Looking through the inventory at RK Motors Charlotte, one thing is very clear: there were a lot of GM A-body options in 1970. From the scrappy Rallye 350/W-31 Olds to the 442 camp to the fearsome big block Chevelles, GM had an answer for just about everyone. Buick provided arguably the most high-end option with their ground-pounding GS. Last month, we rolled out our "award-winning 507hp 1970 GS 455 Stage 1":http://www.rkmotorscharlotte.com/sales/inventory/active#!/1970-Buick-GS455-Stage-1/134283 and today, we’re presenting its equally refined sibling – this 1970 GS 455 convertible. The car carries its original 455/TH400 combination while benefitting from a frame-up restoration that brought everything within sight back up to factory standards. Under 1,500 of these Buicks received the open air option and this subtle GS will certainly make you wonder why that number was so low.
Highlights of the trim tag include:
189:Burnished Saddle bucket seats
50:Bamboo Cream paint
03A:Scheduled for assembly during the first week in March
Between four assembly plants, Buick turned out 10,148 GS 455’s for the model year. Of those, only 1,416 were convertibles and just 136 shared the code 50 Bamboo Cream paint found on this GS. The color certainly matches Buick’s more upscale image and, if you’re a fan of the sleeper vibe, it’s hard to think of a more fitting hue. Paint and body were a focus of restorative efforts and it shows throughout the exterior. The paint has a nice luster to it and presents well from most angles. Panel gaps are better than factory standards and everything opens and shuts as it should. When the weather works against you, a dark brown vinyl top with a glass rear window offers both protection from the elements and a nice contrast against the Bamboo Cream.
With such an unassuming color, details are important. Fortunately, the supporting pieces of this GS are every bit as nice as the paint and body. From the front, dual headlights fill in the squared corners while a split black grille wears a sporty GS 455 badge. A chrome bumper follows the shape of the nose, offering a place for turn signals and a license plate. The hood features functional dual scoops that, aside from the badging, offer the only indication of the car’s performance capabilities. Behind the cowl, a new windshield fronts a greenhouse filled will new unmarked glass and clean stainless trim. All weather-stripping has been replaced and you’ll find rear view mirrors on both sides of the car. The profile reveals bright wheel moldings and a unique rocker trim with bright red detail. The fenders bear GS 455 badges as a fair warning to anyone thinking about lining up next to this Buick. At the rear, long rectangular taillights and Buick script sit amidst a large chrome bumper that accounts for most of the back end. A final GS badge on the right side of the decklid finishes off the subtle package.
Buick’s may have been the gentleman’s muscle car, but they definitely packed a punch. Pop the hood of this GS to find the original 455ci V8 in place, developing a factory-rated 350hp (just 10hp shy of the heralded Stage 1) and a staggering 510 lb-ft of torque. The foundation is a correct 1231738 Buick block dressed in orange paint and rounded out by a matching VIN derivative. The Rochester Quadrajet is still there, handling fuel supply while the factory cast intake manifold and heads both wear the same orange as the block. The package is topped by a Ram Air setup which pulls fresh air through the hood for a little extra thump. Up front, correct pieces like the open-face alternator and factory power steering pump add authenticity while, opposite, a factory-style radiator works with a single engine-driven fan to keep the bay cool. From the correct cast iron exhaust manifolds to the replicated chalk marks on the firewall to the reproduction Delco battery, everything here shows and functions as it should.
Put this GS on a lift and you’ll find a solid and largely unrestored undercarriage with tons of correct hardware throughout. Behind the 455, the original TH400 3-speed automatic still handles shifting duties with authority. While a 4-speed could have been ordered, the automatic suits this car much better. At either side, the true dual exhaust systems snakes toward the back of the car, quieted by OEM replacement mufflers. Power meets the pavement through a correct 10-bolt with limited slip and 3.42 gears that offer strong launches and comfortable highway cruising. The suspension has received some attention but stays true to GM design. The front end is supported by a double A-arm setup while a factory 4-bar with boxed lower control arms keeps the back end off the ground. There are also plenty of replicated inspection marks to keep the aficionados happy. Through the corners, front and rear sway bars pair with factory power steering to maximize driver input. Braking is equally adept thanks to power front disc and rear drums that tuck behind chrome 15-inch Buick wheels wrapped in 235/60R15 and 245/60R15 BF Goodrich Radial T/As.
Interiors have always been a high point for the Buick brand. Even today, their base model will grant you more style and comfort than most on the market. Inside this GS, you’ll find a restored Burnished Saddle interior with tasteful styling and plenty of creature comforts. Looking in, it’s hard not to admire the sloped and tapered console. The horseshoe shifter sits up high, surrounded by wood grain applique that blends well with the car’s upscale look. At either side, bucket seats wrapped in a rich shade of brown vinyl offer plenty of support for extended cruises. A brown factory dash fills the space between the A-pillars with more attractive wood grain surfaces. The instrument bezel hosts a trio of impressively clean gauges that monitor fuel, temperature, oil pressure, speed, and revs. Below, controls for the washer, wipers, and heater remain easily within reach. A title column extends towards the driver, topped by a three-spoke steering wheel. To the right, a stock AM radio provides all the entertainment necessary. The edges are filled out by patterned brown door panels, clean brown carpets, and black floor mats with the GS logo that all present as new. The trunk is equally nice, finished with a correct mat and spare tire.
This convertible comes with an original owner’s manual that points out the highlights of your new Buick in vintage GM marketing speak. There is also a separate “Consumer Information” booklet that offers additional information.
With its numbers matching drivetrain and unique color scheme, the car is sure to grab the attention of Buick fans while getting little more than a friendly nod from local law enforcement (and that’s a good thing with 510 lb-ft of torque on tap). Best of all, this is a huge amount of car for the money. If you’re ready to enjoy a high point of the muscle car era at a tremendous value, don’t miss the opportunity to make this 1970 GS 455 convertible yours today!