35 years after going out of production, the 1987-only Buick GNX continues to be a sinister offering. Back in the day, its acceleration numbers placed the boxy coupe in exotic car territory and, if we are to judge by the prices some of these rare muscle cars go these days, that relationship hasn’t changed much. For one, this unit, which is the second lowest-mileage example known to exist, is currently offered for “a six-figure sum that must start with a 3”, which could make it the most expensive to date.
Let’s forget Buick’s current Chinese market-based, crossover-fed operations for a moment and use the time capsule that is this car (for free!) to get back to the 80s.
The Regal Grand National was built between 1984 and 1987 and, as its mid-size RWD G-Body platform was being retired, Buick wanted to secure a place for this in automotive history.
As such, the GM brand joined forces with ASC/McLaren Performance Technologies (yes, that McLaren) to create the ultimate iteration of the coupe, the 1987 Buick GNX, which stands for Grand National Experimental.
From the get-go, the GNX could be distinguished from its also-black, but less fierce siblings thanks to a bulge in the hood, composite fender flares, functional fender vents extracting hot air from the engine bay, larger 16-inch black wheels, and, of course, the dedicated badges on the front grille, wheels center caps and trunk lid.
The turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 formula was nothing new. However, in its path to skipping the eight-cylinder traditional muscle car recipe, the GNX featured an upgraded turbo, less restrictive heads, and exhaust and dedicated engine management. As such, the output rose to 276 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque, with these being understated numbers.
Elsewhere, the bad boy came with a stiffer body, upgraded suspension featuring stiffer springs and stabilizer bars, along with a transmission cooler for the Turbo-Hydramatic 200R4 four-speed automatic and a limited-slip diff.
When all was said and done, the Buick GNX could hit 60 mph (96 mph) in 4.6 seconds and deliver low-13s quarter-mile runs. Back then, only the tech wonder that was the Porsche 911 Turbo could beat this to 60 , while no untuned production car in America stood a chance.
Heck, these numbers are still respectable after 35 years, which happens to be the amount of time this particular example spent in storage.
Buick GNX chassis number #414 is up for grabs
This is number 414 out of the just 547 Buick made and, given its 9-mile odometer reading, it still comes with details such as the factory plastic wrapping for the interior and the window sticker. So it looks like this machine was never put to work, which makes for a controversial side of the collector car realm. Then again, when a serious-mileage example was recently valued at just $100,000 (more on the financial side below), it’s difficult to ask owners to take these beasts out to play.
The vehicle was brought to Instagram earlier this week, being offered by New Jersey-based used car dealer King of Cars and Trucks (aka nj_truck_king)—we’ve previously seen multiple vehicle listings from this source on eBay and Bring a Trailer.
As for the $300k asking price mentioned in the second Instragram post below, this sounds like the kind of deal that could happen in the booming market of the present.
For the record, the most expensive GNX sold to date seems to be #119. Back in January, the Buick, which had 568 miles at the time, went under the hammer at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale event, trading hands for $308,000.
However, the most expensive Grand National so far isn’t even a GNX. You see, the very last example to roll off the production line is this 1987 unit, which found a new owner (also via Barrett-Jackson) earlier this year for a whopping $550,000.