• Nov 27, 2006


Long before anyone would have thought we'd be debating the merits of US vs. Chinese-market Buicks, the division wasn't averse to producing exciting cars, as evidenced by some of the great designs they had dating back to the 50s, the muscle they put on the streets in the 70s, and the badassedness of the Grand National and GNX in the 80s. If you want to make a case for the blown Regal GS of the 90s, be our guest, but we think you get the point we're driving at.

History gave us plenty of nice Buicks, and the all-black Grand Nationals of the mid-80s make us feel all warm and fuzzy. Call us crazy, but those cars still look plenty stylish today despite their decidedly 80s looks. The TV spot you see above is for either the '84 or '85 car, both of which had 200 horsepower. (In '86 it jumped to 235, and in '87 it was 245. The supreme '87 GNX dished 276.) The General even got George Thorogood to tailor his "Bad to the Bone" lyrics to fit the Grand National ("200 horsepower, No time for chrome.")

At the end of the spot, George asks, "Wouldn't you really rather have a Buick?"

Well yeah, George, if they ever got back around to making something this exciting.

[Source: YouTube]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Call me crazy, but there seems to be something timeless about the mid-80's Buick Regal/Chevy Monte Carlo sport versions. They had that sort of blacked out "Euro look" that was really only the American conception of what Euro was supposed to be. But I like them anyway. Much more exciting than the blobs produced now.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I had an 87 T. Damn that was an awesome car. I understood that they low-balled the HP / torque numbers to placate the Corvette people - as the vette was slower.

      Wish I still had the T. I've got an '05 GTO in the garage now, so that's not too bad.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They looked bad and for the time were quick but mine was a nightmare to keep running. It eat timing chains every six months.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I ownwed a few of these over the years. with a few cheap mods they ran high 12's -- but couldn't turn a corner for a damn. Still, with so few built and few knwoing what they were, the shock I would see on faces of victims as I walked away from them was worth the price of admission anyday. I specifically recall taunting a red 911 -- until my limiter kicked in of course :( They are the defining 80's musclecar and the quikest thing out of Detroit during the decade.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This car wasis badass, the terror of the 80s. The 276 hp rating was a boldfaced lie, concocted to throw insurance companies off your trail. Word is, it was really somewhere in the vicinity of 345.

      A friend of mine in the Navy took his re-enlistment bonus and bought and '85 GN. His wife totalled it three weeks later. He had to serve another 6 years with nothing to show for it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I was lucky to have friends who let me drive theirs. As was said before, they were fast...in a straight line. One of the friends has a Grand National that started out as two different cars, leaving the respective front and rear halves in the junk yard.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chris H, at least you always had the last laugh on the ones who made fun of your "ghetto-sled" when you made them eat dust. I still see some really well-kept examples every so often, and I'm jealous every time.

      I also worshiped that 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am with the Grand National engine...
      • 8 Years Ago
      The car pictured/filmed is an '85, the wheels are different from the 86-87 models. I drive an '87 now and love it. It's the last real muscle car made. The 87's had about 300 rwhp but what was really incredible about the car was the torque and the low RPM's the power is available at. AWESOME car, especially the sound of the turbo spooling up.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ugh. The Eighties.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I owned an 1984 Grand National for a number of years. It was actually my first car (bought used in 1994 for 2500 bucks). It was a lot of fun, even though everyone made fun of my in highschool. I called it my ghetto-sled, but I truly wish i had held onto that car...