Grandfather's '87 GN


New Member
I'm Joe, and I'm 18. I've grown up around cars thanks to both my father and my maternal grandfather both being gearheads.
This is the 1987 Grand National he's had since about 1989. He was driving with my grandmother to buy either a refrigerator or a drier (can't remember which) when he spotted it at Red Holman Pontiac/Buick/GMC (now Todd Wenzel) in Westland, MI. He bought it, but it became my gramma's baby. She actually damaged it when she hit a manhole cover with it, got it up on two wheels, and screwed up the lower driver's side. By 2001, when I was 2, it went into storage. Probably to make room for the '68 Camaro that's now in my/our garage, along with the '67 Chevelle.

I'd very rarely heard mention of the Grand National growing up, and not knowing anything about them, always thought "Lame! It's just a V6!". Then, in 2009, he brought it home. I changed my tune very quickly. Sadly, years in storage weren't kind to it. The paint's chipped (actually probably from before storage), very cloudy, and where it was repaired, with the RockGuard, is cracked very badly. And, like many 80s Buicks, the bumper fillers are cracked and broken. The "3." on the RH side hood emblem was broken by my Dad when he was using a buffer wheel back in the day. Oops.

I actually got to drive it to the Hines cruise this summer (and Dad drove the Chevelle- Pappaw doesn't like to go to cruises for some reason. I've tried to get him to come.) and it was a total blast. Under every bridge, I'd let he turbo spool up (fear not- the second it actually started to pick up speed, I'd let off the gas.) What joy!

Okay, enough rambling. Here's the pictures.

The plate says "Patience My Ass! I'm Gonna Kill Somebody!"

Fear not, originality nuts! The original stereo and speakers are....

...In the trunk!

I might be wrong, but I think this is the original spare.

At the Hines cruise with both the GN and the '67 Chevelle.

And of course, a video of it!

The modifications are as follows: Larger impeller in the turbo, and a non factory (I think true dual) exhaust system. That's it.


Cross Member

If you have good arms, pick up some micro-fiber towels & a Turtle Wax Jet Black kit:

Wash the car well with a quality automotive soap & then follow the Turtle Wax directions. Apply & remove in straight strokes instead of circles. Be careful/gentle with the bumper fillers. You may be surprised at how well it looks when you are done. I used a soft bristle tooth brush around the lettering to remove the old wax build up.

Good luck.


New Member
Thank you for the advice! I've tried hand waxing it, and it just doesn't make a dent in the oxidization. My thought is, barring the other 3 cars needing anything (Ha!), maybe have it professionally detailed, and then replace the bumper fillers and have the lower driver's side resprayed. None of it is likely to happen, to be honest, but I can dream, right?


New Member
Perhaps in the Spring. I also need to look at the trans cable. When I drove it, it didn't want to go into third under hard acceleration.


Cross Member
Use the Turtle Wax that JM is talking bout , It surprised the hell out of me how good it works
Surprised me also. It takes some time & effort though. There may be better products available, but the Turtle Wax product is available at Autozone.

Whatever you do, DO NOT use rubbing compound and/or a buffer. The paint is too thin to begin with.


Fiberglass bumper filler dude. (949) 433-1257
Staff member

Very Kool. Big congrats on owning such a great piece of American Muscle Car history. The most effective thing you can get, to make that thing go fast and be reliable is knowledge. We give that away for free here. Here's some evening reading to wrap your head around. Don't worry too much if you don't understand it all. Just try to understand the concepts and what NOT to do. The rest will come with time. Use the search here to find your answers. If you can't find the answers, just ask.

This is your "New guy thread". Feel free to ask anything you want. No dumb questions here.

Welcome to the site and Happy Spooling...:)

Mike Barnard