The Buick GNX could be the most expensive 1980s American car sold at auction. But a professional car appraiser argues this GNX example with some “serious miles” doesn’t deserve nearly as much money as those “wrapper cars.”
By wrapper cars, Hagerty appraiser Colin means mint condition models that haven’t been driven, have covers over everything and sat in a garage 99% of their life. We’ve just seen a Grand National sell for $550,000 at Barrett-Jackson. And in that story, we talked about how GNX models are more valuable.
Over the year or so, Bring a Trailer had 6 GNX models sell for more than $200,000. However, all of them had done about 1,000 miles since new and were in perfect condition. By contrast, the owner of this GNX (or him and the former owners) has clocked over 60,000 miles.
If you know 1980s Buick build quality, that sounds like a lot. In addition, the GNX is super-rare, and you can’t just pop to the local parts supplier and get replacement engine components. But somehow, I do agree with the owner, and this is just a personal thing. $100,000 is too low for a GNX. Yes, it’s been modified, but that’s not uncommon, and some people might appreciate a Buick box that can be driven hard.
Don’t forget this is the most “gangster” car of the 1980s, and people really will go crazy over it. On the other hand, the thickness of the paint really does indicate something strange is going on. Maybe there’s some accident damage that wasn’t hidden well enough.
Ford v. Buick?
The second car being appraised in the video is a 2020 Ford Shelby GT350R Heritage Edition. It’s a really special thing that most people don’t even know about. Ford has never done a model like this before, and it came out during the last year of the GT350.
This car basically capitalizes on Shelby, that whole Ford v Ferrari thing that was so big in 2019. It’s basically meant to look like Ken Miles’s GT350R race car that sold at auction for something like $3.8 million. That’s why the Wimbledon off-white paint and blue stripes are the same as in 1965.
Colin clearly is more of a Mustang guy than a Buick guy because he gets excited about the Heritage Edition immediately. Obviously, we’re comparing a brand new Ford against something from over 30 years ago. But I’d really like to see a GT350R doing big burnouts like the GNX without overheating or popping a dashboard light.
They made about 800 Heritage Edition Mustangs in 2020, about 280 of which were GT350R models like this. So it’s a little more infrequent than the GNX. However, the changes are cosmetic. That’s not to say the Voodoo 5.2-liter V8 isn’t amazing to have with a manual. But $150,000 for an $87,000 car bought just a couple of years ago? Yeah, that sounds about right in this economy.