Bad, black & boosted - The Inside story of the amazing Buick GNX


Thirty years ago, Buick went big. The General Motors division long known for stylish, upscale sedans and coupes decided to build a muscle car that would challenge the Corvette. The sheer nerve. Sure, Pontiac had a long-standing intra-GM rivalry with Chevrolet, but Buick had never tried to upstage the performance credibility of its sister division. The GNX, the result of a skunkworks project by a handful of engineers and marketing guys, was more than a way to send Buick’s highly successful, rear-wheel-drive G-body out with a bang. It also provided bragging rights for a brand that generally cared more about velour than velocity, and it was a massive challenge to Corvette.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/12/15/buick-gnx


I have always been a Buick fan and even ran a bored and stroked 3 speed manual '55 Century at the drag strip, but I’m thinking that you are overstepping reality when you suggest that a GNX owner should go out hunting Corvettes to humble. My present '09 C6 Corvette would easily eat the GNX alive with room for desert. My previous '69 427/390hp Corvette might have been in jeopardy, but, since the advent of the LS engines and the latest LT engines, I’d recommend GNXs mind their manners.


I believe if you re-read the article, the statement was made in 1987, so he was referring to vettes of the same year. I would certainly hope that your’s would beat a car that was made over 20 years earlier.


Here is the issue i would have as a GN owner up against a 09 C6 owner; my car cost a mere 15k. What was the cost of your C6 and look at the technology advancments from ‘87 to ‘09…no comparison! Now if i dump 30k into my v6, all you’d see is the illuminated “UDLOSE” from my 3rd brake light. Just sayin’


I think the author has a short memory. My 1970 Buick GS Stage 1 would compete with anything the bowtie division put out in quickness at that time. Just type " top ten quickest musclecars " in your search engine and see. What is amazing about the GN and GNX is how easily they were made into fire breathing monsters. I love all the Buick GS’s and GN’s!


Couldn’t agree more! I love the GS and the GNX, but on my blue collar budget I bought a GN a hundred years ago for $12,500. Retired now, but still have, and love it. Back in the day with just bolt ons, it ran low 10.80s. My friend added heads and cam to his and was in the 9’s! Now he should be in the 6’s this year in his latest GN!


Loved these cars! The GNX was a little out of our budget, but my father and I purchased an 87 GN (at my prodding) about 15 years ago. What a fun car. Love the old school muscle car feel, but with the sound of a turbo spooling. With some light mods, we beat a lot of contemporary cars. Sadly we sold it 5 years later so he could get a C5 Vette with a 6 speed. We both regretted that. Now even beat ones are selling for over 10 grand.


Awesome. That beats the heck out my GS stage 1’s best of 12.81! Who said Buick were dull and boring?


The company I worked for in the 90’s did a lot of sales and marketing work with Buick. Some of the executives we worked with told us that the FBI bought 75 GNX models. I thought that was odd because their styling sure didn’t fly under the radar and the FBI isn’t known for needing high-speed pursuit vehicles. But, they insisted it was true and that it was a quiet government sale. When I worked at Oldsmobile, the FBI bought a small fleet of the last gen Toronados for undercover work. So, I thought maybe the GNX purchase story was legit.

Care to do a follow-up?


My own Black Buick with fat fenders and sharklike side grills is waiting patiently under a 3 year layer of dust in my shop, the motor has been completely gone thru and sits patiently on a pallet nearby. Life has gotten in the way and delayed things a bit but they will meet again soon. I’ve owned close to a hundred cars in the last 30 years but the black beast has achieved more thumbs up from other car guy drivers (heck even a girl or two:grin: ) than any other car I’ve owned:sunglasses:

AJ in OC


Love these cars. Had a turbo before turbos were cool.


You heard somewhat correctly. The FBI purchased a fleet of GN’s not GNX’s for their agents daily drivers. I purchased my GN from a retired agent and when the FBI decommissioned the fleet he wanted to purchase his but they refused to sell it to him. He instead went out and purchased a low mile GN in 1989 and kept it for the next 18 years. He said they were a lot of fun to drive.