Volume IX, Issue 5, Page 58

By Dale Wilson - 5/9/2007

Mike Holman, a paint and body man from Covington, Georgia, will readily admit that his '70 Buick is not a real GSX. He calls it a clone. The bright yellow two-door Super Gasser has body and engine numbers that don't match, and it's actually based around a Skylark, Buick's effort at the time of an economy car.

Interior looks stock, but dash holds Auto Meter gauges, Dedenbear delay box, plus there's a Cheetah shifter. Car carries a fire extinguisher.

But all that doesn't make any difference to Holman. His re-do/re-did GSX still gets the job done on the quarter-mile, to the tune of 9.80s at 135 mph. And if all goes as planned, by the end of this year the hot GSX will hit 8.90s at more than 150 mph, thanks to a TA Performance (Scottsdale, AZ)-prepped 525 engine with two carburetors atop a sheet metal intake and gobs of other go-fast goodies.

"It should be the only Buick around that can run Super Comp," Holman says. Hey, Mike, why don't you make that the only FULL-BODIED Buick around that can run Super Comp.

Holman found his Buick about 11 years ago. It was being used as a mail route car when he bought it, in the form of a Skylark. It was the proverbial little old lady's car, and a little old lady had bought it new at Hix Green Buick in Atlanta, a local new car dealer. She had kept it for eight years, and a friend of Holman's then bought it from her; he drove it for 10 years.

Holman wanted it for all the usual reasons, with "being different" the main one. "Every time I went to the track, I saw Camaros or Firebirds or Mustangs or dragsters. I just wanted to be different than everybody else," he says.

Buick man Mike Holman, of Covington, Georgia, shows us his air cleaner that was made from a kitchen strainer. It keeps out the big rocks.

The GSX is his first racecar. "I built one and never got through with it, then sold it when I bought this car, and then Dennis Roberts with Year One (a parts restoration house in Braselton, Georgia) had a wrecked Grand Sport with a 455 engine, and I bought all the running gear and put it into this car," Holman said. "When we got through with it, in November 1996, I took it to Atlanta Dragway, made one pass and got hooked on racing. I had never been down the track in my life, and it hit me hard."

Not that he was unfamiliar with straightline racing. Mike's dad and various uncles all drag raced in the 1950s and '60s at the old Fairburn/Ted Edwards Drag Strip. "Dad had a car for the 'Cheatin' two-barrel' class, and they raced all the way up to when Yellow River Drag Strip (an outlaw track near Atlanta where several spectators were killed in an on-track accident) had its incident, and that stopped everybody. It seems like it shut the switch off on my dad and uncle both," he said.

Mike picked up where family left off.

He says he liked the look of the GSX and the fact that it was a real muscle car, this GSX's pedigree notwithstanding. "I had a real GSX, and the guy I sold it to finished it and he sent me some photos of it. When I saw them, I said to myself, 'I wish I hadn't sold that car,'" Holman said. So he built his own.

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