The story of Grandpa’s 87 Turbo Buick (Full)

Grandpa’s 87

New Member
As it turns out, my grandpa has had a good choice in car purchases during the mid 1980’s. It started with the 1984 T-type, and from there, bought a 86 and a 87, both of which, were Grand Nationals.
To rewind time a bit, originally back in the day, family legends have it that my grandpa had his license suspended as a kid for street racing. At some point around that time, the woman he ended up marrying had purchased a light blue metallic 1963 Stingray brand new off the showroom floor on her 18th birthday. She took it to the track the same day to race it, but they would not let her since she was a girl… so you can say both of my grandparents have a little bit of speed in their blood. Fast forward back to 1987. My grandpa at the time was in sales, and traveled all around to call on their customers. Being a true businessman, he knew the Grand Nationals would not present well if seen by customers, so he needed something a bit more “bland”. My dad at the time was graduating from Maranatha high school and was driving home when he passed Thorson Buick in Pasadena, and there it was sitting right out front. My dad called his dad to tell him about it, and grandpa came right on over. It was a 1987 Buick T in light blue metallic. My grandpa was even cool enough to let my high school aged dad negotiate the whole deal before purchase.
My grandpa used this Buick as his business car/all around car for several years, and racked up 61,000 miles on it before jumping into the next work car. During that time, he had installed a hitch on it so he could tow dirt bikes to the desert with it! Turns out the turbo does not like towing and believe a suburban or Silverado showed up quick after. Being with limited garage space, the car sat in the driveway for some amount of time in its early life, and with being outside, it had its few misshapes. One night, my uncle was having a sleep over and did not invite one of the neighbor kids over for whatever reason, so in the middle of the night, the kid who wasn’t invited came over and tried to superglue the car closed! Haha of coarse it did not work, but I do have some character where the glue burned the paint. Not all mishaps happened outside unfortunately. It was parked inside for the Northridge earthquake which did let a bookshelf go and banged up the passenger door down low. Just a small price to pay for all the dumb things I did as a kid to others I’m sure…
Being born in the end of 1993, I remember this car when it was still fairly new being parked in the garage next to the 87 GN. I vividly remember being only 2 or 3 and asked grandpa which one he liked more, and he pointed to the blue one. At that point, the blue one was my favorite too. After that, I always would tell him that I was going to buy the Buick.
A few years after that, they decided to move and sold the last remaining GN, but kept the blue 87. Upon arriving to the new house, I don’t think it was parked inside for the full duration of a Fleetwood Mac song before being kicked to the side yard where it would sit for the better of 22+ years.
Every time I’d travel to see them, I’d sneak out to the side yard and pull back the multiple layers of car covers/tarps and 2x6 boards that were placed on top. Each trip down I’d ask grandpa “you going to sell me the Buick yet?” With a quick and sharp response of “No. It’s just fine right where it sits” Being a car guy, he’d start it somewhat frequently and still do research on it and have it worked on to do safety upgrades. I.E. new vacuum brake booster, but it would almost never move past the gate it was behind.
On the second of July, 2020, I got a call from my grandpa. He proceeds to jumps right into how he is having some trees trimmed at their house, and when the arborist got to the side yard where the car sat under multiple covers, he stopped and asked
-“is that a turbo Buick?” -“Yes”
-“what year is it?” -“1987”
-“How many miles?” -“61,000”
-“How do you know it hasn’t rolled over” -“Because I am the original owner!”

Mind you, he is explaining this to me in first person, so with him on the phone he follows with
“So he asked me if I’d be willing to sell the car, and I said “sure” “

I didn’t say one word.

“So I called your dad to try and figure out a price, and he said if I don’t call you, then there will be a big problem”

-Thank you dad!-
I told him to come up with a price and at that same time, I was buying a plane ticket to get down there the following morning.
Upon arriving, reality was starting to set in as to what was really happening. I was finally getting the car I’ve been waiting my entire life for! I flew my brother down a few days later as I was giving the car some shack down time before making its first maiden voyage 1500 miles north in triple digit heat the entire drive. Even though the tires were like brand new, they were purchased brand new in 1998 from sears, so I carefully got it over to a OG tire shop that carried the Cooper Cobra white letter tires that I wanted. Gave it a full once over service and hit the road. Even though it was 100+ degrees the entire drive, without a temp gauge, felt it was scary to not know how hot the car was, so my brother and I drove the whole way with windows down, heat all the way up, and sat on beach towels to keep the sweat off the seats. Car made it home where it immediately when back into hibernation, but this time in a climate controlled warehouse next to the other oddities I’ve acquired in my young life.
It has now been the time to pull it out and start going through it. Half of this has been to introduce myself, and the other to also have on record the story of a car I waited 26 years for. This car has to be right, so I will be using this forum as much as humanly possible to gain the much knowledge needed to keep this thing going for a very long time.

Look forward to getting to know some of you,

Chase
 

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dynoman

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum and beware of Facebook . On this forum you can tell who has the experience and bad info is called out right away , on FB not so much !! Plus searching is much easier , just google " turbobuick and what ever you're searching for and it brings you to threads from this forum . Good luck with your "new" car and don't be afraid to ask questions , we were all new to these car at one time . Sam
 

RUQWKNF

KEEPER OF SECRETS
Staff member
Welcome aboard Chase.
And that's a very good story. Patience is definitely a virtue in this case. Take a look around, use the search feature and ask away with any questions you may have. We're all here to help, especially someone who has a passion for learning about the cars and doing things the right way. A couple of things you'll learn really fast are, don't rush, don't cheap out on parts or good enough, and most of all, plan your work and work your plan. The knowledge base here is huge. You will quickly learn which vendors still support these cars and which do not. The good, the bad and the hard lessons learned over the years by others. We have tons of excellent threads to get you started. And I highly recommend you check out the New owner specific threads. This one is an oldie, but a goodie, but I might be a little biased. :giggle:


Again, welcome aboard and glad to have you with us.

Patrick
 

karol

Member
As it turns out, my grandpa has had a good choice in car purchases during the mid 1980’s. It started with the 1984 T-type, and from there, bought a 86 and a 87, both of which, were Grand Nationals.
To rewind time a bit, originally back in the day, family legends have it that my grandpa had his license suspended as a kid for street racing. At some point around that time, the woman he ended up marrying had purchased a light blue metallic 1963 Stingray brand new off the showroom floor on her 18th birthday. She took it to the track the same day to race it, but they would not let her since she was a girl… so you can say both of my grandparents have a little bit of speed in their blood. Fast forward back to 1987. My grandpa at the time was in sales, and traveled all around to call on their customers. Being a true businessman, he knew the Grand Nationals would not present well if seen by customers, so he needed something a bit more “bland”. My dad at the time was graduating from Maranatha high school and was driving home when he passed Thorson Buick in Pasadena, and there it was sitting right out front. My dad called his dad to tell him about it, and grandpa came right on over. It was a 1987 Buick T in light blue metallic. My grandpa was even cool enough to let my high school aged dad negotiate the whole deal before purchase.
My grandpa used this Buick as his business car/all around car for several years, and racked up 61,000 miles on it before jumping into the next work car. During that time, he had installed a hitch on it so he could tow dirt bikes to the desert with it! Turns out the turbo does not like towing and believe a suburban or Silverado showed up quick after. Being with limited garage space, the car sat in the driveway for some amount of time in its early life, and with being outside, it had its few misshapes. One night, my uncle was having a sleep over and did not invite one of the neighbor kids over for whatever reason, so in the middle of the night, the kid who wasn’t invited came over and tried to superglue the car closed! Haha of coarse it did not work, but I do have some character where the glue burned the paint. Not all mishaps happened outside unfortunately. It was parked inside for the Northridge earthquake which did let a bookshelf go and banged up the passenger door down low. Just a small price to pay for all the dumb things I did as a kid to others I’m sure…
Being born in the end of 1993, I remember this car when it was still fairly new being parked in the garage next to the 87 GN. I vividly remember being only 2 or 3 and asked grandpa which one he liked more, and he pointed to the blue one. At that point, the blue one was my favorite too. After that, I always would tell him that I was going to buy the Buick.
A few years after that, they decided to move and sold the last remaining GN, but kept the blue 87. Upon arriving to the new house, I don’t think it was parked inside for the full duration of a Fleetwood Mac song before being kicked to the side yard where it would sit for the better of 22+ years.
Every time I’d travel to see them, I’d sneak out to the side yard and pull back the multiple layers of car covers/tarps and 2x6 boards that were placed on top. Each trip down I’d ask grandpa “you going to sell me the Buick yet?” With a quick and sharp response of “No. It’s just fine right where it sits” Being a car guy, he’d start it somewhat frequently and still do research on it and have it worked on to do safety upgrades. I.E. new vacuum brake booster, but it would almost never move past the gate it was behind.
On the second of July, 2020, I got a call from my grandpa. He proceeds to jumps right into how he is having some trees trimmed at their house, and when the arborist got to the side yard where the car sat under multiple covers, he stopped and asked
-“is that a turbo Buick?” -“Yes”
-“what year is it?” -“1987”
-“How many miles?” -“61,000”
-“How do you know it hasn’t rolled over” -“Because I am the original owner!”

Mind you, he is explaining this to me in first person, so with him on the phone he follows with
“So he asked me if I’d be willing to sell the car, and I said “sure” “

I didn’t say one word.

“So I called your dad to try and figure out a price, and he said if I don’t call you, then there will be a big problem”

-Thank you dad!-
I told him to come up with a price and at that same time, I was buying a plane ticket to get down there the following morning.
Upon arriving, reality was starting to set in as to what was really happening. I was finally getting the car I’ve been waiting my entire life for! I flew my brother down a few days later as I was giving the car some shack down time before making its first maiden voyage 1500 miles north in triple digit heat the entire drive. Even though the tires were like brand new, they were purchased brand new in 1998 from sears, so I carefully got it over to a OG tire shop that carried the Cooper Cobra white letter tires that I wanted. Gave it a full once over service and hit the road. Even though it was 100+ degrees the entire drive, without a temp gauge, felt it was scary to not know how hot the car was, so my brother and I drove the whole way with windows down, heat all the way up, and sat on beach towels to keep the sweat off the seats. Car made it home where it immediately when back into hibernation, but this time in a climate controlled warehouse next to the other oddities I’ve acquired in my young life.
It has now been the time to pull it out and start going through it. Half of this has been to introduce myself, and the other to also have on record the story of a car I waited 26 years for. This car has to be right, so I will be using this forum as much as humanly possible to gain the much knowledge needed to keep this thing going for a very long time.

Look forward to getting to know some of you,

Chase
Welcome Chase. ! You couldn’t have chosen a better forum to join .
The guys here really do help us all out here & the knowledge is extensive
I’m a rookie here also , and the guys have helped me big time .
Nice ride , btw .. I’m a fan of the other coloured TR’S not just black , give more of a sleeper look imo .
 
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