LS-Swapped: 1987 Buick Regal Grand National

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It is what it is.  That’s one of the first things the seller of this 1987 Buick Regal Grand National here on eBay says about the transformation that was made at some point in the car’s engine compartment.  Hearing that statement in conversations doesn’t always imply that the subject matter is bad, nor necessarily good, and I’ve come to interpret it as conveying hope that whatever is being addressed will just be accepted at face value.  Although purists probably won’t like this one, it’ll sure get some interesting talks started on Saturdays when you drive the Buick to your local Cars And Coffee and raise the hood.  You’ll have to travel to Hollywood, Florida to see this one in person, and plan on spending around $31,000 if you intend to take it home.

For surprise value, this one’s pretty high, as the turbo V6 you were expecting to see is no longer present.  In its place now is a 5.3-liter SBC engine, with absolutely no explanation whatsoever as to why it’s there.  The seller has owned the GN for about a year, and my guess is perhaps this was done prior to his acquisition, with all that’s said being a mention of him getting that some of us won’t be happy about it.  Given the choice, yes, I’d prefer the original powerplant still be intact.  But for whatever reason, it isn’t, and in a way, I kind of think it’s cool and unique to see what has been done here.  I like that the valve covers have the Grand National markings on top, and how orderly most things look under the hood considering all the changes that have been made.  It is what it is!

We don’t get any background about the exterior either, such as if this is the original finish we’re seeing or if there’s ever been a respray.  But the seller says the paint looks good and shines up nicely, plus the body seems to be pretty much straight, and being black it would probably show if there was anything hidden to be concerned about.  The plastic inserts around the bumpers could use a little attention, but for the most part, this one rates strong in the appearance department.

Inside, things look mostly stock, with an aftermarket Stereo and what looks like a black GlowShift dual gauge package added to the console, along with a pillar-mounted instrument.  It’s overall well preserved in there, with a couple of minor worn spots in the carpet, but some good news is the A/C is stated to still be blowing cold.  We don’t get any pictures from the bottom, but the seller says there’s an aluminum driveshaft, with a 4L60 transmission hooked to the front and a positraction rear end on the back.  He’s also accepting offers, so if you’re intrigued maybe the car can be bought for less if you catch the guy on a good day.  What are your thoughts on this 1987 Grand National?

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Comments

  1. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    Wonderful! My 2 ( least) favorite things, A GN Buick bastardized with an LS motor,,what?

    Like 20
    • Dave

      Oh well, the sky is falling now

      Like 5
    • JoeNYWF64

      Anybody even see an ’80s Monte Carlo with a Grand National Motor, or ’89
      camaro with buick turbo motor? Heaven forbid. Tho you could get it in a ’89 t/a.

      Like 1
  2. Steveo

    So…a tarted-up LS-swapped Regal…

    Like 14
  3. Stan

    Would my bone stock 89 Mustang LX finally be able to beat a GN ? 🏁🤔

    Like 5
    • SirRaoulDuke

      No lol.

      Like 3
  4. Stefan Desimone

    Wow no more Grand National now you have a Regal with a swap !

    Like 12
  5. John

    I think I just had a stroke. But at this point it’s a regal, NOT a GNX and I don’t think the price is right Bob lol

    Like 9
    • Paul

      Don’t get carried away it’s a GN NOT AA GNX.

      Like 1
  6. mike

    Must we put LS mtrs in everything???

    Like 5
    • Stefan Desimone

      Mike are you French ‘ with We ? We don’t put LS in anything !!!!!

      Like 1
    • Pete

      Engines

      Like 0
  7. Maggy

    Maybe the original engine blew up ,was unrepairable and someone had an LS lying around and said why not.I know everyone on here despises LS engines but I respect them for what they are.A powerful light weight well designed depedable v8 that has lots of possibilities for performance upgrades.I like it !

    Like 17
    • Stefan Desimone

      LMFAO yea the person we cheep and did not want to spend the money for a Buick V6 and someone had a LS lying around SURE all Junk Yards. I get it if you don’t have a Grand National or had one you would never understand . Look a Grand National with out the Buick V6 is a Regal with a swap , Sorry that’s what it is

      Like 6
    • chuck

      It’s a great engine with great performance potential. If the original engines gone, why not? Or, is it better just to park the car in a barn for the next 30 years?

      Like 12
    • GbodyJedi

      Finally, a thought out comment. I too don’t mind the LS in this regal.

      Like 3
    • Terry

      Everyone loves a freaking bellybutton sbc and put it in everything they can ruin it with but hate it’s grandson the ls. Put a Ford in a Ford, Chrysler in a Chrysler, GM In a GM

      Like 3
    • Pete

      Engines
      Can’t even understand what you said lol wow. Smh

      Like 1
  8. JR

    Dang, I wish I could go back in time to 1996 to LS swap my ’83 silver on blue Regal Limited when the engine blew up. I loved that car. Left me on the Dan Ryan during rush hour…I had no money so I traded the title for the tow truck charge when they found both heads warped (again) from a stuck thermostat. Sad Trombone.

    Like 7
  9. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga

    I’m a Turbo Buick purist, love the GN/GNX and T’s…..but at least this example is still cruising the streets….rock on!

    👍🤓

    Like 9
  10. bill

    Im not opposed to an LS swap, but at least put a turbo on it for this application

    Like 11
    • Brad chipman

      Bill I agree

      Like 1
    • SirRaoulDuke

      My exact thoughts, keep it in the right spirit of things.

      Like 1
  11. Ed H

    Made it better, that 3.8L was for a good time not a long time.

    Like 6
  12. Corb T

    It’s been sold

    Like 0
  13. James Martin

    The rod knocker finally threw the rod! And what is the most easiest way to solve it? Junkyard ls out of a suburban or tahoe.

    Like 3
  14. Steve S

    Is there any kind of paperwork showing that this is a Grand National and not just a gussied up Buick Regal??

    Like 0
  15. Big C

    There’s a lot of this going on. A friend’s son just bought a GN with the V6 blown up. Yep, he put an LS in it. No big deal.

    Like 4
    • Stefan Desimone

      For you even to say that shows you know nothing at all about the Grand National . Should have put another 6 in it could have went 2JZ or RB the LS is a junk yard dog people put them in everything cause every Junk Yard had 20 of them,

      Like 1
      • Big C

        Please. Talk about knowing nothing about GN’s. Put a Toyoyo in your GN and get laughed out of your next car show.

        Like 1
      • bone

        There’s thousands of GN’s around , and most seem to have been squirreled away and rarely driven, waiting for the day when they can be sold for a huge profit. So ones been swapped out with a different engine , its no different than an old 250 -6 Camaro having a 350 stuffed into it and most dont even complain when something rare as that has been modified . .

        Like 1
  16. Bill West

    Putting an LS in these does two things, makes them slower and reduces fuel economy. The prior statement about longevity issues with the 3.8 are unfounded. My brother went through three of these and all exceeded 250k.

    Like 4
  17. Angus Mustang

    455 Buick would have been better, probably a more involved swap though

    Like 2
  18. Oldschool Muscle

    A big fat NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! destroyed a good GN Classic …Dumb Ass!!!!

    Like 2
  19. GIJOOOE

    Love Grand Nationals and love LS V-8’s, but the 5.3 is NOT a true LS, it’s an iron block truck engine that needs new everything to make LS power. The least they could have done was install a top mount turbo and kinda sorta make it look like a real GN motor. With the proper build, this car would be pretty awesome and wouldn’t cost what a true Grand National would, plus it would sound a whole lot better. I’d rock it for under $20k and then build the engine for boost and watch the purists heads explode when I popped the hood. Still a sinister looking car, GN V-6 or not.

    Like 4
  20. Kevin McCormick

    I don’t know if the swapper was trying to achieve something akin to a GNX but I do know now all they have is an ex-GN.

    Like 1
  21. DeShun

    It’s not even a regal. It’s a somer. Some of this and some of that

    Like 0
  22. Bob Stevens

    My 1984 Grand National has been sitting in my garage for 31 years waiting for repairs to the original 3.8 Turbo engine. It will never have a replacement engine much less a V8.

    Like 0
    • Big C

      At least you can go out there and gaze upon it. I like to drive my cars. But, to each his own.

      Like 1
      • chuck

        That’s how these amazing cars get lost for 30 years. Until they turn up in an estate sale.

        Like 3
  23. CCFisher

    The only logical explanation is that the original drivetrain was damaged beyond repair. Why else would you swap in an LS? More power? Not likely, or the builder would have chosen something hotter than a 5.3. Someone bought a GN with a blown engine and got it back on the road as cheaply as possible (I’m making an assumption that sourcing a period-correct 3.8 Turbo is more expensive than sourcing an LS3).

    Like 2
    • CCFisher

      Where did LS3 come from? I meant 5.3.

      Like 0
  24. RegalT87

    May the lord have mercy on their souls for this act of blasphemy.

    Like 1
  25. Rainer Beran

    These made great dirt track cars as they had a full frame configuration,i think they still race these cause of that fact. No more Camaro,s or Nova,s due to IMCA rules not allowing stub frame cars at their local dirt Tracks. We got out of racing due to that rule change.

    Like 0

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