HOME The Cars Our Blog The People History Links EMAIL
1967 Buick Gran Sport GS400 1968 Buick GS400
1967 Buick Gran Sport GS400This 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. He did strike a concern about reliability on the '67, recalling that they blew up '67's with alarming regularity. 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, replaced it with a new 1968.



The engine and drive train were roughly the same as the 1967, but the body was all new. While the streamlined styling was a matter of taste, Pop discovered that the newly restyled fenders would accommodate wider racing slicks, so this particular styling change proved beneficial on the track. This car was in service while Dennis Manner was developing Stage 1 engine parts, so it became a factory test mule for the upcoming Buick performance engine programs. It is more remembered for testing the 455 engine and the prototype Stage 2 components than it is for its actual victories, but in many ways it set the stage for its most famous successor, the 455 Stage 2. Dennis Manner recalls that, when developing the Stage 1 and Stage 2 programs, that he did not have time to build and campaign a factory car, so he relied on the Reynolds Buick/ Kenne Bell team for testing. He would ship components directly to Jim Bell for testing on the Reynolds Buick cars.

In the words of Jim Bell:

"After successfully racing the 400 inch GS for approximately one and one half years, we started testing new 455 engines for the upcoming 1970 Buicks. We tested standard, Stage I, and Stage II heads both on the flow bench and at the drag strip. I still remember the smile on Pop's face when he came back from the first run with the prototype Stage II heads. With no other changes, that Stage II head car was good for 3 mph and .3 second. The 455 incher was good for .32 second and 3.3 mph over a 400-incher."

     
     
     
     

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