GN Alternative: 1987 Buick Regal WE4 Turbo

The WE4 package Buick Regals are interesting animals, offered in smaller quantities than the celebrated Grand National. The WE4 option was cheaper than the Grand National trim, but chosen less often by buyers. Perhaps the Grand National had better marketing or more perceived street cred, but whatever the cause, the WE4s turn up far less frequently than its all-black sibling. This example here on eBay has just 11,950 miles from new and is listed for $28,500 or best offer.

To me, the WE4 Regals are random outliers in the collector car market. The Regal itself isn’t sought after, and the Grand Nationals have to be really special to command top dollar. The WE4 slots in between those models, but in some ways, could be considered more desirable because of the difference in production numbers. Tons of Grand Nationals are still on the road; survivor-grade WE4s like this are far harder to find.

The car appears to be spotless, certainly helped by its time-capsule mileage. The seller says it has been part of a major collection in Florida since new, and the pictures show the background comprised of rows of muscle cars. The performance is reportedly slightly better than a Grand National right out of the box due to lighter weight, but that may be heresy. Regardless, if I wanted a rare turbo Buick, this is the one I’d scope out.

Paintwork appears outstanding, as does the chrome on the bumpers and the grills. Lenses appear as-new, and that old-school Florida license plate hasn’t been used in many years. Some experts think the WE4 cars will be as desirable as Grand Nationals in the future, but considering how many enthusiasts still pine for a GN, I’m not going to hold my breath. What do you think – will collectors ignore the GN for a super-clean WE4 car?

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Comments

  1. Stevieg Member

    This is a cool car. I am a fan of Buick products but I always thought the GN, although a neat car, was just too “popular”. I am really into the odd-ball cars and sleepers. Lets face it, this car is a beast (for the era) even IF it were slower than a GN. I don’t know if it would be slightly faster than one. It appears to be all the same equipment as a GN, just different color. I highly doubt black paint weighs more than white paint lol.

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    • Ralph

      Though this has GN wheels on it now, I believe that the non-GN turbo wheels were lighter than the GN wheels, this car has all of the same equipment that most GN’s had option wise, pw. pdl, cruise, plus this car has the odd ball cornering lamps that weren’t available on the Grand National.

      In theory, you could have made the lightest turbo Regal from this package if you would have spec’d a Regal Custom with the T-package and then pretty much skipped the power options, gotten the standard bench seat and pretty much nothing else, a/c was standard on all of these. I think that maybe would have resulted in a couple of hundred lb lighter car than a GN.

      Some of the non GN turbo cars had aluminum hoods too from what I recall reading.

  2. David Rhoces

    MUCH prefer it over the GN

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    • Dave

      Morons like to key black cars because they can. That makes taking a GN anywhere an exercise in parking where you can see it. This one won’t garner that kind of negative attention.

  3. notinuse

    As far as I know, the powertrain is the same as a Grand National. I bought one of these in 1984 because dealers would do their normal discount from retail on a Regal T-type, but sold Grand Nationals for at least sticker price.

  4. Coventrycat

    I’m just going to ignore them both.

    • Christian Mueller

      This is cool. I’ve never heard of this package. Was the T-Type just a cosmetic black trim package on a 3.8T car? I always thought is was cool you get a “GN” in sheep’s clothing. . . and a color!

  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    That’s a fine looking car. Looks to be in fantastic shape and if the mileage is true then it’s got plenty of years left in it. A little high on the $$ IMO but they’ll get what they get.

  6. Former GN owner

    The T Type and Turbo T had lighter wheels. That is why people like to say those cars are faster than a GN. T’s were sleepers. GNs are more desirable hence the higher price.

  7. Comet

    A close look at the master cylinder reveals a questionable difference in the brake fluid level(s). This low fluid level (perhaps too low for the indicated mileage) would indicate considerable brake wear or perhaps a leak. This safety oversight should have easily been caught by the selling dealer prior to listing. A closer inspection may be warranted.

    • Glen

      That is a “powermaster” brake system. According to the mechanic that works on mine it is supposed to be like that. As I leveled mine out and he corrected it.

    • Larry Wahler

      LOL, I just sent a reply about that same issue! Did you notice there was also 2 Different plates on the car, but the story said only something about the OLD One Plate?

  8. Davzgn

    Not a WE4. They only came in black. It is a Regal Limited with Turbo option

  9. Joe

    This is not a WE4. WE4s were all black had aluminum Ttype rims and grey interior. They were “supposed” to be grand nationals off the assembly line but Buick ran out of the Black/grey trademark GN interior, the we4 was born.

  10. Glen

    That’s not a WE4. WE4s are all black, no chrome with grey interior. That is a Turbo Regal. Just as cool of a car though.

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    • Klaatu

      Good catch Glen, I was thinking the same thing. Wrong color, in and out.

  11. Larry Wahler

    I noticed that the Brake Fluid was low in the Passenger side of the Reservoir, and wondered if it was just not filled, or had a leak? Funny also how it has 2 Different plates on the car.

  12. Mike A

    I remember shopping for a new Grand National at a dealership in Northern VA in 1987. Their prices were a bit too high for me at the age I was, so I switched direction and asked the sales guy “what about that Regal over there, with the turbo option? Its list price is lower, and it’s got what I want.” His response was “Oh, since they’re rarer this year than the GNs, we’ve added a $5,000.00 surcharge on them” and seemed real proud of how smart they were in deciding to gouge the customers on THOSE like they did on the GNs the year before (they had dropped the surcharge on the GNs since they were plentiful in 1987).
    I ended up with a Chevy Monte Carlo SS AeroCoupe instead; a rarity then, and much more so today.

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