1987 Buick GNX With Only 8.7 Miles!

History is littered with them. By “them, ” I mean people who have bought a new car and hidden it away in the hope that it will become a future classic that will reap a huge reward when it goes to market. Some of these have been a success, while others have been a dismal failure. The 1987 Buick GNX falls into the former category because spotless, low-mileage examples can command stratospheric prices. When it comes to low mileage, they don’t get much lower than this one. Its odometer reads 8.7 miles, and those are genuine! The owner has decided to part with the Buick, so he has listed it for sale here at Barrett-Jackson. It is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is scheduled to go on the blocks from June 17th – 19th. Adding to the intrigue, the GNX is being offered for sale with No Reserve.

When Buick embarked on the development and production of the GNX, they had intended to produce a mere 200 cars. However, buyer demand was so great that they relented, and eventually, 547 vehicles were built. This still makes the GNX a rare vehicle, and it managed to achieve this success despite being lumbered with an extraordinary sale price. A buyer could wander into a Buick dealership in 1987 and drive away in a Grand National for around $18,295. If they wanted to opt for the GNX, it would lighten their wallet to the tune of $29,290. What buyers got for their money was a car with looks that could kill. It was a symphony of evil in Black, sort of like Darth Vader, but with wheels. To accommodate the 16″ wheels, Buick fitted some none-too-subtle fender flares. Apart from a couple of small badges and the outer sections of the wheels, everywhere you looked, you saw nothing but black. This gave the car a brutal and purposeful appearance, and it is one that our feature carries very effectively. The paint shines beautifully, and both it and the panels appear to be flawless. There is no evidence of corrosion, while the alloy wheels have no oxidization or physical damage. The tinted glass is as perfect as the rest of the vehicle, and this is easy to understand when you consider the vehicle’s history. The original owner purchased the Buick, and he immediately placed it into climate-controlled storage. It has remained in that environment until recently, which explains why it is so well preserved.

Apart from its overall desirability, here is the secret behind why this GNX has generated so much interest since it popped out of the woodwork. While I can’t confirm it, this may be the only example in existence today with a single-figure odometer reading.

When it appeared, the 1987 Grand National proved to be a revelation, and it effectively demonstrated that the buying public could still get their hands on muscle cars. The GNX took the already potent Grand National drivetrain and stretched the boundaries even further. The Grand National already featured a 3.8-liter V6 with fuel injection, a turbocharger, and an intercooler. The GNX upgraded everything, including a Garrett T3 turbocharger with a ceramic impeller, a ceramic-coated turbo shield and inlet pipe, a larger dual exhaust, a reprogrammed engine management system, and an intercooler that was physically the same size as the Grand National’s but featured more cooling fins. With 15psi of boost on board, Buick claimed a power output figure of 276hp, up from 245 in the Grand National. All of that power needed to get to the road, and it did so via a 4-speed automatic transmission and a Posi rear end. Motoring journalists took one look at the power figures being quoted by Buick, and they laughed themselves hoarse. The belief has always been that the actual figure is north of 300hp, but how far north has always been a matter of speculation. However, pointing a GNX at a ¼ mile brought immediate results. The journey would take an astounding 12.7 seconds, making the GNX faster than a Porsche 930 or a Ferrari F40. If the buyer intends to return this GNX to active duty, they may have some work ahead of them. The last time that it moved under its own power was when it was driven into the storage facility, and that was in 1987. There’s no doubt that many of the rubber components like belts and hoses will have perished, while the brakes and other hydraulic systems will require attention. Getting the GNX roadworthy has the potential to cost a dime or two.

With most of the protective plastic covering still in place from the factory, it is no surprise that the interior trim is faultless. The seats are upholstered in Black and Gray cloth, and this remains crisp and sharp. The carpet will be in a similar state, while none of the plastic trim shows signs of deterioration. Wherever the GNX was parked, it seems that it had virtually no exposure to harsh UV rays. They can exact a heavy toll on Buick plastic, but this is all in excellent condition. The interior also comes nicely equipped. The buyer will find themselves with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a power driver’s seat, cruise control, remote exterior mirrors, a tilt wheel, and a premium AM/FM radio and cassette player.

This 1987 Buick GNX is an extraordinary car, and we may never see another like it. We’ve seen a few with low odometer readings here at Barn Finds, but I think I’m safe in saying that this is the first one we’ve seen with an odometer reading in single-digit territory. It is a car that leaves me torn. On the one hand, it is a privilege to see and write about a beautifully preserved classic like this. It is a dream come true. However, while I respect that it has been preserved, I wish that it had seen some action on our roads during its life. Buick designed the GNX to be driven, preferably hard. They didn’t spend all of that money on research and development just to see the car sitting in a museum somewhere. I fear that this will be the fate of this GNX. A significant part of its intrinsic value, and we’re talking about a six-figure sum here, is tied to that odometer reading. Every mile accumulated will devalue the car, and that’s why I believe that the short drive that this GNX made in 1987 could be the last that it will ever make. I’d love to think that I’ll be wrong about that, but I’m pretty confident. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Bob Wade

    Definitely for the VERY wealthy only. It’s a shame this awesome car will never see the light of day.

    Like 16
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Ditto

      Like 4
    • Steveo

      Oh, I dunno. Take a 4% mortgage on the house for what – $250k – at 4% is about $14k a year. It would probably appreciate more than that. You could have bragging rights and pride of ownership. Of course, you couldn’t drive it or even actually sit in it, but you could look at it and show the other fellows pictures.

      Like 4
      • Curt Lemay

        Or, you could drop it in the S&P 500 and average 8-12% a year compounded. Not really financial geniuses, these so called successful people, are they? With this kind of logic, I have a truly hard time believing many of these people are self made.

        Like 4
  2. Curt Lemay

    Could never understand how you could have a brand new car and not be tempted to drive it. A real car guy could never resist the temptation.

    Like 8
  3. Marko

    Is this the GNX that sold on Bring a Trailer in February 2019 for $200k ? If so, the person who bought it, also owns a 200 mile GNX as well.

    Like 2
    • SirRaoulDuke

      Yes, and yes the 27 mile GN also featured today here on Barn Finds is that GN.

      Like 3
  4. Mike

    First a 27 mile one and then a 9 mile one. Waiting for the one that has only .1 miles accumulated when it was rolling through the assembly plant.

    Like 6
  5. Curt Lemay

    Howard is right, too many of these here, lets find more great stuff that more of us could own and use.

    Like 5
  6. Keith

    What a shame that the owner never experienced the thrill that this car would give when that little pedal is pushed to the floor.

    Like 3
  7. Howie Mueler

    I would have interest but too many miles for me, i am looking for one in the 3-4 mile range.

    Like 17
  8. jcwCT

    I know a dozen people who have become wealthy enough to have bought and stored this car away or who could easily buy it now. (I could do neither). None of them won the genetic lotto or inherited the money, and only a couple of them went to elite colleges. The rest attended the local campus of their state college system, many took classes at night while they were working, and some of them never quite finished their degree. Examples… a machinist who, after working through his apprenticeship working for somebody else, started his own one man machine shop and grew it into a major operation focusing on high precision subcontract work for Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney, and Electric Boat… a guy who started a home heating oil business with one used truck selling oil cheap for cash and first grew the business into a full service residential HVAC business and then branched out to include installing the HVAC systems in new condo developments and senior living communities… two high school music teachers who had the idea for a service business stocking the magazine shelves at pharmacies and supermarkets (who found doing it themselves a hassle). They started with just the two of them working nights and weekends in New York City, then they hired others and gradually expanded. They didn’t quit their teaching jobs until year five, and twenty years later the business had grown to servicing the big chains in all 50 states, Canada, and even Japan. I also know a few dozen other self-made men and women who, while they did end up as wealthy as those examples, nevertheless ended up financially very comfortable… a woman who was one of the Vietnamese “boat people” who started a successful restaurant and, twenty-five years later, closed it and retired early when her three children had all graduated from elite colleges and graduate schools… a husband and wife who came from Greece with nothing, worked as a cook and a waitress, opened a diner, then opened two more diners and, after 30 years working the first 20 seven days a week, sold all three for the mid-seven figures. It ain’t easy, and many good people try and don’t succeed, but examples like them are all around us IF a person doesn’t start by copping and attitude and actually looks around.

    Like 1
  9. Des Member

    Darth Vader in his original packaging? Gotta be worth a fortune! Should have brought it to Pawn Stars, not BJ :)

    Like 1
  10. Bruce Willison

    Those digits don’t quite line up.Did anybody else notice that ? A big hello to you all from Melbourne Australia.

    Like 1
  11. Greg

    My first job was making burgers at Burger King in the late 1980s and I now own GNX #070 and drive it regularly…now at 22k miles. I am always thankful for my humble beginnings and for the success I’ve had to allow me to enjoy my 1 of 547 car. Count me in the camp that all cars deserve to be driven…even if just in moderate amounts.

    Like 6
    • Robbie R.

      Best comment in this thread, Greg.

      Like 1
  12. Haynes

    The GN haters are a hoot…or is it the X part that rankles the volatile..I cant afford a 69 1/2 440 6-pack Road Runner but I would love to see a 10,000 mile example on Barnfinds. If anything not enough GN’s. In fact how bout someone find a low mileage 87 WE4. The only problem with GN’s is the way too common moon-roof. And maybe the grossly textured upholstery. But dude! They hauled ass!

    Like 1

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