Modern Buick GSX Dreams of Reviving the Muscle Car Tradition

The days when enthusiastic engineers manage to triumph over bean counters, with car aficionados enjoying a long list of velocity treats as a result are long gone—nowadays, automakers work on becoming technology companies focused on electrification and software to survive, but modern times still have some goodies reserved for those of us who prefer the good old suck-squeeze-bang-blow. Custom rides are more popular than ever, real or virtual. So, here’s a pixel proposal that aims for no less than the return of Buick’s muscle car era effervescence.

Sure, Buick didn’t get the axe in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis like Pontiac or Saturn did. However, in order to keep the wheels spinning, GM focused on the Chinese market, but while the brand is big over there, its home turf game is far from what it used to be.

The process that led to Buick selling 1 million cars per year in China (that’s five times more than in the USA) and offering sixteen models as opposed to just three is explained in the Donut Media YouTube video below and one of the many aficionados who have dedicated ten minutes of their lives to the clip is a 26-year old Indonesian named Timothy Adry Emmanuel—it doesn’t help that most Buick models we get today are the same cars GM used to sell in Europe under the now-owned-by-Stellantis Opel brand.

Those of you who follow our stories know the enthusiast thanks to his stunning 3D work, the bulk of which is dedicated to American automobiles. So, naturally, Timothy felt inspired and attempted to pixel-save Buick on his own.

Unlike the solution proposed in the vid, which involves taking a contemporary Camaro down the modern Gran National route via a Cadillac TT V6, the artist looked back to the early 1970s, reviving the lavish muscle bomb that was the Buick GSX.

Interestingly, this story is about various aspects coming full circle and we’re not just talking about the creator community—when Buick decided to enter the muscle car scene back in 1970, it did so aiming to bring a fresh wave of customers into showrooms, via the GSX that relied on the GS455 appearance, performance and handling package for the Skylark.

Under the hood of the GSX stood a 455 ci (7.5 L) V8 that weighed some 150 lbs (68 kg) less than competing engines such as the Chevy 454 or the 426 HEMI, the GM motor delivered a monstrous 510 lb-ft (Nm) of torque, which brought it an American performance car record that stood for 33 years (until the Gen 2 Viper, with its 505.6/8.3L V10 came around).

And while you could grab some of those competitors (think: Chevelle, Roadrunner) with basic amenities only, any GSX came fully loaded, adding to the prestige of the brand.

This digital new-age GSX has it all

Returning to the rendering that adorns our screens, you can still spot the Chevy Camaro platform, mostly due to the greenhouse, but the thing has its own identity.

Even when taking the original out of the picture (you’ll see this in the literal sense via the image gallery), the newcomer reminds one of the 70s hero, thanks to details such as the vents on the dual-scoop ram air hood and, of course, the hood tacho.

The posterior brings perhaps the most fluent part of the DNA transfer, with those sleek LED lights and the clean fascia being just what the retro doctor ordered.

As mentioned in the intro, we can expect the aftermarket to come up with such a build in the metal (that SEMA display present in some of the renderings should be enough of an inspiration for builders out there). Meanwhile, as far as GM itself is concerned, the company hasn’t exactly kept the Camaro itself in tip-top shape, so we can at least hope this iconic name is kept alive once the current generation is retired, which should take place in 2024.



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