No Reserve Turbo! 1987 Buick Grand National

The 1980s dawned with an automotive hangover from the ’70s. Stringent Federally imposed emission regulations, new (and big!) bumper rules and two oil shocks, one in ’73 and the second one in ’79, pretty well defanged any serious performance aspirations for domestically produced cars. And then, along comes Buick with its turbocharged Grand National (GN). Produced for several years in the ’80s, this ’87 rendition was the end of the line for a magnificent performer. This example is located in Miami, Florida and available here on eBay for a current bid of $14,500, no reserve. It has one day to go so look it over quickly if you are interested.

The Grand National was introduced in ’82, discontinued for ’83 and then returned for ’84 where it stayed in production through the ’87 model year. With each succeeding year, Buick continued to push the envelope on power reaching 245 net HP from the GN’s 3.8 liter, turbocharged, V6 engine for this final year. (There was a higher performance, limited production GNX model but that’s a story for a different day.) The entire package proved to be so popular that in order to meet consumer demand, the GN stayed in production through December of ’87.

The heart of the GN beast is its engine, it’s an eye-opener, to say the least. The seller of this GN lists the mileage of this car as being 42K but makes no reference to its low mileage so that number may or may not be accurate. Nevertheless, he does claim that this GN has a healthy motor and a properly shifting transmission. Buick had a lot of experience with their turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine as it was installed in what was referred to as “T-Type” Regals and other models such as the Riviera. But the combination of  1987s 245 HP attainment and the blacked-out, sinister nature of the GN made it the car to beat. The seller makes a point of saying that other than a muffler change, this GN is unmolested and bone stock. As with all GN’s, this example has a four-speed, automatic overdrive transmission and a 3.42:1 differential ratio. The seller also adds that the A/C blows cold, a necessity for a black car residing in Miami!

A gloss black finish is unforgiving when it comes to ripples, dents and creases. The images included here are a bit fuzzy but the body appears to be very straight and free of crash damage or misaligned body panels and the seller attests to this GN’s sharp exterior appearance. The seller also states that all of the body panels are original. No word regarding the finish’s provenance but it looks fade-free.

That’s an attention-grabbing interior! The two-tone black and gray upholstery fabric sets up a nice contrast between the seating surfaces and the seat bolsters. It then ties that together with the gray dash and black carpet. It presents as a very clean and unblemished environment – perhaps that recorded 42K miles is accurate; the interior’s condition would certainly support a low mileage claim. GM’s fabrics of this period aren’t the most durable that were in use but the material, in this case, has held up beautifully. The same level of complements are deserving on the dash and console, the interior of this GN needs nothing. The seller has included images of the trunk – it appears as unused.

The seller states that this is a relist, he “sold”  this Buick once before but the transaction didn’t go through as the buyer didn’t have the funds. This GN is one of the best-looking examples that I have come across as of late – it’s a real testament to what Buick was doing to keep automotive performance alive in a rather “wanting” time for domestically produced cars. It wouldn’t be but a few more years before sporting intentions came back into vogue but thankfully Buick carried the torch with the GN during a rather slack period. If you ever considered owning a GN, this one deserves a close look, don’t you think?


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  1. Troy s

    Cult classic. The first turbo charged Buick V6 came about in the late seventies, looking for better fuel economy and performance comparable to the smog hobbled V8’s of the time. What, maybe ten years to get to this level.
    Good looking car,,,if you’re a member of the club. Otherwise find a Regal T-Type.

    • mr. creamy

      problem is, in recent years i’ve seen the T-Types offered at the same price or even more that a GN. the turbo buick bubble has to pop one day though!

  2. Mg

    No thanks. I owned a 1981 T type Riviera. By far the worst car car I ever owned. The engine bay was a total disaster that even the local Buick dealer refused to touch. It needed the fourth engine at 114,000 kms.

    • DAVID Lewicki

      I owned one of the first Regal Turbo cars in 78. Had the top half rebuilt 4 times in 12 months. They took it back on trade as we got tired of dealing with each other. Zone officers at the time were great to deal with thou.

  3. John Oliveri

    My brother in law had a white t type with blue velour interior and a power moon roof, let me tell you I grew up around muscle cars and owned only V8s except for one miserable 3.8 Buick motor in my 80 GrandPrix which I bought new, so when the kid brought this home, I chuckled, till I drove it, Smokey block long burnouts, and real quick, compared to my miserable 307 powered Riviera, so for its day, and for what is was, a lowly 3.8 it was amazing

    • Troy s

      For two gears I had him, that dang t-type, at Carlsbad raceway. My ’86 5.0 was pretty much stock under the hood, all the little tricks I did to it, Hurst short throw shifter seat pulled way way forward, arm around the wheel right hand gripping the tee handle power shifting hard, no let up at all on the gas pedal…I was working hard, man! I could see the Buick starting to pull with me…Nothing I could but look over at the guy. Heck, he was just sitting there, bored look on his face as he pulled even with me and sure enough, edged me out by a fender at the traps. Urrgghh!
      I think I just gave up on the whole thing after that, much respect for those crazy Buicks but man, it looked too dang easy.

  4. Joe

    This was already a relist on Ebay and it is sold now to a bidder with only 7 feedbacks. Will see if it returns again.

  5. Chas358 Chasman358 Member

    This a nice, well kept example.

    I owned one when they were new, my son has a beautiful, 39,000 mile car that he’s owned since CY 2000.
    With a mild “performance chip” his car will run low 13 second 1/4 mile times.

    They are fun, fast cars that will still get 25 plus MPG on premium pump gas – with ice cold AC for those hot, muggy Michigan summers.


    First thing I’d do with one is paint it.

  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $16,200.

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