Back in the mid-1980’s Buick decided to flex its muscle a little bit. That’s right, the same company that made your Grandpa’s Park Avenue actually built a car that’s still legendary for its performance to this very day. The video below is going to help you understand exactly what went into bringing the Grand National to life.
Buick, which had previously been known as a maker of cushy but uninspiring family rides, brought a car to market in 1984 that turned a few heads. The first iteration of the Grand National was really nothing exceptional, but it did show that the company wasn’t quite so one-dimensional. Over the next three years, however, the car became increasingly potent, and in 1987, with the release of the GNX, Buick showed all it’s cards, and it turned out they’d been holding the Ace of Spades.
The all black-on-black GNX – for Grand National Experimental – didn’t have some insanely high horsepower rating, in fact it was rated at a solid 235 HP, which by 1987 standards was high, but not unheard of. That was, of course, the published numbers from Buick. In the 80’s, there wasn’t a chassis dyno in every town. In fact, there likely weren’t any, so it’s not like anybody was checking the accuracy of these numbers. With the cars regularly dipping well into the 12 second range in the quarter at 114 MPH, it seems likely the actual output was closer to 335 horsepower.
Of course, the higher-ups at Buick’s parent company, General Motors, didn’t like their golden child, the Corvette, getting beaten up by the new blacked-out bully on the block, so Buick pulled the plug on the Grand National after the 1987 model year and returned to focus on their previous audience, those seeking a soft ride in total comfort. And thus ended the legendary tale of the Grand National and how, for a brief moment in time, Buick was a badass!