Friday, March 29, 2013

1973 Century Gran Sport- Late in the Game

The GM Strike of 1970 caused the delay of the new mid size cars for one year, so what was intended to come out for 1972 actually debuted one year later as 1973 models. All of the corporations mid sized cars were affected, so of course Buick was no exception, The 1971 styling continued for 1972, prolonging the availability of the convertible for one more season, until the new cars appeared for 1973. 

 There was a lot new for the '73 Buick intermediates, starting with the name. The Skylark name was retired for '73 and  the time honored Century nameplate returned. A new Regal model was introduced at the top of the line and the Gran Sport became a Century Gran Sport in 1973.

 The new styling was handsome and well received. All body styled featured Colonnade styling including fixed B-pillars and frameless door glass on all models, four doors and wagons included. The Gran Sport had the sportiest of the Century rooflines, a swept back rood with large fixed rear side glass.

Mechanically the car was little changed from the 1971-72 GS. The lowered compression ratios of 1971 had effectively stopped further engine development, so the engines were largely carried over for 1973. Both 350 and 455 V8s were available, as was a 455 Stage 1. The 455 was now rated at 250 HP, and the Stage 1 which developed 270 HP net. This figures are comparable to the net horsepower ratings of the 1972 models.

 Even though the performance era was rapidly drawing to a close, Buick still managed to produced 6,635 of the handsome 1973 Gran Sport. Of that number,  4,930 were equipped with 350 engines, 979 had the 455 and another 728 were Stage 1 455 equipped. The vast majority were produced with automatics, only 365 cars had four speeds in '73- and 92 of those were also Stage 1s. A handsome car that is much desired today and who knows what might have happened if it had reached market at the peak of the performance car era instead of so late in the game.

1 comment:

  1. In 1973 the body, interior,frame,axle and steering changed.Only the engine and transmission were were continued from 1972.It was a new car for 1973.