Real GS Stage 1, matching-numbers, A/C, 46,114 original miles, 100% documented
- Location: Macedonia, Ohio, United States
- Condition: Used
- Make: Buick
- Model: Skylark
- SubModel: GS Stage 1
- Type: Coupe
- Year: 1970
- Mileage: 46,114
- VIN: 446370H197729
- Color: Yellow
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Power options: Air Conditioning
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Automatic
- Interior color: Brown
- Vehicle Title: Clear
1970 Buick Skylark GS Stage 1 description
Quick! Name the engine from the muscle car era with the biggest torque number. Hemi? LS6? Boss 429? Wrong. The 1970 Buick GS Stage 1 stands above them all with a towering 510 pounds of torque on tap, effectively making it the king of the hill when it comes to generating twist. Buick knew their A-body would appeal to buyers who wanted luxury with their performance, including A/C and plenty of sound-deadening materials inside, so they created a 455 cubic inch monster that delivered the goods without infringing on the comfortable driving environment. Today, that makes the Buick GS very special indeed.
This particular 1970 Buick GS Stage 1 has a list of interesting features. One, it’s a real-deal factory-built Stage 1 car with its original, matching-numbers engine. Two, it’s got just over 46,000 original miles and except for a paint job, it’s almost entirely original. And three, the paint job. This is a real Stage 1 car dressed in GSX clothing, so don’t get them confused while you’re looking (although the price probably gave away the fact that it’s not a real GSX). Why the GSX paint job? Easy: this car was originally brown. If you’ve got the nastiest powerhouse GM could build, do you really want a brown one? Given the beautiful brown interior, however, the list of complementary choices was pretty limited and we have to admit that the GSX’s Saturn Yellow works pretty darned well. The paint job was superbly done, not some quickie, and there’s absolutely no sign of the original code 58 Harvest Gold anywhere on the car. It was a complete disassembly job, so there’s no overspray, no tape marks, and as a low-mileage original, it needed little more than a quick block sand to get every panel mirror-smooth. Come look at it, I promise you’ll be impressed by the finish quality—I know I was. The Saturn Yellow is exactly right and the black stripe along its flanks is faithful to the GSX look, although without the rear spoiler, it terminates neatly, much the way the factory might have done it. And the red pinstripe around the black stripe ties in quite nicely with the rocker panel moldings, which feature red stripes of their own. The ‘GS’ and ‘Stage 1’ badges are original and hang in their original spots (again, this is a factory Stage 1 car, not a dealer-installed setup) and it eve wears a chrome ‘Ward Buick’ badge on the trunk lid. Chrome is excellent, probably too nice to be original, and all the lenses and glass are almost like new. This car is every impressive in every way that matters.
The brown interior is completely original, including the carpets, seat covers, door panels, and headliner. Deep pleats on the seats show that they’re OEM and the door panels are beautifully finished to match, with just some wear and tear showing on the driver’s armrest. With the woodgrained appliques on the dash and center console, it’s actually rather warm and inviting in the powerful Buick, the perfect environment for the performance enthusiast of means who doesn’t feel like having ringing ears when he reaches the office. The gauges are beautiful round dials set into bright chrome bezels that make photography challenging, and they all work, including the factory tach on the right. Below that, you’ll find the controls for the factory A/C, which is also functional, and an optional 8-track stereo head unit, which is probably functional but we’re not going to risk the car’s only tape to find out. The center console offers GM’s cool horseshoe shifter for the TH400 3-speed automatic transmission that lives underneath, and you’ll note that it correctly operates the indicator in the speedometer cluster. In addition to the 8-track, there’s an AM/FM radio in the dash, still an unusual find in 1970. GS-logo floor mats protect the original carpets and the back seat looks almost completely unused. Overhead, the headliner and sun visors are in excellent condition and the trunk is outfitted with what might very well be the original mat (it’s a little brittle) and a new Firestone tire on a 15-inch Buick road wheel. Also note in the trunk that they replicated the factory spatter finish after the yellow paint was applied, so it has a very OEM look that doesn’t stand out as a respray. Nice!
Open the hood with those two menacing scoops and you’ll find the original, numbers-matching 455 cubic inch Buick V8. As a factory-built Stage 1, it’s got a slightly hotter camshaft, bigger valves, stronger valve springs, a re-jetted carburetor, upgraded oiling system, heavy-duty cooling system, and a host of other upgrades to make it reliable as well as powerful. It is a correctly coded SS block with a 1231738 casting number and you can still make out the partial VIN stamp between the #1 and #3 cylinders. The engine has never been apart and that’s factory-applied Dante Red engine enamel, which is still in remarkably good shape. Sure, it’s a little burned around the exhaust ports, but the authenticity and originality of this engine bay is impressive. The twin-nostril air cleaner and chrome valve covers were part of the package as well, and it’s pretty well packed in there with factory A/C equipment taking up most of the passenger’s side of the engine bay. It starts easily and idles well, even when it’s cold, and all 510 pounds of torque show up for duty, making this car effortless around town. Pushing the throttle at any speed results in a proportional burst of acceleration that’s rather remarkable if you’ve never driven a big block before. It just never seems to be working very hard, yet flings the car around like it weighs 1000 pounds less than it does. Too cool.
The TH400 3-speed automatic transmission shifts cleanly and it, too, is original to the car, as is the 10-bolt rear end with 3.42 gears and a Posi limited slip inside. Original cast iron exhaust manifolds feed a newer Flowmaster exhaust system with X-pipe, so it definitely sounds predatory on the road, and there are bolt-on cut-outs so you can run open pipes should the mood take you. The floors are original, and if you’re looking for a solid, unmolested car, this one will definitely satisfy you, because there’s no evidence of previous damage, rust, or other issues. It’s not detailed for show, of course, but this is a car that’s led an easy life someplace warm and it shows. The brakes are firm and reassuring, it has that big car Buick ride, and with brand new 235/60/15 Michelin radials on the original Buick road wheels, it handles reasonably well for such a big brute.
This car is also extensively documented, with the original build sheet, dealer invoice, bill of sale, Protect-O-Plate, manuals, and even the original key knock-outs in their original envelope. There are also service receipts dating back to 1970, ownership papers as the car transferred to two additional owners, and a certification of its mileage, which was 43,607 in 1988. There are no question marks attached to this car’s history.
A study in contradictions, it’s a real car dressed up like a clone with all the horsepower such a machine deserves. Take it back to its original brown color and you have one of the most authentic, clean, low-mileage GS Stage 1 Buicks in the country or simply enjoy it for what it is: a bargain-priced GSX with a bulletproof pedigree. Either way, you’re getting the nastiest A-body GM could build in 1970. Call today!