Muscle With Class: Restored 1970 Buick Skylark GS 455 Stage 1 Hardtop 4-Speed

  • April 06, 2021
The Rundown
  • 1 of 664 Produced w/ 4-Speed Manual Transmission
  • Restored w/ Striking Visuals
  • Documented by Sloan Museum
  • Non-Original 360hp 455ci Stage 1 V8 Engine
  • One of the Ultimate American Supercars
  • High-Quality Example, Ready to Enjoy
Why We Like It

As Buick’s top performance car from its introduction for 1965, the intermediate Skylark-based Gran Sport took a quantum leap forward in terms of performance in 455ci Stage 1 form by 1970. Underrated by the factory at 360hp, the Stage 1 recipe includes 10:1 compression, free flowing, big-valve heads, a hot hydraulic cam, high performance valvetrain, and a big Rochester Quadrajet 4-barrel carburetor gulping fresh air through a ducted twin-scoop hood. Peak torque was 510 lb-ft at just 2,800 rpm, delivering unreal acceleration with nose high launches. In fact, Stage 1 performance was equal to, or better than, all competing supercars of the era straight off the showroom floor. In stark contrast to many other comparable muscle cars, the Skylark Gran Sport is quite sophisticated without loud stripes and graphic decals and featuring top-quality materials and construction throughout. Handling is excellent to match the 455’s forward urge with the F41 Rallye Ride Control Package. While published sources place total Gran Sport production at 20,096 units for 1970, including the GS 350, GS 455, Stage 1, and GSX, the Stage 1 Hardtop is quite rare, with just 2,465 produced in total.


muscle-with-class-restored-1970-buick-skylark-gs-455-stage-1-hardtop-4-speed78497016-770-0@2XAs the seller relates, this 1970 Buick Skylark GS 455 Stage 1 Hardtop is documented by the Alfred P. Sloan Museum archives as 1 of only 664 Stage 1 hardtops equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission. It continues to benefit handsomely from a full restoration, and while powered by what is believed to be a correct engine, it’s a NOM (non-original motor). Finished in the original Fire Red exterior color, this awesome GS 455 Stage 1 car is equipped with black buckets and looks super clean with a painted (opposed to a commonly seen vinyl) roof, matching the car's sophisticated, businesslike attitude. Since restoration, it has been elevated with all new wheels and tires, interior trim, and drivetrain upgrades, according to the seller, resulting in an excellent condition car that is a pleasure to drive and “turn-key” ready.


Valuation Verdict

Exuding a mature, sophisticated presence with shocking performance and competent handling that doesn’t need to be announced by screaming graphics and stripes, the 1970 Buick Skylark GS 455 Stage 1 speaks softly but carries a Louisville Slugger of a stick. Smart performance minded buyers appreciated these amazing performers when new and despite their explosive performance, they’re classy and capable of being driven anywhere without the drama and onerous maintenance requirements demanded by lesser cars. While the 1970 examples are technically the most potent, Buick’s engineering wizards kept the GM marque’s intermediates at the top of any list of America’s best performance cars through 1973. Our subject is exceedingly rare with its 4-speed transmission, and while the engine is not original to the car, it’s honestly presented, in contrast to the supposed matching-numbers supercars on the market today. It looks great and is priced just above Hagerty’s #2 suggested value of $67,900 and offers excellent value at ‘Fair Market’ for one of the all-time baddest American muscle cars ever produced.

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