Few cars reach the legendary status enjoyed by the Buick Grand National. Based on GM’s rear-wheel-drive G bodywork, the sinister black two-door was sort of a sleeper back then, but that’s part of why it became a legend. This particular car literally marks the end of that era and it will have a new owner in January 2022 when it crosses the auction block with Barrett-Jackson.
Through literally the end, we mean this is the last Buick Grand National ever made. According to The Barrett-Jackson auction list, it rolled off the line at GM’s Pontiac assembly plant in Pontiac, Michigan on December 11, 1987, and has remained with the same owner ever since. The car is said to be in like-new condition, still wearing its pre-delivery plastic inside and only showing 33 miles on the odometer. Obviously, the buyer knew that this car would be something special.
Besides, the workers who built the final Grand National also considered it special. A few signs accompanied the car on the assembly line, and many workers autographed various parts both under the hood and under the car. Some signatures with dates and even times are clearly visible on the engine components, and these old signs are also still present on the car.
The original window sticker is still on the glass, the original build sheets are included, and the autographs on the car include current GM chairman Mark Reuss. From the photos, the car does indeed look brand new, as one would expect with only 33 miles in an air-conditioned garage. That is, except for a little crack in the plastic steering wheel trim, but hey, that was General Motors in the late 1980s. It could very well be a factory installed crack. .
What made the Buick Grand National so special? Its turbocharged, intercooled 3.8-liter V6 put out 245 horsepower at a time when the Chevrolet Corvette offered 240. Meanwhile, the lower-level Buick Regals with the same exterior styling offered modest V6 or V8 engines far below. 200 horsepower. The same goes for the Regal platform siblings, the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Only the very rare Buick GNX – another derivative of the Regal that was a Grand National on steroids – could claim higher production in GM’s production car stable.
It’s not a GNX, and with over 20,000 Grand Nationals built in 1987, it’s not a hard car to find if you really want one. However, we’ve seen low-mileage larps sell for over $ 100,000, and with this one still wearing delivery plastic and being the very latest of all, who knows what kind of bidding wars might break out.
Look for that special Grand National at the 2022 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, which runs January 22-30 in Arizona.