1969 Buick Skylark GS
David Atkinson, Spring, TX
Best E.T.: 6.76/101 (eighth-mile)
The bold look of a tubbed Buick has always caught David Atkinson's eye, so when the opportunity appeared to pick up a roller already fitted with a narrowed 9-inch and deep tubs for a cheap price, he jumped at the chance. The only contingency? He had to promise it would have Buick power. No problem there, as David is a Buick believer with another '69 GS in the garage.

To make this dream car a reality on his budget, however, David had to reallocate the engine planned for his first GS project into the tubbed beast. Of course he had to make sure it could earn those massive meats and send the Brand X'ers packing, so the wick was turned up on the engine build with much higher compression, more lift, and tighter lobe centers, and the highest head flow numbers he could get from the Buick boys at TA Performance.

After having swung a deal during a slow week at a local paint shop to dip the body in black, the GS came together with a mix of new and old parts-some even pirated from his now sideburnered GS project. Since the quintessential Pro Street look was the goal David wanted, he opted for carbs through the hood rather than a big cowl. After the big bad 455 was dropped in, the next part bolted on was a Weiand tunnel ram for Mopars, with Buick adapters from Evans.

Since David's a specialist in electronic design, he hardwired an Innovative LC-1 wideband sensor and mounted it in the radio delete plate so he can make sure the tune is mint at all times. We like that kind of dedication.

Thanks to his tuning persistence, the radical build was tamed, and David says the GS has surprising torque throughout the rpm range and idles at 1,000 rpm even when cold. Plus, he carries a 14:1 air/fuel ratio at easy cruising speeds, which has managed to net him a wallet-bruising 6 mpg.

WHERE THE MONEY WENT
'69 Buick Skylark GS: $5,000
Paint and body: $2,000
Interior: $385
Glass and Lexan rear: $300
Tires: $520
Engine: $13,000
Shifter: $180
Rearend: $750
Total: $22,135

BY THE NUMBERS
'69 BUICK SKYLARK GS
David Atkinson, 44 • Spring, TX
Total cost to build: $22,135
ENGINE
Type: Buick 455 ci
Block: '72 Buick, 4.32 bore
Oiling: SRE deep pan
Rotating assembly: stock nodular crank, stock rods, Venolia 12.2:1 pistons
Cylinder heads: TA Performance Stage 2 Street Eliminators with 2.16/1.71
Mike Phillips Stage 1 Plus valves
Camshaft: TA Performance 308S solid flat tappet
Valvetrain: TA Performance roller rockers,
dual valve springs by Mike Phillips,
Crower lifters, TA 5/16-inch pushrods
Induction: Low-deck B Mopar Weiand T-Ram,
Evans adapters, Quick Fuel 750 carb
Ignition: MSD 6A box and distributor
Exhaust: TA Performance 2 1/8-inch headers, dual 3-inch
Cooling: Mezier electric water pump
Output: 719 hp at 6,300 rpm and 660 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm
Built by: G&G Racing Engines
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission: GM Turbo 400 with Buick short tail housing,
Trans King 10-inch 4,000-stall converter;
Hurst shifter, 4-inch steel driveshaft
Rear axle: Ford 9-inch rearend narrowed 5-inches per side,
4.30:1 gears, spool
CHASSIS
Front suspension: chrome upper and lower control arms
with Moog Chevelle 6-cylinder springs
and Summit 90/10 shocks
Rear suspension: Competition Engineering coilovers
Brakes: JFZ dual-piston discs, front; JFZ dual-piston disk discs, rear
ROLLING STOCK
Wheels: Weld Pro Star 15x4, front; 15x15, rear
Tires: Arizona VW tires, front;
31x18.5-15 Hoosier Quick Time Pro, rear