grand national car

grand national car

Grand National Car

For the final year, 1987, Buick introduced the Limited Production GNX “Grand National Experimental” at $29,900. Produced by McLaren Performance Technologies/ASC, Buick produced 547 Grand National with the interior trim Package. They were then sent off to McLaren Performance Technologies and upgraded into the Buick GNX. Buick underrated the GNX at 276 hp (206 kW) and a very substantial 360 lb·ft (488 N·m) of torque (actual output is 300 hp/224 kW and 420 lb·ft/569N·m). This was created to be the “Grand National to end all Grand Nationals.” Changes made included a special Garrett T-3 turbocharger with a ceramic-impeller blowing through a more efficient and significantly larger capacity intercooler with a “CERMATEL (Ceramic/Aluminum) coated” pipe connecting the intercooler to the engine. A GNX specific E-EPROM, low-restriction exhaust with dual mufflers, reprogrammed Turbo Hydramatic 200-4R transmission with a custom torque converter and transmission cooler, and unique differential cover/panhard bar included more of the performance modifications. Exterior styling changes include vents located on each front fender, 16 inch black mesh style wheels with VR-speed rated tires, and deletion of the hood and fender emblems. The interior changes of the GNX included a serial number on the dash plaque and a revised instrument cluster providing analog Stewart-Warner gauges, including an analog turbo boost gauge. Performance was measured faster than the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 930 with a quarter mile time of 12.7 seconds at 113.1 mph (182 km/h) (0.3 and 0.8 seconds quicker, 2.9 and 13.3 mph faster) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 4.6 seconds (0.4 and 0.3 seconds quicker, respectively). GNX #001 is the 1986 prototype currently owned by Buick and sometimes makes appearances at car shows around the US. The GNX used a unique torque arm that was mounted to a special, GNX only, rear differential cover, for increased traction. The torque arm rear suspension alters the suspension geometry, making the body lift while planting the rear tires down, resulting in increased traction.
grand national car 1

Grand National Car

The stealthy appearance of the all-black GNX and Grand National (and the resemblance of its grill to his helmet’s mouthpiece), coupled with the fact that the Grand National was initially released during the popularity of Star Wars movies, earned it the title “Darth Vader’s Car”. Car and Driver covered the GNX model’s introduction with the headline “Lord Vader, your car is ready.” Due to the six cylinder engine, the Buick make, and the black paint Grand Nationals were sometimes referred to as the “Dark Side”. The “Dark Side” contrasted with the more common V8 Mustangs and Camaros that were popular at the time.
grand national car 2

Grand National Car

In 1987, a lightweight WE4 (Turbo T) option was offered. Only 1,547 of this variant were produced. The differences between a WE4 and the Grand National were the interior trim package, wheels, exterior badging, aluminum bumper supports, and aluminum rear brake drums as opposed to the Grand National’s cast iron, making the WE4 a lighter and faster car. The rear spoiler was only available as a dealer installed option. 1987 was the only year that the LC2 Turbo option was available on any Regal, making it possible to even see a Limited with a vinyl landau roof and a power bulge turbo hood. Turbo Regal Limiteds were one of the rarest models of Turbo Regals produced second only to the GNX at 1,035 Turbo Limiteds. Turbo Regal Limiteds could be ordered with many options with most having chrome external trim but for $35 could have been built with the full black-out trim option making them extremely rare. Limiteds were treated to a very luxurious interior with plush carpeting and optional bench pillow seats and a column shift. The 1987 model would be the end of the manufacture of the RWD “G-Body” Regal, but GM had to extend the build of the Grand National to meet customer demand into December.
grand national car 3

Grand National Car

In 1982, the Regal Grand National debuted, which was named for the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Series (the “Grand National” term was part of the Cup series nomenclature until 1986). Buick had won the Manufacturers Cup in 1981 and 1982, and wanted to capitalize on its success: “What wins on Sunday, sells on Monday”. These 1982 cars were not painted black, which may confuse those not familiar with them. All started out as charcoal gray Regals that were shipped off to a subcontractor for finishing.
grand national car 4

Grand National Car

GM By John Lamm Sep 5, 2016 This article originally appeared in the June 1987 issue of Road & Track.It’s this easy: Find a lonely straight road, preferably a drag strip. Make certain the engine of the Buick Grand National GNX is up to temperature. Hold your left foot lightly on the brake while your right foot presses down gently on the accelerator. Engine revs will climb as you take up the slack in the torque converter. The car will try to move for­ward. You might have to press a bit harder on the brake to keep the GN stationary, but be subtle, almost gentle. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below Then slam the gas pedal down as you lift off the brake. The back of the Buick will slew a bit as the fat tires scratch for traction, but keep your foot down because the Goodyears will quickly grab and send you rushing down the road. Less than 6.0 seconds after you mashed the throttle, you will be going 60 mph. If you’re on a drag strip and keep your foot down, come 14.0 sec you’ll have covered the quarter mile and be traveling around 105 mph. If you still haven’t had enough, keep your right foot working, and when you feel the engine rev limiter cut in, you’ll be doing 124 mph. And that was a gentle run.Not bad for a 3500-lb lame duck.Come this autumn, the current Buick Regal will be history. In production since 1978, it’s among the few front-engine, rear-drive models still sold by the corporation. And to some minds, its rear drive makes it a dinosaur. Just don’t tell Mer­cedes-Benz, BMW or Corvette engineers that rear drive is not the future. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below When the Regal goes away, so will the Grand National. Too bad. There may be a great deal in the normal versions of this Buick that seems old-fashioned, but with 245 bhp and 355 lb-ft of torque from its turbocharged, intercooled V-6, others find the GN to be just plain fun. Some people at Buick are also disappointed to see the GN go away. Not only is it a great image machine, but also it can put away the Corvette to both 60 mph and through the quarter mile. So long, bragging rights.
grand national car 5

Grand National Car

This article originally appeared in the June 1987 issue of Road & Track.It’s this easy: Find a lonely straight road, preferably a drag strip. Make certain the engine of the Buick Grand National GNX is up to temperature. Hold your left foot lightly on the brake while your right foot presses down gently on the accelerator. Engine revs will climb as you take up the slack in the torque converter. The car will try to move for­ward. You might have to press a bit harder on the brake to keep the GN stationary, but be subtle, almost gentle. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below Then slam the gas pedal down as you lift off the brake. The back of the Buick will slew a bit as the fat tires scratch for traction, but keep your foot down because the Goodyears will quickly grab and send you rushing down the road. Less than 6.0 seconds after you mashed the throttle, you will be going 60 mph. If you’re on a drag strip and keep your foot down, come 14.0 sec you’ll have covered the quarter mile and be traveling around 105 mph. If you still haven’t had enough, keep your right foot working, and when you feel the engine rev limiter cut in, you’ll be doing 124 mph. And that was a gentle run.Not bad for a 3500-lb lame duck.Come this autumn, the current Buick Regal will be history. In production since 1978, it’s among the few front-engine, rear-drive models still sold by the corporation. And to some minds, its rear drive makes it a dinosaur. Just don’t tell Mer­cedes-Benz, BMW or Corvette engineers that rear drive is not the future. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below When the Regal goes away, so will the Grand National. Too bad. There may be a great deal in the normal versions of this Buick that seems old-fashioned, but with 245 bhp and 355 lb-ft of torque from its turbocharged, intercooled V-6, others find the GN to be just plain fun. Some people at Buick are also disappointed to see the GN go away. Not only is it a great image machine, but also it can put away the Corvette to both 60 mph and through the quarter mile. So long, bragging rights.
grand national car 6

Grand National Car

In 1986, a modified engine design with air-air intercooling boosted the performance even further to a specified 235HP @ 4000 rpm and 330 lb-ft torque at 2400 rpm. The Grand National (Quantity 5,512) and T-Types (Quantity 2,384) were both produced in 1986. For 1987, performance reached 245 hp (183 kW) and 355 lb·ft (481 N·m) of torque. Buick dropped the T-Type package for Regal in 1987 and opted for a “T” sport package instead. There were only 7,896 Turbo Regals produced in 1986. In 1987, when Turbo Regals reached their peak in popularity, a total of 27,590 Turbo Regals were produced through December, with those models produced between September and December of that year window stickered as “1987½ Buick Grand National” vehicles.

Grand National Car

Published on Jul 5, 2017 | Under Car | By michael ellis
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