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Owned this Buick since 1978 and still going strong

Michael Garrison, from Topeka Kansas, says people are shaken when they learn his GS 455 is Buick powered.


I got this GS 455 Buick (factory 4 speed car) in 1978 in decent shape, after I had my ego bruised by this very car.

I had a Ford Ranchero with a 351 and a posi and I raced my future GS. This GS was pulling a lawn mower trailer around my Ford the whole race. I couldn't take it, so I bought the GS and the
rest of the story is I still have it. Right out of the gates I took it racing and I started in the 13s in the high altitude. I worked my way to the 12s, then 11s and then started creeping up on the 10s.

As everyone pretty much knows horsepower costs money. The more you spend the faster you go. Well, I broke the bank for a normal (if you can call me normal) Buick guy to go fast. I bought an engine built by Mike at TA Performance. Its 535 cubes and after April 2003 I found out it was 826 HP and 801 lbs of torque! My only problem has been traction for the most part. I have slowly been on a huge learning curve finding a little here and a little there on my quest for my first 9 second time slip.
This GS 455 Buick has been around a long time attendee of the GS Nats over the years and about 12 years ago I decided that I wanted to go fast. And since I had been burned in the show car thing I sold my 70 GSX and started building on my car. I ended up with a 462 that was making 630 HP and it was OK. I went as fast as 10.94@ 126 MPH. I even won Bracket one in Columbus GS NAts, But that wasn't good enough for me I had an itch to scratch, I wanted a 9 second time slip BADLY. I wanted to do it through the mufflers and in street tire trim too. I saw a guy run a pass at BG and we followed him to his trailer and after haggling with Jim Haas I bought the motor from his car.

With no help from hardly anybody I took it and planted it in my car hoping it would just go. I started out by breaking the transmission of my Buick several times. Then the motor took a dive by it sucking all the oil from the oil pan so it ran low on pressure, spun a bearing. Thus, I had the pan lowered to hold an extra 2 quarts of oil and the problem was solved.

Now for the traction issue. I was spinning the tires from the starting line to the finish line. What a ride that was.

The facts on the car

  • 1970 Buick GS 455 original 4 speed car
  • 410 12 bolt with Summers Bro's Axles and spool
  • BMR adjustable rear uppers Global West lowers with swaybar
  • Adjustable shocks front and rear
  • TH400 ATI converter 4000 converter 10 inch
  • Weight at BG 2003 was 3990 lbs with driver and full tank of 112
  • Still has a full interior as it did when I bought it in 1977
  • 3.5 inch Mandral Bent with MAgna Flo Muffs and a DR GAS X pipe
  • Steel car from front to back. It was painted in 1992 a Teal Green from GM’s Line up that year.
  • Still wearing the same interior it had when I got it even.
  • Fully insured and street legal still.

So far the best I have received time slips in the 60 foot marks at 1.46 as a best here in Topeka. As for the ET department I have gone 10.18 at Bowling Green. And lastly the MPH is back here in Topeka and I have been 135.6 here. I definitely have "The Need for Speed." Here is a run in Bowling Green KY.

As I found out the Mickey Thompson ET street tires did not help me but hindered me in the 60 foot dept. I was invited to borrow a set of Goodyear Slicks at BG this year from Jeff Hart (what a great Buick racer) and instead just bought them in case they would get ruined. Well I launched hard and the tires grabbed my wheel opening molding and I cut the tire on the right side enough that I was a little scared to race, but I looked at them after every run. It is great to even qualify in the Super 16, but the best thing about it was racing the leader of the Super 16 program and to move on to the next round from his red lite!!.

Now about the 10.5x30 tires. Goodyear tires will have to stay. I have consistency now too. I also found that my airbag was without air and after fixing a line I put 40 lbs in it and my car started to be stable and almost boring at times leaving the line. But the traction was coming to it. Next was the HR Parts Anti-roll bar and, man, what a difference that made. Now the car was drivable.

Quite a few years ago I also went to the Buick Challenge at Kearney Nebraska where I didn't do so well. In the Gamblers race I went several rounds and one round was against a Mopar and he was a winged, delaybox carrying, parachute packing, race car and i put the package on him 038 lite and a 10.601 with a 10.60 dial. I love it: a street car beating a race car.

Just a few years back I broke it after the Pinks all out race. It has taken me 3 years to get her back running. I have the engine back in the machine shop now and the wait is on. I had Gessler do the heads this time and he found a ton of unused HP I am hoping that the 9s are not far away now.

So here we are and the car is still my baby. The need for speed has been my motivation to keep it all this time. Not to mention the people I run against, who are shaken that its Buick powered.

Written by Michael Garrison
Topeka Kansas
GSCA #411

Michael Garrison
High Torque Racing
Auto Body & Paint Inc.