This 1987 Buick GNX Keeps Selling for Supercar Money

Auctions / 11 Comments

It's traveled just one mile since its last auction in 2020.

The Buick GNX is one of the rarest and most sought-after American cars of all time. They are so scarce that clean examples regularly transact for supercar money at auctions and sales. That's the case with this GNX up for auction on Bring a Trailer, but this car only has 203 miles on the clock, and its pedigree includes a stop at Jay Leno's Garage. The current bid of $161,000 will likely increase substantially before the auction ends, as there are two days left and plenty of interest. The last time the car sold, it went for significantly less cash, at $150,000.

The Buick Regal-based GNX got a turbocharged version of the V6 engine found in the standard Grand National, but Buick added a turbocharger to boost power to 276 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a four-speed automatic transmission, and together, the package was good enough to send the GNX from 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds when it was new. The GNX embarrased competitors costing much more, all from a humble V6-powered Buick.

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Buick built thousands of Grand Nationals, and the car was so popular that the automaker had to stretch to meet the demand for its last model year in 1987. As a sendoff for the model, Buick created a super-limited upgraded variant of the car called the GNX. With just 547 cars built, the GNX was exceedingly rare out of the gate, but more than 30 years of drag races and hot-rodding have left many in rough shape or out of commission entirely. So, while this car's price tag is steep, it's not out of line with the GNX's rarity and desirability.

Despite the coolness factor here, cars with ultra-low mileage can be a real pain. There's the issue of maintenance, as leaving a car sitting for decades does it no favors mechanically. This car's had an oil change and battery replacement, but it's hard to imagine that there aren't at least a few dried-up hoses and plastic bits under the hood that would need replacing before any serious amount of driving.

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That brings up the second issue with showroom-fresh classic cars: Who's going to pay six figures for this car with 200 miles and then actually drive it? The mileage is a big selling point for cars like this, so the winning bidder has to be willing to let the car be a piece of furniture tucked away in a garage somewhere, or they have to be comfortable losing money by piling on the miles. This GNX sold in a previous auction in 2020 with 202 miles, just one fewer than it has now, placing it firmly in the museum piece category instead of a driver's car.

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