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1973 Century GS455 puts Buick “in a class by themselves”

By 1973 the muscle car was almost entirely dead. A few cars fought through increased emissions requirements and fuel concerns to try and keep the muscle car flame burning. Buick built the Century GS455 to be one of them. According to this vintage Car & Track review, they did the best they could.


One of the best parts of the vintage Car & Track road tests we've been running on the weekends (besides Bud Lindemann) is watching the show span a unique time in automotive history. Early C&T tests of muscle cars or "super cars" showcased some of the fastest and the best muscle cars that rolled off the assembly line for years to come. By the end of the show's run, the show featured the significantly detuned and stylistically challenged vehicles that passed for muscle cars in the mid 70s. Vehicles like this week's 1973 Buick Century GS455 were all "super car" enthusiasts had to hold on to.

With that in mind, it's clear that Lindemann and Car & Track were determined to sing the praises of the GS455 no matter how it might pale in comparison to the cars being produced a few years earlier. It is clear they succeeded with this glowing review of the 1973 GS455. We think more new car reviews need to begin with reverse spin vehicle hoonage; it really sets the right tone.


1973 was the first year Buick used the Century name since they had retired it for "Invicta" in 1959. While Lindemann doesn't immediately mention the horsepower (270) the Century's 455 V8 produces he does mention "the whole gang of emission control devices" attached to it. Not to worry though, even though the devices hindered breathing, according to Lindemann in the "bury the foot game" the GS455 felt strong. Perhaps most importantly even with a post emission engine in the Century, "there was still enough wallop to drive it through the corners with the throttle"

While the Buick is far from our favorite of the cars we've seen Car and Track test in the era of Malaise the 250hp big block is king. Lindeman captures the moment perfectly when he describes the big Buick being "as close to a super car we've had since breathing clean air became popular."

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Colonnades. Blech. There wasn't a good looking one in the bunch. "When GM Stylists Go Bad - Tonight on Fox!" The only ones that are even acceptable in my book are the cleaned-up '76-'77 Olds and Buick coupes and the '73-'77 Grand Prix. Junk the rest (OK, keep one example of every Colonnade as a warning to future stylists).