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1987 Buick GNX #003 Is A Time Capsule Offered At No Reserve

By time capsule, people refer to caches of goods or information buried as a means of communication with future folks. In the world of automobiles, time capsules come in many shapes and sizes. From your out-of-the-ordinary barn find to rarefied Ferrari 250 models heading to auction decades since they last changed owners, there are many, many examples one could give. But it’s not that often that the first GNX sold to the public goes under the hammer. “What, are you talking about a Buick?”
1987 Buick GNX #003 9 photos
1987 Buick GNX #0031987 Buick GNX #0031987 Buick GNX #0031987 Buick GNX #0031987 Buick GNX #0031987 Buick GNX #0031987 Buick GNX #0031987 Buick GNX #003
Not just any Buick. When the premium-oriented automaker was more independent from General Motors than it is today, Buick used to experiment with neck-snapping performance. By comparison, Buick is more focused on fuddy-duddy comfort and technology in this day and age, and this is why the GNX reminds us that things were different back then.

Pictured here is chassis number three, the third production-ready GNX. #001 and #002 were retained by General Motors in the late ‘80s, and now they’re gathering dust in the Heritage Collection and Buick/Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan. With 10,790 actual miles showing on the clock, you can bet your two cents it’s hard to find another Regal Grand National in this condition, let alone the first GNX sold to the U.S. public.

Scheduled to find itself a new and caring owner at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2018 auction, the car is offered at no reserve. Bearing in mind the final GNX ever produced (#547) fetched $220,000 at the Mecum Kissimmee 2017 sale, there’s no denying bidding will get wild on #003.

“The car was totally original, unmodified and undamaged” in the spring of 1989, “but it did sit idle from 1992 for the next 20-plus years.” According to the description, this piece of Buick history “needed a good complete mechanical service and very extensive cosmetic reconditioning to return the car to its original 1987 press-introduction appearance."

Presenting itself in as-new condition, the business end of #003 is the 3.8-liter V6 augmented by air-to-air intercooling supplied by Garrett and a honkin’ great turbocharger developed by McLaren Specialty Products. With 300 ponies and 420 pound-feet of torque delivered from 2,400 rpm to the rear wheels by the Turbo Hydramatic 200 4R transmission, that works out to 5.4 seconds to 60 mph and the ¼-mile in 13.4 seconds at 104 mph.


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