By the mid-1980’s car buyers were looking for real muscle cars once again. Pony cars had survived the oil shocks and the new emission rules and the Corvette remained America’s favorite sports car. However, for those wanting a performance car with a real back seat there weren’t any decent options. In the mid 1980’s General Motors tiptoed back into the mid-size muscle car market. Chevrolet introduced the Monte Carlo SS in 1983 with a toned down small block. Oldsmobile reintroduced a similarly equipped Hurst Olds 4-4-2. But the real news happened at Buick. Buick was looking for a way to showcase their new V6 turbo-charged engine. The result was an all black, asphalt ripping, track dominating, modern muscle car that became a legend.
The 1984 Buick Grand National was a strong performer producing quarter mile times that outmatched all of its competitors. The engine in the 1984 Grand National was a newly introduced 3.8 liter turbo V6 that produced 200 horsepower and 300 lbs-ft of torque. The engine topped the 190 horsepower and 240 lbs-ft of torque 305ci small block used in the 1984 Camaro Z28. It was very close to the 205 horsepower and 290 lbs-ft of torque 350ci small block used in the 1984 Corvette.
The 1985 Buick Grand Nation continued with the strong performance. Buick used the same turbo V6 and was still one of the strongest engines on the market in 1985. Only the lighter Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds and the mighty Corvette were faster. There was no mid-sized competitor in the marketplace that rivaled the powerful Grand Nations.
The 1986 Buick Grand National received more power with an increase to 235 horsepower. It was still the undisputed champ in the mid-sized segment. The car was making a name for itself and sales doubled from the previous year. The all black car from Buick was becoming a legend.
The last Buick Grand National was the most powerful one yet and it was undoubtedly one of the greatest muscle cars of all time. Buick and General Motors decided to end the Buick Grand National in 1987. Before completely stopping production, Buick decided to go out with a bang. The 1987 Buick GNX was the ultimate expression of the modern muscle car for all of the 1980’s. The GNX was a fierce car that was the fastest production car in GM’s history until that point. The standard Grand National received ten more horsepower to 245HP. But the 1987 Grand National GNX was the top of the line and it came in at 276 horsepower. The car was terribly expensive and fear inducing fast. The 1987 GNX cost nearly $29,000 or almost twice the standard price of a Grand National. General Motors was only able to sell 547 of these monsters. But for the price of admission the buyer got a car that could embarrass Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs and any of the big block monsters of the 1960’s.
1984 Grand National
1985 Grand National
1986 Grand National
1987 Grand National