How This 1970 Buick GS 455 Pulled it Together During Drag Week Despite Scepticism
We participated in Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week this year, racing at 5 tracks in 5 days. Logged over 1000 official miles and about 1300 overall miles on the trip. No support vehicles or trailering the car is allowed during the event.
We towed a small 4x6 enclosed trailer to carry extra fuel, spare parts and tools.
10.86 average over 5 days on Drag Week in 100 temps with a best on Drag Week of 10.77. Car has run 10.69 since the event in the same configuration.
Week before Drag Week. Our 1970 Buick has been running for a couple weeks with some testing at an 1/8 mile track that showed a way too tight converter. Day before Drag Week we swapped in a different converter and fixed a bad oil leak just before we had to leave. Drove all night and arrived at track at like 11:30 am on check-in day, and man it was hot! We didn't even get the car off trailer and some guy walked up, said “Huh, think that things gonna make it?” and walked off. We asked ourselves, what was that all about, does he know something we don't?
1st day. We make the first 1/4 mile pass our Buick GS has made in 13 years with an unproven combination and an unknown converter. The car goes 10.86 on the rev limiter at 1000 feet. Close enough, let’s hit the road! We hooked up the trailer and started to drive out of the track when one of our airlift bags popped. Weight of trailer now makes tires rub, limp car at 10MPH out of track and to nearby Autozone, rubbing all the lettering off the side of tire. Buy crappy bolt in coil spring spacers that we install, find they are missing some nuts, buy more nuts and finish putting them it. Good news is they fix tire rub, bad news is we will have to remove and re-install them every day of Drag Week. Leaving Bowling Green as we got on the highway in 100 degree heat towing a trailer for the first time we had overheating problems, stopped and made air box/blockoff for radiator out of Subway tomato boxes and duct tape, noticed oil pressure very high at highway cruising RPM.
2nd day. We went to check ignition timing at track before pass, found it was way off, pulled distributor to find destroyed cam gear and cam gear knife edged. Dug through spares, found an extra, put it in made a pass and hit the road. We ordered 2 extras overnight to the track in St. Louis. Still having the high oil pressure issue, figuring since oil pump is driven off distributor/cam that might be what”s killing it. We went on search for oil pump pressure relief spring (it’s in the front cover on a Buick) Finally found one at Speedway auto parts in Indianapolis. They had to go to pick it up at a warehouse an hour away which they did at no charge and we waited at parts store. Part arrives and they offer to let us pull in to the back of the store to change it since it”s 102 degrees outside, we happily agree!