Saturday, November 10, 2012

The $15,000 Question: Buick Grand National

Ludicrous.  That's the only way to describe the Buick Grand National. Made from 1983 to 1987, this GM sedan packed a turbo charged V6 that humbled Corvettes of the same era at the drag strip.

It seems crazy now because of Buick's recent history of producing couches on wheels, but in it's heyday, the Regal and Skylark were known as gentleman's musclecars.  And they were on to something by turbo charging their stalwart 3.8 liter V6.  In the 80s turbocharging was the rage, much like it is today.  Just about every car manufacturer was turbo charging engines, or pasting TURBO graphics on their cars in digital computer font.  But Buick went the opposite direction with black or grey paint, blackout trim and tiny badges on the trunk and fenders.  Today the Grand National looks clean, uncluttered, not garish like some of its contemporaries.  Because of its performance and restrained looks, its become a classic.  There's even a documentary coming out in a few weeks about it titled The Black Air.

You can't buy a GNX, the ultimate Grand National for anywhere close to $15K, but there are a number of low mileage Grand Nationals for sale near that price.  Or for less money you could buy a T-Type which is essentially a de-tuned Grand National.  Either way, if you're looking for something that combines classic muscle car prowess with a turbo twist, the Grand National is hard to beat.

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