The New Buick Sizzler ..................................................................................................................

  A Howitzer with Windshield Wipers……………………………………………………………..

400 Cu IN…………………………………………………………


445 lb. ft. of Torque……………………………………………….


325 bhp…………………………………………………………………………. .                 



Performance and Economy Kits……………….


 The Track Man’s -- Gran Sport H. R.





From The Pits

by Art Lauring

Buick’ v-8 inspired Gran Sport Skylark in street trim is hotter than the proverbial two-dollar pistol. With a few, NHRA-Approved, modifying touches in engine, suspension and the use of special tires, a coupe and convertible, fielded by Southland dealers, are raking in drag trophies right and left.

Running according to established NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) rules, the Buick Gran Sport is owned by Reynolds Buick of West Covina and chauffeured by Lennie Kennedy. The G. S. defeated a Class B field of 15 opponents which included a Corvette, Pontiac GTO’s, and Olds 442 Plymouths, a brace of Fords and three Chevies.

The scene of action was the San Fernando Drag Strip. The Reynolds Gran Sport coupe equipped with a Super Turbine automatic transmission did the standing-quarter at 101.81 mph in 14.04 seconds. (On another strip this car turned 1024. mph in 13.24.2 seconds.)

Competition never knew what hit ‘em. And to prove that the Gran Sport convert, a heavier machine which runs in Class C, is almost as agile - give or take a few mph - the rag-top hustled by Ralph Bergeron for Boulevard Buick of Long Beach turned the standing quarter in 14.56 seconds at 98.15 mph. (an another strip this car turned 101 mph in 13.7 seconds.)

Both machines use turbine transmissions. Their competition had either three or four-cog syncros and automatic transmissions. NHRA aficionados (plus sports car buffs) have always insisted that manual shifting is the only way to fly. Now they’re not too sure.

In standard trip the Gran Sport is a sizzler. With a few “legal” touches, permissible according to NHRA spec, she becomes a land-bound missile.

The boys in the backroom who should know, prepare these cars in the following manner:



The block of 11.00 cubic-inched, quad-carbed OHV V-8 is machined to bring the engine up to NHRA specs with a deck clearance of .028”. Cylinder head volume can be compressed by machining each slab to .123 cubic centimeters per jug.

While hot enough, the four-barreled carb can be made even more so by the use of special metering rods ranging from .050, .054 .056 .058, to .060” on the power step. The judicious use of these rods to control power mixtures can compensate for the ambient day temperature when the car runs in competition. Recommended rod sizes are .050 for brisk weather and .060 for a hot day.

Another “goodie” to embellish carburetion is the use of secondary jets one size richer for more instant “go”.

Intake manifold gaskets are available which further increases competition drag performance. These babies are steel, minus exhaust ports and neatly block off heat passages. And lest someone holler “foul7’ let it be known that the NHRA condones THIS as well as everything mentioned elsewhere in this summary.

An off-set key, 2.5 to 4 degrees retarded, is recommended for high performance. It also should be remembered that valve-spring tension tends to relax after the engine has been run The tension-loss can be as much as 6 pounds. Spring tensions can be returned to “standard” by the use of valve spring shims of .606” thickness. Bear in mind that NHRA doesn’t permit tensions of over 52 pounds on outer springs and 31 pounds on inner springs closed heights, respectively.

The basic objective of maintaining proper spring tension is to prevent hydraulic lifter pump-up at high engine revs. This is a condition where the valves “float”. And for serious leadfeet such a situation is endsville insofar as scoring results go.

Proper preparation of a Gran Sport (or any other car, for that matter) calls for attention to the ignition. The distributor rib-advance on the initial


setting of two and one-half degree, plus centrifugal, should not exceed 31 degrees total engine advance.


The vacuum unit is not in operation during full power.

The transmission also rates a second-look. To maintain the proper shift curve relative to rpm’s on the automatic, one spring can be removed from the governor weight without incurring NHRA wrath. And since the rear-end cogs are of prime importance it can be noted that gears up to 3.73 can be optioned by purchasers. For extra launch, ratios of 3.9 or 11.30 can be either specially ordered from the factory or else installed, following delivery, by the dealer. If a Gran Sport owner is serious enough about competition to go this far, he should also consider a positraction differential as a MUST.

Being able to tear down the ‘chute in trophy-gathering time can be materially assisted by proper suspension. Super-Lift Delco shock absorbers are highly recommended and can be installed at dealer level with separate valves and hoses. Those in the know recommend 50 pounds of air for the right side and seven to 10 pounds for portside. Actually these shocks are comparatively inexpensive considering their extreme value not only for competition but heavy loads imposed by trailers or weightily-laden trunks. Be that as it may, the Gran Sport should not be operated with super-lifts equipped with less than seven pounds of air in each shock. This will prevent wear or damage to the rubber boot on this fine equipment.

If you’re in earnest, special tires are necessary: seven inch tread with a maximum diameter of 28.8 inches. Anything larger or smaller will change rear-end gear ratios. Extra size tires or skins too small merely louses up rear-end ratios.

Headers on exhaust manifold can be “hogged out” which could provide perhaps an additional 2 or 3 mile-per-hour worth of performance.

Gran Sport buyers are generally in the 20 to 30 year bracket. They could not care less for power-assists but do go for the following:

Chrome wheels; positraction differentials with 3.73, 3.9, or 4.30 ratios; automatic transmissions (although the cars can be ordered with all synco’ed H.D. three or four-speed manual stick-shifts); two-toned exterior paint jobs and chromed or aluminum rocker-arm covers and chromed air cleaners.

Like the man sez; the “street” Gran Sport is a sizzler. To convert it into a trophy-gleaning block-buster, factory-available items such as we have listed here can be acquired at minimal cost. The Hot Rod Set is the “In Group” (Crowd), automotively speaking. And the 65 Skylark Gran Sport, particularly with the preparations mentioned, is rapidly becoming Number One on their “hit parade”.










KIT #1



This kit gives the most outstanding performance increase at a minimum of expense.


The car can be ordered with this equipment on it, or installed at a dealer level by the use of the following part numbers:


1. Gear set 3.73, part number 13961417.

2. Gear set 3.9, part number 13961116.

3. Gear set 4.30, part number 1396415.


Positraction unit assembly to match gear set is a must. Case number 1396430.



NOTE: It is recommended that tires with a 6.5” to cheater slick

tread be used for maximum traction. They may be purchased from Goodyear Store.









KIT #2




NOTE: It is suggested that all parts recommended in Kit #1 be used in conjunction with Kit #2.


1. Camshaft 1173318 for better RPM performance.

                Camshaft         (65 – 2x4 cam)

Camshaft ___________





2. Intake manifold gasket #1173705. To increase volumetric efficiency.



NOTE: The above items will increase H. P. and performance 3 H. P. at 4400 RPM.









KIT #3




NOTE: It is suggested that all parts, using Kit #1 and #2, be used in Kit #3 in order to achieve maximum performance in economy.

1.     Pistons #                   installed with Kit #1 and #2 will result in a H. P. increase at 4400 RPM of 15 H.P. This will increase the 325 H. P. engine to a 340 H. P. engine.


2.  Dual four-barrel carburetor linkage, gaskets, fittings, air cleaner, and manifold will increase H. P. at 4400 RPM to 13 H. P. This will increase the 325 H. P. engine to 338 H. P. total.



The result total increase with all units installed as suggested is (28 H. P.) or an increase from 325 H. P. to 353 H. P.

Letter from Lenny Kennedy


Related parts that can be used in order to achieve maximum performance and economy:


1.       Exhaust headers and draft tubes available through Reynolds Buick in West Covina, Calif. for Buick Gran Sport Skylark.


2.       Valve springs shims .060 thick, Reynolds Buick or any large auto parts supplier.


3.       Cheater-slick tires on 6” wide rims is necessary for maximum traction a

14" tire 28” diameter x 7” wide will give the desired results. Specia1 Goodyear Tires available from Barnes and Delaney Tire Co., Long Beach, Calif.


4.       It will be necessary to remove 1 governor spring and drill two 1/4" holes in the two large governor flyweights in order to have the automatic trans­mission shift out of low at 5500 RPM.


5.       In order to improve shift speed drill the hi-clutch feed passage in the valve body plate to .125 (it is now approx., .098).


6.       Distributor advance should be start 350 RPM and 130 at 1700 RPM (distributor test lab.) speed, and go to 3000 RPM without indicating point float on Strobelight in lab.


7.       Carburetor jetting AFB Carter at sea level 8o deg temperature should be .o86” secondary main jets, and .050” to .050 on power step of primary metering rods. (.056” or .058” can be used during warmer weather or higher altitude). The needle seats can be changed to Rochester .125” (needle and seat if 2 gaskets are used. on each seat and the floats re-calibrated to factory recommendation).

The camshaft, gear ratios, altitude, and type of exhaust headers will influence fuel mixtures. If the car speed increases when the air cleaner is installed this indicates the fuel mixture is on the lean side.


8.       Super lift shocks are also recommended on rear. Inflate right side to

50 lbs. and left side to 7 lbs. for best traction on rapid performance weight transfer.

In order to level the car, use 2 rubber spacers between coils of each front spring. Reset caster, camber and toe-in.


9.       The standard exhaust manifold are very good if they are ported at the head location and matched to the head parts. The heat valve should be removed and shaft holes plugged approx., 4' long x 2 1/8” draft tubes seem to give best top-end performance and exhaust scavenging.


10.    A speedo gear adapter is necessary in order to correct speedo readings.


11.    A 1368091 cam with 2.5 deg retarded key is good for top-end.


12.    A 1963 Wildcat tachometer mounted on the mass jacket is also desireable.


13.    The shipping weights are 4427=3395lbs., 4437=3407 lbs., and 4467=3449 lbs.


14.     Standard H. P.-325. The Dual Quad carburetion, pistons and camshaft=353 HP total.

NOTE:  Above all else when everything is done to perfection, but a little more improvement is necessary, always have a good prayer or two on hand. Horse sense and experience will also help to overcome obstacles.

p.                                                                      .