Stalled Project: 1986 Buick Grand National

As a father of a toddler, I am acutely aware of how much children can impact your project car time. What I find humorous about this listing for a 1986 Buick Grand National is the seller’s words: “Got this as a project car but ended up not working on it because my wife had a child.” Man, that’s gotta grind your gears when a random kid shows up! I know this is just a case of poor word choice, but it still made me chuckle. Anyway, you can find this stalled Grand National project here on eBay with bidding at $2,650 and the reserve unmet.

Unfortunately, beyond the surprise offspring scenario, not much other information is laid out for us. The Grand National last ran in November, when it apparently entered an initial phase of disassembly. The removed parts are still with the car, including the front bumper, grill, and headlight assemblies. The radiator looks quite fresh, so perhaps the seller was going to have those body panels refinished while the new radiator was swapped in. It’s evident that some level of bodywork was first on the list of to-dos given the primered surfaces.

The interior will need fairly extensive restoration, given the front buckets are torn up pretty thoroughly, and it looks like the dash is cracked. There’s at least one aftermarket gauge that I can see, and it’s hard to get a good read on whether any other modifications have been made. The steering wheel is at least original, but the condition of the door panels and back seat are unknown. At the very least, a good vacuuming is needed. Fortunately, any specific needs the cabin may have should easily be addressed with either some detailing or a Regal parts car.

Assuming the engine was running in November, not much time has elapsed to cause it to go into a state of slumber. The aftermarket air intake is another sign that this Grand National has been modified in the past by a previous owner, and I’d reverse those tweaks if this were my car given the rise in value for bone-stock GNs. Assuming the reserve is under $5K, this could be a worthwhile platform for the next owner to start from, especially if their handy doing their own bodywork. You’ll find the Buick in Herdon, Virginia, if you’re looking to check it out in person.


  1. Andre

    It’s too bad.. G-body’s actually make a nice family-friendly toy (Owner of an ’84 Cutlass Supreme and a 3 & 5 year old).

    Easy and cheap to obtain and modify, seat 4 comfortably, 2-doors have comfortably large openings for kids, relatively safe, big trunk for longer journeys, and it isn’t hard to make them quick enough to satisfy dad.

    If the car doesn’t sell maybe the current owner will figure out my self-justified formula above!

    Like 4
  2. mgreene

    Compression test will tell all. Run hard & put away wet or a valid project with a foreseeable future.

    Like 3
  3. bull

    EXPENSIVE CAR to get running.

    Fuel pump $250, gas tank $400, fuel pump hanger/fuel gage sending unit $250. That’s just for starters. VERY easy to have $800 or more just in the gas tank.

    Better have DEEP pockets to fix this GN. Given the current price of average 1986 driver cars out there for sale right now the current bid is more than enough for this PROJECT!

    Like 1
    • Divorced with kids

      Talented people are capable of turning this GN into something beautiful again. The current owner has new priorities. Don’t judge if you haven’t been there. Marriage put an end to my Motorhead ways. Kids put an end to my gunnite pool. Which was demolished and filled in when I caught my 20 month old daughter laying on the edge dropping stones into the 12′ deep end.
      Always wanted a built-in pool. I wanted my kids more!

      Like 2
  4. JoeMac Joe Mac

    Hope the seller didn’t get crazy with the reserve. This car is rough and engine the compartment isn’t all original either. I love GN’s but I don’t see this one bringing huge money. Condition, compounded by the fact that it’s an ’86 and even though they’re rarer than ’87’s they don’t bring the same coin, may make this one a tough sell if he / she is holding out for that good ole GN dollar value.

    Like 3
  5. CanuckCarGuy

    That shiny new radiator appears to be a front mount intercooler…a relatively easy way to pick up more power from a turbo engine.

    Like 8
  6. Coventrycat

    Wonder if it’s his kid – why anyone would procreate with someone who would buy a wreck like that is beyond me.

    Like 7
    • Happily Divorced, Love my children

      To coventrycat. Priorities are those things that require our immediate attention. Cudos to the seller for choosing his child.

      Marriage effectively ended my Motorhead ways. Children forced me to demolish and fill in my 50′ gunnite pool. Caught my 20 month old daughter outside, laying on her stomach, throwing stones into the 12′ deep end. Not sure which hurt more.

      Your snap decision to question the seller’s And his spouse’s procreation, based on a vehicle he owns, demonstrates ignorance on such a profound level.

      It’s easy to criticize when you haven’t been there. Maybe you thought you were being funny? You weren’t.

      Like 3
      • Coventrycat

        I have been there.

        Like 1
  7. Kevin

    looks like a Parts car now

    Like 3
  8. TimM

    What a shame!! I guess the bright side is they had a place to hang there cloths!!

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.