Buick Grand National Makes 550 Horsepower For Daily Driven Fun: Video9
The ‘80s-era Buick Grand National is a favorite for go-fast enthusiasts, with speed freaks upgrading the turbocharged six-cylinder with gobs of boost for some serious street-slaying performance. Now, we’re climbing into the driver’s seat with this built GN making 550 horsepower at the wheels.
From the off, this particular Buick Grand National looks the part of a muscle machine thanks to a set of five-spoke Weld Racing wheels, with slicks and skinnies setting the proper stance. The rears rock a single beadlock design, while under the skin, coilovers from Ridetech keep it shiny side up.
True to form, the builders kept the interior more or less stock, with the exception of a new digital gauge display behind the steering wheel. The real party starts as soon as you take a gander under the hood, where we find a freshly installed, fully built motor. This particular Buick Grand National build keeps the production 3.8L block, but includes a new forged rotating assembly, new heads, and full bolt-ons. Now bored and stroked, displacement is set at 4.1L.
Details include a Holley engine management system, plus a custom front-mount intercooler peeking through the grille for that extra intimidation factor. The boost-maker is a 6466 ball-bearing Precision turbocharger with a .85 AR exhaust housing.
According to the builder, this build is so fresh, it’s still in the break-in period. As such, the boost is limited to “just” 15 psi, but even so, the setup is still good for an estimated 550 horsepower at the wheels. The turbocharged muscle is harnessed by a built transmission, Performance Torque Converter, and Trutrac rear end, while a set of Wilwood brakes (14 inches up front and 12 inches in back) help to haul it down.
This Buick Grand National may still be in the break-in period, but it’s got plenty of poke for this feature video, providing some juicy pulls and even a burnout or two, all with some lovely turbo flutter and six-cylinder bark. Hit play to see it (and hear it) for yourself.
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Wheels look terrible, rest of the car looks great.
Daily driven? I don’t think anyone should be daily driving a Grand National anymore.
I’d take an ‘84-‘87 GN over any new muscle car
I would take a GN over just about all of today’s current offerings also. I have loved and followed these cars since they came out and still dream of taking the plunge one day.
Where is the inlet? The tubes from the air cleaner (normally behind the left headlight) to the mass flow sensor and on to the turbo-compressor inlet appears to be missing.
The Grand National is a remarkable land missile that has certainly exceled at incorporating modern upgrades. My neighbor’s significantly updated example can dip into the 10’s, yet is a quiet, comfortable air conditioned cruising machine.
Buick got it right. The Grand National is a great example of getting a car right. Starting with a reliable and proven platform (perimeter frame, rwd, solid rear end with multi link coil springs) and putting a tough hi performance engine in. The 3.8 lends itself to performance modifications, and used a lot of modern parts even back in the mid 80s.
The Buick 1970 GSX and the 1987 GNX
was the Best cars ever made as far as racing. Buick’s bread n butter is the luxury thet also have. I doubt Buick will ever build another Top of the Heat Kick Ass Hot Rods but, if GM wanted to turn over somthing like a Super Fast high options Riviera or something with a new name . Buick could do it. But they never got the respect they deserved, and have nothing they need to proove.
When better cars are built, Buick will build them
I agree! Buick built a real winner in the Grand National. They should have kept building. Buick had to know how much drivers loved that car. Even people who did not know cars heard about the GN and had a factionation about them. It still is my very favorite car and I have had many cars. THAT CAR WAS THE REAL DEAL! I can not exprrss how much that car meant and still mesns to me!
I own a 1987 White Turbo T. Not only does my car put a smile on my face every time I drive it, but it gets attention and respect everywhere I go with it. I never imagined that it would get as much as it does!
It can fit 5 people comfortably with plenty of rear seat leg room (my sons and I are all 6’+). Gets gas mileage equivalent to many of today’s cars. Is always a conversation piece every place we go.
Everyone has their own taste with these cars. I run the Black 16″ GNX wheels (Turbo T center caps) on mine which IMO is the nicest wheel to compliment the White color.
My advice: if you ever wanted one of your own, you should move quickly. The prices are going up rapidly. The good news is there are plenty of parts out there now to help fix and restore these beauties back to show room quality!