1971 Buick 2 Door Coupe

"GSX Stage 1"

Configuration: Longitudinal front engine

Engine: Stage 1 V8

Displacement: 455cid/7.46L

Horsepower: 360hp at 4,600RPM

Torque: 510 ft-lbs at 2,800RPM

Transmission: Turbo hydramatic automatic

In 1965, following the success of Pontiac’s GTO and Oldsmobile’s 4-4-2 models, Buick introduced the Gran Sports, or GS, option package to add to the division’s mid-sized Skylark model. For an additional $200, buyers were awarded a 325hp, 401cid V8 engine, a heftier convertible frame, and chassis upgrades. However, in 1969, amidst the prime of the muscle car era, Buick rolled out the “Stage 1” engine package featuring the revered 400cid big-block V8. It was available for purchase in any mid-size model for an additional $325.44.

By 1970, the Buick GS had become a standalone model, as opposed to an options package. On February 9, 1970, Buick unveiled the new Buick GSX model at the Chicago Auto Show as well. Many critics agreed that the GSX had received the muscle car era’s highest profile image treatment after mediocre sales of the GS in 1969. The ’70 GSX  came standard with the front chin spoiler, the rear paint-matched spoiler, color-coordinated headlight bezels (the trim around the headlights that had previously been only chrome), black bodyside accent stripes and twin black hood stripes, all trimmed in red pin striping, a hood-mounted tachometer, dual racing mirrors, and the GSX ID tags on the body. The ‘Stage 1’ engine was only an additional $113 after the purchase of a GSX. In the end, Buick sold only 678 GSX models in 1970.

The start of the 1971 model year saw the rapid decline in sales of muscle cars, as buyers were becoming increasingly conscientious of gas costs. Because of this, the GSX model was downgraded to being only an options package that year. The package included the black bodyside stripes and two hood stripes, the red pin striping, the striped rear spoiler, and the GSX emblems. All other parts from the GSX standalone model had become individual options for the GS. Sadly, the GSX option was discontinued entirely in 1972. Buick sold only 44 models with the options package before dropping the option.

Did You Know?

In 1971, the GSX color options were expanded from 2 to 6. The car on display is 1 of only 6 painted in “Cortez Gold.”

The GS “Stage 1” was one of the last standing muscle car models. It was produced all the way until 1974.

There were only a total of 124 Buick GSXs sold in 1971.

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