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Because Buick Grand National Burnout…

Buick GNX

Buick GNX

I’ll find any excuse to post about my favourite car, the¬†Buick Grand National, but when burnouts are involved, is it really an excuse?

Not a lot to say other than, check out one of the globe’s most sinister cars perform a burnout at Hot Rod Magazine’s Power Tour 2015.

Buick Grand National Burnout

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What Would Be Your Last Serenade Car?

Ken Block Hoonicorn

Ken Block Hoonicorn

Life has handed you a bad hand; family, friends and society have turned their¬†back on you; you’ve been jilted by your significant other; the machine has truly sucked you in, chewed you up and spat you out. If there was any justice left in the world, the law decided it wasn’t for you and instead smashed¬†you hard in the face with its polished gavel.

Your options are very limited, perhaps limited to just one way out… you¬†give the world a final serenade.

Grind House (Death Proof Car)

Grind House (Death Proof Car)

The cowardly way out would be to eat the barrel of a gun, but what if you sought¬†vengeance before you checked out? What if there was more than one “problem” that needed “attending to”¬†before your final serenade?

This sounds a little grim, a tad¬†Hollywood, doesn’t it? I guess it is, especially considering this post stemmed from reading about a guy called, Raoul Moat.

Raoul Moat

Raoul Moat

To tell a long story short and to avoid straying from the automotive angle¬†I’m trying to pitch, the man pictured above went on a shooting spree in 2010. Devastated¬†his girlfriend cheated on him, ¬†Moat had the Northumbria Police (UK) running around like headless chickens on a six-day manhunt. This involved 160 armed officers, armed response vehicles, sniper teams, helicopters, dogs, armoured anti-terrorist police vehicles from Northern Ireland, and even an RAF Tornado jet.

After driving around his local areas with a sawn-off shotgun, shooting his girlfriend, her lover, and a couple of cops, Moat was eventually recognised by the police. They managed to contain him in the open, leading to a live TV standoff. After six hours of negotiation, Moat ended everything by shooting himself.

If he hadn’t killed and shot at police officers, Moat could’ve been the¬†peoples’ anti-hero, a vigilant taking revenge for a broken heart – how many movies have played out this scenario?

Part of me can understand when a person loses the plot and seeks revenge. Having had problems his entire life, a cheating partner and many run-ins with the law – despite having being a police informant – it’s not exactly surprising the odd maniac slips the net.

Raoul Moat's Lexus

Raoul Moat’s Lexus

Along with his sawn-off, Moat used a black Lexus IS200 SE to unleash his fury on the world. With the black rims, some might even aptly call it ‘murdered-out’. A Lexus isn’t exactly the car I would picture Moat driving (more an EVO VIII), but it’s a solid, reliable and fast(ish) car, better than average¬†– it served its purpose.

If Gargling Gas were to go on a hellbent killing spree, needing a vehicle to traverse counties or states, those who know the blog would instantly say, “Buick GNX“. And they’d be correct, although that would be the Hollywood/fantasy car – the reality car would be German, grey, fast, completely unassuming, the ultimate sleeper.

VW-Phaeton-6-0-W12-4MOTION

VW-Phaeton-6-0-W12-4MOTION

Enter the 2010 – 2011 VW Phaeton, a solid lump of (let’s face it) bland metal wrapped around a¬†6.0-L W16 engine, boasting 444-bhp and 413-ft-lbs of torque.

You wouldn’t stick out going from A-B, you have the thunder to evade capture, the sheer weight and build quality would see off anyone trying to interfere with your journey, and if you opted for auto, you could load your weapons whilst driving at 150-mph. Throw in some anti-puncture tyres and you could cause all kinds of trouble on the open highway.

VW-Phaeton-6-0-W12-4MOTION

VW-Phaeton-6-0-W12-4MOTION

So my final questions to all of you auto enthusiasts would be:

What vehicle and weapons would you choose to go on a vengeful killing spree if you were in a movie?

What ‘reality’ vehicle would you choose and what mods would you install considering the pragmatic/survivor angle.

Finally, if you do decide to undertake such a journey, please send in some pics to Gargling Gas first…

A Good Year: Do You Conform With These Rules?

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Like fine wines and their ‘good years’, a car’s desirability can also be¬†signified by its year of manufacture. Just as a season of perfect weather conditions grace the land, producing palate-tantalising grape nectar, car designers manage to merge the combination of curves, lines and technological advancements to create an automotive ‘good’ year.

One of the finest years has to be 1957, a year Chevrolet nailed the Bel Air pictured above. Out of all the automotive TV programs I watch, “57” comes up the most. It’s not surprising, either; just look at the combination of curves and lines and the way it’s a fairly compact car but features those glorious fins.

This article features American cars because, although Euro and Japanese cars have their ‘good’ modes, they are defined more by their chassis number, spec¬†and ‘facelift’ improvements.

1962 Ford Thunderbird

1962 Ford Thunderbird

Take the Ford Thunderbird above, for example, one of my favourite looking cars. Despite it being in my top 5 garage, I could only have one from 1961-63 because of those rear afterburner tail lights. American cars seemed to change their looks considerably over a short period of time, whereas the rest of the world hang on to their chassis number longer and work on technology and subtle design improvements.

1963 Corvette

1963 Corvette

Another extremely desirable car is the 1963 Corvette Stingray for the simple reason ’63 was the only year Chevrolet produced the rear split-screen.

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

In 1970, after Plymouth had a redesign on their Barracuda, shifting it away from resembling their Valiant design, they built a limited number Hemi ‘Cudas, a car now highly sought after because of its place and heritage in the 1970s muscle car story.

Last but not least… 1987… the Buick GNX. How could Gargling Gas not feature its all time favourite car? After Buick transformed their rather bland Regal into a turbocharged monster in 1984, calling it the Grand National, just three years on saw a farewell with their GNX, the X standing for ‘experimental’. This X meant 275-hp, a massively understated figure¬†that left the GNX a must for the serious collector.

1987 Buick GNX

1987 Buick GNX

Of course, there are many more cars I could list, so forgive me for not listing them, but I’d be getting away from the point of my article:

So with my long-winded explanation that cars have their good years and all this talk of desirable models, do you conform to prescribed? Do you go along with these ‘good’ years, or do you like the ‘undesirables’, the ‘ugly ducklings’ you find alluring, looks that appeal to you simply because they tick all your personal boxes?

 

Buick, Please Don’t Taint The GNX Legend

When car companies decide to revive¬†an old and popular model by building a ‘tribute’, they usually don’t do it any justice – it’s a bit like Hollywood rehashing a classic – think Gus Van Sant and his audacious yet¬†appalling¬†remake of Psycho.

One of my favourite cars (I’m going to own one to spank my midlife crisis into submission) is indeed the ’87 Buick GNX – I have professed my adoration for the Vader car in a previous¬†post, Love At First Sight. The GNX is special in that is was unexpected and completely insane. Buicks weren’t and still aren’t known for power or outrageous¬†styling; they were and still are comfortable and luxurious. When Buick released the Regal Grand National in 1982, the public took notice, and when Buick noticed the public taking notice, they upped the power almost every year until its final run in 1987 – the 87s are the most sought after because Buick wanted to bid the GNX farewell with a memorable send off, a special edition stroked by the McLaren brush and boasting a wildly underrated 245-bhp.

When Buick released the GNX, they gave birth to their black sheep of the fleet, a muscle car eater, a sinister machine fit for only Darth Vader, the choice of hitmen and serial killers.

Over the past year or so I’ve been following any news on the 2015 GNX, trying to find an accurate idea of what it’s going to look like – despite being released as a four door sedan and not like its coupe predecessor, I’d like to think it will resemble the picture above and the 2013 Regal GS below, because as far as modern designs are concerned, they looks pretty aggressive. Both the Grand National and GNX will be created on a RWD platform previously used by the sixth-generation Camaro and also the third-generation Cadillac CTS. Although¬†concepts have varied, I know the figures are encouraging enough, but are they good enough to earn the GNX badge and status.

Owning a 2015 GNX doesn’t need to be the stuff of midlife crisis dreams either – the performance and looks will come cheaper than the 40s fantasy Porsche 911. Even if this is just out of reach, securing a car loan from a good bank will ensure the legendary GNX badge sits in your garage.

Casting the smaller engine options and models aside, the daddy GNX will have a twin-turbo 3.6-L V6. Phew, thank god they stuck with the V6 instead of using a V8. Twin-turbo is also good because it remains true to the original in that instead of using V8s like all the other muscle cars of its era, Buick decided to go with a V6 and a big turbo. The new model will possess around 400-bhp, but is this enough to challenge the likes of the Cadillac CTS, something Buick intended?

I personally don’t think it will live up to the GNX name in ground-breaking performance, but I do think Buick will create a great looking and fast sedan. The GNX will only come in black, just like its 80s daddy, so at least they’ve got that right. Perhaps if Buick found a few more horses and stripped away some of the¬†weight using exotic materials (think BMW CSL), the GNX will be another Buick to remember. Okay, so it will push the prices up¬†shedding¬†weight, but it’s not like there’s going to be a shortage of people lining up to buy the new GNX.

 

CoPo Muscle Vs Evil Legend GNX

 

If you follow my blog, it’s fairly obvious which car wins it for Gargling Gas. The Buick GNX is my idea of heaven, both mentally,¬†physically¬†and even sexually.

Motor Trend  is a very good YouTube channel, the cars fantastic and the presenters knowledgeable and fair. I agreed the outcome was close on the two cars featured, especially as the 69 Chevelle was a CoPo boasting widow-making horsepower.

The match up was hardly old vs new, but the generation gap showed what a turbocharged V6 could produce. Don’t get me wrong, as I adore all muscle cars, it’s just the GNX was one of those bizarre releases from a company known for tame machines. If you lined up a bunch of muscle cars and suinted your eyes, the Chevelle wouldn’t stand out – the GNX, however, would be that streak of black, the Grim Reaper lurking in your peripheral vision.

Watch and enjoy the entertainment and great reviews.

Link

Why GM Need The Buick GNX Revived

If you follow Gargling Gas¬†or you’ve skipped through some posts, you’ll know I love¬†the Buick GNX from the various posts on it. In fact, “love” doesn’t even come close; the Buick GNX to me represents everything I adore about the automobile, a car possessing an aura that IS the spirit of Gargling Gas.

The Darth Vader car is unique in the fact it managed to eat muscle cars whilst bearing the badge of blue rinse and¬†comfortable¬†slippers. The GNX is all black and very sinister, its owners probably best left alone. It was a murder car before the term “murdered-out” was coined. ¬†In the late 80s and early 90s (and even today), a GNX pulling up next to your Corvette or BMW M3 at a stop light would be a daunting experience – its¬†unnerving¬†presence is also backed up by a performance that’ll frighten a E46 M3 and terrify a Porsche Boxster S.

Anyway, here is yet another post I wrote on the GNX, a guest post for WhyDoes.com  РWhy Does Luxury Marque Buick Plan To Re-release Its Black Sheep?

More GNX reading:

A GNX Dragged Back From The Dead

Buick Please Don’t Taint A Legend

 

 

The Creation Of Something Special In 1160 Pictures…

… special to me anyway. Search Gargling Gas for the Buick Grand National and you’ll find a fair few posts on my infatuation with it.

It’s not totally unrealistic to find a solid example and have it shipped over from the States for a reasonable price (¬£10-15K). Most sensible, and let’s face it, boring non-car people will probably cry, “An American muscle car in the UK? Are you mad?” Yes, probably, but then I could counter the remark with something like, “Wow, ¬£5K on touching up the woodwork on your stairs”, or, “¬£25K for a small soundproof recording studio?” Each to their own and all that…

People spend out on the things that make them tick, whether it’s a giant train-set or a set of rare stamps, and everyone knows and accepts this. Except when it comes to cars (I’ve found) people are quick to comment, frown, stroke their metaphorical beard – or in the case of my mother-in-law, her beard. Non-car people suddenly turn into Jeremy Clarkson and offer advice based on a one car experience, whether it was their own, a family member’s or even a friend’s.

“Oh, you wanna steer clear of Fiats, mate. My sister’s cousin had one… nothing but trouble.”

“No, no no… I’d go with a turbo diesel. Reliable and just as fast as petrol engines. They’ve come a long way with those diesels, y’know.” Etc…

Now I’ve gone off on a tangent and will swiftly get back to what this post is about.

Today I found a great piece featuring a Buick GNX on the American Resto Mods website. Pictured above is a very tired 1987 Buick GNX exhumed from a Louisiana bog in 2011. The poor thing was left parked in the mud since 1991 Р20 years! Who would leave a four-year-old GNX Рany car, for that matter Рin the mud for two decades?

Thankfully, the mud being situated along the gulf meant enough oil content to prevent any serious rust. In fact, the important and structural parts of the car were solid, and apart from having to evict insects and mice from their cosy home, the Buick was great restoration material.

Click the link below, and in 1160 pictures, witness the love and dedication that transformed the above into the stunning example below.

1987 Buick Grand National Restoration

A few Gargling Gas Grand National posts:

Love At First Sight

Buick, Please Don’t Taint A Legend