Car: Buick GS400 Convertible
What makes it special: The GS-400 was a car for men. Unlike Pontiac’s GTO, it wasn’t in your face. Aside from the standard-issue Buick road wheels and the deceptively subtle GS-400 badging, it did little to announce its presence as it rolled up next to you at the stoplight. Atop the hood were two non-functional, forward-facing air scoops painted black regardless of the body color. The non-functional “air ducts” behind the front wheels on the Skylark and CS became a set of chrome fish gills, instead of the venti-ports that were common with the rest of the Buick line.
What made it famous: The biggest mechanical change was under the hood. Two versions of the new big V8 were the 400-cu.in. V8 and the 430 cu.in. version that would power the bigger and heavier Wildcat, Electra and Riviera. The new 400 featured a domed chamber that Buick engineers called a “slanted saucer,” with conventional rocker arms and pushrod placement, and a 15-degree angle between the valve and cylinder axes. It led to a combustion chamber that was very efficient, and very similar to the design used in Buick’s Fireball V8 and V6. The 400/430’s main bearing diameter was enormous, growing from 2.499 inches to 3.25. Along with Pontiac’s, they were the largest in the industry. The crank was no longer forged, but cast from nodular iron. A single die-cast aluminum housing at the front of the block contained the water, fuel and oil pumps, as well as the distributor drive and the oil filter, effectively shortening and stiffening the block. It was mated to a close-ratio 4-speed, or the Super Turbine 300 two-speed automatic.
Why I would want one: Absolutely love the “menacing scowl” of the 1967 Buick GS-400.
Fun fact: With a standard 3.36 rear-axle ratio, it was capable of ripping off zero to 60 times of 6.5 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 15.20.