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Grand National GNX
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  Buick Grand National GNX

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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1987
Numbers built:547
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 18, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionReady for replacement in 1987, the Buick Regal was one of the last rear wheel driven cars produced by General Motors. Buick made sure that occasion of its replacement a new front wheel driven model did not go unnoticed. The Grand National performance version of the Regal had already been available, but for that last year Buick upped the ante even further. With the help of McLaren Engines, the Grand National was transformed in the GNX, one of the quickest cars produced in North America in the 1980s.

The Turbocharged V6 of the Grand National was completely reworked by McLaren Engines. The Turbo and intercooler were both upgraded and the engine's computer was reprogrammed. The four speed automatic gearbox received its own oil cooler. These modifications resulted in a stunning performance increase, bringing the boxy Regal on par with contemporary sports cars. Like for the Grand National, the GNX's top speed was electronically limited to 200 km/h.

Outwardly the changes were a little more subtly, with the bright 'GNX' badge in the blackened out grille as the only obvious change. Other changes included a power bulge on the engine cover, vents behind the front wheel arches and wider fenders. Customers had little choice in what their GNX would look like; it was available in any colour as long as it was black. Now where did we hear that before?

Production was limited to just 547 vehicles, which was still 47 over the intended number. Already a rare car in its day, the GNX is a collector's item today. Its Turbo charged engine and boxy styling make it the icon of America's performance cars of the 1980s.

The pictured example is seen here at the General Motors Heritage Center.

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