Yesterday was America's Independence Day, and in honor of the 4th, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Buick is red; it's fast enough to make your knuckles white; but has a price that might make you mighty blue.
To the Chinese at least, there's nothing more American than a Buick. At least, it's presently the best selling U.S.-based brand in what has turned out to be the fastest growing consumer auto market on the planet. Of course those Beijing Buicks are more Opel and Daewoo than Detroit, but that doesn't keep them from selling like rice cakes in the communist country.
Once upon a time those commies vied with the running dog capitalists in America for world domination, and back then Buicks meant something here in the U.S.. One Buick that really meant a lot, and continues to do so to the America, eff-yeah crowd, is the G-body Regal Grand National, a car which possessed what was possibly the world's fastest mouse fur interior.
Today's GN eschews the mice hides for what looks like leather, and pumps up the underrated 245-bhp of the 3.8-litre turbocharged V6 to a number sufficient to plow the quarter in a claimed sub-ten seconds. It may seem incongruous to use a car named after a series that takes pride in turning left for another that does nothing but straight lines - sort of like playing Wimbledon with a curling broom - but the beauty of these Buicks is in their versatility.
This '87 Grand National trap shooter rocks some fat slicks out back, and the interior looks to have had more pipe laid in it than Sasha Grey's cinnamon starfish, what with its body-colored and egress-impeding roll bar. Still, it straddles that fine line between street and strip made famous by the likes of the fast and the furious, although DMV registration may be a challenge anywhere they require visual inspections.
It wasn't F&F that provided this particular Buick with its SAG card, but a little street racing flick called Born to Race, which was produced by the car's seller, actor/racer/ESX Motorsport founder, Ali Afshar. Afshar's company, ESX, is better known for their Subie work - winning NHRA Championships in 2006 and 2007 Street Class for the brand, but from the looks of this GN, they can make a pretty blinding Buick as well. In addition to his ESX biz, Afshar is also known as the voice of Phantom Ranger in the animated TV series, Power Rangers Turbo.
Painted a nonstandard guards red - which seems to be Afshar's favorite color - this '87 GN isn't going to win any authenticity awards at the next Buick-fest, but it'll probably be faster than anything else there, and you can probably drive it to there and back. That's in contrast to last week's wheel standing E100, and makes this G-body more than just a young horse with a very limited magic act.
Those sub-ten trap runs might be considered magical and this professionally built Buick might prove to be pretty trick, but such celluloid heros never come cheap, especially if they're capable of doing their own stunts - like this one seems. That means that while really nice (and 5-second to sixty) original Grand Nationals may command anywhere from the low teens to mid-twenties, this modified one comes with an asking price of $35,000. Where does that land on your dragstrip; does that price pop your chute? Or, is Ali just spinning his wheels for asking so much?
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