2023 Buick GS Nationals | ClassicCars.com Magazine

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2023 Buick GS Nationals |  ClassicCars.com Magazine

If you’re one of the Buick loyalists, knows the history of the original Century, a car that offered a bigger engine in a smaller body. From that point on, Buick was known as torquey, hard-to-fill sedans, a point not lost on members of the Buick GS Club of America (GSCA), as they descended on Bowling Green, Kentucky for the Buick GS Nationals. From May 17 to 20, 2023, Buick fans enjoyed drag racing and car shows, as well as camaraderie.

[All images courtesy of Patrick Briggs]

For forty-two years, GSCA has been restoring, upgrading and racing America’s favorite upper-middle class brand. In fact, if you’ve ever heard of FAST racing (factory kit, kit appearance), it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the Buick folks pioneered the concept, as the 455 Stage 1 has the strip rats in awe. for more than 30 years. Of course, it was around this time that Buick perfected its 3.8 turbo-six, it was most famously installed in the Grand National, but it is also available in other Regal models.

1978 Buick Riviera 75th Anniversary Edition

The GS Nationals started with testing and tuning on the racetrack, followed by a Gambler’s Race later in the day. On Thursday, there was more testing and tuning before the start of the qualifying races. Friday began with a car show followed by racing in the afternoon for all qualifiers and Gambler’s drivers. Can you guess what the all-day Saturday was about?

When he wasn’t racing, GSCA member Patrick Briggs was kind enough to take photos for us at the event showing various Buicks in various states of tune. Suffice it to say, Buick isn’t on every racer’s lips, but these enthusiasts run it as hard as Chevy and Mopar – they just chose different poison.

1965 Skylark Gran Sport, the first of the group.
1966 Skylark and 1967 GS 400
1967 GS 400 Convertible
1987 Buick Regal Limited with factory turbo six.
1969 Riviera
This unusual 1970 GS Stage 1 was built with a four-speed, AC and no radio.
The 1971 GS 455 above is powered by Stage 2.
1970 GSX racing as God intended.
Festival car from the 1975 Indy 500. The actual pace car was a Century.
Dave Hemker is a longtime Buick racer who has competed at Michigan’s Pure Stock Drags for two decades. This is a GSX inspired 1970 GS.
In 1971, only 124 GSs were made with the GSX package.
Herman Gross brought this 455 Stage 2 with custom built headers that was originally run in a 1970s circuit car.
After 5 rounds, Phil Roitman won the Buick/Stock Appearing class with this 1973 Century Gran Sport. A total of 17 cars competed in this class.
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