1970 Buick Skylark

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It was the most powerful Buick of the Muscle Car era. Under the hood of this car was the biggest V8 in the history of the company. It surpassed both the Chevelle SS and the Pontiac GTO in terms of displacement. In terms of torque, it was surpassed only by the 8.2-liter Eldorado engine, which was a heavy, premium car, and definitely not suitable for stoplight races. Cadillac aside, the Skylark GNX remained the most torquey American car until 2003 when the third generation Viper with 712Nm came out.

The 1970 Buick Skylark was the second generation of the model, which was produced from 1968 to ’72. The ’70 model is notable for a big 455 engine (7.5L). For a long time GM had not allowed to install top of the line V8 engines on mid-size cars, but for the Skylark this ban was lifted. Even though Buick’s 455 V8 was larger than most other V8s, compared to the Chevelle’s big V8, the Skylark’s engine was 70 pounds lighter. Buick’s big V8 was cast using thin-wall casting technology, which resulted in a weight gain. Motor Trend reporters in ’70 accelerated the Skylark GNX to 60 miles in 5.8s.

The car they tested went ΒΌ mile in 13.8s with an exit speed of 170kph. With numbers like that, the GNX was considered America’s fastest production car. Later, journalists from other publications questioned the claim, questioning the Chevelle SS. The fact that Buick was a very fast car was obvious to all. Even today, reviewers point out the excellent traction of this car, and in fact, more than 50 years had passed since its production.
Buick was assembled in California and Baltimore.

1970 Buick Skylark sale and price.

In ’70, a basic Skylark could be bought for $4,900, which was a pretty significant amount. Considering that the Chevelle could already be bought for $3,500, the Buick could not be called cheap, but it was also better equipped.

The GNX package added $1,195 to the cost of the car. In ’70, only 678 GNXs were sold, 400 of them were in the Stage 1 package and only 199 of them were equipped with a four speed, manual transmission. The latter is thought to have gotten its name from the American, space program.

Today, buy a 1970 Buick Skylark in good condition for 15 – 20 thousand dollars. The cost of restored, or perfectly preserved copies can be $70,000. I saw one convertible in a stage 1 package for $199,000.
There was an exclusive Stage 2 modification.

There were plans to make 50 of these cars, but the world saw only three. The Skylark Stage 2 was fitted with forged pistons from the British company TRW, which increased the compression ratio to 11:1. The engine was powered by a Holley 850 carburetor, and the mixture was fed through an Edelbrock intake manifold.

The exhaust stack ended just outside the intake manifolds, and the car was very loud. But such, the exhaust system contributed to the power. Idle was kept at 1000 rpm, which also spoke to the high, power output of this motor. According to some reports, 1.4 miles such a Buick passed in 10.7 seconds, which is a very decent figure even today.

Appearance and photos.

The ’70 Skylark is easily recognizable from the earlier second-generation Buick Skylark by the absence of the curved molding that ran from the front headlight to the rear wheel arch. In addition to the two-door hardtop, the Skylark was available as a four-door hardtop, sedan and two-door convertible. The two-door Buick had a body length of 5131mm and a wheelbase of 2845mm (112d). The four-door versions had a wheelbase of 116d. The curb weight of the two-door Skylark with a 455 engine was 175 lbs.

The powerful 1970 Buick Skylark GNX can be identified by a nameplate on the radiator grille. Additionally, these trucks were equipped with special air intakes, which brought the cold air straight to the carburetor. The GNX also had a tachometer mounted behind the engine compartment. In the photo you can see that the tachometer is mounted on the hood. This solution was used in those years in the Pontiac as well, but the GNX has Buick lettering on it, which will not let you forget which one you are driving. The GNX can be recognized by the presence of an antifender on the hood, 15-diameter chrome wheels made in rally style.
The super-exclusive Stage 2 model has a large air intake. The Skylark’s roof could be upholstered in vinyl. Buick brand logos can be seen on the body of the mirrors. This branding suggests that this car is of a higher status than the Ford, for example, or Chevrolet. Horizontal lights are built into the rear bumper, chrome – such a solution used in other, American cars of the time (just remember at least the Ford Gran Torino). In general, the style of the Skylark is in line with American car industry of those years. This is a beautiful and large car.

Interior and equipment.

Unlike similar models Ford and Chevrolet, Buick was equipped much richer. The first buyer could choose Skylark equipped with air conditioning, cruise control and even electric front seats. The latter equipment was the norm for Cadillac, or Lincoln cars, but not for Ford, or Dodge.

The Skylark was basic with a one-piece sofa, but two split seats were available as options. The safety belts in this Buick are two-point, lumbar type. The automatic transmission lever has an unusual shape, but even more unusual is that it is not mounted on the steering column, but on the transmission tunnel, which at the time was unusual.

Among the instruments is a clock that was mounted to the right of the speedometer. The mats also have the brand logos and the door trim is decorated with GNX logos, if this Skylark is provided in this modification. Of course this car is equipped with hydraulic power steering. The rear sofa is not too roomy, which was the norm for cars of this type.

Engine and Specifications 1970 Buick Skylark.

The Skylark’s base engine was an inline six cylinder, 250 cubic inch, 4.1 liter engine. This unit produced 155 horsepower at 4,200 rpm. The engine was powered by a Rochester single carburetor.
A more powerful V8 had a cubic capacity of 350 cubic inches and gave quite decent power of 230 horsepower at 4,400 rpm (the old measurement).

Of course the biggest interest has a 455 V8 with a capacity of 7.5 liters. Officially the power was 350 horsepower and 360 horsepower in the stage 1 package. But considering the dynamic capabilities it is believed that the power was more than 400 horsepower (according to the old measurements). The Stage 1 package raised the compression ratio from 10 to 10.5:1. The Stage 1 package gave the Skylark a different, wider-phase camshaft, larger valves and stiffer valves springs. Stage 1 also had a shorter main axle with a 3.64:1 ratio. The GSX has front disc brakes and a limited slip differential at the rear. The front and rear stabilizers are 1 inch thick.
With a bore of 109.5mm, the 455 has a stroke of 99.1mm. The engine has two valves per cylinder and consumes 38.2 liters of fuel in the city cycle.
The maximum torque of the Skylark is 691N.M and it reaches already at 2,800 rpm. The Skylark differs from many American cars of that time in that it has an all-spring suspension. It goes without saying that it has a continuous axle at the rear.

The GNX has become a cult car. Notwithstanding the fact that, prior to its release, Buick was not blessed with the glory of a stoplight race car like the Mustang, Charger, or Chevelle, but its appearance has turned many in the niche of medium-sized American cars of that time.

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