You can add the 1987 Buick GNX to the list of hot items from that decade that are making a strong comeback—examples of this rare, Ferrari-defying muscle car can trade hands for over $250,000 these days, so we wouldn’t hold our breath for such a slab of America becoming a custom project. However, the rendering world has its own rules, so, without further ado, we give you a GNX that has been shamelessly widebodied for all you project car enthusiasts out there.
Those navigating the sea of crossovers that is the Buick configurator these days might have a hard time believing this brand was once could enough to be welcomed among America’s top performers, but the GNX, which proudly stands for Grand National Experimental, begs to differ.
Fighting (the downsizing) fire with… boost, this G-body skipped the V8 engines of old in favor of a 231-ci (3.8-liter) turbocharged V6, whose factory numbers of 276 hp and 360 lb-ft (488 Nm) were a severe understatement—the unit works with a remastered four-speed THM200-4R automatic.
The subtle visual upgrades included a few GNX badges, meatier fender flares, 16-inch Pontiac Trans Am-like wheels, and vented front fenders.
However, none of that spoke of the fact that both development and assembly had seen GM turning to McLaren Performance Technologies/ASC, which led to a myriad of upgrades compared to the otherwise respectable Grand National, from the rear suspension to the tires.
As a result of all the work, the Buick GNX could cover the 0 to 60 mph (0-97 kph) run in 5.5 seconds and could pull a 13.4s quarter-mile at 100 mph (161 kph). As for those Maranello-rivaling abilities, a Testarossa from the same year was 0.1s slower in the 1/4-mile (albeit while shaving 0.3s off the Buick’s 0-60 mph time).
Only 547 units of the Buick GNX were built back in 1987, with this being priced at $29,000 ($68,350 in today’s money), but, as you can imagine, some dealers came up with five-figure markups.
Them NASCAR vibes
Of course, none of that can stop digital artist Rostislav Prokop from gifting this GNX with ample overfenders, whose design is matched by the rest of the custom aero package.
We’re looking at the front apron, meaty side skirt extensions, the rear apron, with its generous exhaust tips and, of course, an appropriately-angular rear spoilers.
The extra real estate, along with the red roll cage inside the machine, remind one of NASCAR Regals of the era. And since the optimism that led to the birth of the GNX was built on stock racing victories of the brand, one might go as far as saying this story has come full circle.