Gordon Martin’s 1970 Buick GSX
With Father’s Day coming up, consider the inadvertent influences your dad had on you. Some follow the career footsteps of their dad, perhaps attend the same college, sport the same cologne, or drive the same brand of car. Gordon Martin’s dad drove a lot of Buicks, and to say the Buick tri-shield left its mark on young Gordon is an understatement. He’s been building and collecting Buicks since turning 16 and now is the lucky owner of his dream car – a 1970 GSX.
The GSX is to Buick what the LS6 is to Chevelles or the Boss 429 to Mustangs. With only 678 examples built in 1970, they’re an extremely rare piece of muscle car lore and get even more limited when you start looking at the options. For example, over half of the cars featured the Stage 1 engine option (higher-lift cam, half a point more compression, and rated at 10-horsepower more) and only 199 were built with four-speeds. Also, the GSX was only available in Saturn Yellow or Apollo White, with only 187 being painted in the later.
Given that history, you get an idea of just how rare Gordon’s GSX is and why he just had to have it when he found it languishing in a Wisconsin barn. At the time, the Buick had under 30,000 miles and had been parked for years with the engine on a stand next to it. From what he could surmise, the engine was pulled to receive a set of higher compression slugs (that were never installed). With its Hurst-shifted Muncie, optional 3.62:1, gears and power steering delete, the original owner of this Buick aimed be fast!
Once Gordon thoroughly inspected his newfound dream car, he turned it over to Autokraft Race Cars & Restoration in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, for a complete rotisserie restoration. The original 455 found its way to three-time NHRA Pro Stock Champion and Buick fan Jason Line for a thorough rebuild with careful attention to an original assembly. Autokraft applied the rare Apollo White paint followed by the requisite GSX decals and finished the interior with Legendary restoration supplies.
During the project, all of the original paperwork was found stashed in an interior crevice, confirming the car’s heritage. In fact, the car just had its 52nd birthday on April 15.
The GSX debuted at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals last fall, where it won Concourse Gold before becoming a 2022 Snap-on Muscle Car of the Year Finalist in Scottsdale. Thank you, Gordon, for saving – and sharing – such an amazing piece of muscle car history.
Photos by John Jackson