During the 1980s, performance was on its slow and steady comeback to the forefront of automotive necessity. After a prolonged death that started around 1973 and lasting into the early ’80s, it wouldn’t be until towards the end of the decade where “performance” no longer meant a smattering of decals and a few spoilers on an otherwise underpowered ride.
The Buick GNX is at the top of the pyramid when it comes to ’80s muscle cars. Admittingly, pickings were slim during that time period but even by today’s standards, it still holds its own against some of the more mainstream pony cars, such as the Camaro SS, Mustang GT and Challenger R/T.
With an advertised 276hp on tap (the real number is closer to 300), the GNX was capable of sub-5 second 0-60 times and an elapsed quarter-mile time of 13.3. For 1987, those were pretty breathtaking numbers — and was quick enough to earn it the title of the fastest production car on American roads. It was also in-line with the big-block halo cars of the late-1960s, which was still the benchmark for quarter-mile performance at the time. You can learn the entire backstory about the Turbo Buicks HERE.
OK, so enough about the stats — what’s so special about this one, you may be asking? Well, in addition to being 1-of-547 GNXs ever built, it’s also still a brand new example. No, we’re not talking about it being restored, purchased but never driven, or saying it’s “like brand new” — it is brand new.
Despite being built over thirty years ago, it still sits in the same showroom that it was delivered to in 1987. It’s never been sold, nor registered. It would still have the factory warranty, but Brad Willingham, who runs Boulevard Buick/GMC where the car has originally ordered, says that General Motors had sent him a letter some years ago, saying the factory warranty was no longer valid. This is more than likely due to the unavailability of OEM replacement parts and components. We would have to guess that this probably happened sometime in the mid-late 1990s.
Why hasn’t it ever sold? Jay asks the same question, but according to Brad, they had received a few offers over the years — but none of the parties could ever come up with the cash or pass a credit check. We believe secretly, however, that they never really wanted to sell it. It still lives in the showroom, and when it isn’t out at the [very] occasional car show it serves as a draw to the dealership.
It’s an interesting story, and we’re happy to hear it — but the purists out there will be quick to point out a few discrepancies and inaccuracies in the vehicle’s specs, as told by Brand and Jay. Leave a comment below if you can figure them out.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.