Rare Rides: A 1987 Buick Grand National That Belonged to David Spade
Turning the sedate Buick Regal into an extra-special Grand National injected some much-needed sportiness into the Buick brand in the early 1980s. And while the Grand National is not as rare as the very limited edition GNX variant, this particular car just happens to have a famous prior owner: David Spade.
Just shoot me.
The Grand National intended to capitalize on Buick’s wins at the Manufacturers Cup (within the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Series). Buick took home the prize in 1981 and 1982. Buick’s initial idea involved a limited run of just 100 retail cars, but General Motors underestimated consumer demand for the slick coupe.
A group of 215 turbo Regals were sent out to Cars and Concepts in Michigan, where the base charcoal paint was turned into a two-tone affair. Pinstripes and Buick lettering were added, along with a blacked-out effect created by covering the factory moldings with vinyl tape. All models also got a front air dam and rear spoiler. 1982 was the only year the Grand National was available in a color other than black.
Especially enjoyable is the alignment of all things at the rear of the vehicle. Is this factory quality control, age, or a prior accident?
Grand National interiors feature specially designed seats covered in a silver and black two-tone, as seen on today’s ’87 example. Grand National owners were unlikely to know what time it was — a plate covered the clock’s location and reflected a stylized “6” logo in its place. Taking time off for 1983, the Grand National returned for model years 1984 through 1987.
Our final-year example has Buick’s turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6 engine, tuned for 245 horsepower and 355 lb-ft of torque. Its big claim to fame is former ownership by comedian David Spade, plus a feature in Jay Leno’s Garage, as seen above.
The YouTube video was published on July 12, 2016, and the present owner indicates in the Craigslist ad that $7,000 has been spent on exterior and mechanical work in the year since. The body does look a bit cleaner than what Leno pointed out in the clip.
With 62,500 miles on the odometer, this Grand National is presently located in Hollywood (where else?) and can be yours for $29,500. NADA Guides indicates an average retail value of $25,400 for this model, so maybe even with celebrity markup, the asking price isn’t so bad. You’ll surely tell us in the comments.
[Images via seller]
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.
- ChristianWimmer 1974 Dodge Monaco. I’m a nostalgic guy and want one of these so badly.
- Zipper69 I got the form letter from Kia a few weeks ago and booked a time for the software update.Took around 1 hr 15 mn and you get free nifty stickers on the front door windows telling the thieves you are protected.
- Dave I also only support companies that don't steal my tax money because they are "too big to fail"
- Da Coyote GM has been dead to me for years - since I want my car paint to stay on and things to fit. Matters not to me.
I despised the interiors of GM cars of this era.
I have always take the grand national symbol to represent a turbocharger, especially with the arrow representing airflow. A "stylized 6"? That sounds like a really bad assumption, but perhaps it could represent both. I will never be convinced it does not connotes a turbocharger, though.