Anything But Standard: 1987 Buick Grand National

Originally this Buick was owned by the Drug Enforcement Agency before it passed into private hands. The seller of this 1987 Buick has owned the car for the last 8 years and has undertaken a lot of work, both mechanically and aesthetically. He has decided that it’s time that it went to a new home, so you will find it listed for sale here on eBay. This Buick is located in DeLand, Florida, and is offered with a clear title. Bidding has currently reached $11,000 having started at a mere 99 cents.

The Buick presents quite well, although there are a few bubbles and blemishes in the paintwork. There doesn’t appear to be any rust present, with the bottoms of the doors and the lower rear quarter panels looking clean. The car underwent a repaint some years ago, so a few blemishes probably aren’t surprising. I don’t know who the person was at Buick that chose the standard wheels for the Grand National, but I have to take my hat off to them. I have always thought that the black paint and those wheels look extremely nice.

The interior presents really nicely on the Buick, with only deterioration in the steering wheel to note. As you can see, the factory gauges have been supplemented by additional items on both the door pillar and center console. If the new owner doesn’t like them it would be no great drama to remove them. Otherwise, all of the factory items in the dash are intact. The factory digital tachometer and boost gauge weren’t operating properly, so both have been repaired and now work perfectly.

The rest of the interior of this Buick presents as virtually perfect. The car wears new seat covers, new carpet, and a new headliner. The seller also states that power accessories such as the power windows and power locks work well and that the air conditioning blows nice and cold.

Under the hood is the 3.8-liter turbocharged engine, and this is where things certainly deviate from the standard and also go some way towards explaining those clusters of aftermarket gauges fitted to the car. The car has undergone a raft of changes and upgrades designed to unleash more horsepower. The turbocharger, exhaust, fuel injectors, and electronics have all been upgraded, and a front-mount intercooler has also been installed. The seller doesn’t indicate how this has affected performance, but I would expect that the Buick would certainly get up and going quite well. The car has also been fitted with dual electric fans to keep temperatures under control.

Good, original examples of the 1987 Grand National are currently fetching some pretty respectable prices. While this one is in quite reasonable condition, it is far from being original. One of the great attractions of this car is that due to that lack of originality, it can be driven without great fear of potentially impacting its value. The modifications that have been undertaken are all modifications that could be reversed if the new owner so desired. If you bought this particular Grand National would you leave it exactly how it stands now, or would you return it to its original specifications?

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  1. Coventrycat

    Grand National du jour. Now that’s it’s not bone stock with more than 10 miles on the odo, how’d it get to 11k?

    • grant

      Cause it’s actually useful now. Useful things have value. Wouldn’t this make the commute to work fun?

  2. AndyinMA

    Stories have persisted for years about federal agencies owning these.

    Does the door jamb look to be a different color?

    • Kman

      Nope, just as black as the rest of the car.

    • LAB3

      Can’t say I’ve heard anything about a “fed version” What makes the most sense to me is that it was siezed in a bust and kept for their own use.

      • Superdessucke

        Ad says it was purchased new by the DEA so no, if true. Too bad the seller doesn’t elaborate on that very interesting aspect of this car.

    • CanuckCarGuy

      I thought the Feds bought the GNX?

  3. Jimmy

    Whoever painted this car did a worse job than I did on my first and only vehicle I ever painted at which time I said I would never paint another. I like the car but definitely would have to be stripped and repainted to suit me.

  4. Ike Onick

    Confiscated in a drug raid?

  5. Kellerg

    Buy it, drive the wheels off of it, repair/ upgrade as necessary and repeat.
    Since it’s already been upgraded you might as well enjoy it. You know…like we were able to do in this HOBBY before it became so $$$ oriented.

    • Superdessucke

      I agree but 14k seems a lot to me for that. And that’s where it is now. I imagine final bid will be 15k or north. That for a 1980s 107k mile car that needs paint?

      Maybe I’m getting cheap in my older age? I don’t know. Just seems expensive to me for what you’re getting here, interesting history or not.

      • Superdessucke

        Personally, if I was in this price league, I might pony up a few extra bucks and get this instead..

        Way better condition and way fewer miles. Doesn’t have the GN treatment but same engine and suspension, and I always preferred the more subtle look of the non-GN versions.

      • Michael Groves

        You’re getting cheap. Petty as well.

      • Superdessucke

        Petty huh? Must be nice to have 15k to burn on a 100k mile car that needs a 5k paint job, or maybe a dinosaur skull. Congratulations on your success!

    • moosie Craig M Bryda Member


  6. Troy s

    To leave it with the hot upgrades or put it back to stock, well, for me anyways, I’d leave it with the upgrades and enjoy the ride. These were meant for drivin’, in some cases very hard.
    I know the feds used turbo Regals, not these, as far as the DEA goes who really knows, maybe an undercover vice car makes sense if they actually purchased this car new.
    Best news here for me is that it’s not some super low mileage stored since new museum piece going for six figures.

  7. Howard A Member

    The DEA,,,( whistles), c’mon. This the tallest tale yet.( and I thought I heard some tall trucker stories) What’s the DEA going to do with this. You can sweep it under the rug all you want, but clearly gotten in a drug bust. Hmm, makes you wonder where the big money comes from for some of these classics. Joe Lunchpail works all his life, then buying 6 figure classics? Not likely. I can hear it now, “Hey Louie ( DEA agent to another DEA agent), Who gets the Buick this weekend? It’s my weekend for the boat”.

    • Miguel

      In Mexico there are no titles for cars.

      You have to use the original bill of sale for the car to transfer ownership, so you can see all the owners a car has had through its life.

      It would be nice if there was a way to see that information on all these old cars too, especially cars like a Continental Mark II.

      • theGasHole

        Hi Miguel always enjoy your posts and your knowledge. I am curious about cars having no titles in Mexico. As someone who lives in New Jersey (a very hard place to get a title for a car if it doesn’t have one already), what happens if you have a vehicle to sell in Mexico which is missing the original bill of sale? Just curious.

      • Miguel

        Gas, I bought a car like that.

        It is a 1963 Plymouth Savoy/Fury.

        The owner had lost the papers to the car so he had to go through a court hearing proving he was the owner of the car.

        He had to get witnesses to say he had the car for a certain number of years and then a judge gave him the documents so he could sell the car.

        It is a huge problem if you lose the original documents, however it is very interesting when you see a car from the ’40s that has the original sales document and all the owners it has had since then.

        There are some cars that were owned by ex-Presidents of Mexico. They don’t bring very much money because most ex-Presidents were hated, but it is an interesting side note to the car.

      • theGasHole

        Very interesting! It’s amazing to think those original documents would stay with a car all that time. I had a 66 Chrysler I had purchased which had been left at a repair shop. No title came with it, and I was told by the DMV unless I could track down the last registered owner and get him to have a new title issued, I’d never get a title. Took 6 months, but I found the guy and all was well.
        Thanks for the info always good to learn something new!

      • Miguel

        GasHole, if the mechanic would have done a mechanics lien, you would have had a title for the car.

  8. Michael A Groves

    Sally will meet everyone later tonight. She wants to smoke your bandit. LOL

  9. Top Jimmy

    Actually, a number of GNs were ordered for government use, most going to the FBI. Buick made more than 1500 but less than 1750 non t top, special e-prom Grand Nationals for use by U.S. law enforcement. The “last off the line”

  10. Mike R in De

    Leave the HP upgrades installed, add water/alcohol injection, and party on!! Drive it like you stole it, and scare the grandkids! Leave something for your kids to fight over, but give it to the one you know IS a gear head to really enjoy!! Good luck to the new owner and seller!!


    80’s vintage in Florida…Definitely a drug seizure.


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