Saturday, August 13, 2011
More Reynolds Racers- the Swingin '67
Our Trophy Winning 1967 GS 400
Passing of the guard. Pop Kennedy with our 1965 (which he purchased), 1967, and newly arrived 1968 Gran Sport Racers.
Our racers are, by and large, a pretty well known group of Buicks. Our '59 Invicta was known as the "Winningest Buick of all time." Our pair of '65's were legendary, and so beloved that one prominent collector created an exact recreation of our second '65. This Tribute Car, as we call it, made its public debut at last year's Reynolds Buick Open House. And there's our legendary '70, the unofficial factory racer.
But along the way, there were a couple of very important cars that are less well known today, like our very important but less famous 1967. This was an evolutionary car. Although Buick had been extremely successful with the tough little "nailheads", the engine itself was becoming dated. So the big news for 1967 was a new engine. In fact, a the basis for a whole family of new engines.
For the GS, that translated to a new 400 cubic inch big block. Rated ay 340 HP with a 10.25:1 compression ratio (in stock trim), Jim Bell outfitted the '67 Reynolds Buick racer with his usual magic and estimates that the new engine in comparable tune easily produced 75 hp more than the nailhead, which is a HUGE increase. He did strike a concern about reliability on the '67, recalling that they blew up the new engine with alarming regularity. Thankfully, when that happened, a phone call to Buick's Bill Trevor at the General Motors Training Canter made a new engine appear. So it had teething pains- But he recalls it being FAST.
As prepared by Jim, Bell, this car ran 12.10 seconds at 111 mph. The style change caused Pete to replace this car with a new one. The Gold Mist 1967 GS400 was campaigned for only one season before the totally new intermediate body was introduced for 1968, at which time Pete Reynolds, with an eye toward selling new Buicks, felt compelled to order a new '68. A regular customer bought the '67 from Reynolds, but unfortunately its current whereabouts are unknown.