If you know GMEFI Magazine, then you know that the Turbo Buick is a key part of its foundation. Tracing its roots to the mid-1980s, and featuring what seemed like witchcraft under the hood at the time (SFI, turbocharging and intercooling), the Buick Grand National and it’s mid-range siblings, the T-Type and Turbo-T raised the bar for American performance in the 1980s.
Fast forward to the 2010s, and the aftermarket still offers plenty of support for these cars — mostly by way of modern turbocharger and intercooler upgrades, and advances in fuel delivery technology. Though there are far fewer examples of these cars around than what there were in the late-80s, the people who own them these days legitimately cherish them.
Owned by a guy named Jerry, this particular ’87 Grand National packs a ton of updated hardware and only 36,000 miles! Utilizing a 1985 on-center GN block, the 1987-based turbocharger and intercooler setup remains, but in their place, resides a RJC intercooler and Precision 76/75 turbo. On top of the block sits a set of GN1 heads and a Champion intake manifold.
Cal Hartline of Hartline Performance tuned the car, and it produces nearly 900hp to the rear tires. A high-flowing aftermarket exhaust frees up the flow of spent gases, and provides the car with a very unique sound.
Admittingly more of a show car, Jerry did step up the rolling stock with Mickey Thompson drag radials and M&H Racemaster skinnies up front, where a set of Weld Racing wheels sit on all four corners. Wilwood brakes tuck behind the wheels, and Ridetech coil-overs allow for adjustability and greater launch control.
There are plenty of other details and modifications that we’re glossing over, including that immaculate paint and original interior, but they’re highlighted in the video above. If there’s anything we need to say about it, its that we need to see more Buick guys hitting the pavement with their cars.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of AutoCentric Media, 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.