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1-of-1 Special Order: 1987 Buick Regal Turbo

I think that every one of us has seen a classic car advertised where the owner claims that it is unique, that it was a special build, or that it is 1-of-1, and digging deeper has placed some serious question marks over these claims. Well, this Buick Regal might be the real deal, and this will be up to our readers to decide. The owner does appear to hold plenty of documentary evidence to back his claims about this car’s unique history. Barn Finder Roland W spotted this particular Buick for us, so thank you so much for that Roland. The Regal is located in Glendale, Arizona, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set the asking price for the Regal at a cool $43,000.

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room: Those wheels are absolute shockers. For me at least, I do find it reassuring that the original wheels will be refitted to the car, and that the new owner can exercise the option to purchase these ones. That’s one option that I wouldn’t be exercising. Apart from that, the presentation of the rest of the car is very impressive. The owner claims that the car has covered a genuine 25,000 miles, and given the amount of documentation he is holding, I see no reason to doubt that claim. The appearance of the car looks to be as sharp as the day it rolled off the line. The owner also claims that it is completely rust free, which is another claim that I would tend to believe. Those rocker moldings give the vehicle an air of class, but that 3″ exhaust would be going the way of the wheels if I owned this car.

It’s when you look inside the Buick that you start to get the feeling that this isn’t your average Regal. The first clue is that it is loaded with every option that was available on a Regal in 1987. You get power seats, power windows, power trunk release, cruise control, dual power mirrors, a premium stereo, leather bucket seats, and a floor console, just to name a few. The car also comes with the original window sticker verifying all of this. The second clue about the unusual nature of this car comes when you look at the gauges. Those aren’t standard Regal gauges, but the instrument cluster for a GNX. The story behind this car is that it was a special order for a retiring GM Executive. He wanted something extremely special and ordered himself a Regal with the lot. The result was this car, and the owner also has the GM Special Order Receipt to verify all of the work that was performed originally.

After Buick had finished weaving its own magic on the Regal (and before the owner took delivery), it was then sent off to Advanced Vehicle Concepts. Here it received its moon-roof, the previously mentioned instrument cluster, and the 3.8-liter engine was also upgraded to GNX specifications. Once again, the owner holds the documentation verifying this. However, since then, there have been a number of modifications performed on the car, including an upgraded turbo, injectors, ignition, and numerous other items. The good news is that the owner has retained all of the original parts, and they will be included in the sale. Personally, I couldn’t get these back onto the car fast enough.

So, now we get to the big question. Is this Regal really 1-of-1, or is this a highly-optioned car that has been modified outside the factory? That’s a tough one to decide, especially given the fact that all of the work was performed before the original owner actually took delivery of the vehicle. Regardless of which you would consider it to be, there is no doubt that it is in exceptional condition, and would take very little to return it to the state that it was in when the retired GM Executive finally took delivery. That’s precisely what I would be doing. How about you?


  1. Steve R

    I was expecting the column shift to be included in the 1 of 1.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  2. Audifan

    I only see a Buick Regal in a very boring color combo with ugly ghetto wheels and an insane price.
    It’s also not a 1 owner car, as claimed in the CL ad.

    Like 30
  3. Dusty Rider

    Too much money, it’s just a Regal, nice car though and would be fun to drive. Trash those stupid wheels!

    Like 22
    • James Martin

      Does the wife and kids come with price tag? Cause if not ain’t worth it 24000 in a number 1 condition. Ain’t no 1 maybe a 2 but come in 43000 you be smokin something you should be sharen puff puff pass.

      Like 5
    • Angrymike

      I never understood the huge wheel tiny tire bit, it makes it look like a hot wheel and it has to ride like crap !

      Like 13
    • Superdessucke

      “So, now we get to the big question. Is this Regal really 1-of-1, or is this a highly-optioned car that has been modified outside the factory?”

      The ad is a little coy on this, saying “it was sent when brand new to GM vehicle concepts division which is where gm sends all their 1 off show cars to be built.”

      Ok. “Brand new” is a subjective term. While it looks like the mods were done in late August 1987 per the Advanced Vehicle Concepts invoice, the ad does not tell us when the original owner bought the car.

      If you look closely at this invoice, there’s an individual’s name in the “Sold To” box and, this person was only charged for parts and labor, not the car itself. And the car is noted to have license plates already on it. If the mods were a factory extension – the story the ad is trying to get us to buy into – then why did it have a customer’s plates already on it? And why was the customer billed directly for the parts and labor versus those being included on a separate GM window sticker?

      Also, was AVC really a “division” of GM? The top of the invoice says “Advanced Vehicle Concepts, Inc.” and it has its own logo. The GM logo is not shown anywhere on the invoice. To me, this implies that AVC is its own corporation. And who is/was Advanced Vehicle Concepts, Inc. anyway? I did a Google search and came up with nothing except for a company which makes power scooters.

      And while I’m on a roll here, the ad claims that the engine was given “GNX motor upgrades to GNX specs.” GNX’s were converted by McClaren’s parent company American Sunroof Company (ASC) not by anyone called Advanced Vehicle Concepts. And the total tally for all the parts and labor was $2,907. That seems awfully cheap to bring a car up to GNX standards.

      For example, GNX’s got a larger turbo. There’s no new turbo on the AVC invoice. And the seller says he upgraded the turbo 18 years ago. Why do that if the car received a GNX turbocharger when new? Also, GNX’s got an upgraded intercooler. Once again, no intercooler on the AVC invoice. The engine work on the invoice seems to simply be cylinder head and intake work. So the GNX motor claim is as highly dubious as the claim that the car runs in the 10s (LOL! Show me the time slips).

      I personally think the most likely scenario here was that the original owner brought this car from a Buick dealership or through his employee program and then brought it to this AVC and had some mild mods done. If that is true, then I don’t think that this is any different than if any one of us just brought our new car to a shop and got some aftermarket parts installed on it. I’d still say the same thing even if AVC was somehow affiliated with GM.

      And I’d also say that if that is true, then this car is worth less than half the asking price.

      Like 13
      • Superdessucke

        Sorry guys. I failed to notice that, at the bottom of the AVC invoice, it says 8/29/89. Not 8/29/87 as it looked like at the top. So unless the handwriting is a mistake, then the mods on the AVC invoice were performed some two years after the car was new.

        So is there some other invoice the seller meant to include that will support his claim?

        Like 4
  4. NotSure

    I’d be returning to as close to original as possible. Shame about the moon roof. I just read an article about 1987 Buick Regals and certainly would question some of the current owners claim about 1/1. If it was sent to Advanced Vehicle Concept for the GNX changes then it becomes an Aftermarket change. How could the Seller possibly know that 50 or 150 other people didn’t have the same modifications performed?


    Like 12
  5. Ray Smith

    I wonder why they used photos from 2012? Seems a little fishy. I also don’t remember these coming with coach lights on the side. A little tacky and hard to put back to stock. If the owner were to put this car back to stock then perhaps they could ask $43K as a starting point. I just don’t see that kind of money for what is in front of our eyes now.

    Like 10
    • Ralph

      The coach lamps were an option on the Limited Regal but you didn’t see them much. They are on the window sticker.

      Like 5
  6. Will Fox

    The supposed “1 of 1” status aside, this Regal’s had too many mods, and is nowhere near justifiable for what he’s asking. Ditch the Donk rims…those might work in Watts or Compton, but not my neighborhood. Also, the stupid trash-can exhaust; there is no need for it on one of these, and must sound hideous. I agree about the moonroof; it’s not factory when it gets done outside Buick’s assembly line. At the most, $25K would be more realistic to start bargaining. At $43K, he’s scared off potential buyers before he even gets started.

    Like 12
    • PaulG

      Ad say’s 9 days, more like 9 months. This car’s been for sale quite some time and he’s never dropped the price, yet…
      I agree that it needs to be returned to 100% stock, and listed at 25K OBO

      Like 9
  7. TimM

    For $43,000 for any Buick Regal there better be a couple gold bars under the seat!!! I’ll definitely pass on this one!! About the only thing I agree on is ditching the wheels!!!

    Like 9
  8. mikestuff

    What is it about Craigslist ads that makes sellers ignore ALL grammar and punctuation rules? Someone looking to get that much money out of a car that wasn’t all that good looking to begin with needs to learn how to spell etc.

    Like 13
  9. Coventrycat

    If a GM executive would go to all that trouble and time for this, it’s no wonder they ended up being bailed out.

    Like 9
  10. Comet

    My car dealer friend claims to have came across a Pontiac 6000 wagon with a diesel engine and manual transmission. IF accurate, perhaps a 1 of 1 car. Evidently, he was the only person that considered it desirable. Perceived rarity doesn’t make this car worth 43K. The silly wheels and tail pipe don’t help.

    Like 7
  11. David Zornig

    I was the fleet manager at Fanning Cadillac-Buick in Chicago at that time.
    I personally ordered some Buick Regals with the T Package, sometimes referred to as T Sport package, which replaced T-Type on Regals in `87.
    And with the Turbo package, not many, but a few.
    Although I did order white with tan interiors, that was usually Regal & Regal Limited models.
    On T Package cars I ordered the 5.0 V8s, and I only recall 1 that I ordered in white & tan like that. But again with the V8.
    All that being said, the white & tan combo and GNX modifications that were done aftermarket to the sellers car, is what likely makes him stand by his 1 of 1 claim.
    It was probably 1 of 1 before the modifications, just based on being white & tan, loaded and with a Turbo, but the seller couldn’t really know that.
    Not a racy combo for the buying public at random, so not likely ordered for dealer stock anywhere.
    His window sticker shows a Limited with the Y56 T Package, which was required for the LC2 Turbo package.
    Oddly no WO2 Exterior Sport Package (blacked out trim etc.), which seemed a given on such a car.
    But they buyer must have liked chrome over blacked out trim.
    The original aluminum wheels were nicer in my opinion too.

    Ordered Sold cars had an S in the upper right hand corner of the window sticker, to find them quicker on inbound inventory sheets.
    But that designation may have been left off or missed by the person entering the order into the DCS system originally.
    Particularly if it was an internal GM order as claimed.
    The photo of the sticker is too blurry to make everything out.
    Here is a good link that shows all the options for Buicks then.


    Like 14
  12. jwzg

    That’s not a GNX gauge cluster. The GNX cluster had Stewart Warner gauges and the gear indicator was in the console. As for the other mods and those stupid wheels…geez…


    Like 5
  13. Jf85tr99

    I think the seller would have been wise to get rid of those wheels before ever taking a picture. For a car thats being marketed for its rarity those really distort the cars image. If the seller presented this thing with the original wheels on it they wouldnt have had to worry about the negative southern g body donk connotations.


    Like 5
  14. Patrick Kelly

    Console, but the transmission jump is completely exposed. That must be to 1 of 1 element.

    Like 1
    • Ralph

      The leather seat option on the Limited did come with the 45/45 seats with the small console in between them.

      Like 1
  15. Ralph

    There is some truth to this being a rare combination of turbo Regal, the rest is an extra slathering of BS sauce that the seller has spread over everything.

    The non-factory aftermarket sunroof is a the first of several things wrong with this car.

    Like 4
  16. BW

    This car has been for sale for several years now. Way over-priced and really not special.

    Like 1
  17. TimM

    I always read all the comments mostly because there’s that one guy that knows what he’s talking about!! Once you get passed the haters and the people picking it a part there’s the guy who knows the information!!!

    Like 3
  18. Cecil

    The Pictures are from 2012

    Like 0
  19. Bill

    Those wheels surprising?
    No! It’s in Glendale. AZ after all.

    Like 1
  20. GTiDave

    It’s not as hard as people think to have a “one of one” car. My wife’s first car was a 1989 Olds Calais in wine red. In 89 they didn’t offer a gray interior with red, but my Father in Law was a GM executive, so it was special ordered with gray (one of one). Also, the car had the 2 year only 3300, which was a great motor. It developed an issue and my father in law had it sent to Buick Lansing where engineering worked on it. The engineers must have had a bit of fun while they had it because it came back a whole different animal. If it was tuned by the manufacturer is it still OE?

    Like 2
  21. PatrickM

    I read the last sentence in the first paragraph and the only thing I can say is, “No.”

    Like 1
  22. mainlymuscle

    I KNOW the seller,
    and I NO everything he’s got for sale. (been there done that with him )
    Everything is “one owner” or his “wife’s personal car”.
    Those wheels are about the same size as his watch.

    Like 2
  23. Audifan

    I hope you actually KNOW what the seller has for sale. NO?

    Like 0
  24. Pete

    I ordered and bought a similar Regal limited from Buick in Flemington NJ. column shift cause you got the great console Limited with leather for the comfortable seats. Tilt wheel, trunk release, best radio,AC,Tinted glass,Leather steering wheel,power windows and locks, NO cruise control (I don’t like it).Mine was burgendy with grey leather,no power seat as Buick had a weird no no. You could not get a power seat with the turbo motor they could not tell me why. My son also bought a similar Regal and could not get a power seat. I have been told by those in the know for turbo Regals it probably one of perhaps five built this way . When I sold it five years ago it had miles in the 20ks and it went to a party in N.C.

    Like 0
    • Ralph

      I don’t know why they told you that about the power seat and turbo, but its not true, the featured car has a power drivers seat AND a power passenger seat too.

      I’ve seen tons of turbo Regals with power bench and bucket seats.

      Like 1
  25. GrandNationalFan

    This ad has been on craigslist off / on for approximately ten years now. And while the value of these vehicles has risen here recently, however, his price hasn’t changed in that same time line either. Heck, if he stays at it another ten years, maybe it will finally be worth what he is asking.

    On the flip side, none of the sellers claims make any sense. For example it was the now defunct McLaren/ASC (American Sunroof Company) that completed the GNX Upgrades for Buick back in the day, not “Advanced Vehicle Concepts”, as is claimed in the ad. Furthermore, there are a whole host of other inaccuracies in his claims that literally make no sense. And as someone pointed out earlier, GNX Gauges were all Stewart Warner. And his claims of 25 psi of boost are not likely, unless he’s running race fuel, or has alcohol injection. Much like the 10.8’s – 11 second quarter mile seems a little suspect (unless there is something he is not telling us here).

    This ad is a complete sham, which is why the car has been for sale for I know ten years now or more? And in that time, the ad really hasn’t changed any, nor has the price for that matter!! And with all of those mods, there is no way this car will ever come close to that price! Return it back to stock and quit lying about stuff that makes no sense and you might get decent money for the car. But, no way it brings this crazy money, no way!

    Like 1

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