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When you say Buick, the first thing that comes to mind is American luxury automobiles. Through the years, the brand has been General Motors' key marque for the higher-end market. It created a more sophisticated reputation as opposed to the more performance-oriented Chevrolet and Pontiac. Despite the snob appeal, the restoration scene has found a descent Buick following. Some enthusiasts go for era-correct restoration, others go for day-two restomods, and still others go for more modern builds. But the real challenge for restorers is scoring the right Buick parts for their projects. As you may know, the cars do not easily lend themselves to other GM components. That is why there is much need for things like new old stock Buick parts and even custom Buick restoration parts. So as you choose your potential project car, we suggest you look into these specific periods and see which appeals to you most:
The '50s saw much change in the way Buicks look. The art deco movement was gaining momentum quickly and influencing every American automotive designer that it could. As the portholes and chrome trims became status symbols, other Buick accessories like the electric clock and ribbed full wheel covers also became available in dealer packages. What's interesting during this time was Buick's Nailhead V8s. This oddly-shaped V8 design was the staple engine for all Buick vehicles and even for engine swaps before the Chevy small block came along the hot rod scene. Although slow by today's standards, the Nailhead V8 got its redemption when Buick reengineered the engine into the Wildcat 445 for the 1966 Skylark GS. But purists don't fret! Refurbished and remanufactured old Buick parts can still do a good job for your application if treated the right way. With patience and a lot of elbow grease, there's a good chance you'll be rolling in a classic '50s Buick any time soon.
The late '60s to early '70s gave way to the engine displacement war among the American automotive brands. Everyone was competing for the most power per cubic inch. In GM alone, four of its marques were pushing the boundaries in the mid-size muscle car category. Pontiac hyped everyone with its Rowan & Martin inspired GTO The Judge Ram Air IV that delivered 370 horses and 445 ft lbs of torque from its 400 c.i. block. Chevrolet answered with the Chevelle being powered by the 454 Chevy big block that made 360 horses and 500 ft lbs of torque. The Olds 442 also boasted 390 horses from its own 455 block. Finally mustering all available Buick auto parts during that time, GM's last contender came up with the 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1. For a brand associated with executives rather than the youth, the GSX was one torque monster. Its 455 Stage 1 V8 claimed the highest torque rating at 510 ft lbs of torque with 360 horses. And that was conservatively speaking. Owners of this car swore that it's more than those figures when they ran their GSXs on the strip. Today, true Buick GSXs are hard to come by. But if you are keen to make a GSX Stage 1 tribute car, you can do so by buying a Skylark, picking the right classic Buick parts, and finding your own 455 Buick block.