Bozo in a Buick Story


A Bozo in Buick
Feb 9, 2011
A Florida Buick Grand National Story,

Flashback!!!.....It's Oct. 1985...
I'm 15 year's old an just moved to Orlando,FL,USA. My Father decides he is going to buy a new car. He's thinking Monte Carlo SS . After some reading up an looking around " I " Highly Suggested a 86' Buick Grand National !!! (For re-sale but mainly i knew it was the Fastest production car for 1986..)We went to the dealer an offered $14,000 take it or leave it an Left . 2 Months later Buick Call's an say's "We have a Grand National for you"... We pick up a 1986 Buick Grand National with No power options ( light weight ).
After my father using it for year, an My first car ever.(bought at age 13 ) a 440 74' Dodge dart had lost a rod on I-4. I started driving the GN..The GN came with 10 year Unlimited Mile bumper to bumper warranty..(Big Grin!) After driving, getting the feel for an testing the capabilities of, First thing on a Modification list was Loosing all the Insurance an factory emissions hold ups (Making it an letting it breath more,Hello Spin in Test-pipe!...Jack the front of the car up till the rear bumper about hits the ground an spin the cat. or test pipe tube on/off..). Second up was a Suspension change. Stock GN's are limited to 124 mph for Reason! At that or above speed the Rear End wobbles . Easy fix though threw polyurethane bushings upper an lower with boxed control arms. While i did the Back's i did the Front's as well along with Bilistein shocks an Applied Technologies & Research Rate Springs an last 28mm sway-bar out back an 22mm front thats adjustable. Now the car's Solid to any MPH.
Time to buy some Goodyear Gatorbacks (Vette tires back in the day) to find the top end of GN. A Bone Stock GN with only Chip,Exhaust,K@N Air filter an the necessary suspension changes will do 160 MPH !!!
I had the Gatorbacks Howling,Overdrive was Redlined on the Dash,Mile marker's were going, 1.....2.....3. I now own a Nascar with Indy motor !! at this time the car was running in the 12.s soildly . I have stack time slips 1/2 foot high.
Time to go Faster. Hey! NOS just came out with kit for GN !! (evil grin) I put 125hp kit on my GN an go for test ride, I mount a button on the steering wheel. First time out, Hit the button, Whoosh your Gone!! but then at higher RPM 'Pop!!!"..Game over. car spits an sputters. I had blown the inlet pipe off. After researching the problem, the boost comes down to 10psi,bone stock chip goes in,. Now i hit the Button an 11.90's come up at the track !! still bone stock GN with minor add on's. With the NOS install came the addition of a complete bolt in Currie ford 9" for Buick. I opted for 3:50 gear, (I'd broke 3 different stock rears).Funny story one time with the NOS. I took my car out in the woods here to go shooting with couple girls .I had McCeary's (dirt sprint car tires) on the back, skinny's in front so made nice sand rail buggy in the sugar sand. we get to the spot,shoot some ,go the leave an i'd locked in the key's in the car!!! only thing open was the trunk..heh. So. I get thin an had crawl around the NOS bottle under the speakers holes, unloosen the back seat from the top an slide my 6 foot butt through to the drivers seat. Whew i was saved,but the bottle location moved that day to opposite the spare tire holder. Another tricky thing with NOS an GN is launching, You will launch so hard an if you got traction, it will pull the steering column down because your holding on so hard!! Tire choice is important but not as much as the tire compound that's best for dry traction, Warning, best dry traction compound Sucks!! in the rain.You get either or. Best launch I've done was at 12psi on foot break(no NOS) on L60 McCeary on asphalt. But if it rained you can't drive over 30mph with-out the rear just sliding out like on Ice.
I now own a Rocket Ship that gets 28mph (if you grandma it) !! I've been 60 miles in 38 minutes..72 miles in 42 minutes..with best cannonball run "timeish" of one way Orlando to Washington D.C. in 8 hours !!!..Worst ticket ,Duely county ,GA one time, Clocked at 120+ mph on my brakes,Hit the brakes when i crested the hill an saw the sheriff in the middle the HWY grass pointed straight at me,I "was" doing 150mph...8^) was $566 to get me an GN out of jail... Funniest ticket i ever got an was my first ever. I was on International Drive,a major hang out back in the 80's. Couple people on the side the road did the "spin tire gesture". So i Did..I was in bumper to bumper traffic anyway,Huge smoke cloud comes out the wheel wells an all of a sudden i get a Flashlight in my face from other side the road...Opps,I didn't see the fully clothed uniform police officer walking down other sidewalk...I got "Exhibition of Speed"..4 points on my license, Great ticket in Buick Grand National!!!
Now in the Late 80's.....
The 86' GN has 96,000 miles on it. I go for ride but didn't warm the car up good enough an Loose a rod bearing . I'm still under Warrenty !! I get the motor fixed but Buick dealer tried pulling a fast one an Only replaced That rod bearing . 3 days later i was back an got brand new short block assembly installed because the other 2 rod bearings wiped . In total i went through 3 rear ends,2 transmissions,1 motor,1 turbo at 113,000 miles..Not bad for Heavily Used GN...
1990..The death of the 86' GN...
I was trying to get a girlfriend back,Me ,her, her friend an friend mine went out for the night. Was X-mas Day 90'. After some partying an on the way back home, i pulled over to let the girl drive. 2 miles up the road I'm laying Indian style in the Grass...We'd came up on the back of Pontiac firebird. I said "Give it some gas an Pass it." She did, car went side ways 3 times then off the road into tree in the passenger side door, (Where i Was) I went out the closed window an 200 feet then car flipped an landed back on its wheels. Worst injury,my buddie got busted lip from girl in the back seat hitting him in the mouth when car flipped. We where only going 35mph when she went to pass.
1990 Birth of the 87' GN...
3 months go by, Insurance offers $14,000 or $11,300 an i can keep the wreck. Car's totaled. I pick $11,300 !! next week i find 1987 GN fully loaded for $11,000 with 63,000 miles on it. i now have 87' GN with 86' Spare Wreck parts car..I put the Currie 9" into the 87', Works like charm. I put the 87' GN in a little self storage unit for day an in "One" night install the 9" an all new front urethane bushing like i did in the 86'. The 86' i stripped in my garage all the way to shell. This next part for you Loyal GN owners is almost Sacreligish. I needed space in the garage Bad, so i rented a Gas Massionary Saw with Diamond Carbon Fiber Blade an cut the 1986 Buick Grand National into small pieces, enough to fit the Whole car into a Datsun B210 hatch back . After that both went to the crusher ..(Tear)
My GNX Self butt Kick...
My car running mid 12's no NOS ,on 100 octane Handy-Way station gas, $2.99 gallon straight from the pump. I pass a Lexus dealer a see a Buick GN. I pull in, It's not a GN but a Real GNX. Buddy Cox's car, I can't recall the number.I want to say 107 or 307?, Anyway I pull in the Lexus dealer in my car,an ask for test ride. I drove it an the transmission was wasted but still had some emuff. The deal would have been $11,000 an My 1987 Buick GN in trade. At that time i thought "No Way". there not getting my car an 11 grand...Now,Today, I think back an am kicking my self in the butt...(Tear number 2)
Now i try playing with the Motor's...
Late 1990...
After completely adding all the "good' stuff to the 87' GN i decided to go into the motor. This where everything goes to hell. I shoot for the SP cams that where hot ticket then, After 3 total rebuilds an All the cam's wiping a lobe or two,some at over 2000 miles others at break-in. My driver license is 1 point away from 5 year suspension ( Yes a lot play equals a lot of pay) I Give Up !!! I put the car in Storage Mode (on Jacks an Covered in sheet in garage) an Buy Build 73' Camaro .
The Year the Motor build Time Warp!
My 412 Camero goes 10.8 street tires mufflers but get's 4 miles to the gallon gas !! Time for Gas efficient race car again...I sell the Camero an trailer for $6000 no motor
The 87' GN comes out of storage an the car goes to John at Bowling Green Custums in Alt GA,Had a complete machine shop build from Boyde Automotive here in FL with,stock block, steel main,large valve ported stock heads.
John has it 4 years, charges me $14,000 for Yeap,straight from his shop a Wiped camshaft!!!
Car goes to KDK Performance in FL
Gone to billet roller cam.$8000 rebuild,car blows up 1/2 track at 110mph. I take up a new hobby of Astrophotagraphy...3 total rebuilds all i paid for,dynoed,tested by Kevin,then to the track same thing, 1/2 track grenade First Run !! 4th new motor bought an paid for, i pull car out KDK,spent over $30,000 in cash an parts totaling over 3 years,I take KDK to court an win.
2006...A Little Building Blues pause..
At this time period,,My Cars a 10 second sleeper in half, But i have 265/50/15 BGF's on all the way around an the cars only good for 1/8 mile power wize. I'm driving around the neighborhood an come to a light. I'm turning Left in the outside lane .On the inside lane is a 4 door E-class Mercedes with windows all the way down an older gentleman playing Classical Piano on radio...Loud...I'm thinking " i turn this corner, this guy's not going to know What Happened!"... Light turns Green, We both turn the corner side by side. Right when we straighten up . That Mo Fo in the Mercedes Gun's It's an Is Gone!!!!!..I stab the gas a go up in smoke....!!! ...LOL..I was like what the hell just happened here????...come to find out, i tried pulling a stunt on a $180,000 Twin Turbo Composer Mercedes E600,11.30's 1/4 mile times from the factory with Awesome traction Control!!!...Next day i ordered 10" inch 28 inch tall E.T. streets. I'm looking for that guy again...heh
I call Cal Hartline,He recommends Lamotta performance. The new motor from KDK goes straight on the dyno an BOOM!! head gasket launches as all the times before. I asked Jake at Lamotta if he can fix it, an add Posten GNX style dash an new Front mount intercooler,6 months later motors done at Heartbeat racing engines,Even though Lamottoa dropped my motor to him for whatever reason i had to go pick it up from the machinist .(that cost the tranny in my Tahoe!)After Lamotta installs the motor an fires it,I expressibley told him to wait for me before him an Cal dyno it!!,,He dyno's it anyway an bends a Rod with out my knowledge!!..When I called Jake an he said i quote "Its fine, ready to go"..I pick it up, Its bellowing white smoke out the exhaust very 10 minutes,water temps high, oil pressures All over the place!!!,,the dash speedo don't work, (the whole reason i had the GNX dash kit Installed was to loose the 85mph limit!!) an the grill ,Lamotta broke the header panel flap so my Grill dangles in place,had to buy whole new front headlight panel,won't mention them storing my car under a car on lift that leaked fluid because by now my paints wasted any way. $13,000 in total parts an labor back to square one
Piston pin was riding up an down the #4 cylinder wall
Car stays in My Garage..
Dave at Heartbeat racing engines rebuilt an sleeves the damage piston pin cylinder an i have him add GN1 stroker kit..The Motors now perfect an i have over 2000+ miles on it
July 27th 2010
The cars at ProFab in Tampa having Matt inspected the suspension along with the brakes. I had shop neer by Orlando Muscle Cars add TRZ a-arms an disk brakes but they Completely Ripped Me Off an made the car un-useable,($3400 waste!!!)They put drag race only brakes on with no parking brake. Pocketed thousand dollors Also TRZ bars do not clearance a GN's downpipe either i find out the hard way.
Feb 23rd 2011...
The Car's Repaired from shade tree mechanic work Again.!! I now have BMR control arms front an back. Aerospace pro-street disk brakes all around,1 inch lower springs, ROH drift wheels with Falken auto cross tires, Added the GNX fender flare kit an Have All the GNX conversion pieces i need for the 87' GN last shop visit, Paint An Body.....
After all the other places of repair an so called performance specialist, How Hard can it be finding a One Time Visit only Paint Shop for the Last Phase of this GNX 548-R clone build ??? ..(smirk)
Moral to Last 10 years,If you "Have to" send your car out...Try your Hardest to Have a All-in-One shop work on your car,Or you'll get the Third person run around,(example), Oh i'll take your car an your money,but its the machist fault or part builders fault why nothing works,pay us, blame them... First time you here that....Run!!! Get all work in Writing,You might need it later, What ever you do don't give up till it's matter of life or death. Each time you get your car back,It's like X-mas!!!! you go all Googlie!!

Brent aka Bozo
Checked out your astronomy photos, amazing stuff and thanks for posting!

Great writeup.
A transmission place that was recomended by KDK (Trans-Express) rebuilt an re-installed my 96' Tahoe's transmission an took the radiador out of the trans cooling lines,It over heated constantly!!,,the weight the fully assembled motor really fryed it,I've hook'ed it back in the radiador now with front mount cooler with it own fan,No problems,its HP with z-pack,an 2800rpm 11 inch converter
While my car was down i Learnt Astrophotagraphy...heh...8^)...3 years worth an $9000 in camera's ,mounts,scopes,filters,etc,etc,etc...Found it's just as expensive