The Buick Grand National is considered by some to be the last breath of the American muscle car era that began in the 1960s. A used Grand National can be found at reasonable prices under $30,000, making it an attainable classic. However, the rarer, more powerful Buick GNX commands a bit higher of a price. Take this Autotrader Find, for example. It’s a 1987 Buick GNX with under 5,000 miles on the clock. It’s for sale in Collierville, Tennessee, with an asking price of $125,000. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is by far the most expensive Buick on Autotrader.
What is the GNX?
The Buick GNX is a high-performance variant of the Buick Grand National. The Buick Grand National is a high-performance variant of the second-generation “G-Body” Buick Regal. In other words, the GNX is a really fast black Regal coupe. But what makes it so much more valuable than a regular Grand National?
Let’s start with what makes the Grand National special. Someone at Buick got the wild idea of adding a turbocharged V6 to the Regal and making it only available as a coupe painted in black. The first Grand National models were silver and naturally aspirated, but the Grand Nationals that everyone loves are the intercooled turbocharged models that started in 1986.
The result was a menacing muscle car that turned the relatively humble Regal into a veritable drag racer with six cylinders that could match or beat the performance of many V8s at the time. Turbocharging is ubiquitous today, but it was quite novel in a production car in the 80s.
The Grand National was already a crazy car that was pretty uncharacteristic of the conservative General Motors at the time. But it got even crazier with the GNX. Buick partnered with McLaren to turn 547 Grand Nationals into GNX models.
Revisions include a special Garrett turbocharger, a bigger intercooler, GNX-specific exhaust, a re-tuned transmission, and a few other tweaks. It’s visually similar to the Grand National, but the GNX vents on the front fenders, special 16-inch wheels, and no emblems on the hood and fenders. The interior has Stweart-Warner analog gauges, including a boost gauge.
Car and Driver famously and appropriately headlined their GNX introduction with “Lord Vader, your car is ready.”
Why is this Buick So Expensive?
Believe it or not, the six-digit asking price is about right for this car. According to NADA Guides, the average retail value for a 1987 GNX is $98,700, and the high retail value is $137,400. The low mileage and excellent condition of this GNX certainly put it in the high retail territory.
If you’ve been lusting for a barely-driven GNX, this is a great opportunity to add one to your collection. If you don’t care about the “X” that much, then a plain old Grand National is probably a better buy. Find a Buick Regal for sale