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The obvious were a longer, extra-pointed hood and a more sharply Vee’d grille to match. A first-rate example is the 1970 GSX, a bespoilered GS 455 hardtop with new “Stage I” engine tuning; it noticed only 678 copies; the GS 455 convertible was little increased at 1416. Both have been back for ’71 (GSX as an option package) with daring black body stripes and hood paint, special grille, chrome wheels, and fat tires. Buick’s fundamental mechanical growth was an unlimited 455 V-8. These might be powered by every part from a 155-bhp 250-cid six to a big-block 429-cid V-8 with 360-370 horsepower. The former provided six and V-eight Tudor and Fordor, together with enterprise and membership coupes. Some say it stemmed from the sport of Rounders that was played in England and Wales throughout Tudor times. Bolstered by spiffy Luxus and Regal submodels (the latter made a separate collection after ’74), the midsize Centurys sold well by 1977, offering an necessary “security net” at times when inflation and rising gasoline costs despatched would-be massive-automobile consumers scurrying for thriftier options. The 12 months-old junior line displayed the expected minor trim shuffles; Gran Sports and Sportwagons remained separate series, as in ’68. Trim packages created a bevy of fashions: base, 350 and Custom Skylarks, plus Sportwagons and Gran Sports.

The last of the 1968-vintage Skylarks appeared for 1971-72. They remained strong, good-looking middleweights, although their engines have been being emasculated by power-sapping emission-management devices, which meant Gran Sports weren’t so sizzling anymore. NeverĀ­theĀ­less, full-size cars remained Buick’s bread-and-butter by way of 1975, accounting for over forty p.c of whole division sales. Buick’s last true muscle cars were additionally 1970-72 fashions. 389sports had been thirsty. The final 455-cid Electra, for example, was good for only 8.7 mpg within the Environmental Protection Agency’s city-fuel-economy rankings. The GS possibility, a last vestige of sport, vanished after 1975, but Buick tried to maintain fanatics interested with a “Rallye” package deal offering reinforced entrance antiroll bar, a brand new rear bar, and heavy-responsibility springs and shocks. Oddball styling and outsize heft will need to have contributed to Riviera’s sagging fortunes in this interval; by 1975, sales had been lower than half of what they’d been five years before. All employed a brand new-era A-body with so-known as “Colonnade” styling that did away with pillarless coupes and sedans.

Intermediates had been subsequent on the company slenderizing schedule, so a smaller Century bowed for 1978 together with a separate Regal collection of personal-luxurious coupes, all built on a new 108.1-inch-wheelbase A-body. This scorching-selling line continued into 1970, however without Specials — the smaller workaday models had been now Skylarks — and with Estate wagons in a separate series. Estate wagons moved as much as its 127-inch wheelbase. The following 12 months brought even fancier Electra Park Avenue models. This was claimed to supply even higher experience and dealing with than the GS, and probably should have been commonplace to handle the size and weight of those beasts. The new subcompact Vega launched for 1971 took over that finish of the powertrain spectrum for Chevrolet, so Nova moved to a extra responsive six-cylinder engine — 250-cubic-inch and 145 horsepower — as normal fare. Arriving for mid ‘seventy three because the Apollo, it was just a rebadged clone of the 111-inch-wheelbase X-physique Chevrolet Nova from 1968, with the same three physique kinds (two- and four-door sedans and a hatchback two-door) plus, initially, the identical 250-cid Chevy straight six as standard energy.


Rated at 110 bhp, and also customary power for the ‘seventy five Skylark, Century, and Regal, this would be a significant engine in years to come. Electras through 1979 relied on a normal Chevy-built 350 V-8; a brand new 403 with 185 bhp was optional, courtesy of Olds. The upmarket Electra remained a C-body cousin to Olds Ninety-Eight and Cadillac de Ville. The latter remained massive upper-class two- and three-seat haulers battling the likes of Chrysler’s Town & Country. Convertibles were no extra (killed after ’75), however two- and four-door sedans had been supplied in LeSabre, LeSabre Custom, Electra 225, and 225 Limited sequence. LeSabre still rode a 123-inch wheelbase, but so did Wildcat for the first time in four years. The entire package had to be carryover, together with the wheelbase, together with carryover front-end sheet-metal, cowl, front and rear bumpers, door lowers, quarter-panel inside construction, and so on. The Plymouth stylists could do anything they needed as long as they held these hardpoints. All full-sizers acquired new grilles, bumpers, and taillights; intermediates acquired longer hoods, bulkier lower-body contours, and completely different grilles for each collection. It was a particular asset throughout the large-car gross sales slump touched off by the Middle East oil embargo late that 12 months, but intermediates would stay more vital to Buick’s overall well being.