Reader Story: Buick Grand National Find!

Barn Finds reader Cartman wrote in recently to tell us a terrific story about a super find he recently resurrected. The car in question is a Buick Grand National, which in this guise was produced from 1984 to 1987 as a turbocharged V6 performance car based on the Regal. We like to share great stories like this one with readers as proof that there are still finds to be discovered!

As the story goes, the seller Cartman purchased the Buick from sent the car out eight years ago to have the motor & transmission built at a performance shop.  On the trip back home after the work was completed, one of the head gaskets blew and the seller turned the car around and drove it right back to the shop.  After the shop fixed the car a second time, the owner picked it up again and proceeded to drive it home. Unfortunately, he described the car as running “choppy” on the way and he got extremely aggravated with it.

A friend came to look at the newly rebuilt car and told him that the car had no compression. The angry seller proceeded to park the classic Buick in his father’s garage for the next eight years.  Fast forward to March 1, 2021, and Cartman purchased the Grand National.  Once he towed the car home, he asked a friend to come over and perform a compression test. The 231 cubic-inch V6 had perfect compression!

A quick check showed that there was a spark at the coil, but wasn’t making it to at least one of the plugs. One of Cartman’s friends happened to have a new set of spark plug wires and once that and a new set of plugs were installed the Grand National fired up and ran great! It also looked great and shiny once it was cleaned up.

Now Cartman says “I’m very happy. I didn’t have to do anything serious to it & waste unnecessary money on repairs. His loss was my gain!”  Thanks to Cartman for sending in this story! Be sure and share your stories of great finds with us and come back for more stories like this one!


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  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    Cool car. I grew up seeing these and always had no respect for them, as they just didn’t do it for me. Now we’re well into in the 21st, and I am gaining respect by the day. Good story and congrats to its new steward.

    Like 8
  2. Stefan Desimone

    Fact the KING of the G Bodys

    Like 10
  3. Mikefromthehammer

    I wonder:

    1. What price did Cartman pay?
    2. How many miles on the odometer?
    3. Is the interior as nice as the exterior?

    I may be presumptuous to ask the $ question. By the looks of the GN, he got a steal. I assume this is correct, but would know for sure with the answers to these questions.

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      Here is your answer- None of your business.

      Like 8
      • Ralph

        Sorry but this is a car site…Not a damn thing wrong with being curious. Sorry but don’t agree a bit.

        Like 14
      • Ike Onick

        @Ralph- A good negotiator probably would not disclose what was paid for an item he/she are attempting to sell.

      • Mikefromthehammer

        @Ike Onick: Thank you for your (un)helpful comment. BTW, Cartman is providing a story about how he obtained his GN. He is not trying to sell it, so I would vehemently disagree with you. It is not beyond the pale to ask for more details, unless that offends you some other way?

        Like 5
  4. Troy s

    That’s an interesting story, you’d of thought after the second blooper that black whoooosh mobile would have either been returned to the same shop or another mechanic especially after dropping a bunch of money in it.
    But it happens I guess,
    Sure is a nice ride now.

    Like 3
    • Albert G Blevins

      Sounds like a fine story with emphasis on story

      Like 4
  5. Mike Stephens Staff

    Interesting story! Always nice when a set of plugs and plug wires saves the day.

    Like 1

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