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Canadian Find! 1986 Buick Grand National

The Buick Grand National was created in 1982 to celebrate the company’s then-recent success in auto racing, particularly NASCAR. Until 1986, Grand National identity would be a part of the nomenclature in the Winston Cup Series. Mostly, these would be limited production models, although the 1987 editions would be more widely available as part of its swan song. This 1986 version may have led a hard life and was found (possibly in a barn) in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It’s available here on craigslist for $20,000 (which we believe is USD since the ad was placed in Minnesota).

Based on the popular Buick Regal, the Grand National would undergo a few mechanical tweaks over its lifetime and spawn some variants. In 1986, the 230 cubic inch V6 picked up an air-to-air intercooler, increasing horsepower to 235. Buick built 5,512 Grand Nationals in 1986, plus another 2,384 of the T-Types (one of the variants). For the most part, the GN’s were known for their shiny black paint and grey upholstery (though not 100% of the time). There was no Grand National in 1983 (1982, 1984-87 only).

Grand Nationals aren’t plentiful, but they’re not particularly rare either. Most of the time, when we see them here on Barn Finds, they’ve been treated well, and the asking prices tend to reflect that. This example doesn’t seem to have led a comfortable life, and the vehicle’s mileage isn’t known or reported. The paint is suspect in a few places, and there appears to be a small gouge in the sheet metal in the right front corner. The seller provides no photos of the interior.

We assume the car is not in running condition as it’s photographed either on a trailer or in a garage with the hood up. They were quick cars, especially for the era, capable of doing o to 60 in under five seconds and the standing quarter mile in under 14. The one thing that the seller does tell us is that the car has 10-inch wheels on the rear with eights on the front. A little more information would help us determine if this auto will turn into a money pit.


  1. Avatar photo BilllB

    Rode hard, put away wet.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Stan

      Seen em w a headlight taken out, assuming its to shove more air into that 3.8 six 🏁

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo JSanders

    This car has the wrong wheels I have an 85 and 87 I don’t know if there’s a difference in a Canadian car

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo ACZ

      Those are 84/85 GN Wheels.

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Craig Baloga Member

    I’d do a Derek Bieri Roadworthy Rescue on this, including some “shine juice”, and just have a blast cruising!


    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Mike McConnell

      I love that show. He’s got a lot of different terminology. The guy is hilarious.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Craig Baloga Member

        “Cross threaded bolt is natures Loc-Tite”

        Hilarious!! 😂

        Like 3
  4. Avatar photo jwzg

    “They were quick cars, especially for the era, capable of doing o to 60 in under five seconds and the standing quarter mile in under 14.”

    A GNX – yes. A stock GN? Low 6’s 0-60 and mid to low 14’s in the 1/4 were the norm for those. Slicks and a little tuning might get a few tenths and 1-2 mph.

    Like 1
  5. Avatar photo LJ

    Probably track runner and if you bid check on body and motor numbers and VIN etc sounds almost like was built from stolen parts like many people that got them later on… in-law had one for two weeks and was stolen and stripped the second day IT was in FL.

    Like 0

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