1985 Buick Grand National - today's turbo tempter

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

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buick grand national Buick Grand Nationals have a following in the USA. buick grand national

American hardtop is a rarity in Australia

Check any container of American cars being shipped over here in the last decade or so, and nearly all of them will have been V8s. If you wanted a muscle car, a thumping great bent eight was the only choice, right?

Not necessarily. Buick took to modifying its Regal two-door hardtop as early as 1982 and by 1985 had established the Grand National variant as a desirable performance car.

The mechanicals included a V6 3.8lt engine closely related to what we saw in the local VN Commodore, fitted with a turbocharger. Initially this produced a claimed 200 horses, which was enough to give it very solid performance - a challenge for many V8s. The stock transmission was a four-speed auto.

Tuners quickly discovered they were easy enough to tweak for more horses, and the factory subsequently produced versions with up to 245hp.

Though they have a following in the USA, they're relatively little-known here and it's rare to come across an example.

We had a look at this one recently, on the market at $32,700. It's about 98 per cent there (one of two bits of trim were missing) and looks like it might be a fairly easy thing to clean up if you had the time and resources.

Of course moments after we find one, another  - claiming to be in excellent condition - pops up a considerably higher price.

There are several owner sites online, such as Buickturboregal.com.

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