Buick Skylark GS

BUICK SKYLARK GS BACKGROUND
Like virtually everyone else in the industry, Buick was caught flat-footed by the runaway success of the Mustang in 1964, which kicked off the Pony Car Craze. Buick didn’t have a pony car or anything approaching it. But at the same time in 1964, another craze was starting, the Muscle Car Craze, and those were built out of existing midsize cars. It took Buick until ’65 to stuff a big engine into their own midsize to create a Buick Muscle Car. That car was the Skylark Grand Sport or GS for short.
BUILDING THE BUICK SKYLARK GS
The Skylark already came with a 300ci V8, so the biggest engine GM would allow was ordered for GS duty, the 400 V8 (which was actually a 401, but called a 400 to get around GMs rules at the time disallowing anything larger than 400ci in a midsize car (with the exception of the Corvette. This older generation 400 was known as a “Nailhead V8” and was rated at 325hp and 445 lb-ft of torque. Never a huge seller on the scale of the Chevelle SS or the GTO it nevertheless provided Buick with some welcome added volume (about 15,000 units per year) and a way to bring younger buyers into Buick showrooms, a place traditionally reserved for old men smoking a pipe.
BUICK SKYLARK GS NAME GAME
The names changed over the years. It started out in ’65 as the Skylark Grand Sport. By ’67, they had shortened it to GS and put the engine size after it, hence the GS 340 and GS 350. For ’68 and ’69, they also offered the GS400 in both hardtop and convertible form. At the peak of the muscle car rage, 1970, the pushed the displacement up still further with the GS455. By 1973, they had dropped the GS moniker and were back to calling it Grand Sport.
BUICK SKYLARK GS STAGE 1
Buick defined their role in the Muscle Car fray as a more mature, more luxurious muscle car than most. There was a definite niche there, but it was only so big. Most people only cared about performance and looks. And the Buick Grand Sport wasn’t up to the levels of performance offered by Chevrolet and Pontiac, or soon Mopar. They stepped up their game in 1969 with the Stage 1 performance option, which bumped the 400’s power to 340hp. Less than 1500 were sold. The 455 made 350hp stock and a ground-shaking 510 lb-ft of torque. The Stage 1 option brought this up to 360hp, using a wilder cam and better-flowing heads with higher compression. There was also an ultra-rare dealer-installed Stage 2 option which included a cam, headers, intake manifold, high compression forged pistons and lightweight pushrods.

Buick Grand Sport YEAR-BY-YEAR

1965 SKYLARK GRAND SPORT


Buick's own muscle car is their handsome Skylark on steroids. Big engine, beefed suspension, sporty trim package. A more refined muscle car than most.



1967 SKYLARK GS


The Grand Sport just gets better & better, faster & faster. This is the last year for the classic square body. A very handsome car from any angle.



1968 SKYLARK GS


The Grand Sport gets a whole new body, much more rounded, in keeping with the rest of the GM line. Bigger engines, more power, but also more weight.



1970 GS455 CONVERTIBLE
The ultimate Buick muscle car at the peak of the Golden Age of Muscle Cars, with the biggest engine they ever built.

1972 GS 455 Stage 1
Buick's biggest engine with Stage 1 Cold Air Package in the light Skylark body. Gorgeous car from Hot August Nights 2017.

Check out these BUICK BOOKS

BUICK MUSCLE CARS


BUICK GRAND SPORT SOURCE BOOK


BUICK: A COMPLETE HISTORY


STANDARD CATALOG OF BUICK 1903-2004


BUICK MUSCLE CARS 1963-1973


BUICK CITY


BUICK RIVIERA 1963-78 PERFORMANCE PORTFOLIO


HOW TO BUILD MAX-PERFORMANCE BUICK ENGINES


BUICK 1946-1960 PHOTO ARCHIVE


BUICK CONVERTIBLES 1949-1964


BUICK REGAL & CENTURY 1975-1987, CHILTON’S REPAIR MANUAL


BUICK EIGHTY-EIGHT & LeSABRE 1986-1999, CHILTON’S REPAIR MANUAL


STANDARD CATALOG OF BUICK: 1903-1990


CHEVY, GMC & BUICK SPEED MANUAL, 1954 EDITION


BUICK FREE SPIRIT POWER MANUAL


BUICK ROADMASTER 1991-1996 HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL


BUICK/OLDS/PONTIAC FULL-SIZE RWD 1970-1990, HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL


BUICK FACTORY PARTS LOCATING GUIDE


GM G-BODY PERFORMANCE UPGRADES, 1978-87 BUICK REGAL


BUICK AUTO PARTS INTERCHANGE MANUAL 1935-1952


BUICK USED PARTS BUYERS GUIDE





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8/31/17

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