January 16, 2013
The Buick Grand National was the most badass car of the 1980s, and hardcore gearheads are still obsessed.
It breathed fire, crapped thunder, and came in only one color: black. Sure, the Buick Grand National had the same boxy body as grandma’s Cutlass, but make no mistake: This beast was revolutionary. After the muscle-car era of the late ’60s and early ’70s, American cars pretty much sucked, with high gas prices and tough emissions standards leading to smaller, less powerful engines and all-around shittiness (google “AMC Pacer” for proof).
In a stroke of mad automotive genius, however, Buick engineers turbocharged, intercooled, and fuel-injected a relatively small six-cylinder engine and were able to pump out enough raw power to produce a car that beat Ferraris off the line. Fast-forward 25 years, and everyone from documentary filmmakers to auto collectors are still in awe of the black sheep of the GM family. But be warned if you are looking to buy one. As one proud owner told us, “Check the backseats, because if you had a Grand National in the ’80s, you got laid.”
In 1987, the Grand National’s last year of production, Buick offered a special “GNX” option package that added over 30 horses. This was enough to bring its 0–60 time to the sacred sub-5 level, making it one of the fastest production cars in the world.
Years Produced: 1982, 1984-1987
MSRP (1987 Model): $18,000
Engine: 3.8-liter intercooled turbo V6
Torque: 355 lb-ft
0-60: 6.1 seconds
Quarter Mile: 14.7 seconds at 95 mph
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