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HarleyEarl

1986 Buick LeSabre Grand National

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I had never heard of this car, the 1986 Buick LeSabre Grand National:

http://www.lesabret-type.com/LeSabreGN.html

86buickgrandnationaltk5.jpg

Exactly What is a LeSabre Grand National?

Many do not even know that Buick Division of General Motors produced the Grand National on a platform other than on the Regal but there was a very unique Grand National built in late1985 – the 1986 LeSabre Grand National. 117 (or 112) copies were built to qualify the new, first year 1986 LeSabre FWD Coupe body for NASCAR competition. The main reason for building the 1986 LeSabre Grand National was to get the new body with modified rear quarter windows sanctioned for Winston Cup racing that year. The modified windows gave the car a streamline advantage over the large rear quarter windows. All LeSabre Grand Nationals were produced in December, 1985 in one run, from one run sheet – some of the first FWD LeSabre Coupes produced. Serial numbers are sequential or nearly sequential and all have the same exact options. Around that time Buick Motor Division changed its marketing strategy from a performance to luxury car image and cancelled future LeSabre Grand National builds. Only the one production run of LeSabre Grand Nationals was completed and Buick decided to build no more. As such, the 1986 LeSabre Grand National is the rarest of Buicks wearing the Grand National emblem and one of the rarest of all “modern” era Buicks.

Edited by HarleyEarl
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I don't think I've ever seen one of those, other than that magazine ad back in the day. I do remember the Le Sabre T-Types, though.

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one of the rarest of all “modern” era Buicks

To my eyes (and I'm a Buick guy), one of the plainest! There's not a thing I like about it; doctor, give me a Buick tri-shield, some curves, a full-width taillight, and some whitewalls and chrome GS road wheels stat!

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To my eyes (and I'm a Buick guy), one of the plainest! There's not a thing I like about it; doctor, give me a Buick tri-shield, some curves, a full-width taillight, and some whitewalls and chrome GS road wheels stat!

And the Wildcat name....always loved that Buick name.

But I like this Grand National for it's rarity. It's an interesting little bit of Buick history that's not widely known. And it was a time that Buick was interested in a performance image. I'm glad they flirted with it.

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there was an old lady that drove what i think was an 86 buick GS with t-type badges on it. i took pics of it and then about a year later she stopped working as a volunteer.

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Yeah, there was a short time that NASCAR teams ran that car before the Regal. In the lower levels, it had a bit more longevity as car turnover is not as fast in the lower levels.

Here are a few photos of the NASCAR version...

BobbyAllison86.jpg

yAllison22MillerMonteCarlo1985-vi.jpg

86lgn22.jpg

More info here LeSabre GN Link

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Isn't the middle picture a Monte Carlo???

EDIT: No, it says "Buick Motorsports" on the body. But it still looks like a Monte Carlo to me.

Edited by wildcat
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Yeah, there was a short time that NASCAR teams ran that car before the Regal. In the lower levels, it had a bit more longevity as car turnover is not as fast in the lower levels.

More info here LeSabre GN Link

IIRC, some teams ran the Olds 88 also...Cale Yarbourough's Hardees car was an 88, IIRC. When NASCAR went to the FWD car bodystyles over the fake RWD chassis was about the time I stopped watching NASCAR.

Edited by moltar
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IIRC, some teams ran the Olds 88 also...Cale Yarbourough's Hardees car was an 88, IIRC. When NASCAR went to the FWD car bodystyles over the fake RWD chassis was about the time I stopped watching NASCAR.

Me too.....always irked me that phoniness.

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I've always been a fan of the LeSabre T-Type coupes.....it'd be great to own one of these rare GNs.

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I remember seeing one of these at one time. Dont know what happened to it.

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I think the car in question is the last year of the Buick LeSabre before they went back to the regal. . . not sure though exactly.

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WOW!!! A front wheel drive LeSabre coupe with ZERO performance modifications whatsoever and sporting such RACE-INSPIRED FEATURES (excuse me while I $h! my pants!) as a rear quarter window insert and embroidered floormats! That's the SICKEST MUSCLE CAR I'VE EVER SEEN!!!

Oh wait, no it isn't. It's my grandmother's car with a f@#king different steering wheel. Kinda sad that a "race-ready" Buick used to mean this:

1970_Buick_GSX_coupe.jpg

OR, even more pathetic is the fact that in the same year that this FWD piece of $h! rolled off the assembly line, this was sitting right next to it in the showroom:

gn1.jpg

Which one of the two would you prefer? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Remind me again why a car whose deviation from the run of the mill production unit begins and ends at the emblem glued to the front fender matters at all.

Edited by XP715
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Yeah, that clamshell-hooded Citation GT is a disgrace to the Grand National name.

What an ugly turd-bucket to begin with, and then to make matters worse they glue

a G.N. emblem to it as if it deserves to even wear a Buick logo.

THIS is exactly why I have no problem owning an '84 Mercedes hardtop & yet still

calling myself a diehard GM fan. These '80s fwd bland mobiles did more damage at

GM that some people to this day consider Buick to be a lame brand for geriatrics.

That Saturn yellow GSX would slap that "LeSabre Grand National" into submission

so quick it would end up at an Import used car lot sitting next to a Hyundai Pony.

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I don't think I've ever seen one of those, other than that magazine ad back in the day. I do remember the Le Sabre T-Types, though.

I remember this car when working at Buick.

It was the precursor to the actual production LeSabre T-Type. The LeSabre T-Type was introduced after this LeSabre Grand National....and sported the LeSabre MCE changes including the flush-mounted headlamps and revised front end.

They did build a very small amount of LeSabre GN models but, unlike the Regal GN, this LeSabre GN ran a bone-stock 3800 V6 that it shared with the later LeSabre T-Type.

(Incidentally, I LOVE the LeSabre and Electra T-Type models from that day and would love to find a cherry version of either.)

Also, does anyone remember the Century (A-body) Gran Sport? It was also a very limited edition Century 2-door with Grand National-like all black paint and trim with exclusive wheels (I think 15-inch when the Century T-Type sported 14-inch rims in the day) and a special two-tone black and gray interior....

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Don't be hating me.

I just posted it as a curious piece of Buick history.

No one said it was a fire breathing Corvette.

It got caught in a change of direction for Buick.

Don't be hating me and Buick.

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Anyone remember the turbo LeSabre coupe from '78? I haven't seen one of those in at least 25 years.

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