We’re all familiar with the plight of the average muscle car. Driven off dealer lots and showroom floors everywhere, they were commuters and part-time racers, or full-blown dedicated competition machines. In some cases, the vehicles we now covet have traversed both segments of usage before the resurgence of their popularity. As these machines traveled through the years, many accumulated commonly seen battle scars, often the result of teenage abuse, parts swapping, misguided modifications, or even abandonment. Yet, somehow, a number of these street machines avoided the darker side of a performance car’s existence.
One of the fortunate ones is this month’s subject: a Bittersweet Mist 1971 Buick GS. It’s one of just 81 convertibles that left the assembly line equipped with the famed 455 Stage 1 engine option. And because it was sold new in Quebec, courtesy of GM of Canada, there is unquestionable documentation substantiating its as-built claims. Had this Buick’s second owner–also from Quebec–been aware of this scant number, he might have been more reluctant to take it to the drag strip and rev its engine well into the red during the mid-Eighties. But the rarity of such machines was not so widely known in those days, and so the GS was raced for leisure, and that’s where Keith Diabo and his brother, Duane, first discovered it.
Keith, a performance Buick enthusiast practically from birth, to hear him tell it, is co-owner of Gran Sport Autobody in Kahnawake, Quebec, along with Duane. Keith described his first encounter with the GS for us recently... read more >