I bought my 1970 GS 455 Stage1 in October of 1999. I saw it advertised for sale in the N.E. GS/GN Club publication The Gran Sport Legend. I went to look at the car, and was very impressed with the cars condition. Options included: The Stage1 455 package, Air Conditioning, Bucket seats with full length console shift, THM-400, Power front Disc brakes, Tilt steering column with Sport steering wheel, AM radio with rear speaker, heavy duty suspension package, tinted glass, and convenience lighting group. The owner had bought the car in 1983 in Cobble Skill N.Y. and had driven it until 1987, when he began a 10 year, body-off-the-frame restoration. A mechanic, by trade, he took the entire car apart at his repair shop in Tuckahoe N.Y.
The frame, underbody, and suspension components were all sandblasted, and painted with POR-15. The car was reassembled with new body and suspension bushings, brake calipers and wheel cylinders. New brake and fuel lines were installed and clear coated. The GS received new NOS fenders and the entire car was painted its original color of Burnished Saddle, in lacquer.
The engine was rebuilt with forged pistons, a Kenne Bell 118 cam, and Mickey Thompson Headers. A Stinger S-4 distributor and box handle ignition chores. A BT coded switch pitch ST-400 was rebuilt with all heavy-duty parts and a B&M shift kit. The original 8.2” 10 bolt 3.42 posi was reused. The interior was largely original except for a recovered drivers bucket seat and new carpet.
When I took the car for a test drive, it drove smooth and tight with no squeaks or rattles, and it pulled like only a BBB can. The owner put the car on the lift for me so I could really see all the work he had done. I was able to negotiate a little off the asking price, and shortly thereafter, the car was mine. I knew the car was not numbers matching, but the owner had found the body production order final above the gas tank. With the help of Duane Heckman, I was able to verify that this car was originally built as a Stage1. I also sent my VIN information to Wayne Roberts, and his Buick records on Microfiche also authenticated the car as a Stage1. I have owned the car for 4 years now and have made quite a few improvements, some of them with performance in mind, others so that the car appeared correct for a 70 model.
1) I replaced the HV-HP oil pump with a reproduction TA Performance timing cover and blueprinted oil pump assembly. While I was at it, I used a 9-keyway rollmaster double roller timing chain.
2) I replaced the incorrect 1971 350 Q-jet that was on the car with a 1972 800 CFM Q-jet, that was redone and jetted by John Osborne Performance. I also replaced the standard 455 fuel pump with the correct deep bowl Stage 1 pump.
3) I installed an MSD Digital 6+ ignition box and had a spare distributor rebuilt, re-curved, and converted to a MSD magnetic pick-up design. (By Dave Ray)
4) I replaced the factory 3 core radiator with a Griffin Aluminum unit that had 2 rows of 1 ¼” tubes.
5) I replaced the 2 ¼” exhaust system with a 2 ½” GSCA system with long case Walker Dynomax mufflers. I later had a Dr. Gas 3”X 2 ½” X-pipe installed by Rob Chilenski at Stage1 Performance.
6) I repainted the brake power booster using Eastwood’s kit, and replaced the incorrect rectangular master cylinder with the correct oval one which was re-built and sleeved by Tri-Shield performance. I also added a line lock.
7) I replaced the incorrect 72 power steering pump and brackets with the correct 70 unit and brackets.
8) I replaced my 13” switch pitch converter (2300/1100) with a 12” unit (3200/1800) recommended by Jim Weise at Tri-shield Performance. I also replaced my 1967 BT valve body with a later 1971 BC valve body and modified the governor until my WOT shift points were 5500 and 5400. I used the Poston timer box (hidden in the console) to control the switch pitch.
9) I had a new 3” drive shaft built using the HD solid Spicer U-joints
10) I upgraded my front sway bar to 1 3/8”(Malibu Performance), and rear bar to 1 ½” (Herb Adams Suspension)
11) I installed 4 new reproduction 15 X7” Buick factory chrome wheels (Wheel Vintiques), and upgraded to P255/60R-15 B.F. Goodrich Radial TA’s. I also replaced the 71 and up center caps with the correct 70 and down ribbed design.
12) Inside, I added a Sony AM/FM/CD receiver mounted out of sight under the drivers seat, and used a wired remote hidden in the center console to control it. It supplies 23 watts X 4 RMS to the dual 3 ½” Blaupunkt speakers in front, and 6 X9” rear speakers.
13) I added mechanical Autometer oil and temperature gauges, and voltmeter to monitor the engine.
14) I replaced the cream-colored vinyl roof with a new correct (according to the cowl tag and microfiche info) dark brown vinyl roof.
15) I replaced the incorrect sport mirrors with the correct chrome tri-shield mirrors.
16) I found a set of excellent headlight bezels to replace my pitted and painted originals. I also had the hood nose moulding re-chromed, and replaced the inner and outer window fuzzies. The dash wood grain was replaced with reproductions from Year One.
17) I added a remote trunk release that I bought in Flint at the Centennial swap meet.
The car has gone a best of 13.633 @ 101.01 MPH on street tires and a 60′ of 2.1. One of these days I plan to put some sticky tires on and launch her right.