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1970 Buick GS455 Stage 2
James Bell, Lennie "Pop" Kennedy and Pete Reynolds flanked by 1970 Reynolds Buick Gran Sport 455 Stage 2, a 1970 Buick Riviera Waiting for the christmas tree- Lennie "Pop" Kennedy at the wheel of the 1970 Reynolds Buick GS 455 Stage 2, Pomona Dragway. Lennie "Pop" Kennedy at the wheel of the 1970 Reynolds Buick GS 455 Stage 2, Pomona Dragway. 1970 Reynolds Buick GS 455 Stage 2 at the dealership, spring 1970..
1970 Buick GS455 Stage 2- The jewel in the crown, and the most important Reynolds Buick racer of all time. To prepare for the 1970 season, Buick's Bill Trevor special ordered this car himself and it was built along with two others, the red one ultimately destined for Dave Benisek and a Stage 2 GSX prototype that spent some time on the west coast before returning to Buick headquarters.

Each car had progressed futher and further toward being a track car only, with this one there was never any question. Upon arrival at Reynolds Buick, it quickly disappeared into Jim Bell's shop and the rest is drag racing legend. By now, of course, the factory support is only very thinly veiled at best. Stage 2 engine parts were shipped directly from Buick engineering. Even the hood with the giant cold air scoop was shipped, modified from a Skylark hood-painted and ready to install, from Buick. Dennis Manner at Buick engineering worked very closely with Jim Bell- parts were sent, tested, and sent back.

Engine modifications included a full Stage 2 kit- high flow heads, forged TRW pistons, Mark IV 7000 rpm camshaft and valve train, specific main bearings, Edelbrock intake manifold with 1000-cfm Holley carburetor, 7-blade fan and more. The engine developed an estimated 540 HP- the Stage 2 heads alone added an estimated 50 hp by themselves. Kustom headers and open exhaust completed the engine. The chassis was set up with a 4.78:1 rear axle and a Line-Loc button on the THM 400 trans, 7.60x15 front tires and 29.5x10.5 racing slicks, all mounted on Motor Wheel Spyders alloy wheels, tail spindles, and no-hop bars. And inside, a welded roll cage and Sun tachometer and engine gauges supplanted the stock interior. No more service loaner doing double duty, the 1970 Stage 2 was, and is, a beast-  running in the Super Stock class, it turned 10.70s at 123mph!

This car won many races at the skillful hands of "Pop" Kennedy, but the impending industry trend toward lower compression doomed the Supercar era. Buick itself decided to lower compression for the 1971 model year, canceling plans for a factory Stage 2 drag car and severely curtailing further development in high performance. Pop himself decided to retire from driving at the end of the 1972 season, prompting Pete Reynolds to sell the car to Kenne-Bell and retire from official sponsorship.


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