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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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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.

 

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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  – Why 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 – 20 years! Who would leave a four-year-old GNX – any car, for that matter – in 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

 

 

Love At First Sight: Buick Grand National

I’m a 35 year old man who’s feeling like a teenager because of a car. Thanks to this 80s piece of automotive evil, I’m in love, bowled over, but I fear she’s a little out of my league. You see, she’s younger than me, outrageously sexy, and she’d eat me for breakfast. But a man can dream, right?

The car in question is the all black Buick Grand National. For the mid-eighties, this 3.8-L Turbo V6 could hit 60 in 4.8 seconds – that’s fast by today’s standards. She could murder Corvettes and beat the Ferrari Testarossa. But let’s forget power, as her reputation is one of pure street racing slaughter.

Just look at her – damn it, I haven’t felt this away about a car since the Mk 1 Dodge Viper. People say she’s a sleeper but I’m not so sure. I think this Grand National looks like it means business, and only people with pure menace in mind would buy one of these black bullets. But then considering the mean looks, people still wouldn’t guess as to how fast this car actually is. It looks like it could hit 60 in around 7 to 8 seconds, not 4.8. Nearly 3 decades on and I could list a lot of modern cars slower than this gorgeous Buick:

Porsche 911 Targa 4

Porsche Boxster S

Honda S2000

Subaru Impreza WRX

Mitsubishi Evo VIII MR FQ-300

Audi TTS Roadster

Toyota GT86

And so on…

So you get an idea as to how revolutionary the Buick Grand National was for the early to mid-eighties.

 

The above picture is a superb example that captures the Grand National’s evil aura and menacing looks.

 

And as for her rear… perfect. I expect most people who dared to race her saw a lot of this back in the day.

The main question is: Do I dare even think about looking at prices etc? Well, it is cheaper than the Viper, a car not totally out of the question to own as a Sunday driver or show car. She’s definitely in my Top 5 now, and in a few years time and a little spare ££££, who knows? It could be the start of a very dangerous relationship.