Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Low-buck Grand National with manual windows, door locks for the Turbo Buick Guys

Darth Vader and the roll-up windows. To add to Jody’s story on the original Turbo Buick – I have a question about Grand Nationals. This really should be entitled, “To Further Educate Junkyard Life on Buick Turbos.” Last weekend, during a Junkyard Life adventure, Anthony and I attended the Ardmore Car Show and swap meet. Hundreds of cars and gear heads united in beautiful Ardmore, a city at that straddles the Alabama-Tennessee state line. A Buick Grand National stole my attention because it was missing options taken for granted on almost every new car.
  I always hope to run across a turbo car from the Buick line, particularly the 1986 and 1987 intercooled models, at any show. I have a beautiful dream of someday owning a T-Type wearing grey or Rosewood paint. More on that later.
Question of the day
  There were three Grand Nationals in attendance at the Ardmore car show. That alone is note worthy! Outside of the GS Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where else can you expect to see a Buick Grand National? The three black beauties at the show were packed with options. You expect that. It was a Buick. The top of the line Buick, at that. All were super nice cars. Cruise control, tilt wheel, cloth seats, special badging, air conditioning, power seats, power door locks and power windows can always be found in a Grand National. Or so I thought. I found a Grand National with manual, roll-them-up-yourself, windows and powerless door locks. Did I?

I’ll take fries with that   Do you expect this beautiful GN to have power everything? I did. I loved the manual windows! Surprise!
  Before you call shenanigans on me, look at the picture below.

Manual windows and manual locks on a Buick Grand National! How many of these have you seen?

My car is fast, my windows are slow
  See? See? I wasn’t making this up. Also note the Turbo-6 hardware covers on the door pull.
  I have seen a couple of T-Types with manual windows. That makes a little more sense. That is even believable. I have never until now have seen a Grand National with manual windows and locks. It’s like Darth Vader opening his own doors. So my question is this: "Does anyone have any numbers of these?" 
  Buick Grand Nationals optioned with manual windows and locks must have super, low build numbers. Has anyone ever seen one? It couldn’t have helped the sticker price that much. Buick Grand National buyers were rarely concerned with price. They wanted it all. But it does add to the muscle car persona. Did I really see this one? It was very hot that day… 
  So send me your weird Buick Turbo option, or lack there-of, facts. We must know.

Happy Hunting!

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life

Know of wacky Buick GN build numbers or a junkyard that we need to visit?  Send emails to Ron at or Jody at

A total of 30,022 Buick Grand Nationals were built during the 1982-1987 production run.

Weird Things overheard by Ron while standing beside a Buick Grand National

  • Adult male, in his mid-thirties, looked at the Grand National and asked a friend, "Grand National? Is that really what they were called?” I wanted to call security and have him put in jail.
  • Adult male, mid-twenties looking at a GN was overheard “Yeah, Grand Nationals, they were supposed to be fast, but no one has ever seen one run.” I just didn’t know what to say. Poor guy. THAT guy needs an education and not just the stats on power windows.

Compare this power window switch and power lock on passenger door panel of this Buick Grand National. 

Tell us something about an old junkyard or rusty relic.  Send emails to Ron at or Jody at

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