mist green with brown leather and auto on the floor back in 1974 . I lost my first year’s license 3 times driving that beast . Like a fool I traded it in on a Chevy nova . At Marty rip Chevy in Monroe Wisconsin. I’ve tried to find it many times, no luck .

    Like 6
    • Michael

      Monroe Wisconsin. Nice town

      Like 0
      • Tim

        My dad lived there . Too dang small . I think the towns motto was . Have a slow day .

        Like 0
  12. Dan

    I’m an old timer here. I worked overnight at a Ford Dealer cleaning used cars and getting new ones prepped for delivery before the mechanics would do a final inspection. We had a couple of these come in…….. real sleepers! No loud exhaust like hooker headers or thrush, but stomp on it and it would light them up! This one is looks to be a time capsule. Buick made this a quiet screamer. A great car! AND they did it again in 86/87 with the Grand National and GNX. This car is historically significant! Good luck to the new owner!!

    Like 10
  13. Grape Ape

    Good looking vehicle

    Like 0
  14. Rusteez H

    This over any SS chevelle model of the year and throughout my life on this retched planet. These really are brutes more than a FE 427 and I love my FEs to the core.

    Like 0
  15. jnard90 jnard90Member

    The absolute best of American muscle.

    Like 3
  16. Boo Radley

    In 78 a friend was left one of these, by of all people, his grandmother! Beautiful, powerful car. Unfortunately, his immaturity, coupled with such power, quickly led to the inevitable – within 3 months he wrapped it around a tree on a winding road just 2 blocks from his home. He and his girlfriend were both killed, and, of course, the car was destroyed. 8 years later his father shot and killed his mother, then himself. He’d never gotten over losing his son. A profoundly sad situation all around. With that being said, I’d still love to have one of these, but any color other than white.

    Like 1
    • Mr C.

      Poor mom! Guess those were killer Buicks?😢

      Like 0
  17. Noel Ruessman

    I too am oldie guy. Bought one from a coworker in 1972. It was a 1970 stage one, loaded up, but best of all it was black on black, on black! Was a stunning combination. Back then cars were just cars! Loaded it up with our gear and took it camping all summer long. Had the custom package, the spoke wheel, bucket seats, console, etc. Paid $2,200.00 for her and sold it for $2,900.00 if I remember correctly. In My opinion one of the best s signs ever.

    Like 0
  18. Steven Baker

    Oh no, now this actually brings back a not so great memory. Sadly I actually tore the entire nose off of one of these back in 1988. The guy driving it had stolen it from his girlfriend’s dad. He himself an army deserter. Well no money , thirsty car, decided to steal gas. As he was pulling out of the gas station he floored it. And luck would have it, there go I in a 1976 country squire Ford. Smack boom crash. Yeah you get the whole picture. Not proud of it mind you but those big engines saved lives. But the entire front clip of the Buick was gone. Literally ripped off the car. Both cars totalled. Stupid part is I got into more trouble for going to the movies in the city that night than he did. Not sure entirely to him I know the Army dropped the charges and dishonorable discharge, a couple years in the state pen. But I had to go tell my parents what happened to their car. Let’s just say I had no fun. Anyway the last I saw of the Buick was its real owner picking up the remaining pieces from the impound lot on a roll back. I never felt so bad for someone over a car in my life as I did right then. Guy had tears. Anyway that’s the take of a 400 Ford taking out a Goliath 455

    Like 0
    • Michael

      Thank you Steven great story!

      Like 0
  19. Tom mason

    Tom from lou Ky I had a 1969 Buick gs 400 4 spd with console & tax with posi non air car stock I bought from my step dad who got it from his both could not stand the 4 spd do I bought it with 20 k $1200 bucks back then my absolute favorite car that would definitely run with any other big block car on the road at that time late 70s this car would be my daily driver but on the weekends I was out running with the best they had to offer back in the day the sound of 2 big block launching on the street is still fresh in my mind we would meet at White Castle on Predton hwy in oakalona lou Ky thise where the days I really think that ugly brown car car had a sole that car and my self became a lil bit of a thing in my area I had a name and others wood come looking for me hemis chuck Belvedere Keith bunch 70 Ss chevelle Todd in his cobra mustang Ronnie in his 69 big block Vette even a hopped up Vega small block with a blower improved them all wrong they where some close runs but that 69 Buick gs made me proud 😊 I’ve looked for that car over 30 years who ever has it now I hope you love it as much as I did

    Like 0
    • Michael

      Thanks Tom! Great story it’s like I was there😃

      Like 0

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