We’re not here to talk about any of these newer models though. We’re here because of the second-generation Regal, which everyone knows and loves thanks to the GNX specification. Fun fact, those cars came out during the height of “Star Wars mania”, with people drawing parallels between the limited production GNX (Grand National Experimental) and Darth Vader himself.
With that in mind, allow us to show you a Buick that’s way cooler than any GNX you’ve ever seen, despite being “just” a Regal Limited.
It’s a 1987 model year car, boasting several exterior and interior mods, to go with everything that was done for the engine.
Visually, this Regal comes with custom bumpers and hood, a front air dam, custom rear spoiler, GNX-style fender flares and louvers, tinted front side lights and taillights, tinted windows, a cowl-mounted fuel pressure gauge, plus 15-inch staggered Weld Prostar wheels.
The chassis itself was boxed and reinforced, and now features a QA1 Level 2 suspension and handling kit, power steering, polyurethane body bushings and aftermarket brakes.
Let’s get into the engine mods now, because there’s plenty to talk about. First, we’re dealing with a massive 7.5-liter V8 engine, with a Holley carburetor, MSD distributor and ignition, TA Performance headers and single-plane intake manifold, custom camshaft, 10:1 compression pistons, custom 2-row aluminum radiator with 2 electric fans, and a three-inch exhaust system.
We should also mention the 12-gallon trunk-mounted fuel cell, taillight-mounted battery disconnect switch, Ford 9-inch rear axle with 4:30 gearing, and the Strange Engineering 35 spline axles and center section. This car is obviously no joke.
Speaking of this being no joke, the owner of the vehicle happens to be none other than Emelia Hartford – race car driver, custom car builder, actress, TV host and YouTuber. Throughout her career, she’s built some of the fastest custom cars to ever grip the tarmac, and truth be told, we would absolutely love to know exactly what this Regal is capable of in a straight line.
But hey, maybe you guys can tell us, if any of you manage to fire in the winning bid and make this Buick your own.
AlternativesAs exciting of a car as this is, there are always alternatives to consider, and let’s face it, if you fancy yourself a classic car enthusiast or somewhat of a collector, you’ll most likely prefer a genuine GNX over this muscle-grown Regal.
It would achieve those numbers thanks to a Garrett AiResearch T-3 turbocharger, working alongside a larger capacity intercooler, plus an upgraded gearbox with a custom torque converter. During that era, the GNX was believed to be faster over a standing quarter mile than supercars such as the Ferrari F40 or the Porsche 930, completing its run in just 12.7 seconds.
You literally can’t build that type of mystique. You have to buy it – hence the original GNX being a much more appealing vehicle than anything you could ever do with another Regal specification, and that includes this one.
Just a GNX, nothing else?What, are you kidding? The Buick Regal had so many sister cars, you could barely even keep track of them. The second-gen Regal came out in 1978, at the exact same time as the following models: fourth-gen Chevrolet Malibu, third-gen Chevrolet Monte Carlo, fourth-gen Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, or the fifth-gen Pontiac Grand Prix. These were all basically the same vehicle, riding on the exact same platform.
Of course, if you’re looking for genuine alternatives to the GNX, well that’s a whole different story. A Chevy Malibu isn’t going to cut it. What would cut it is the Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds, a Cutlass Supreme-based muscle-bound coupe with even more power than the GNX.
The Chevy Monte Carlo SS is also a fun spec to consider, but only for its visual presence and improved driving dynamics. Performance-wise, it never had sufficient power to take on any supercars of that era.