Friday, March 1, 2013

Fast Friday Fun- The 1971 GSX

The GSX is now on the options page for 1971

We've covered the 1970 GSX in detail- how it was a very special model with a limited number of options and only two colors. The GSX continued for 1971 but it was in all now reduced to series of trim options available on any GS coupe, and no longer quite the unique machine it had been in 1970.

The 1971 GSX was announced in this bulletin from Buick Car Distribution
The 1971 GSX option availability was announced by letter from J. T. Sorrell, head of Car Distribution, on Nov. 27, 1970. It listed pricing and specifications for each of the options that had been part of the GSX in 1970 and specified that each order should be submitted as Special Car Order, or SCO. (Letters courtesy of

As per this bulletin, the front and rear spoilers and hood tach were separate options.
It specified that the option would now include the stripes, paint and emblems, and that the rear spoiler, front spoiler, and hood tachometer would now be stand alone options, and would be offered on the coupe only due to the differing shape of the convertible rear fender..

Here are the six colors for 1971
The letter outlines six available colors for 1971- Stratomist Blue, Arctic White, Lime Mist, Platimum Mist, Cortez Gold,. and Bittersweet Mist. The GSX Registry has accounted for 1971 GSXs all of these colors plus Fire Red, Verdemist Green and Black. It is possible that because the GSX was already a SCO order, additional colors may have been permitted, especially if the rear spoiler were deleted from those orders, or some of the cars may have been color changed.

For 1971, power on all the GS models were reduced. The standard 350 now developed 260 hp, the optional 455 produced 315 hp, and even the 455 Stage 1 now developed 345 hp. Compression on all engines was lowered across the board to 8.5 to 1, down from 10.5 to 1 on the standard 455 and 10.5 to 1 on the Stage 1. Clearly the handwriting was on the wall and the performance car as we knew it was on the way out.

A total of 124 GS coupes had the GSX option in 1971, only about a quarter of what were sold in 1970, but it is worth noting that they are still very potent and desired classics, and the 455 Stage 1 was still the most popular engine in 1971, even with the reduced compression.

 Here are all of the approved colors for the 1971 GSX:

Arctic White- Code C

Cortez Gold- Code Q

Lime Mist- Code H

Platinum Mist- Code P

Stratomist Blue- Code B

Bittersweet Mist- Code T
The sun was quickly setting on the GSX but there would still be one more year for the model. GSX was quickly becoming a classic in its own right, a reminder of a time when horsepower was king and the luxury division from Flint was responsible for one of the finest and fastest performance cars ever created.

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