1987 marked the swan song for the Buick Regal Grand National and the one-year-only Buick GNX. Resplendent in haunting glossy black, this factory special featured black basket-weave wheels with polished lips, a black and gray cloth interior with stylized Buick 6 logo embroidered in the headrests. The standard 1987 Grand National made 245 turbocharged horsepower from its 3.8-liter V6, but the GNX was far from standard.
Buick partnered with ASC/McLaren Performance Technologies to convert 547 copies of the Grand National into skulking street beasts known as the GNX (Grand National Experimental). The Buick GNX differed from the Grand National in that it had an upgraded Garrett T3 turbocharger, freer flowing heads, improved engine management controls, a larger air-to-air intercooler, and a less restrictive exhaust. Claimed power output was laughingly underrated at 276 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque.
The Buick GNX had more than just the underhood changes hidden up its dark sleeve. The body was stiffened, a transmission cooler added, and an improved rear suspension design featuring stiffer springs, a Panhard rod, torque arm, and an additional frame cross member. The performance improvement was impressive, allowing the GNX to lay down a zero-to-sixty time of just 4.6 seconds, and to smoke through the quarter mile in the low 13-second range, enough to embarrass GM’s flagship Corvette.
For those with sharp eyes, there were a number of unique styling cues that distinguished the Buick GNX from its Grand National stablemate. Composite fender flares, functional fender vents over the front tires to help cool the engine compartment, and the aforementioned larger basket-weave 16-inch black wheels with polished aluminum lips. GNX badges appeared in the grille, trunk lid, and on the wheel center caps.
The interior featured a serial number plate that was mounted on the passenger side of the dash. Standard gauges were swapped for Stewart-Warner units, with gauges for oil pressure, coolant temp, and boost level housed in a modified cluster.
Our feature 1987 Buick GNX is #41 of 547 produced. First delivered to Bayview Buick GMC of Port Richey, Florida, it has covered just eight hundred sixty-five miles from new. With the exception of some discoloration at the front and rear bumper urethane filler panels, GNX #41 is as new.
This time capsule Buick GNX is accompanied by build sheets, the window sticker, purchase documents, owner’s manuals, service records, a clean Carfax report, and a clean Illinois title. It is now for sale on Bring A Trailer, with brisk bidding and six days left at the time of writing.