photos by: Mecum Auctions
With the oldest of the turbocharged Buick Regals well over thirty years old, you would expect a digital, late-model GM rag to have all but dismissed them by now, but oh no. We have been under something of a resurgence in the popularity of these cars, as enthusiasts have been clamoring to dig them out of barns, fields, used car lots and even their parents or grandparents garages.
You can chalk it up to nostalgia, video game popularity, Vin Diesel or whatever you want, but they’re back – and in a big way! We’ve been seeing huge numbers being paid for GNXs, too, and now with this 16-mile example apparently coming out of the woodwork, we can only speculate what she’ll go for.
We’ve seen some examples with roughy 300 miles on them fetch $125k, but one this low is entirely new territory for the market. It’s scheduled to hit Mecum Auctions: Chicago during the first week of October and arrives as Lot S105.1. Being a one-owner Buick with full documentation (jacket, M.S.O., window sticker, numbered GNX book, etc.), it will likely fetch a substantial amount more than the typical 50,000-mile Grand National in your local Auto Trader.
For those that don’t know, the GNX is essentially a “normal” Grand National turned up to 11. From ASC, who commissioned the build on behalf of Buick, it received upgraded wheels and tires, a ceramic turbocharger, intercooler, a less restrictive exhaust system, ECU recalibration, a bit more boost and several cosmetic touches, such as the limited-but-labeled GNX badging, wheel flares and fender-mounted heat extractors. The interior was exactly the same, but featured usable and fully-analog Stewart Warner gauges and a numbered plaque on the dash.
Rumors persisted for decades that the cylinder heads received a port & polish job, but that was nothing more than an urban legend. Engine-wise, it was directly carried-over form any other Grand National. As a result, the horsepower jumped from 245, to 276, which is widely regarded as being underrated and closer to 300. The torque also saw a boost as well, from 355 lb-ft to 360… but again, it was underrated, being somewhere closer to 400 lb-ft. which is quite respectable, even today.
We ultimately don’t know what this GNX will bring at Mecum: Chicago, but if you’re interested in adding it to your collection, bring your checkbook!
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.