One-Owner Survivor: 1987 Buick Grand National

A decade ago, you might have struggled to identify an American car from the 1980s destined to become a classic. That period was a generally miserable time for enthusiasts as power levels dwindled and manufacturers played it safe. However, Buick shone like a beacon with the 1987 Grand National, and that model has cemented its place in automotive folklore. Over the past decade, values have climbed at a head-spinning rate, and original survivors are highly sought. This 1987 Grand National is a gem and is owned by an individual who seems to know all there is to know about these classics. They have decided it needs a new home, so they have listed it here on eBay in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Bidding has raced to $22,600, and with no evidence of a reserve, a new home is days away for this classic.

The 1987 Grand National is a symphony of evil finished in Black. You feel that if Darth Vader were in the market for a car to use during a visit to our planet, the Grand National would be a strong contender. The seller admits they aren’t a photographer, and they didn’t wash away the accumulated dust before grabbing their camera. That makes it challenging to assess the paint condition, but it looks like it shines nicely. They admit to some crow’s feet on the hood but state these are only visible in certain light. The car has never undergone any restoration work, with its paint, panels, and plastic as they left the factory. It is impressive that the bumper fillers haven’t crumbled because that’s a common problem. One feature that motivates me to prefer the appearance of the Grand National over the more potent GNX is the wheels. If pure performance is a buyer’s sole criteria and they have the funds, they would probably select the GNX. For me, the Grand National’s chrome wheels add a welcome contrast to the predominantly black exterior, and they have more of a classic muscle car feel than those found on the GNX. The wheels on this car are flawless, with no pitting or physical damage.

If you’d told a performance car enthusiast in the 1960s that a 1980s muscle car would feature a V6 under the hood, they probably would have given you a guarded sideways glance and questioned your sanity. However, that is precisely what we find powering the Grand National. However, it isn’t your garden-variety motor. In standard form, the Buick 3.8-liter V6 produced around 110hp. The company waved its magic wand, adding updated internal components, fuel injection, an advanced engine management system, an intercooler, and a turbocharger. Suddenly, 110hp looked quite pedestrian as the Grand National had an “official” 245hp at its disposal. While that figure was Buick’s quoted power output, conventional wisdom places the figure at around 290hp. The power feeds to the rear wheels via a THM200-4R automatic transmission. While the company cited a ¼-mile ET of 14.7 seconds, motoring journalists at the time had no trouble regularly breaking the 14-second barrier. That would have left those enthusiasts from the 1960s awe-struck! The seller has been this car’s sole owner since new, and they have clocked 60,000 miles behind the wheel. They hold significant documentation that verifies the odometer reading, along with the original Window Sticker, dealership paperwork, Owner’s Manual, and title. The car has always been appropriately maintained and has no needs beyond a new owner.

It is common to find the interior of a 1987 Grand National looking tired and worn. The distinctive Gray and Black seat upholstery is particularly prone to deterioration and stains, while headliners are also prone to sagging. None of those problems afflict this car, and while describing it as factory-fresh might stretch credibility, it presents extremely well. There are no signs of abuse, and it shows the hallmarks of a car that has been treated with respect. The new owner won’t lack comfort features because it includes ice-cold air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a six-way power driver’s seat, a power trunk release, a leather-wrapped tilt wheel, cruise control, and a premium AM/FM radio and cassette player.

Finding a one-owner 1987 Buick Grand National that isn’t a trailer queen or hasn’t been thrashed within an inch of its life is challenging. In the past, the performance these classics offered made them a favorite for those whose budget didn’t stretch to a traditional 1960s muscle car. Today, the Grand National has joined the elite company of America’s classic muscle car fraternity, and rapidly increasing values confirm that. The owner says they will ignore offers under $42,000, which is unsurprising. I expect the bidding to top that figure easily and wouldn’t rule out $50,000 before the hammer falls. What would be your estimate on this one-owner survivor?


  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Nice to see an example that has been DRIVEN and, presumably ENJOYED. Instead of a garage queen, waiting for a prom date or a resale.

    Like 11
  2. Bick Banter

    I don’t know. I know they’re probably totally safe and all but I would never trust one of my nice cars below another one sitting on a hydraulic thing.

    Like 6
    • Poppy

      The raised car looks like it might be a GNX. At least he put the less valuable one on the bottom. Incidentally, all lifts mechanically lock once the lifting is done. You aren’t relying on hydraulics to keep it raised.

      Like 11
  3. 19sixty5 Member

    The 4 post lift it is sitting on isn’t held up with hydraulics, the hydraulics simply raise or lower the car into position. Once at the position desired, you lower it slightly and it engages 4 large steel locks, it sit’s on them. Is that a GNX sitting on top? It is showing GNX style wheels, but that is a very common addition, I did the same with mine.

    Like 7
  4. Bick Banter

    Ok thanks all. I’d have to look at one I guess. I’m sure it’s fine as no car enthusiast would buy one if it was risky.

    Definitely convenient, though I certainly don’t need an excuse to have more cars!

    Like 2
  5. Kevin

    I’m gonna say hammer hits $57k

  6. LMK Member

    Anybody else not able to access it via the Ebay link?

    Like 2
    • Robbie R.

      Doesn’t work for me either.

      Like 1
  7. Troy s

    The late eighties. From ’87 on really saw a spike not so much in horsepower ratings but in performance numbers. Compared to today those numbers seem real tame(dull) but it was great! You’d have had to expierence new cars from ’75 to ’84 ish to really appreciate a car like this Buick wooshmobile, especially California car folks. Strict emissions laws here.
    Thee only G body that could be called a modern muscle car.

  8. Djjerme

    25 years ago, people knew the later GN’s and GNX was going to be a classic. Not sure what groups you’re hanging out with, but they were always sought after. They stomped on everything else in mostly stock form back in the day, and they continued to get looks well in to the early ’00’s.

    Like 4
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel_Cadillac_Diva Member

    No apologies. There aren’t any cars from the 80s that are attractive or desirable, IMO, except maybe the Cadillac Allante .
    The 80s were slab sided boxes. The 90s weren’t much better. Early 2000s things were getting better, automotivly speaking.

  10. theGasHole

    Plenty of desirable 80’s cars, especially to people like me who were kids growing up during the 80’s: Firebird GTAs, IROC-Z’s, C4’s, Fox Body ‘Stangs, Supras, I could go on, and I’m not even mentioning exotics from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus.

    Like 1

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