Ex-Police Turbo Brick Buick Packs Hidden Toys
GM’s ’80s and ’90s romance with turbo V6s didn’t last very long, but it produced a few fantastic cars and trucks while it did. GMC’s AWD Syclone and Typhoon were fast but a bit, well… trucky, leaving the Buick Grand National, T-type, and GNX as the ones to have. This one is cooler than most.
Black on black on black is a good look for a shape reminiscent of a sporty Victorian coffin on wheels, and this example looks to be in great condition across the board. A Grand National sitting atop GNX rims, it looks pretty standard otherwise—until you peep the hidden light bar and strobes. This car apparently once belonged to the police chief of a small town in Kentucky, for whom it was custom built with several heavy duty options, of which our hands-down favorite is the gigantic period radar gun installation. It looks high-powered enough to clock the rotation of the moon, and could possibly heavily radiate anything within a ten foot circle—still, those neatly installed switches are too cool to resist playing with.
These cars are robust but turbos can and do expire, frequent synthetic oil changes are recommended to prolong their life. Plugs and wires are consumed faster than normal partly due to high under-hood temps associated with the turbo, too. Other potential problem areas include the stock mild steel exhaust exhibiting heavy corrosion, or cracked headers. Brakes aren’t great and disc warpage as well as master cylinder/booster problems aren’t uncommon. Parts are mostly easily available and cheap, though, and we’d have to guess they’re not terribly difficult to work on, either—anyone experienced with these cars care to confirm or deny this?
Though priced on the high side of correct for a similar Grand National, this one’s fascinating history (cue Dukes of Hazard Theme) and spectacular condition do stand in its favor. Fun homework assignment: buy this car and a sweet ranch house with a 50-acre lot in the greenest middle of Kentucky, build a narrow, bumpy, two-mile-long driveway, and live like a hero.