A member of the 1987 Buick press fleet is hitting the auction block next year and it's a rarified gem: a low-mileage Regal Grand National GNX, serial No. 003 and one of just 547 models built for that year, and the last of the traditional body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive Grand Nationals. It'll be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in January.
The GNX No. 003 was loaned out to publications including Autoweek, Motor Trend and Road & Track, where it racked up around 8,200 miles. "Through it all, a constant sad undertone was the understanding that 1987 was to be the final appearance of the traditional body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive G-body (which also underpinned the best-selling Chevy Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix and Olds Cutlass)," reads a the description published on Barrett-Jackson's website. "A totally redesigned W-body Somerset Regal, with front-wheel drive and unitized body construction, was slated to replace the popular midsize Buick in 1988."
So Buick opted to make "a Grand National to end all Grand Nationals" with the '87 GNX, partnering with ASC/McLaren to equip them with wheel lip flares, fender vents, 16-by-8-inch BBS rims and more aggressive tires. It left untouched the Grand National's standard Sequential Electronic Fuel Injection 3.8-liter V6 but added a larger Garrett T-3 turbocharger with a ceramic impeller, a larger intercooler, more aggressive fuel, spark and waste gate tables, and a dual exhaust system that boosted output from 235 horsepower and 330 foot-pounds of torque to 276 hp and 360 lb-ft. That was enough, Barrett-Jackson reports, to make the performance coupe quicker and faster in quarter-mile tests than the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 930 Turbo.
After making the test-drive rounds in the automotive media, the car sold in 1988 as a brass hat/company official car to Fischer Buick in Troy, Mich. with approximately 8,200 miles on it. From there, it quickly sold to a local resident who drove it very little, and sold it in the spring of 1989. Since 1992, it has reportedly been kept in climate-controlled storage, totally original, unmodified and undamaged, with just 10,790 miles on the odometer today. It recently underwent a complete mechanical service and cosmetic reconditioning. You can check out the listing on Barrett-Jackson here.
The first '87 GNX ever produced resides in the General Motors Heritage Collection and No. 002 is at the Sloan Museum in Flint, Mich. Interestingly, another '87 GNX, No. 41, will be auctioned later this week in Las Vegas.