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AJ's Car of the Day '71 Buick GSX Hardtop Coupe
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Car: Buick GSX Hardtop Coupe

Year: 1971

What makes it special: Both the GSX / GSX Stage1 was Buick's contribution to the Classic era American Muscle car list, based on the Skylark platform adding a high performance package available only on the GS 455 starting in 1970. The GSX Performance and Handling package was a $1,100 option on the GS455. The GSX was Buick's very late entry into the Muscle Car market following less than spectacular sales late in the 1969 model year. The GSX was Buick's answer to Pontiac's GTO Judge, Oldsmobile's 4-4-2 W-30, and Plymouth's Hemi Cuda. It came standard with a 455ci engine with or without the optional Stage 1 performance engine upgrades during the first year of release.

What made it famous: During 1971 and 1972, the GSX package became an option that was available on any Gran Sport. Production dropped in 1971 to only 124, and again to 44 in 1972. These numbers include the available 350-4 bbl option, the standard 455, and the Stage 1 engines. The base model V8 was rated 350 hp and 510 lb·ft at 2800 rpm. In the optional Stage1 trim it was rated** 360 hp and 510 lb·ft at a low 2800 rpm. All GSX's had the distinctive full body length black stripe that crossed over the standard equipment rear spoiler and was outlined in red pin stripes. A large area of the hood was also black with a hood mounted tachometer and black front spoiler. Also standard equipment were black bucket seats, floor shifter, wide oval tires, quick ratio steering and anti-sway bars front and rear and quad-link suspension attached to a limited-slip rear differential. Some other options were automatic transmission or 4-speed manual, A/C or Non-A/C.

Why I would want one: This was probably one of the most badass Buicks ever produced. If there were a monument built to 70's muscle cars, this would undoubtedly be included as GM's contribution. 

Fun fact: At 510 lb-ft the Buick 455 produced the highest torque output of any American production performance car, a record held for 33 years until finally surpassed by the Series 2 V10 Dodge Viper in 2003.

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