Buick concentrated on steady development and intercooling on its turbocharged GNs, raising the output to 245-horsepower by 1986, creating one of America’s quickest production cars.
So much so, it also inspired a limited run of “unmarked” Turbo Regals (1986-1987) for law enforcement (FBI, DEA, State Police, etc.) use. Out of the approximate 10,000 Grand Nationals produced, only 547 GNX versions were built. The 1987 models were the last rear-wheel drive turbos to be produced by Buick and proved to be so popular that production lines stayed
open through December, beyond the traditional “model year.”
The GNX was built during the GN production run, with a total of 547 built before the plant closed for good. To help promote the GNX, Buick ran enthusiast magazine advertisements spotlighting the GNX as “A high-performance investment for the Fortunate 500.” The idea was that the new GNX would combine the basic performance platform with the latest electronics and turbocharging to create the ultimate modern musclecar and quickest GM production car in history. The GNX was an instant, sold-out hit!
Basic GNs targeted for GNX production were brought to ASC/McLaren, builders of the 24-valve Buick turbo V-6 engines for Indy. The GNX used a high-performance Garrett turbo with a ceramic impeller, improved intercooler, revised engine management calibrations, high performance transmission valving and free-flow exhaust. Output was boosted to more than 275 horsepower with 360 pound-feet of torque. Horsepower was actually closer to 300!
Larger tires, special black laced-type alloy wheels, a rear axle torque arm and Panhard bar, plus added frame stiffening were standard fare for the beefed-up GNX package. Front fender vents helped engine cooling, while an analog gauge instrument panel and logo array completed the package, which already included a full load of factory options.
The GNX shown here, to be auctioned by Auctions America, is number 284 of 547 and very special as it has been driven only 96 original miles. It is virtually new in every respect, essentially a brand new vintage musclecar! It is complete with all books and is sure to earn “survivor status” at any major Buick or musclecar event.
For more information, please visit http://www.auctionsamerica.com/events/auction-park.cfm
To learn more about the history of Buick’s Grand National and GNX, check out Black Air, the Buick Grand National Documentary http://www.gnmovie.com/