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1965 Buick Gran Sport (Number One) 1965 Buick Gran Sport (Number Two)
The rollover occurred on April 3, 1965, and the second car was logged into the Reynolds log on April 5. Considering how few GS pillared sedans were made, one can only imagine that they really scrambled to get a hold of this one. And certainly there were none in Reynolds' special commemorative color. So they settled for Arctic White with red interior, and was hurriedly repainted in Tiger Gold. The engine was transplanted from the rolled Number One car and the car was hurriedly prepared for racing. With Jim Bell's tuning mods, the car ran 12.30 at 111 mph.

This car became very renowned in drag racing circles. It was this car with Pop at the wheel that was featired on the cover of National Dragster on June 18, 1965, after they had won Top Stock at the brand new Palmdale International Dragway. (After winning its class, the Buick ram against the Super Stock Hemi altered-wheelbase Plymouth of Shirley "Cha-Cha" Muldowney and nearly beat even her, the essentially stock Buick getting nosed out at the last second. Buick issued press releases bragging of the success of the Reynolds Buick Gran Sport. The resultant publicity helped establish the reputation of the Gran Sport as a muscle car to be reckoned with. Pop Kennedy himself purchased the car upon its retirement and kept it for several years. It is interesting to note the enthusiastic support of Bill Trevor from Buick. In addition to being a racer himself, he actively championed the case of Buick racing to the zone and the home office in Flint. This car, like the other Reynolds racers, was carried on the books as a demonstrator throughout the 1965 and 1966 seasons and was even occasionally pressed in to service as a loaner vehicle when needed. After its retirement in December 1966, it was sold to a customer named Lennie "Pop" Kennedy. he drove it on the street for several years to come.

1965 was to the the 50th Anniversary of Reynolds Buick, and to help commemorate, Pete Reynolds decided to order 50 cars in a special gold metallic color to use in a springtime promotion. They would use the special gold cars as demos as well. It was just about that time that Buick announced the mid-year 1965 Gran Sport- a 401 V8 in the light mid size body. Peter ordered a pillared hardtop GS in Tiger Gold with tan interior and white top. The car was logged in to Reynolds' stock book on January 19, 1965 and was soon being prapared for the strip. The same style Switch-pitch converter and two speed transmission were fitted, along with a hotter Mark III cam and lifters, and 11:1 pistons. Hooker headers were also used. The result was a car that turned in a 14.05 at 101 mph (while still in stock tune) and then drive home again from the track. Pete recalled that it was not at all unusual to drive the car to the track on racing slicks, win a few races, and drive home again. He recalls driving the car as far as Bakersfield on the racing slick. He commented that they would allow extra time for braking, but otherwise didn't give it a second thought.

It was this car that was part of the highly publicized "Buick Sunday" wins at San Fernando Dragway, winning it's B-Stock class with a 14.05. Other victories went to Boulevard Buick in C-Stock with a 1965 GS convertible and Gil Le Barge in D-Stock driving a Reynolds sponsored 1964 Special.

Driving on slicks became an issue on April 3, 1965, when Pete Reynolds took the car over to Hooker Headers in Pomona to negotiate a distributorship from them. On the way back, it had unexpectedly begun to rain and the GS still had its 1965 racing slicks on. It rolled onto its roof as Pete attempted to exit I-10 at Holt Avenue.He recalls a passerby stopping and helping him crawl out of the passenger side window.  Except for damage to his shoulder and his pride, Pete took the impact remarkably well. The Gran Sport was less fortunate- the roof was nearly crushed on the passenger side, and a replacement car had to be located. It should be noted that, at the request of Pete's wife Caroline, all further driving duties were delegate to Pop Kennedy.




Reynolds Buick GMC Isuzu
345 North Citrus Avenue
West Covina, CA
(626) 966 4461