Back in the eighties...

Mr. Michael

Member
So I am getting to be an old guy... Back in the eighties I bought one of these turbo Buick's new. It was my 1st new car. I talked a bank into giving me a loan ($285 per mo) & sold my then daily driver for the down payment ($3500). It was November 1985 when the car showed up at the dealer.

I had a ball. I did it all in my 1986 GN (with only 9 personally selected options). I sold real estate out of it, and raced it in any way that I could. It was a dream come true for a young man like me (gear head). I toyed with it, and tinkered it down to a 13.5 without any chips or mods past removing the cat converter. I actually fabricated my own bled off valve so I could add a few extra ponies (remember this was very early in the tuner car days). But even then if you ran past 16 pounds of boost the knock retard would just slow you down. It was a great time though.

Finally I adapted a NOS wet kit & ran in the 12's. I owned that car for 2 years then sold it for exactly what I paid for it ($14,400). What a ride.

I never gave them up completely. Always watching for one & looking at the classifieds Then recently I had a dealer associate that got one in on consignment. He was states away but asked me if I would make an offer on a '87 he had. I did ~ and he took it without even a counter!

The car came in and looked pretty good. However within a block & right off the trailer I knew something was up. I was seeing a lot of boost. I checked the basics then called Nick @ AZ-GN to conform some thoughts. After further experimentation I found a stuck wastegate puck (car had sat for years) in the aftermarket down pipe. Replacing that puck was a non-event but then I found myself looking at too much boost creep. A little more research lead me to port the wastegate hole and remedy that. But... More was in store. So I got a Scanmaster... The readings were close but for some reason they were not dialed in. What do I find but a broken spark plug insulator causing occasional knock & missfires. A quick replacement with a new cooler set & I was golden. Hey why not go with the 160 thermo while I am here? Done & done. Test pipe? Done. Nice fluid service with some ZDDP - yep. Car has a big downpipe, Magnaflow exhaust, Fuel pump Hot wire & adjustable fuel reg but the rest seemed stock. Better order up a current chip (has stock chip) and a good set of mild injectors. And I better put some good shocks on it as it needs some!

I am getting it there. Its very close to my original car (few options) so I enjoy that.

I appreciate having this forum as a resource so watch for future updates. I will plan on adding a few stories from the past as well as the future. That is now that I am back in the eighties. :)
 

Mr. Michael

Member
To add to the story...

So I said I "raced" my 1986 back in the day. that included drag racing (even went to & ran at the Buick Nats in KY) and I drove some SCCA events (Hill-climbs & autocross) to take advantage of the great power. It did pretty well on both fronts (added a good rear anti sway bar).

But more than anything I would head up to Dukes Drive-in in Chicago and pick grudge races for cash. In early 1986 EVERYONE thought this car was a Monte SS, so it was like fishing in a barrel. I actually carried a small notebook in the center console to write down my wins & loses. I recall over 200 wins, and 12 (twelve) losses. The car was unstoppable. I paid for most of my monthly bank payments with the wins. The car held its own for certain. I only bolted on the Nitrous (75 shot) for "emergencies" - but rarely squeezed it.

The car made wins happen back then. I think you know what I mean. (y)

Here are two photos. One of me and mine in 1986 at the GS Nationals... One of me & mine now. Things have not changed much 'eh?
BBBuickSmokin.JPG
87BuickBurnOut.jpg
:)
 

Mr. Michael

Member
Hey thank you. 'Ya know... I still had the vanity plate in an old box in the basement. I pulled it out & bolted it on. Its staying! I figure why not?
 

Mr. Michael

Member
More to the story:

So I was as into speed as I am now. This was my driveway back in November 1985. I had restored that 1970 GTX (440+6 four speed with 4.10 Dana 9&3/4 axle) myself. Paint & all. But that GN really took my breath away.

Quite a pair for the mid eighties! (sorry for the lawn)
BBBuickAndGTX.JPG
 

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Dream Come True

New Member
View attachment 274704 View attachment 274704 Great read Micheal! I know feel your passion. I didn't' own one then but I got to ride in one a few times and I was hooked! In September of 2013 I was able to purchase one and can't think of ever parting ways with it.
More to the story:

So I was as into speed as I am now. This was my driveway back in November 1985. I had restored that 1970 GTX (440+6 four speed with 4.10 Dana 9&3/4 axle) myself. Paint & all. But that GN really took my breath away.

Quite a pair for the mid eighties! (sorry for the lawn) View attachment 274654
 

kidsixpack

Active Member
Great story and I love all the pics! It reminds me of my buddy that purchased three GN's in 87. Yes three!! We spent a lot of time at the track and it didn't cost me a thing. It sure was a lot of fun street racing them into the early 90's. By 91 it was getting harder to get a street race in a GN. Driving my 5.0 it was easy.
Both your cars look awesome! Thanks a lot for posting!
KID
 

TURBOELKY

Well-Known Member
Cool story. Do you ever wonder what happened to your car? I'm curious if someone on here owns it now. It's very possible unless you know different.
 

Mr. Michael

Member
Cool story. Do you ever wonder what happened to your car? I'm curious if someone on here owns it now. It's very possible unless you know different.

I followed it on Car-Fax for several years. It stayed in the Chicago area for a long time, May still be there. It failed emissions tests a dozen times as shown on the record. That is about all I remember. I was actually sheepish about tracking it down as I assumed I would find a well used 'ol Buick that would make me cringe. However, who knows. It may be nicer than the one I have now!

The last six of the Vin are 219807 as read right off the window sticker I have sitting in my hands. (y)
 

EVIL

BANNED FOREVER
Here is the text I received on your old car. It may still be in good shape.

Fwd: Not much on it. Last I can see, in IL in June 2008 at dealership for service with 48k miles. No accidents found. Mileage goes in line but has gaps from 9k to 44k

D
 

Mr. Michael

Member
Hey would you look at that. Here is my old thread from 2016!

I am back again, got another 1987, and I am that much older now.

A Family friend passed away some time ago, I asked the family about the Buick and paid up (retail). Its a very nice unit. Low options (again), doors shut nice, no rattles, runs really well (now). The previous owner (owner #2 since 1990) luv-luved the car but was not too mechanical. He had the vacuum hoses misrouted (boost all wrong), trans TV cable incorrectly set (shifted into forth by 25mph), among other simple things. But he was serious about the shine! The car is gorgeous. Perfect paint. Interior is neat & tidy. Pretty GNX style wheels, super Magnaflow exhaust and some expensive (better than average) cold air kit. It seems to be a gem.

It has been a great experience to date. I started lurking here again right after I titled the car! Anyhow, there is nothing like a GN. Glad to be back.

IMG_3613.jpg
 

Buckshot G/N

Active Member
Hey would you look at that. Here is my old thread from 2016!

I am back again, got another 1987, and I am that much older now.

A Family friend passed away some time ago, I asked the family about the Buick and paid up (retail). Its a very nice unit. Low options (again), doors shut nice, no rattles, runs really well (now). The previous owner (owner #2 since 1990) luv-luved the car but was not too mechanical. He had the vacuum hoses misrouted (boost all wrong), trans TV cable incorrectly set (shifted into forth by 25mph), among other simple things. But he was serious about the shine! The car is gorgeous. Perfect paint. Interior is neat & tidy. Pretty GNX style wheels, super Magnaflow exhaust and some expensive (better than average) cold air kit. It seems to be a gem.

It has been a great experience to date. I started lurking here again right after I titled the car! Anyhow, there is nothing like a GN. Glad to be back.

View attachment 384941
You pass the test.... once a Turbo Buick lover always one. Glad you're back Lurking, only thing that had changed is inflation and the value of our cars. Looks has if you got a beauty :cool:.
 

Mr. Michael

Member
Thanks gents. It looks stock under the hood (other than CAI). I have not even taken a photo under there.

Its painful at the pump with it. I owned my 1st one when high octane gas was about a buck a gallon... Gotta pay to play I guess.
 

Buckshot G/N

Active Member
Thanks gents. It looks stock under the hood (other than CAI). I have not even taken a photo under there.

Its painful at the pump with it. I owned my 1st one when high octane gas was about a buck a gallon... Gotta pay to play I guess.
Yell I remembered those days of a dollar for a Gal of premium .Thanks goodness I only burn at most 4 full tanks of gas a year. I hope you're not on the west coast CA or AZ, well over six dollars a Gal for premium.:ROFLMAO:
 

1986 Buick GX1

GX1 #001 [The One and Only]
Thanks gents. It looks stock under the hood (other than CAI). I have not even taken a photo under there.

Its painful at the pump with it. I owned my 1st one when high octane gas was about a buck a gallon... Gotta pay to play I guess.

I’m curious what CAI you have. I still run the Kenne-bell ram air setup I bought in ‘89. I updated it with a 4” filter, 85mm maf and a 3 1/2” maf pipe. I know it’s not the best system out there, but I like the looks of it.

I remember thinking I was nuts to pay $3.99/ gal for 100 octane no lead on the way to the track. Aah, the good ole’ days. Lol
 

Mr. Michael

Member
I’m curious what CAI you have. I still run the Kenne-bell ram air setup I bought in ‘89. I updated it with a 4” filter, 85mm maf and a 3 1/2” maf pipe. I know it’s not the best system out there, but I like the looks of it.

I see a lot of these that the filter is sitting right up by the radiator support (taking in hot air) but the one I have here heads 90 degrees down & drops the intake filter to nearly the pavement (I can see the filter sticking down below the front spoiler!). Now I know that more 90 degree bends will reduce flow gains, but getting the air from out of the engine bay is bound to be better.

Back in the day I removed the high beam headlight & sent air to the intake tract from there (sota like a Hellcat does today). But this one gets air from behind that lower spoiler.

IMG_3711.jpg
 
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