Turbo Barn Find: 1985 Buick Grand National

One of my favorite parts of writing for Barn Finds is seeing all different kinds of vehicles emerge from long periods of storage. Sometimes, they are relatively normal models that make you wonder why someone stored it for decades, but other times, a legendary ride emerges from its slumber, like this 1985 Buick Regal Grand National that’s available here on craigslist.

This Grand National is available in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with a clean title. The advertisement doesn’t have a lot of history about this barn find Buick, but it does reveal that its last registration was in New York in 1994.

Unfortunately, the photos in this advertisement are not great, but it is somewhat easy to decipher the condition of this coupe. The pictures do show failing clearcoat, and the seller admits that it needs new paint, as well as the fact that the body has a few soft spots that need attention, notably on the rockers and the right quarter panel.

On the other hand, the interior is in fantastic shape, with the seller stating that it is a 9 out of 10. Everything inside the cabin looks well-preserved and original, and I’m a big fan of the Castrol protective floormats, which make me wonder if someone serviced this Grand National right before it went into storage.

Somewhat surprisingly, the turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine does run after a long period of inactivity, but the seller claims that it runs roughly due to brittle vacuum lines. The engine pairs to an automatic transmission to drive the rear wheels, and the driveline has 75,136 miles on it.

The seller is asking $9,000 for this Buick, and they are not entertaining any trade offers. If you picked up this barn find Grand National, what would be your first steps?

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  1. Steve R

    I’d keep looking. The 86-87’s are the ones to get, the earlier models, such as this live on the reputation of the air to air intercooled GN’s and T-types. This one has rust, and the seller fudges his description including the phrase “for a car of it’s age.” The biggest red flag is that he’s selling a car, last registered 16 years ago in a different state for “a friend”. If there are issues with the DMV who do you turn to?

    Steve R

    Like 9
    • Turbo

      What he said

      Like 4
  2. Superdessucke

    It’s a year early and an intercooler short.

    Like 5
  3. Troy s

    Some here would probably take the first step in running it over with one of those monster trucks, not a lot of fans of the turbo Buick on this site. I like it but as noted it’s not the best year for these….performance wise.

    • Superdessucke

      I think there’s plenty of fans of the turbo Buicks on this site. The problem is is this one is from the year before they got really good. There’s a huge value difference. This price is optimistic by half.

      Like 2
  4. ACZ

    The hot air cars weren’t that bad. I had a couple and their performance was adequate, just not stupendous. This car, however is your typical northern rust-bucket.

  5. Bob Mck Member

    Oh thank goodness… I had not seen one of these on BF for at least three days.

    Like 2
  6. Ellis

    I know a lady here in Texas that has worked miracles for people with title issues on just about any title situation.
    I always read on this sight about title issues. If you people know her most of the issues would disappear.
    Get it transferred to a texas title then change it to any state from there, once you get title in hand


    Looks like a nice $3,500 car.

    Like 2
  8. TimM

    Wasn’t there a year that these were the fastest GM production cars!! I can’t remember what year that was but I’m sure someone on here knows!!

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