Monday, June 4, 2012

Classic Car of the Month Buick Grand National

   I'm going to do a new segment called classic car of the month. In which I write about a automobile that I consider a classic. We will be starting this segment with one of my favorite muscle cars of all times. This car is the Buick Grand National aka The GN. The GN was a terror on the streets in the eighties. The GN came out in 1982 as a limited edition version of the Buick Regal T-type. The name Grand National comes from the NASCAR Grand National race. At first the car was only available in a two tone color of silver and dark grey. It actually didn't carry the infamous turbo v6, but a 4.1 v6 engine naturally  aspirated engine.
1982 Grand National

     In 1984 there was some a couple of changes done the car. One the car came only in black. Also in 1984 was the year it got the turbo v6.The GN in 1984 was making 200 horsepower at 4000 rpm and 300 lbs of torque at 2400 rpm. The engine was a turbocharged;fuel injected V6 with Sequential Fuel Injection and with electronic wastegate control for engine boost adjustment. This was Avant-garde at that time. Only 2000 Grand Nationals were built that year. The car was running at 15 psi of boost.
1984 Grand National

Changes were done in 1986 for example, an intercooler was added to the car. Adjustments were done to the turbo, exhaust,intake manifold and reversions to the air dam that bump its horsepower to 235 and 330 lbs of torque.
1986 Grand National

1987 was the last year for the Grand National and it was a masterpiece.For their last year they had all the options. The Buick Grand National became a sinister vehicle performance and aesthetic wise. Several improvements were done to the Grand National.
 In 1987 Buick also release the GNX which was a faster version of the GN.The GNX was tuned by McLaren. Only 547 was produce, the GNX produced 31 more horsepower and that was enough to make it run 0-60 4.4 sec and a 13,4 quarter mile A new and improve intercooler was added and also a pipe was added. The fenders had functional vents which cool the engine. The turbocharger was lighter than the other turbochargers used on the previous Grand Nationals.A lighter Turbo charger prevented turbo lag.Turbo still ran at 15 psi of boost however the Grand National was pushing around 300 horse power and 330 pounds of torque. Unlike most muscle cars the Grand National suspension was heavily thought about.Modifications like reinforcing the frame so the car was able to withstand the torque.It had a ladder bar in the back. With the new horse power the transmission had o be reprogrammed.
   The Buick Grand National was one of the most sinister and
quickest cars in the eighties. It was the best bang for buck. The Gran National
was a unique car for numerous of reasons in the eighties. The remaining muscle
cars weren't making a lot of horsepower besides the 5.0 mustangs and corvette.
The Grand national was out of place in the Buick line up. The brand was known in the eighties for luxury, and comfort. Out of no where you have a Buick causing
all the raucous in streets. GM underestimated their own vehicle. It’s well
known that Chevrolet Corvette is the GM flagship car, and when you have a car
beating the corvette on the streets that’s not a good thing. That was one of
the reasons for the end of the Turbo Buick. The Grand National was cheaper than the corvette and it was faster. Not only the Corvette but Ford Mustangs also
were being beaten in the drag strip. Best bang for the buck because at that
time this car could keep up with the more expensive European sports cars.

The engine that made the Grand National legendary was a 231
cubic inch turbocharged OHV V6 with Sequential Multipoint Fuel
Injection .The 231 V-6 first came out in 1962 but Buick was still testing it. In
the seventies turbo cars weren't common and even in the early eighties. The
cars that actually had turbos at that time had really bad turbo lag. Grand
Nationals had a 0-60 in the 5.5 range and a quarter mile high 14s close to
13s.With simple modifications like headers, exhaust system, bigger intercooler,
and bigger tires, you had a car running in the high 12s.

  For me the Grand National is high in my dream car list. When I
see one in the street I stopped walking and listen the engine and exhaust
sound. Nothing more cool than an all black car muscle car square body (G-Body
in GM Terms) with a turbo. Its has been my favorite car since I was five.

Don't mess with a Buick


  1. Awesome! Even I can't help but admire classics until today.

    1. Ending the Gran National was Buick big mistake.Great car

  2. probably the best vehicle to ever come out of GM