Photos & text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
The Buick Regal T-Type and Grand National turbocharged machines were among the rare cars identifiable as future collectibles back when they were still available new. By 1987, the turbocharged 231 CI V6 engine made over 245 horsepower, while a stock 305 CI V8 in an automatic-equipped Camaro wheezed out 190 horsepower. The apex in the lineup came in 1987 with a limited-edition, specially prepared, Grand National Experimental or GNX—the ultimate development and fitting end to the line which included more of what made the turbo Buicks great.
A total of just 547 cars were built by Buick with a Grand National interior and then sent to American Specialty Cars (ASC) McLaren Performance Technologies for the GNX transformation. Improvements included a Garrett T3 turbocharger with ceramic impeller and GNX heat sheild, larger capacity intercooler, reprogrammed engine management and performance suspension with torque bar and GNX-only rear differential cover. The 3.8L V6 engine in the GNX was conservatively rated for 276 horsepower at 4,400 RPM and 360 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 RPM and backed by a prepared Turbo-HydraMatic 2004R transmission.
The GNX could launch from 0-60 MPH in under five seconds and run a low 13-second quarter-mile. The sinister exterior features vented fenders, a distinct lack of hood and fender emblems, and 16-inch aluminum mesh wheels with black-out face and GNX center caps, which are equipped with Goodyear Eagle Gatorback tires. This unrestored GNX is number 155 of the 547 "Fourtunate Few" and shows an astonishingly low 12 miles on the odometer in the special instrumentation package. The car comes with GNX-badged front carpet savers, six-way power adjustable driver seat, and the ASC McLaren GNX window sticker which lists everything that makes this turbo Buick a Grand National Experimental.