Live Auctions

9 Mile 1987 Buick GNX Barn Find!

I’m not sure how there can be so many ultra-low mileage Buick Grand Nationals out there, but another has just been extracted from a barn! This one has just 9 miles and is the very desirable GNX model. We’ve featured a surprising number of these cars with extremely low mileage and all have fetched serious amounts of money. This one is being offered here on eBay and is already bid up to $180,300 with 6 days left to go. It will be interesting to see how much this one ends up going for.

The seller states that this is a one-owner car and that they have the original title in hand. My guess would be that they are actually the second owner and they are flipping it, but it could be that the original owner asked them to list it for them. I’m not all that concerned with who is selling it, but more about whether there’s any way to prove the mileage. Being a GNX, this is a desirable car no matter the mileage, but people are paying serious premiums for all original examples with low mileage. Ones with a few hundred miles that are in excellent shape have been going for over $200k. If the seller or original owner can provide any kind of proof of the mileage, I could see this one reaching $250k or real close to it.

The GNX was the experimental performance version of the Grand National and was built in collaboration with McLaren. The GNX was only available for 1987 and just 547 were built. This one is car number 414 and hopefully still retains all of its original GNX-specific parts. If the mileage and story are legit then chances are it’s all original. McLaren made a significant number of changes to these cars and they are seriously fast. Buick rated the turbocharged V6 at 276 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, but the real numbers are closer to 300 hp and 420 lb-ft. At the dragstrip, the GNX was quicker than just about any other factory production car that year, beating out the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. While modern supercars will beat it, its 4.6 second zero to sixty time is still impressive even by modern standards.

I’m sure when the original owner of this GNX parked it in their barn with just 9 miles, they did so thinking it was an asset that would appreciate (like all those people that parked Anniversary Corvettes in their garage), but I doubt they knew just how valuable it would become one day. The window sticker shows that they paid $29,290 for it new, which would be about $75k in today’s money, so that’s a pretty good return. I still don’t understand how you buy a car like this and not drive it though! After one trip around the dealer lot and I would have been hooked on the thrills that come with ’80s turbo lag. Well, whatever their thinking was, I hope they are rewarded for their self-control. So, what do you think this Buick will end up going for?


  1. RGSmith1 Member

    I’m with you. I’ve tseen a lot of low mileage “super” and it just boggles my mind how someone can shell out that much money and drive it!

    Like 11
    • Stan

      A real BARNSTORMER 💯

      Like 2
  2. Tony Primo

    Buddy there has got himself a nice retirement fund!

    Like 12
    • CCFisher

      Perhaps, but he would have done better in the stock market without reducing a GNX to a piece of sculpture. By the Dow Jones average, $30,000 invested in 1987 would be worth over $450,000 today. If, like most GNX buyers, he paid over sticker, he’s even further behind.

      Like 52
      • CCFisher

        I’ll take it a step further. The original owner could have bought a regular Grand National for $17K and invested the remaining $13K. Today, he would have a sweet Grand National *and* $200,000. Never buy a new car as an investment. The only people who get ahead that way are people who have already gotten ahead and can afford something like a Ford GT.

        Like 33
      • Bick Banter

        It’s about a 5% ROI based on the current bid, excluding storage and insurance, which would be significant over 35 years. As you point out, bad investment compared to a Dow index.

        Like 15
      • Bick Banter

        And I’m assuming the original owner paid MSRP. Big assumption as these were very limited production and heavily hyped. Likely, he paid more.

        Like 9
      • Jack M.

        Everyone is assuming the original buyer had 30 grand to drop down on this car when new. I know a lot of people with the latest flashy SUV, big home, vacations and fancy restaurants, but no savings in the bank. If the original purchaser paid for this car over 60 months his stock market returns would be far less.

        Like 9
      • Johnnymopar

        You seem to forget bidding has just begun. This should top $450,000 and likely $500,000. Likely beat the Dow Jones average on return.

        Like 6
      • Bick Banter

        That’d be an even worse investment than the original one lol! A mid-1980s Buick you can’t even drive. But we’ll see. People have gone insane, though I would be very surprised if this gets anywhere near that.

        Like 1
      • Johnnymopar

        I just saw the sales piece of $349,000 in the ad. So maybe when it gets close he will sell for that. People are silly on GN and GNX prices.

        Like 8
      • Poppy

        The last GNX window sticker I saw on that other popular car auction site had a dealer markup on it that more than doubled the price of the car.

        Like 2
      • Mikefromthehammer

        @ Poppy:

        I thought (Monroney) window stickers were MSRP and does not include any dealer markup?

      • Poppy

        @mikefromthehammer – I’m referring to this auction:

        where they dealer adjusted the $29K MSRP price by an addition $35,000 “market price adjustment” making the total price close to $65K. Monroney stickers aside. Dealers are prone to marking up hard-to-find cars. My father was getting his Accord serviced recently at the dealership. While he waited, he looked at the new Civics in the showroom. The $27K sticker price had a $10K “administration fee” added to it. In other words – pure profit line item.

      • Mikefromthehammer

        @ Poppy:

        Thanks for the explanation.

        About dealer markup, there are two sides to that coin. People are willing to pay the extra (doesn’t make it right though) and a dealership owner has to maximize his profit or run the risk of going out of business and throwing many people out of work. This doesn’t make it “right”, but proves that the “free enterprise” system is rarely free.

    • Mike

      The owner got himself a nice retirement fund? A truck dealer is selling it and the pictures kinda looks like a clean up for an estate sale. The owner might have passed away. Looks like they’re fishing for $349k

      Like 8
    • john vititoe

      Not after he pays the sales tax and then the capital gains tax. what a waste.

  3. Crawdad

    My take is that at the time that car came out muscle cars were a dying nearly dead breed, and from that point in time , the future didn’t look like there would ever be anymore. so I’m sure that prompted a lot of people to buy and hold those cars.

    Like 6
  4. Big Al

    Only 9 miles. If you buy this you surely wouldn’t want to drive it, The only 9 miles gives this car a WOW factor.
    Trailer queen, or stuck in a barn forever not being enjoyed.
    SAD !!!

    Like 34
    • Chuck Simons

      Or place it in Don Laughlin’s Riverside Museum, take a tax write-off.

      Like 3
  5. Ed Hardt

    I know where there is one with -45 miles on it.

    Like 12
    • Bamapoppy

      Regarding low-mileage vehicles I once knew a guy in Florence, AL who had a 1978 silver anniversary Corvette parked in his garage with 0.2 miles. I saw it so I know it was true, not an embellished story. I long ago got out of the Corvette car show circuit so I have no idea what ended up with that car. Another Corvette couple had a 1978 Indy 500 car that they bought and parked. The owner joked that the tires even had the original air. LoL. Moral to this; these cars are out there.

      Like 8
      • gearjammer

        Bama, I think you must be mistaken on the 0.2 miles. Maybe 2.0?

        When a car leaves the assembly line, it is driven out to the yard, then from its place in the yard to a truck, then from the truck onto a dealer’s lot, then whatever driving is done around the dealership in the process of prepping the car for the customer to take delivery.

        I worked at four car dealerships from the ages of 18 to 30, and if there was one constant, it was this: EVERY new car got a pre-delivery inspection (PDI) by a mechanic, and that included a short road test.

        I looked at a lot of odometers over my years at car dealerships, and I drove a lot of cars that had just come off of transporters, and I don’t remember seeing one with fewer than 10 kilometers (6 miles) on it.

        Like 4
    • Steve Clinton

      “I know where there is one with -45 miles on it.”
      He only drove it in reverse.

      Like 7
      • 67Firebird_Cvt Member

        I’m a little concerned about the body lying next to the air cleaner.

  6. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Joshua. I have no particular interest in, or opinion of, the GNX, rather I will comment on “future collectibles”:

    Your comment about the GNX vs. Anniversary Corvettes is quite fitting. Deciding today what will be worth a gazillion dollars thirty years from now is not easy, maybe even impossible. Sure, we can make our educated guesses (e.g. high-end Mustangs or Challengers), but who would have figured that first-gen Broncos and VW busses would fetch six figures? What will be the big surprise in the future (for a crazy example: Prius)?

    And like CC says, I think I will do my long-term investing in the stock market….

    Like 11
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      So Bob, just for fun what should/could we stash away today, for future $$$$? anything?

      How about a used Toyota 86 with a few miles on it? Buy it cheap. Wouldn’t take up much room. Might even hold up well over the long run if stored correctly. And probably better than a 87 Buick.

      Like 2
  7. Mikefromthehammer

    All I can say is if I had the coin, I would be all over this. Being a no-reserve auction you might get lucky and win with a not totally outrageous amount. Somehow I don’t think that’ll happen though.

    It says on the link below that it was built in a Pontiac plant. (I find that hard to believe, however, not impossible to believe).

    Like 1
  8. RobA

    Is anybody else more excited about the burnt orange 1970 Roadrunner in front of it? And what looks like the 440 6 pack air cleaner on the ground next to the GNX…..

    Like 26
    • Mood-O

      I noticed it right away also RobA!
      Wonder how many miles are on it?


      Like 6
    • FireAxeGXP

      Yes!!! I wondered when that would be noticed in the comments! Love the GNX but hhhmmmmm wonder when that Plymouth will go on the market???

      Like 6
    • Phil D

      Or what appears to be a red ’69 Road Runner convertible beside it?

      Like 2
  9. Will Fox

    There sits an EASY $250K.

    Like 3
  10. Rw

    Doesn’t look like the prefect storage building wonder if mice have got a hold of it..

    Like 6
  11. Rw

    Doesn’t look like the prefect storage building wonder if mice have got a hold of it and no undr hood pics.

    Like 4
  12. Big C

    I rode in one when they first came out. The girlfriend worked for a Buick dealer. Amazing performance, for the time. Anyone who paid $30k for one of these in ’87, and then parked it? Already had more money than they knew what to do with.

    Like 15
    • Cellblock Steve

      Got to agree with that. I used to spar with someone on here using my old name (in my old life) about this. He would make all sorts of comments about the unfairness of income inequality and I would smugly reply that was not an issue at all. Funny how times and opinions change. These days I have been introduced to a whole new group of people and I have become much more humble and I too will now agree that who ever could afford this back then and just tuck it away, had plenty of dough. More than they really needed. No other way to explain all of these low mile cars.

      Like 8
      • Chris

        It’s not a zero sum game.

        Like 1
  13. Poncho

    Wow! $200k with 5 days to go. I remember when these came out and was considering trying to track one done to but. The problem was it was still a G-body sedan. Not exactly what I would call a sports car.

    Like 3
  14. Rex Kahrs Member

    Ugly car. I wouldn’t drive it either!

    Like 4
  15. Albertspanner

    And its gone

    Like 1
    • Mikefromthehammer

      Not necessarily sold though:

      “This listing was ended by the seller because there was an error in the listing.”

      Like 1
  16. Frank D Member

    This will probably end up at Mecum’s or Barrett Jackson Auction house.

    Like 3
  17. Craig Edward Donley

    Hello, If the gentleman paid $30K for this car in 1987 and now 25 years later someone is willing to shell out $180K+ for it, that’s a pretty good long term investment. Can’t trust the financial institutions and the Stock Market to due that for you even on good returns. Wake up

    Like 6
    • moosie moosie

      Sorry Craig Edward Donley but its 35 years later.

      Like 2
    • mike

      Thank you, I bought the car for list price, no overcharges.
      have a lot of cars so I never drove it

  18. david howlett Member

    “This listing was ended by the seller because there was an error in the listing.”

  19. djjerme

    the Original owner may have “owned” the car, but he hasn’t ever driven a GNX. He never will know what it’s actually like to drive one because he stuck it in a bubble. Just because you “owned” it, doesn’t mean you actually know how it drives, the quirks, the joy’s, the highs and lows.

    Seriously, these kind of people are boring to talk to. The conversation is along the lines:
    “I own a GNX, it’s awesome”
    So what’s the turbo lag like, does it drive like a G body, or is the upgraded rear keep it from doing the shuffle off the line?
    “Oh, I don’t know, it’s only got 9 miles so I never drive it.”
    Yah, um I think I’ll go stand over there and talk to anybody else who actually drives their cars.

    It’s not art, and they are horrible investment. Meant to be driven, not stored in a wine cellar.

    Like 8
  20. Mike

    In late 1970, my brother bought a brand spankin new Corvette LT1. He had virtually every option available on an LT1. Silver, black leather, 4sp, tilt telescopic steering wheel, posi, I’m not sure about the rear axle but maybe 4:10’s, tinted windows, blah, blah, blah. He kept the car for 3 1/2 years and when he sold it he had ALMOST 1800 miles on it.
    Yep, you read that right almost eighteen HUNDRED miles.
    I’d ask him regularly if he was going to drive it any time soon, and he never answered. The real answer is; no he isn’t.
    That works out to about 42 miles a month.
    I just don’t understand that kind of mindset.
    A GNX with 7 miles on it? That guys screwier than my brother. As I recall my brother paid something like $7200 for it and when I drove him to the dealership to pick it up the salesman said that he bought “the most expensive Corvette we’ve ever sold.

    Like 5
  21. Howie

    Yes gone, but still has 56 vehicles listed.

    Like 1
  22. Kenn

    What, exactly, is the pleasure of owning such a vehicle if not to drive? Do folks get that much joy out of just looking at it? As much as I love the XK120, I wouldn’t own one just to stare at it. Or sit in it and imagine driving it. Guess it’s like owning beautiful art work. Can’t do anything with it except look. Or, for some, brag about the cost of acquiring.

    Like 2
  23. Chris

    I love these cars, and a T-Type was actually the first really fast (for the time) car I ever rode in. But it’s a Buick. $250k+ is completely insane.

  24. Russl Ashley

    Sometimes in the seventies GM indicated that the Cadillac El Dorado convertible would be the last convertible. A good number of rich folks like the owner of this GNX bought them and stored them away like this owner did. Then sometime later they started making convertibles again and some of the owners who had stored El Dorado convertibles tried to sue GM. While the stored El Do’s were still nice, they just didn’t bring the return the owners were gambling on.

  25. Melton Mooney

    It’s awesome and all, but I totally can’t get into G-bodies. Good thing too, cuz I totally ain’t got the cabbage for it.

    Like 1
  26. john vititoe

    29,500 in home depot stock in 87 you would have about 700,000 to 1,000,000
    so the question is did it really pay off?

    Like 1
  27. Tom

    “Very desirable”?? That’s the understatement of the century…

  28. Bamapoppy

    gearjammer, no. I recall it perfectly. Paul Adams was his name. He had it delivered on the transporter directly to his house, not to the dealership. He was a NCRS judge for 1963-67 Corvettes and understood on the front end what it would take to have the mileage as low as possible. The thing that really ticked him off was that the trip odometer also showed 0.2 miles and a stupid teenager reached inside and pushed the button to reset it to 0.0. So there was the odometer showing 0.2 and the trip odometer showing 0.0. Pizzed Paul off so he kept the doors locked after that. Accept the fact that there are exceptions to a lot in life. Another rarity is a fellow here in Alabama who has a 1967 white/red convertible with a 327 but a BB hood. He has the original window sticker to prove it. He told me that at the end of the production year there were some extra BB hoods that could be had since the 1968 was going to be a totally different car. But that’s another story for another day.

    Like 1
  29. skibum2

    Imagine if he had bought a Ferrari GTO in 1987… I found one but the now EX. said no to a second mortage.. oh well.

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