Unearthed: 1987 Buick Grand National GNX

Classic Cars

The 1987 Buick Grand National GNX was a one-of-a-kind, pure American muscle, rear-wheel-drive beast.

Back in the mid to late 1980s, GM was already showing clear signs of trouble that finally culminated with their 2008 bankruptcy. Under the leadership of then CEO Roger Smith, GM was fully ingrained with their badge engineering strategy. They were also preparing the launch of a new brand that was meant to compete directly with the Japanese: Saturn. However, the engineers over at Buick still had the automaker's true muscle car glory days in their hearts when they set out to build the Grand National GNX.

This was to be the final year for the second generation, rear-wheel-drive Regal, which in 1988 switched to an all-new front-wheel-drive platform. Built to be the "Grand National to end all Grand Nationals," the 1987 GNX had an output of 276hp from its 3.8-liter SFI Turbocharged V6 (which was underrated by Buick) and 360lb-ft of torque. It could go from 0 to 60mph in just 4.7 seconds. There was also a GNX specific low-restriction exhaust with dual mufflers, a reprogrammed Turbo Hydramatic transmission with a torque converter and transmission cooler, and a special differential cover bar.

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Because it was such a limited edition, it also had several bits of exterior and interior changes such as 16-inch black mesh style wheels, vents located on each front fender, and a special dash plaque with its serial number. This particular '87 Grand National GNX is used as a daily driver, but only has 52,000 miles. It's in great condition mechanically and includes the original trunk sticker, spare tire and jack. The owner has added a custom fabricated gauge package with an Auto Meter Boost along with oil and water temperature gauges mounted on top of the radio.

With Buick about to launch a GS version of the current fifth generation Regal this fall, it's important not to forget what was without a doubt one of GM's best cars of the 80s. To this day, it is the only proper turbocharged V6 muscle car America has ever produced.

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