The Buick Grand National is a bona fide classic. Out of the emissions-strangled Seventies arose an engine that turned the plain G-body Buick into a fire-breather capable of running with exotics of its era. Pony cars were accustomed to viewing it from behind. Slathered in monochromatic black paint, the Grand National is one of few true legends to emerge from the beleaguered domestic auto industry during the 1980s. That's why Andrew Filippone Jr's "Black Air" documentary will be thrilling to anyone whose heart beats in some kind of firing order.
In many ways, the Grand National is the last gasp of the muscle car era that started nearly a generation before it. Built on the last rear-wheel drive General Motors intermediate platform, the A/G body, the chassis details of the Grand National weren't vastly different than those underpinning Skylarks 10-15 years prior.
The Grand National's engine, however, was a different story. Fuel injected, turbocharged and snorting out horsepower and torque numbers that shamed Corvettes, the Grand National's 3.8-liter cast-iron fist hit the jaw of car enthusiast lore hard enough to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with. And that was before it was ushered off the showroom floor with one last gasp of ultimate awe, the GNX.
Filippone has taken the time to interview auto-journalism luminaries and insiders involved with the Grand National's development to weave the enthralling story through firsthand accounts. People we've read, like Csaba Csere and Don Sherman feature in the story, as do Bill Porter, Tony Assenza and Martyn Schorr. Their well-rounded narrative further cements the the sinister black Buick's historical importance.
Watch the trailer after the jump. You can follow Black Air on Twitter, and there's also a Facebook page where you can keep up. Or try to, anyway.