A Last Hurrah that Became Seriously Valuable

1987 Buick Grand National GNX

It’s not every vehicle that gains such an increase in value that it actually calls for a price that puts it in the rarified air of a collectible car, but the vehicle in question is one that was not built to be a collector car but as a farewell tour for a car that had not met sales goals for several years and was made to be the swan song.  Even though many times with collectible items we look for the first offering of an item such as a baseball card or an early printing of a coin or stamp, but with vehicles, specific years are what can make them highly valuable.

Such is the case for the 1987 Buick Grand National GNX. The GNX for this year was the final version and even written as a lame duck, not for performance, but for sales.  The Grand National shared its fate with the Regal from Buick as the brand seemed to be model heavy and needed to focus on a way to start to bring a different buyer to the market.  This was too bad since the GNX actually offers a 245 horsepower and 355 lb.-ft. of torque engine that came out of the turbocharged, intercooled V6 engine.  This build for the GNX was meant to make it a lot of fun to drive.

There wasn’t much style to the GNX at all, it looked a lot like a box on wheels, but so did most of the other sedan of that era.  The 1980s are often considered to be some of the worst years in automotive history, but the GNX was one of the bright spots that ended up getting brighter.  Because Buick had already experienced the Grand National as a low selling model they only built 500 models of the GNX and sold them at a price that ranged from $26,000 and $28,000.

What the GNX was able to deliver at the time it was produced was the ability to run fast and chase down several different challengers.  This car was able to make the run to sixty mph in less than six seconds and make the quarter mile in an easy 14.0 seconds.  At this point the speed would have been 105 mph and the car could be pushed to reach the top speed of 124 mph.  All this power and performance made the GNX a certain fitting end for the Grand National and let us feel we should have had more time with such an amazing car.

For some owners that time continues.  What once sold in the mid-$20,000 range is now able to fetch a price of over $165,000 at auction.  Why does such an ugly duckling of a car warrant such a high price?  The GNX with its only 500 ever produced number is one of the most rare finds in the automotive world and even more rare is finding one that has been properly maintained.  This certainly is enough to warrant the price and show us the original owner made a very smart investment, even though they probably did not know it at the time.

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