• Aug 24, 2008
The car you see here is not a GNX. Hell, it's not even a Buick. You'd be forgiven if you thought it was, though, and it does sport a turbocharger underhood. David Morad was so enamored with the 6.6L LB7 Duramax diesel in his truck that he wanted to put it into something lighter and more fun. He decided to build a Grand National around the engine, and started buying up whatever applicable Buick body parts he could find -- right down to legit GNX dash plates. Next, he bought an '82 Buick Regal diesel that was to be the subject of the transformation. Unfortunately, that car literally self-immolated as he drove it home, sending Morad straight back to square one.

He subsequently found and bought an '81 Olds diesel and got to work. The car was cut in half so that a Regal rear end could be welded on, and then a laundry list of major modifications followed. To retain the stock Buick exterior appearance while incorporating the new powertrain, everything under the skin is is either extensively modified or custom fabricated in order to allow for the deception. Sure, it looks like a GNX, but this is really a scratch-built machine. Wilwood brakes lurk behind some absolutely wicked deep-dish Budnik wheels (dig those steamrollers in back), which nicely compliment the menacing black bodywork. Diesel Power magazine covers all the build's specifics in detail, and it's well worth a read.

If you're gonna masquerade as a GNX, you'd better bring some punch to the costume party, and Morad's car does. As of Diesel Power's publication, it ran an 8.25-second eighth of a mile, which they figure works out to somewhere in the 12s for the quarter. He'll be gunning for the 11s next, and additional performance upgrades are in store. Best of all? This is Morad's daily driver! He reports that it gets around 28 mpg in regular use and in the mid-30s on the highway. Not a bad combination: the looks of a GNX, the grunt of a big turbodiesel, and the fuel economy of cars that are a lot more boring. This thing had to cost a fortune to make, but Morad's clearly getting his money's worth on the fun scale.

[Source: Diesel Power via Next Autos]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seems to me the Duramax is greatly overlooked as a racing engine. From what I've seen recently, it can be made even more powerful and more economical simultaneously than the Audi V12 TDI.

      Well done GM, now find new uses for it. Like this guy did!
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's not a lot of road race series that will allow you to have a 6L Diesel engine with over 2 bar of boost and simultaneously bar the gassers from doing so. And the one that does right now already has the two most sophisticated Diesel race engines on the planet. It'll be a tough row to hoe.

        Might be smart to start with the offroad series like Dakar.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Quattrofan,

        You know that cocaine is a helluva drug. But anyways,

        The Audi R8 TDI was expected to get 550hp, 700tq, and 20mpg on average.

        This is only the second tuned Duramax racer this week having the same power potential and 2-3x better mileage.

        @ LS7

        The Duramax took a lot of R&D, and it is a sophisticated and rugged engine. Obviously all the racers with it so far we've seen have been modified. But that doesn't mean GM doesn't have a solid foundation to work with.

        They'd be in pretty much thesame class as Audi's LMP1 cars. Whether that class restriction is fair or not isn't ours to decide.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "more powerful and more economical simultaneously than the Audi V12 TDI"

        how is that "crack" working out for ya?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This car has a couple of YouTube videos to it's name, and is definitely a favorite of mine. I didn't realize he DD'd it and got such great (claimed) mileage!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Look at those rear tires!
        • 6 Years Ago
        That just makes it even more sick. I love this ride.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Very nice car. I take it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are you sure this isn't John Neff's alter ego?
      • 6 Years Ago
      These are going to be very popular when Fast And Furious comes out next summer. Vin Diesel will be driving a GNX
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is why I love cars! There's absolutely no sense in what this guy did. BUT I LOVE THAT HE DID IT!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      i love the idea here. car is pretty bad ass. the thing that's killing me is why did he weld a Cutlass and Regal together. there are plenty of Regals laying around. that's a lot of work to make one car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd imagine because he wanted a diesel title for emissions reasons.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So it says it's not a GNX, not even a Buick, but he started with an '81 Buick, huh? The biggest thing that made a GNX what it was was the engine mods and moreso than anything else, the rear suspension. They had panhard rod/torque arm rear suspensions that no other G-body ever had, and that is the real special part of them. If you take GN and put GNX badges, fender flares, vents, wheels and interior in one, you are still missing the most important part.

      I would venture to say that this car is still running the stock Buick 4-link rear suspension that every other G-body ran. Hell this car doesn't even have the fender flares or vents and you can get those aftermarket, WTF? I know I am a bit on the outside by being a huge G-body fan my whole life, but c'mon Autoblog, it's just a regular GN on the outside minus one emblem on the grille.
        • 6 Years Ago
        MONTE,

        I think if the guy cared about handling, he wouldn't have dropped a diesel in it.

        I'm not sure of the numbers (and I'm too lazy to check) but I'd have to think that a duramax is a hell of a lot heavier than a 3.8L turbo gasser which means the handling on this thing's gotta suck.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is what a great mind can achieve.

      Bravo!
      • 6 Years Ago
      What are the hp and torque numbers on that beast?

      Beautiful work on the build... really interesting stuff!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are the seat harnesses mounted properly?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice, but I don't want a clone..... It's like.......fake....
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