The Buick Grand National Documentary

“I remember taking it to work and wanting to change lanes and all you had to do was just stab the throttle and the thing would “choo-choo” and it would skid over. You didn’t have to move the steering wheel, it would just shift lanes. It was wonderful.”—Steve Pasteiner

Several years ago I was interviewed by Andrew Filippone in regards to my involvement with and my thoughts about the Buick Grand National. Others that were interviewed include Bill Porter, Steve Pasteiner, Tony Assenza, Don Sherman, Csaba Csere, Martyn Schoor, and Doug Nigro. The trailer from Vimeo is a short teaser from Andrew’s documentary.

More information is on Edmunds Inside Line, including links to Andrew’s Facebook page where you can keep up with the progress of the documentary.

Check out the other posts about the Buick Grand National on Dean’s Garage.


BLACK AIR – “Misfit” Teaser from Andrew Filippone Jr. on Vimeo.


The last hurrah for the Turbo Buick was in a Pontiac. In 1989 Pontiac needed a performance boost for the Indy Pace Car and its replicas. So they shoe-horned a Buick Turbo V6 into 1,555 GTAs with all the trick SCCA suspension and brake pieces and finally the Turbo Buick found its way into a host body where the chassis was up to the power. There was no difference between the pace cars and the replicas. Pontiac’s Turbo Trans Am.


1989 Turbo Trans Am

  1. This is another one of those great Detroit masterpieces that I looked upon with envy when being passed by one on the road. Thanks, Gary.

  2. Michael Greer

    So what was this engine that was so special? I heard of this car but never knew how unique it was… interesting. More please! and thanks, Mike

  3. Michael, when these cars came out, Detroit performance was in the dark ages. They were the first glimmer of life; in spite of government regulations, rising gas prices, poor decisions by the auto companies, and invading foreign competition, it wasn’t over yet. The Buick Grand National GNX and the Turbo Trans Am had around 300 hp and 340 lbs. ft. of torque at very low 2800 RPM, enough to launch those cars with mid 13-second 1/4 mile times out of the box. The turbocharged 3.8 litre V-6 had a lot of stout internal pieces, and provided good gas mileage. If you go to GN forums, there are recipes for incremental modifications to easily get the cars into the 11s. The Turbo Trans Am has a top speed of over 150 MPH and handles like a (big) slot car. In the mid-eighties there was nothing new available with this kind of performance without spending five times what the GNs cost.

  4. Christopher Dowdey

    The GNX Buick was a real team effort between a GM Team led by Mike Doble of Buick fame and the ASC design Team led by Mark Trostle Sr. It was truly a collaboration that sought to celebrate the last of that particular Body line with a special car that could throw down with the best of them.
    It was a great example of how GM could get outside the box a bit and really work some magic with a very qualified Automotive supplier. I am very proud to be a part of that ASC Design, Eng. and Manufacturing History because we always worked at a very high level of excellence! Mike Doble and his team were just awesome! On closing..the GNX was a great example of the high level of specialty concepts that went thru ASC and it was a great ride while it lasted.

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