Buick created a muscle car legacy all its own with the potent Stage
1 performance package. Buick's reputation for performance was
overshadowed by the introduction of Oldsmobile's Rocket 88 V8 and
then Pontiac's GTO, and the division sought to regain its edge when
GM raised its corporate A-body displacement limit to 400ci in 1965.
The result was the Gran Sport performance package for the Skylark,
boasting a 401ci V8. While its 325hp rating lagged behind those of
the Chevrolet Chevelle SS and Pontiac's GTO, its 445 ft/lbs of
torque made it a genuine threat in the stoplight grand prix. An
all-new 400ci engine debuted in the 1967 GS 400, and in 1968 the
Stage 1 package began a trend toward increasing performance that
had peaked at 360hp and 500 ft/lbs of torque by 1970. Production
dwindled as the muscle car market drew down. One of 728 GS Stage 1
Buicks produced in 1972, this example possesses all the features
that put the GS Stage 1 at the top of the luxury muscle car genre.
Its 455ci 8-cylinder engine inhales through the factory-installed
functional cold-air induction system and exhales through
chrome-tipped dual exhaust, a heavy-duty Turbo Hydramatic 400
3-speed automatic transmission driving its considerable torque to a
posi-traction third member. Power steering and power front disc
brakes were popular option choices, as were this example's factory
air conditioning, Soft Ray-tinted glass and chrome Rally wheels
with Goodyear Polyglas G70-14 tires. This 1972 GS Stage 1 is fitted
inside with bucket seats, a center console, tilt steering column,
auxiliary gauges and an AM/FM push-button radio.
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