Dave Immel Automotive Consultant
282 E. Wolf Run, Mukwonago WI 53149
The 1970 Buick GS Stage 2
Posted April 4, 2019
Buick is known for its legendary suspension tuning and
ride quality. It isn’t normally the first car people think of
when the conversation turns to American muscle cars.
However, Buick has built some of the fastest production
cars on the street. Most recently, the turbo charged
Buick Grand National, T-Type and the GNX (Grand
National Experiential) from the 1980’s were the latest
Buick hotrods to prowl the streets.
For those of us old enough to remember the Buick GS,
we know that it could smoke the Chevy Chevelle,
Pontiac GTO and anything the Blue Oval could put
together. Unlike today, there was no engine/driveline
sharing among the different General Motors Divisions.
So, not only were these Divisions competing against
other manufacturers, they were competing against each
other. They were often developing vehicles in secret
undisclosed locations, away from prying eyes and other GM Divisions.
For the January 1970 issue of Motor Trend
Magazine, they tested a Buick GS Stage 1. The
four-speed car ultimately ran a 13.38-second
quarter-mile ET at 105.5 mph. It also managed to
lay down a 5.5-second 0–60 while keeping the 510
lb-ft torque in check. Motor Trend dubbed the Stage
1-equipped GS the fastest muscle car it ever tested.
And at the time, few cars were capable of beating
those numbers. Today you can buy cars off of
dealer showroom floors which pale those numbers,
but keep in mind that the naturally aspirated V8 in
1970 was much different technology from what is
So, what do you do when you’re on top? According
to an article written by The Hagerty Blog, you build
an even more brutal engine. Buick had its
engineers working on a successor to the Stage 1. Dubbed the Stage 2, this engine upgrade was meant to be a heavily
upgraded 455. With improvements to 11.0:1 compression, forged TRW pistons, redesigned heads, and a valvetrain capable
of 7000 rpm, the ultimate intent was to release the Stage 2 as a Super Stock racing package (not meant for the street). It is
estimated that the Stage 2 package was good for 500+ horsepower.
Two Stage 2 test vehicles were built, one white car and one red. However, somewhere during the testing process, 1970’s
emissions standards came crashing down and Buick was forced to axe the entire factory program. This red car went to the
Jones-Benisek racing team for testing and they continued to successfully campaign the car in Super Stock events through
Pictured here is the car at Mecum’s November 2018 auction after a frame off restoration.