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Won’t Get Cheaper: 1986 Buick Grand National

1986 Buick Grand National

Sometimes, a car catches your eye simply because the price seems too good to be true. Often, there is a reason for this, as I’ve rarely found cheaply-priced cars that haven’t required mountains of work. This 1986 Buick Grand National here on eBay does look good in pictures, and at the moment bidding is over $6,000 with no reserve. But don’t get too excited: there’s a catch. 


But what could it be? The body looks good and the interior is in amazing condition for the mileage this Buick wears. Other than a small separation in the dash pad up by the windshield, the cockpit looks much fresher than its 70,000 miles would otherwise indicate. This is also a T-Top car, and the fact that the interior isn’t completely baked is a huge upside to this Grand National, which is currently bid to just over $6,000 with no reserve.


Oh – there’s the problem. There’s no engine! That explains the bargain basement pricing. The seller claims the oil pump failed and the previous owner tore the whole engine down for re-assembly. He obviously didn’t get very far, since it’s passed onto the current seller without any progress made. The engine is currently sitting on a shelf and based on the eBay photos, organization and part labeling were clearly not a strong suit for either owner.


There are some trim pieces missing, like this panel beneath the tail light. Otherwise, the body looks decent, save for one rust area bubbling on the lower quarter beneath the driver’s door. I’m intrigued by this project as a cheap way into Grand National ownership, especially for a buyer with the ability to rebuild the engine themselves. Making sure all of the parts are included and getting a true understanding of the damage done by the oil pump failure are questions to ask before bidding, however. Would you roll the dice on this cheap GN?


  1. Kevin


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  2. Crazydave

    No idea how factual it was, but among my circle of friends, the Buick external oil pump was never trusted and had a reputation for expen$ive failure. Among the first things I’d do would be rebody it with one that is sans T-tops. (I hate T-tops, sunroofs and ragtops)

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  3. Eric Hare

    Go to the insurance auction and find a car with a 3.5l eco boost and go beat up on the older Camaros, and Vettes.

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    • Djrowdy

      No. Just no. Bad idea!!! My question is why in the hell would you do that and ruin a good car by putting a Ford motor in a Buick grand national?????? Again just no!!!!

      Like 1
      • Eric Hare

        I thought about mentioning a turbocharged Chrysler slant six, but the 365 HP Ford would fit better, be more reliable, and get reactions like yours all day long.

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      • JimmyinTEXAS

        Chevy has a 3.6L twin turbo LF3, 420 HP. Coupled with a 6L90 transmission and it would go fast…

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      • jcs

        Djrowdy, because you’d have a better engine.

        Like 1
  4. Oingo

    Looks like the trans was left unsealed. With the engine out there are so many things that can’t easily be tested. My price would be based on what was working may not be now.

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  5. Alan Brase

    Motor apart, not a big deal. Those things are stone-axe simple. That might give you an opportunity to do a few mild improvements.
    Here ya go, turn back time to 1986!
    Bidding is spirited. 114 bids and up to $7050.
    One of the better US cars of the 80’s.

    Like 2
  6. Cattoo Cattoo Member

    Aww. For crying out loud. Missing another opportunity to get a desired, coveted no less, Grand National that would have to sit around and wait until I had the money to build her badder than before. Yet again I’m gonna have to let some other better situated fellow Buick lover acquire and bring back this black beauty.

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  7. Vegas Vic

    Had one in 1987
    Fun ride, comfy, great highway cruising, decent brakes, the sinister Bader Vader ebony TURBO turned lovely Ladies heads AND a trunk that fit gear, groceries golf clubs
    Best car Buick ever built

    Like 2
  8. nessy

    I don’t get it. This thing is already at 7200 with no motor and in rough condition while I’m trying to sell my 87 that looks and runs fine with t tops for only 9000 and I get nothing but talkers and lowballers calling me. Maybe I underpriced my car and it’s keeping buyers away thinking it’s a scam or something.

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    • milt

      If I had 9k I would definitely love to take that 87 off your hands especially what they are going for now.It would be parked beside my 85 GN!

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    • Charlie

      Do you still have it for sale

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  9. Steve

    So it sold for $7250. Prolly about right for what it is. The interior and body were in nice condition, would love to see it running.

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  10. jaymes

    someone asked if it ran, love his comment

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    • Mike

      I saw that question and was wondering what world that moron was from!!!!
      I would have said yes on a down hill slope with a good tail wind!!!!!

      Like 0

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