Grand Camino: Custom Grand National

When it comes to modifying collector cars, the Buick Grand National is typically off-limits. Most are enshrouded in an air bubble in a collector’s garage, waiting for the day it rolls across the auction block. Not this Grand National, however, which sports a truck-load of custom fabrication work to marry an El Camino rear end to a Grand National front clip. Find it here on eBay where bidding is over $8K but the reserve remains unmet. 

Well, let’s see if what the seller has described is actually what’s occurred here. He says, “Everything from the doors back is from an El Camino.” The only sticking point there is the window glass, which certainly is not from a Grand National, as the curvature of the roof and the top of the glass doesn’t match the upright roofline of the GN. However, it is identical to El Camino glass, so does the seller mean to say that he simply swapped a GN front clip onto an El Camino?

In no way is this a rip on the work undertaken to build this custom creation. But it would be helpful to know if the rear end of a Grand National was sawed off and an El Camino rear quarter grafted on (which is quite invasive) versus simply swapping the fenders, lights, grille and hood from a GN onto an existing El Camino. The latter would possibly indicate less potential for rust or other body issues down the line. The interior is 100% Grand National and quite tidy.

The engine has been freshened up with a top-end reseal, new plugs and wires, a new alternator, a custom exhaust and new A/C compressor, among other upgrades (I wold take it to mean the A/C isn’t in need of a charge). There’s a a laundry list of maintenance, performance and custom upgrades in the listing, but an in-person viewing might still be necessary to assess the health of the bodywork and other elements of the conversion.

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Comments

  1. ImpalaGuy

    In before the first “that thing can really haul” comment.

  2. sir mike

    Looks neat BUT what is going on with the left hinge pillar in the picture?? And the ebay floor picture looks scary.Was this spliced?? Correctly?? Like where he was going though.

  3. CCFisher

    VIN decodes as a GN, not an El Camino.

    • redwagon

      came here to say this. vin decodes as a t-type (could be a gn too fwiw). that would suggest that the el camino parts were grafted on to the regal parts. rear end damage? a full history of the vehicle would be a good idea.

      • CCFisher

        El Camino was on a 117″ wheelbase, Regal/GN was on a 108″ wheelbase. I sure hope the frame is 100% El Camino. A healthy GN has enough torque to permanently tweak its frame. I can’t imagine a cut-and-welded frame would last very long.

        Neat car, but I would have kept the El Camino VIN. It’s never going to be authentic,so why bother with potential hassles with the DMV?

        Like 1
  4. Doug

    I’ll one up this guy. Gonna find me a GNX and do this!!!!

  5. edh

    What’s going on inside the door jam by the hinges?

    Rust?

    Like 1
  6. Vin in NJ

    The high fender line as it flows down to the door at the side view mirror is definitely from a Grand National. Somebody went through the trouble to make sure the details were right

  7. Joe Haska

    The more I look at it the more I like it, but I like Modified / Custom Cars and Hot Rods. Its an art form to me and sometimes the execution and creativity is spectacular and other times not so much, but that’s art, it is in the eye of the artist. Looking at this piece, I think its a neat concept / idea, and executed very well, and as with any art form what’s it worth? What ever the buyer is willing to pay!

    Like 1
  8. mark

    Unless this car was wrecked and a salvage project, this is one of the dumbest customization projects ever.

  9. Steven

    Lol 😁 someone took a Grand National front clip and stuck it on a El camino, same thing of someone’s custom work on a 65 Mustang fastback on a facebook page making it look like Ford built A COUGAR FASTBACK as the roof and back of it is a give away, cool work on it though..

  10. D

    My bet is the front clip and interior including dash got put on the Camino and quite possibly a vin switch

    Like 1
    • Steven

      Everything points too that exact thing.. A good body and custom builder could do this!

      Like 1
  11. steve

    Whatever it started as it sure looks like it was rusty with the lower beltline metal all replaced. Good concept though,

  12. Neil

    What did they apply the bondo with on the rear right wheel well arch, a butter knife ?

  13. BMW4RunninTundra

    I agree with some of the others. I like the concept and the execution appears to be well done. A few underside pics would go a long way towards some understanding of said execution. But, I truly truly truly hope that this guy did NOT sacrifice a perfectly good GN to produce this!!!!!!!!! I hope he had a rear ended, possibly totaled out GN, with nothing to be done but engineer this!!?? If that was indeed the case, from the few pics provided, job well done!!! (still would like to see some undercarriage pics to understand the build process)

    Like 1
  14. Mlaw

    What a mutated mess.

  15. Steven

    Read the build story as its total El camino with frame , just got the Grand National front clip and engine..

    Like 1
  16. DG

    I’m sure someone found a totalled GN and put the remaining parts on an El Camino. Very cool. I’ve seen T/A front clips and Camaro IROC front clips on an Elky, never a Buick Regal. Which is all this might be. I think the grille, air dam and hood are the only unique GN pieces.

  17. stan

    could have been a rear ended buick that was sectioned to a el camino , hence that could explain the vin and the need for new floors, and he could have switched the glass in the doors to keep the body lines, used the elky frame and away one goes, what ever they/he did it is a neat ride

    Like 1
    • Steven

      Read the owner story in eBay as cab back is El camino and frame..

  18. ACZ

    Not to difficult if you have both cars. Almost all just nuts and bolts swapping. The only difficult part is matching the Buick doors to the El Camino quarters or the Camino doors to the Buick front fenders, depending on which way you decide to go. Buick Engineering built one of these back in the 83-84 time frame with a carbureted turbo engine. They were going to update it to GN specs but it never happened.

  19. Fred

    When I was building plastic kits, I wanted to swap a GN engine into an El Camino SS. I never had the patience to finish it, but I like the engine swap better than a front clip (or more) swap.

  20. L

    Kool looking, rare to own, only thing I would have done, somehow modify the GN rear lights to that bumper

  21. Steven

    First of the any smart person would have started with a straight El camino no rust.. Then done this! Cause if you start with a wreck or rusty car , your going backwards before forward..

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