Once in a while comes a car that is so awesome that it defines an era, and a generation. In the early to mid-1980s, no car was cooler, faster and meaner – all combined! – than the 1982 Buick Regal Grand National. It soon shed the ‘Regal’ part of its name, in later model years, and got increasingly powerful as years went by. It was, without a doubt, the most bang for your buck that you could get. Like the Death Star, Darth Vader’s helmet and the Ford Model T, the Grand National was only available in black, although you could get a regular Regal in a variety of liveries, but what’s the fun in that?
Starting in 1984, the Grand National was equipped with a fabulously powerful and torquey 3.8-liter tubocharged V6, which at its peak in 1987 produced an official 276 horsepower. I say ‘official’ because there are still plenty of stories out there about how power was under-reported by Buick in order to avoid scaring the suits. Whatever it was, the Grand National could accelerate to 60 in 5.4 seconds, which you’ll agree is plenty fast, and could reach a respectable top speed of 142 miles per hour.
Like all good things, it came to an end, in 1987, when the body on which the Grand National was built was retired. To Buick’s credit, they kept making them to satisfy customer demand, but I doubt anyone would have thought that people would still be fighting over them 25 years down the road!