Last 1987 Buick Grand National Sells for $550,000: The Last G-Body

It’s no secret that the Buick Grand National has gone from being a gangster’s car to a collectible classic… that’s also a gangster’s car. However, we’re surprised by its popularity, which might be the strongest out of all the 1980s cars.

Barrett-Jackson set all kinds of records with its Scottsdale anniversary auction, so this one slipped under the radar. It’s a 1987 Buick Grand National that sold for $550,000. Why so valuable? Because it’s the last one made and it signals the end of the beloved mid-size RWD G-body era.

The Grand National was already quite popular. Bring a Trailer has, to this date, sold 7 examples for more than $200,000, 6 of them during the past 12 months. But they were all GNX models with about 1,000 miles on the clock. And in July 2021, Barrett-Jackson sold a GNX with 8.7 miles for $275,000, which was a world record at the time. (see video below) It makes you wonder what the difference is and why this one managed over twice the money.

The Grand National was essentially a sportier version of the Buick Regal, which came out in 1978 and was available as a sedan or coup’. This is why the GN has such unusual styling, with a tall, boxy cabin design. But at its core, this is like a Ford Mustang, but better. But let’s not rush this story!

Much like today, Buick was selling pretty average cars to Americans. The V6 models weren’t all that fast or exciting, but they won the NASCAR Grand National Series twice and decide on a tribute model. The 1982 GN was little more than a rushed cosmetic job, with a few stripes and blacked-out elements.

The Grand National as we know it today came out in 1984 and was all-back with a distinctive body kit. Its trademark was the new engine. In an era of tight emissions regulations, Buick found that it could deliver massive power using a 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 instead of a choked V8. 200 horsepower might not sound like much, but that was Corvette levels of performance from something that looked like Chick Hicks from Cars (literally).

An unlikely muscle car, the hero of the late 80s

By the 1986 model year, the Grand National was king. With a new injection system and intercooler tech, resulting in 235 horsepower. 1987 was going to be the final year of production, and GM sent it off with a bang: the GNX. Thanks to some McLaren magic, it made 276 horsepower and became one of the quickest accelerating cars in the world.

So yes, there used to be a Buick that could keep up with Italian exotics down the quarter-mile. No wonder people love it. Plus, the triple-black looks so cool!

This particular car has huge historical value. It not only marks the end of the G Platform era, but also GM’s Pontiac factory in Michigan, which closed after putting millions of cars on the road since 1927. As the final Grand National, its production was captured in detail on video. As it moved down the assembly line, workers marked it with signs reading “Built by the Best” and “The End,” which have been sold with the car.

The last Grand National was on display at the 2003 Buick Centennial in Flint and appeared in the 2012 film “BLACK AIR: The Buick Grand National Documentary.” As you can see, the interior is still covered up and barely saw any use in the 33 miles this V6 has pushed.



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