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2 days ago

The 1986 LeSabre GN: The Forgotten Grand National

3 people viewing this

| By Flex Luger - 2 days ago


Ask anyone about the Buick Grand National cars and they will most likely mention the Regals made from 1982 to
1987. Near the end of that amazing run of turbo charged V6 coupes came a strange anomaly in the form of the
full-sized LeSabre coupe. In some ways it could be argued that the almost one-off LeSabre Gran National did not
quite deserve the label because it was not turbocharged. What it lacked in get up, it made up for with style and
practical handling performance in a unique big front wheel drive coupe.


The whole ideal of applying the name to the larger LeSabre came out of the need to qualify the newly downsized LeSabre coupe for NASCAR duty. Previously, Buick used the Regal, until aerodynamic advances by the competition led to the decision to use the new front wheel drive LeSabre as the Regal replacement n the ovals. By using LeSabres for NASCAR, Buick had hoped to improve sales of its larger LeSabre by lending it the Regal’s sporty image.




The improvements gained from racing were primarily aerodynamic. In the case of the LeSabre, modifications to its rear quarter windows allowed better airflow therefore reducing drag. From an aesthetic point of view, simply adding a cover over part of the window made for a larger blind spot, but the small speed gains on grueling NASCAR tracks was worth it. The resulting modification had to find its way to production cars to qualify, so a limited run of modified LeSabres were built at the Buick City factory in Flint, Michigan. The cars differed from the run of the mill Le Sabre significantly, especially aestetically. A large front spoiler, black out trim, sport FE1 suspension, 15 aluminum wheels and a dual exhaust suggested this was no ordinary LeSabre.


Under the hood was more conventional, if not a duplicate of any other LeSabre with its off the shelf standard 3.8 L sequential fuel injected V6, something of a corporate engine for Buick, as it was found in many of its cars. At 150 hp, the LeSabre Gran National was not the quickest car off the line, considering it had to move over 3,000lbs of car. But then straight line performance was not the mission of this LeSabre. Unlike the Regal Grand National, the LeSabre
never got turbocharging. In fact, the point was made subtly with the addition of LeSabre’s own Grand National badge.
It like the one on the Regal’s had the turbo shaped curved graphic, but was red on the LeSabre as opposed to the turbo Regal’s yellow. Rumor has it that Buick was in the process of testing a turbo version of the upcoming 3800 V8 to be used if the LeSabre Grand National ever made it to long-term production. This was probably untrue considering that the newly designated “sport” models of the LeSabre called the T-Type would be naturally aspirated. The LeSabre GN did get similar suspension upgrades to the GN Regal including thicker anti roll bars and FE 1 suspension as mentioned before.


While the outside might have been the most dramatic departure from the standard leSabre, the interior had its share of sporting touches also. Some concession to sport was made with a three spoke leather wrapped steering wheel, but the rest of the interior looked like a standard LeSabre, down to the kitchen counter looking dash. All LeSabre GNs were grey with very little bright work and only a little LeSabre badge on the passenger side of the dashboard to alert occupants of what they were in. Other luxuries of the day that were shared with lesser LeSabres were cassette stereos with ETR radios(some with AM stereo capability), power windows, air and of course three speed automatic transmissions. According to Buick, all the cars produced were black, with records indicating at least one red car and promotional material suggesting tha the cars would be available in white also.


Completed cars were shipped from the factory, directly to Daytona Florida. The intention was to sell them in Buick dealerships in the Atlanta and Jacksonville sales zones. Only about 112 cars were made in a single run in December 1985. The cars came with commeritive items celebrating Buicks participation in NASCAR with a special cooler, and other race related items. Bobby Allison ran a LeSabre in 1986 for the Miller race team with the modified rear quarter window. Allison didn’t win at Daytona that year but placed highly at many races and eventually won at Talladega in the Winson 500. The ideal of a LeSabre Grand National came and wentalmost as fast as it was conceived. The low production numbers insure that the LeSabre Grand National will take its place among the most rare of modern sport-oriented Buicks.

88 LeSabre T-Type

Some of The notoriety and knowledge from racing would be shifted to a line of sporty LeSabres wearing the T-Type badge after 1986. Many of the Lesabre GN exterior treatments like the blackout trim,sport wheels and spoiler would find their way to T- Type models in the following years. Sales of the T-Type performance cars were low, probably due to traditional customers being confused and thinking they stumbled upon a Pontiac dealership by mistake instead of the tranquil Buick haven they had become accustomed to. Buick would eventually wake up from its performance car dreams and restructure its line up, concentrating more on its traditional luxury cars and leaving the sport part to the people over at Pontiac. This handing over of the batton to Pontiac is no where more evident than Buicks most powerful and advanced turbo V6 ending up in a Trans-Am in 1989 due to an engine surplus caused by the turbo Grand National cars demise.


1986 Buick LeSabre Grand National


 
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3 days ago

Image inside 2012 cts coupe BX?

4 people viewing this

| By williefresh - 3 days ago

Just seeing what you guys think. Found a good drive to work Car to have some fun in. 65k Miles great condition. Rebuilt title is the only thing that scares me I’m going to have it looked at this weekend. Was hit in the side.

Fund another clean title, Matte grey slammed with a custom excust. 2011 90k Miles def an eye turner but not sure if it’s in a good way or not. Dude has a android. That’s why the pics are trash


Price not a factor for either

Which one my girl is zero help









 
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3 days ago

Amg gtr takes on 700bhp audi rs6

3 people viewing this

| By bigscore - 3 days ago


Beautifully shot video!

 
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4 days ago

Mb amg s63 vs bmw m760li acceleration & top speed autobahn pov

4 people viewing this

| By bigscore - 4 days ago


 
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4 days ago

New Infiniti G - 500 HP

2 people viewing this

| By bigscore - 4 days ago

Did see this posted.....



 
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5 days ago

BMW M760Li v Tesla Model S v Audi RS 6 v Mercedes-AMG E63 S

3 people viewing this

| By bigscore - 5 days ago


 
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6 days ago

Man with no arms drives car

3 people viewing this

| By dipset2087 - 6 days ago


Definately motivational
:d ogsuccess:

 
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7 days ago

Video inside Visited the Car Museum It Was Dope.

2 people viewing this

| By GrindPOWER$ - 7 days ago


 
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2 weeks ago

Image inside Mercedes Benz AMG Vision on the set of Justice League.

2 people viewing this

| By CALViiiN - 2 weeks ago


 
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2 weeks ago

2018 Audi RS5 review

2 people viewing this

| By bigscore - 2 weeks ago


 
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2 weeks ago

A Drive in a BUGATTI CHIRON

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| By bigscore - 2 weeks ago


 
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2 weeks ago

Mercedes Benz E400 coupe Review

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| By bigscore - 2 weeks ago


 
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2 weeks ago

Video inside Just Floyd showing off his luxury car collection

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| By micropave - 2 weeks ago

Foreign Language Music by @dj_jaybling ‘4 a check’ NOW AVAILABLE on iTunes

A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on


 
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2 weeks ago

Video inside Detailed Look At The Tesla Model 3

3 people viewing this

| By bluehefner96 - 2 weeks ago

First Look




Exterior Hidden Features




Interior Hidden Features



Paint



Aero Wheels


 
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3 weeks ago

Video inside 2018 Kia Stinger GT: Rear-Wheel Drive, Korean Style!

2 people viewing this

| By mr_underground - 3 weeks ago


 
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3 weeks ago

Video inside The Hoonicorn returns. Climbkhana. (Pikes Peak)

4 people viewing this

| By Leadfoot - 3 weeks ago


 
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3 weeks ago

Video inside These Are the Top 10 Most Fun Cars We Drove This Year!

3 people viewing this

| By mr_underground - 3 weeks ago



10. jeep grand cher trailhawk

9. chevy bolt

8. hyundai elantra gt sport

7. audi tt rs

6. volvo v90 crosscountry

5. merc amg gt roadster

4. dodge durango srt

3. honda civic type-r

2. alfa romeo guilia quadro

1. dodge demon

 
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4 weeks ago

World's Greatest Drag Race 7!

3 people viewing this

| By realgunta - 4 weeks ago


 
Read 17 comments





4 weeks ago

A Tall Guy Reviews Cars

2 people viewing this

| By bigscore - 4 weeks ago

Just came across this guys channel for the first time. Basically the "homies" reviewing nice rides.








 
Read 15 comments





4 weeks ago

Video inside F150 Ecoboost vs everyone GT350, ZL1, Hellcat - 1/4 mile killer

2 people viewing this

| By franchise - 4 weeks ago


 
Read 14 comments



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