The 8-Mile 1987 Buick GNX Has Been Sold!
February 18th, 2019
A unicorn in the form of an 8.5-mile 1987 Buick GNX that we stumbled across last week has finally sold to the highest bidder. Only 547 examples of this car have been produced and this one (#480 or 547) was listed on Bring a Trailer and with four days left, it had a current bid of $101,000. After a bidding war, someone now gets to call this GNX their own for a healthy $200,000. They basically doubled the price over the course of four days.
Ralph's Buick out of Mesa, Arkansas, sold this car back in 1987, and it was purchased and displayed in the showroom of a Texas dealership. It hasn't been driven since. The seller bought it in 2002 and has kept it in a climate-controlled showroom. It even has the factory protective plastic covers over its two-tone cloth seats, and it still retains the protective plastic over the instrument cluster.
GNX is short for Grand National Experimental and was developed in conjunction with ASC McLaren. The regular Buick Grand National was already a quick car with its turbocharged 3.8-liter V6, and the plan was to make the GNX the quickest production sedan at the time. 547 Buick Grand Nationals were given an interior trim package and then sent to McLaren where they were given a performance transformation.
While at McLaren, the GNX transformation began with a Garrett T-3 turbocharger, a bigger intercooler, and a performance exhaust. With these modifications, the car made a healthy 300 horsepower. Shifting was provided by a Hydramatic 200-4R four-speed transmission. The interior and suspension were both upgraded as well, and it was given an upgraded oil cooler.
It features the 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle VR50 tires that are original to the car. The GNX-branded center caps are included with the sale and have never been fitted on the car. The only things that have been replaced on the car are the battery and relay switch, but both of the original items are included in the sale.
A little fun fact about the GN is that it was also called Darth Vader's car because of the resemblance of the grille to Vader's helmet mouthpiece, and it was released during the initial popularity of the Star Wars movies. Also, considering that its rivals were popular eight-cylinder Mustangs and Camaros, the Grand National was often referred to as the "Dark Side".
The owner has made some comments on the auction:
"The vehicle is truly a unique museum quality example of 1980's Detroit muscle, purchased for the enjoyment as part of a collection. I see the value in the pristine quality of the car, as it has never even been detailed by the dealer (as requested by the original owner). The window sticker was never even applied. I can guarantee that this example of Darth Vader's land Rocket has never seen the road. It was purchased as one of my all-time favorite collectibles and has been maintained as such. I hope everyone enjoys the auction and that the car goes to a good home."
A rare car to begin with, the Buick GNX is only going up in value. Back in 2015 at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach, a GNX with just 362 miles on the clock sold for $165,000. Last year, the publicly sold GNX had 8,200 miles on the odometer and sold for $126,000. Bring a Trailer sold a 28,000-mile GNX for $60,000. Now, this one brings in the dough at $200,000.