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Long Term Storage: 285 Mile Buick GNX


If you’ve been searching for a nearly new-in-the-wrapper Grand National GNX, you’ll have to act fast. This genuine 285-mile example here on eBay is ending tonight and the reserve is still not met, despite the bids cresting $83,000. Although preserved GNX’s aren’t exactly uncommon, I still get excited every time one of these nearly-new examples comes up for grabs. 


Unlike so many unused turbocharged Buicks, this one actually spent some time gathering dust and looking a bit sad despite being mothballed almost as soon as it rolled off the showroom floor. Interestingly, this was also one of the last ones sold, as it is number 532 of 547 made in the 1987 model year. The first picture above seems to indicate it was part of a larger collection of vehicles effectively packed into a garage.


This is what looks to be the dusty remains of the original selling dealer plate. The seller claims that this GNX remains effectively perfect, which would seem to counter the point that it was stored “correctly” given the heavy amount of dust and dirt. Perhaps the car was put away with the best of intentions but an owner passed away and it sat for years until its recent discovery. Who knows, but the “after” pictures show it remains in mint condition.


The question is, how much corrective work was needed to get there? Did the GNX require any paint or touch-up work, or does it remain completely original? No mention is made of any mechanical refurbishments, and I’d personally like to know if the car was started on occasion to ensure its long-term mechanical health despite not traveling more than a few miles from the selling dealer. What do you think the price will hit?


  1. Kevin

    Something isn’t right here. the car in the first picture has a chrome grille and headlight surrounds, so it’s not a GNX and if it is, not a 100% original one.

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    • Danger Dan

      Good eye car guy!

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    • packrat

      ((why does a lone naysayer make a post ‘*Hotly debated?’ I’ve seen this several times before, nine to one or higher ratio. Just curious))

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      • JW454


        I think that says “Highly – Rated”.

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    • Mike

      I thought the same thing then thought maybe they were covered in some severe dust.

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  2. CowboyChris

    Wow, GOOD Eye Kevin..I bid on this and ran out of money at around 62k , I did not notice the grill. Kinda odd ?

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    • Nova Scotian

      $62,000.00 can maybe buy something new that is way safer, just as fast, and bad bad ass. Just say in’…Not to knock the Gnx,..I lusted for them too when they came out in 86-87. Cool ride indeed.

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      • Bobsmyuncle

        Of course it can, a Hellcat for example.

        But that isn’t why ANY of us are here is it? No old car is as fast, comfortable efficient or safe as a new car, but old cars offer something intangible that we all seek.

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  3. Fred W.

    Good catch Kevin. Something indeed smells here. Also, since when is a 1987 US made ANYTHING worth 83K? Have we lost our minds? After looking it up on Hagerty, I see the average value is 89K. Which proves we indeed have gone insane.
    Apologies to you GNX fans.

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    • Chris

      Fred, I have to disagree with you. Even though I’m never going to be able to drop that kind of money on a car, the Grand National was a beast. They were well built cars, too. A friend of mine had an 87 and that car was phenomenal. Given the low production numbers, and the fact that this car has so few miles, I could see this going for $100k or more.

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      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        The NADA price guide [I have found it to be the most reliable of the guides in general.] has the high price listed as $103,000. The high listing does not reflect a “new” car like this one, and I could see the insurance value around $120K

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    • Woodie Man

      Fred, I couldn’t have said it any more succinctly. Bravo, Apparently when the pitchfork bearing GNX lovers come for your metaphorical head, your comment gets hidden. If it was me, and it’s not, I would dispense with this function on Barn Finds.. I think this community can police itself . IMHO. Jesse :)

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  4. Blindmarc

    One with low miles, sold at Mecum last year for $125k.

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  5. Don

    I think it may just be the lighting and dust that makes it look that way / if someone was trying to make a clone our something id think they would no that the grill should be black

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    I would bet what happened here is the car may have had a light hit in the front and was put back together with incorrect parts and then just put away. Then the flipper got it and corrected problem. These cars were a wild ride and could get away from you if you weren’t carful, so a lot of them got wrecked when new. Just a guess on my part and kudos to Kevin on the good eye.

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  7. Mike L

    Honestly if you think about it the grille came wrapped. I’m thinking that it may have been left on to protect it.

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  8. dirtyharry

    The same thing is true about the rear bumper trim, it starts out silver and ends up black or black chrome. I would say it is the same car and someone spent some money buffing, touching up and decided it looked better with the silver blacked out. Perhaps the seller could have been a little more descriptive about the resto efforts after storage. I can’t even tell from the listing if it runs. Doesn’t seem to matter anyway.

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  9. gotboost6

    It’s only the pictures. The headlight bezels and the grill are not chrome. As the owner of a 87 GN these parts get faded over time just like the bumper fillers that crack and turn white. These are the correct parts for this car.

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  10. Tom Member

    gotboost6…..I am not an expert on this car but that first picture is undeniable in that it is NOT faded from black, nor are the bezels. I don’t doubt this car is real and correct but those pieces were never black, ESPECIALLY at 285 miles. The paint would be totally oxidized to match your take on it along with sun fade on everything else. I am a master detailer and deal with cars like this frequently. Those grilles and headlight bezels are silver all day long and were either switched or painted to black in the “done” photos. VERY ODD for such a low mile car.

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  11. American_Badaz

    The dusty side view pic in the ad shows the left front corner lamp assembly being black. Possibly there was 2 GN’s in the garage and they got a pic of the wrong one for the first pic? Or were the grill and right headlamp surround replaced….. twice?

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  12. Mike D

    If this is the same car, there is a dealership in Canada that advertises some very unique EXPEN$IVE cars, in Hemming’s and it has been advertised for years , seems like he had a $100K price tag on it .. but.. could be someone else has a similar car ??

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  13. Joe Reale

    Hood emblems are also missing in the first picture,should say 3.8 SFI

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  14. Mike

    And another thing. Tires are not original and too spent on the sidewalls to be brought back to that nice condition. Also the grille and headlight bezel may be black. I was able to increase the size of the pic and they did look like faded black to me. Finally in last pic, why would you need to cover up the plate if it wasn’t registered and had a dealer plate on it ? The last GNX I saw with low milage such as this sold for around 140k. The GN that sold at Mecum last year I think went for 125k.

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  15. Bobsmyuncle

    All of those ‘clean’ photos are heavily retouched (using filters) which I would find troubling as a bidder.

    At this level (mileage and price) the listing is hugely lacking in details and photos.

    These were very special cars that’s undeniable but I’m astonished at the perceived value;


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  16. Chebby

    Well, call me a hater if you must. These cars were awesome in their day but that day was almost 30 years ago and it’s sad to see one that was never enjoyed at its peak. The drivetrain is probably still impressive, but the rest of the car is mid-80s GM crapulence, and things have come so far since then, I can’t imagine spending $85k+ for the ownership experience.

    What would it cost to get it into running condition on top of that, and how much driving can you do with a no-miles car without affecting its value?

    Like 0
  17. nessy

    I have four 87 Grand Nationals right now and I have been playing around with Grand Nationals since they first came out. This car is the real thing, I just know it. What we see in the photo is just the flash of the camera on the grill and lights. Also, the GNX did not have the 3.8 badges on the hood like the Grand National.

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    • Rocco Member

      Were the engines different between the GNX, Grand National, & the T-Type?

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  18. roselandpete

    I like that green 69 Camaro next to it.

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  19. RoughDiamond

    Man it sure is sinister looking with that Black exterior. I wonder if the hood emblems were just adhesive and they could be specified delete from the car and left in the trunk?

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  20. HeadMaster1

    Nice GNX, but lets get real. Buy yourself a really nice GN for $15-20k and maybe throw on a set of Trans Am wheels (same as the GNX)……For about $5k you could do a full GNX “conversion” and have just as much fun……BTW- always keep some “tranny money” set aside, as if you actually use the power this car has, you’ll need it. My 89 T/A turbo (similar powertrain) burned out 2nd gear at 30k miles

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    • Nova Scotian

      Cheaper on insurance that way too! Money saved goes into that drivetrain upgrade and maintenance. I guess folks laying down $100,000.00 plus for an old car are in a different club than I am…sigh…

      Like 1
  21. Van

    This is a good crate engine still in the crate. Anybody else remember this body style in Daytona flying off the track on the back straight. Nascar hasn’t been the same since.

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  22. z28th1s

    I’ll take the gray 70 1/2 Z28 in the background of the 1st photo of the Ebay ad!

    Like 1
  23. cudaman

    Yes, it’s fast, yes, it’s rare, yes, it’s mint, yes, it’s expensive and valuable and yes, I wouldn’t mind having one……..BUT, it’s a V-6!!!!!!! I never could get over that. I had a friend buy one brand new and took my wife and I to dinner in it the day he got it. I was impress with the speed but that sound of the turbo and V-6 just didn’t do anything for me. Sorry, GN guys……..

    Like 0

    That’s not silver and its faded over time. The 3.8 emblem did not come on GNX models. The real question I have is why was it stored so poorly?

    I had an 87 that I ordered new from Buick. I made mine a GNX clone but guess what….it wasn’t anveer will be a GNX, these were special cars and blew anything off the road then. I know because I never lost a race.

    The shop that did my work, ANS Performance in Melrose Park, Il had a 5 second yellow one that they built up with a monster 4.3 block. Indy 500 cars campaigned these motors successfully for that time period and Buick developed the venerable 3.8 turbo since the late 70s

    I loved that car but I did grow tired of it. After all it was just a Regal but it was fun for the times. GNX is a historical car and very rare in this condition. Prices will only go up on these.

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  25. Rob'sGT

    I’m curious as to why the driver’s door and fender aren’t aligned very well.

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  26. CelestialGryphon

    @ Rob’sGT – Product of 1980’s GM?

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  27. Ric Parrish

    I don’t think the cleaned up version is even the same car. I’d watch out on this one.

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  28. Jay E.

    Ended at $85,300.00, didn’t meet reserve.

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  29. Rspcharger Rspcharger

    According to Hemmings it is now headed to Mecum.

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  30. Blindmarc

    Hemings also states “restoration photos included”.

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  31. Rick.

    I have done some research, this car was stolen from Doble Buick in 1987. It appears it was stripped some and some parts were replaced to mask the car. The Vin plate has been swapped.

    It’s a nice car but it’s a theft car. The person selling it has many other cars that may be theft vehicles.

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    The second photo appears to be a magazine photo of same model different car. Probably an error made by the person who’s job it is to list the cars for sale. They didnt have a photo of the stored car, washed and ready, so they may have just grabbed one on line without being a Buick enthusiast they werent aware of the details in trim and body.
    Think about it. Too much drama and dishonesty in our world look how it made everyone so distrusting.

    Like 1

      after looking at it a lot closer, it looks like its just dust and no chrome or silver whatsoever.
      regarding the license plate…only a yo-yo would buy a car like this and neglect to register it and then park it without plates
      no offense to any actual yo-yo’s out there reading this.
      In closing,don’t forget that the auction isn’t some fly by night operation.

      Like 1

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