Autocrossing A ’72 Buick Gran Sport
There are some absolutes in the automotive world: drag racing your Miata, unless you’ve got an LS3 motor stuffed under the hood, isn’t going to be particularly entertaining. Autocrossing a muscle car, pro touring cars excepted, will be much the same, since they’re generally better at going fast in a straight line than they are at turning. The driver in the video below, Jeff Peoples, would beg to differ, and does a very respectable job of getting his 1972 Buick Gran Sport though the cones without drama.
The Gran Sport was a high performance option package offered on various Buick models beginning in 1965. I’m not exactly an expert on vintage Buicks, but it looks the 1972 model pictured here would have come with a 455 cubic inch V8, good for 350 horsepower and 510 ft pounds of torque in stock trim. A ‘Stage 1’ option gave the car an additional 40 horsepower, but the hot (and extremely rare) setup was the dealer installed ‘Stage 2’ kit designed for drag strip use only. Only 12 Stage 2 Gran Sports were known to be built, which makes them among the rarest of collector Buicks.