Tag: Grand National

Did GM Really Sell Specially Equipped Buick Grand Nationals to the FBI? – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

Did GM Really Sell Specially Equipped Buick Grand Nationals to the FBI? – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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The year: 1986. The place: America. The problem: Bad guys drove fast cars, faster than anything the Federal Bureau of Investigation had in its motor pools, and they were getting away with murder. The solution: …call Buick?

The notion of FBI-ordered Buick Grand Nationals (especially when reading the above in a Don LaFontaine/Redd Pepper voice) certainly sounds like an Eighties action flick come to life. Throw in an agent who bristles at authority and doesn’t play by the rules, a straight-laced family man partner, and plenty of explosions and you’re halfway to a Hollywood script. But it may actually have some basis in the truth, even though the details are hard to confirm and sketchy at best.

We jumped down this rabbit hole after a recent Regal T Turbo Hemmings Find of the Day elicited a couple of comments on the topic of federal turbocharged Eighties Buicks, starting with one from Joe MM with a rather elaborate backstory to the mythical beasts

he U.S. government ordered Regal T-Types with V rated tires and the PROM chip that raised the top speed limit on the cars. T-Types and GN’s came with H rated tires so GM governed them. All GM law enforcement vehicles had top speed limiters unless you ordered the optional V rated tires. Then the respective agency could order the PROM that would raise the limit. This was a popular upgrade if you could find a dealer that was able to order the chip. GM used these chips in the 1994-96 Impala SS since they had 17″ rims; since most tires that would fit had a V rating. They were afraid that they would be accountable if owners installed inferior tires and have accidents as a result. The full size trucks today are governed to the same top speed whether they have the base V6 or the 420 hp V8’s for this reason.

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JUNKYARD RESCUE! Buick Scrap National – Classic GBody Garage

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Another great Buick Grand National revival, this time from Classic B Body Garage

This 1987 Buick Grand National was sold for scrap and rescued! I will be going through this car to bring it back to life and get it back on the road. Project Scrap National begins

Learn the proper steps to get an old car running again that has been sitting for years. I teach you how to perform a complete compression test and determine the condition of the engine. This 1987 Buick Grand National was sold for scrap and rescued and I am continuing the work to get it running and back on the road again.

Rescued 87 Buick Grand National is finally getting a bunch of new parts and it’s closer to running once again! This 1987 Buick Grand National was sold for scrap and rescued and I am continuing the work to get it running and back on the road again.

Learn how to replace a gas tank, fuel pump and sending unit! This 1987 Buick Grand National was sold for scrap and rescued and I am continuing the work to get it running and back on the road again.

Generation GNX: How One Man Built a Collection of Five GM Turbo V-6s – Barry Barry Kluczyk @Hemmings

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As with music and other cultural touchstones, it’s a good bet that your automotive interests are rooted in the trends and experiences of your youth. They’re the cars on the street you started noticing before you could drive, the ones you and your buddies had in high school or shortly thereafter. Or perhaps you simply lusted after the ones that were out of reach. For most baby boomers, it was the golden age of the original muscle car movement, but for the Generation Xers who came up behind them, it was the cars of the Eighties and early Nineties. IROCs, 5-liter Mustangs, and Grand Nationals. Those were the cars that left the indelible impressions on their collective psyche.

Production of the 1987 Grand National nearly quadrupled over the previous year, to 20,193, as customers rushed for the last of GM’s rear-drive G-body models and clamored for the increased performance that came with the intercooled Turbo V-6 that debuted in 1986.

The older Gen Xers are now solidly in their 50s and they’re collecting the cars of the MTV era. They’d rather add a 1993 Mustang Cobra to their garage than a ’69 Boss 302, while the Buick “Twisted 6” logo evokes as much awe as a Stage 1 emblem. Count Matt Murphy among them. He’s an unabashed fan of just about all Eighties’ cars, but it’s those GM Turbo V-6 models that burned into him like a cattle rancher’s branding iron — or perhaps a weekend-long Miami Vice marathon.

He has five turbocharged vehicles: a 1987 Buick Grand National, a pair of 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am models, a 1987 Buick GNX, and a 1991 GMC Syclone. It’s a collection any performance enthusiast can appreciate, regardless of his or her generational proclivities.

The engine was rated at 235 hp in ’86 and upped to 245 in ’87.

It all started with Matt’s father, a GM employee tasked with the otherwise innocuous job of window moldings. It doesn’t sound as sexy as developing a Super Duty engine, but all of those snap-on windshield and rear-window moldings had some serious engineering behind them, with an entire department for their design and manufacturing. They were produced at a dedicated plant in downtown Detroit.

“In the early Eighties, he got a call about an upcoming production model that would require blacked out window trim,” says Matt. “The twist was they didn’t want the trim simply painted, because it would flake off pretty easily. They needed something else.

”Cutting to the chase, Matt’s father delivered the durable black trim for what would be the 1984 Grand National. A little while after the car went into production, the senior Murphy received a surprise at his Troy, Michigan, office. It was a GM car hauler with a Grand National on it. The development team was so appreciative of his efforts on the project, they dropped off the car for him to enjoy for the weekend

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