Last-ever Buick Grand National heads to Barrett-Jackson auction


This 1987 Buick Grand National brought the curtains down on a heap of General Motors history. When this black beauty rolled down the line at 5 p.m. on December 11, 1987, it represented the end of manufacturing at GM’s Pontiac Assembly Plant after 60 years building cars. This was the last car to sit on GM’s G-Body platform, having supported legendary names like Monte Carlo, Cutlass Supreme, and Regal. And this was the last-ever Buick Grand National, a big coupe that in just five years on the market had helped make the Buick Regal lineup an object of sincere lust among enthusiasts. Powered by a 3.8-liter turbocharged and intercooled 3.8-liter V6, the engine made 245 horsepower and 355 pound-feet of torque. The only car above it in the lineup was the exceptionally rare GNX, which made 276 hp and 360 lb-ft. The Buick Grand National is headed to the Barrett-Jackson auction block in Scottsdale next month.   

Louisiana resident Bob Colvin bought this car from the factory. The Drive spoke to Colvin, who explained that then-GM President Roger Smith told him he could have the penultimate Grand National, but Buick planned to put the last car on display. When Colvin arrived at the plant, though, Colvin said the plant manager told him, “I’m running this plant and you’ve gone through the effort to be here. It will be a real celebration,” and got him the last car made. As proof, a GM film crew followed the car down the line, plant workers and two GM execs signed various parts of the engine, including current GM President Mark Reuss. The car comes with all of the autographs and signage the autoworkers created to go with the car, as well as the original window sticker.

Colvin and his wife built an addition onto their house to display the car. Save for a trip to the Buick Centennial Celebration in 2003, the Buick has lived in its special place all its life and has just 33 miles on the odometer. Behind the new-car plastic that shrouds the interior, the only flaw appears to be a tiny crack in the steering wheel center cap where a bolt might have been overtorqued.

The car is being offered with no reserve, the pre-sale estimate landing right around the $500,000 mark. That would about double recent auction sales for low-mileage GNX’s this year, but there’s every reason to believe this car’s one-of-one place in history could get auction paddles waving. 

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