Kudos for Forum Members Mexico and Melissa


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Kudos for Forum Members Mexico and Melissa

Yesterday two members of this forum provided an extraordinary service to an elderly fellow GN owner whose car was completely disabled along a busy interstate highway in North Carolina. While unconscionably lengthy here is the story. I won’t reveal their true names for their own safety as much as I would like to at this point.

I purchased a brand new 1987 Buick Grand National in November 1987 in Maryland. T-tops, digital dash, every available option and like many I paid well over factory invoice. I was a fan; hats, shirts, chips, drag racing, you name it. Box stock with luggage in the trunk it ran mid-13’s at Elizabethtown, NJ. GN owners at the time were to put it succinctly rabid in their love of their cars. Many questioned my sanity, including myself, when I sold it in August 1990 in Naperville, IL to finance another car. Bur after all, it was the only known new car dealer painted black 1970 Plymouth Superbird.

Years past, children grew, cars came and went and I aged. I’m old, let’s just say older than 60 and leave it at that and retired. I couple of months ago I took advantage of an opportunity to buy another ’87 GN. Sitting for a long time and rough around the edges it caught my eye because it was completely factory stock with 77,000 miles. Not a single modification, not even a chip. No T-tops, analog dash, no concert sound, cracks in the B-pillars from hard use. But it was stock, available and a sprung for the purchase price.

So what’s my point? Yesterday I took off on an adventure with my sister-in-law to find the famous Clarke’s GN Garage in Burlington, NC. Spent hours looking but never found it. Turns out there are two identical addresses in Burlington NC. Each address is on the opposite side of town with nearly identical, but different zip codes.

On the way home I kept hearing a strange noise from the rear of the car. I stopped but couldn’t figure what was causing it. I was accelerating onto I-40 East at Mebane when I heard a very loud explosion and it felt like the entire rear-end had been torn from the car. In my left driver’s mirror I saw a wheel and tire high in the air and fading to my right. The car came to a stop with a substantial list to the left. Those of your familiar with the peccadillos of the GN know exactly what happened. The left rear tire lug nuts had loosened and come off resulting in the wheel coming off, causing the brake drum to come off.

After ensuring my sister-in-law was not injured and that she had no future designs on injuring me I stepped out of the car to see the axle, brakes and shock bracket buried in the ground. What happened was clearly obvious and none of the missing lug nuts were ever found. Options were limited and while she contacted AAA I pulled the never before used jack from the trunk and managed to get the car in the air. After a lengthy hike I retrieved the brake drum and wheel and relocated them back on the car. I also came to the sudden realization that this was a known GN problem that I had totally forgotten. I recalled that I had tightened the chrome wheels of my original GN at least weekly and had even kept five spare lug nuts in the console.

At this point a late model Buick sedan stopped and a young man, let’s call him “Mexico” and his significant other “Mellissa” offered assistance. He explained to me that his father had a GN when he was “YOUNG” and that he was the current owner of a ’87 GN. We spent a few minutes reminiscing (war stories) cogitating over the missing lug nuts and he and Mellissa returned to their Buick. A short time later out of the corner of my eye I see that Mexico is removing lug nuts from his car. I was astonished! He returned and placed four of his own lug nuts in my hand. Honestly I was speechless. Before I did say anything he took them from my hand, cleaned up the lugs with water and a rag and began tightening them down on the lugs. They need to be on their way – to purchase another car I believe – and I just stared as they drove away.

I am the most hard-core, pessimistic; the glass is empty and crushed into the dirt retired law enforcement officer. But this brief incident gave me faith and reminded me of several lessons learned. Thank you Xavier and Mellissa. I hope you got the car.

1) There are still good people in the world willing to go out of their way to help.

2) GN owners are still rapid fans

3) Pay close attention to what your GN is trying to tell you. This was my fault not the cars.

4) Chrome lug nuts on chrome wheels while beautiful are a recipe for disaster. Check them OFTEN.

5) Resist any temptation to sell your GN. If you do succumb contact me for first right of refusal.
Great story. Every once in while it's nice to hear a story that restores faith in society. I will say most of the members of our little group of TB nuts are really nice people that will lend a helping hand to fellow enthusiasts.
Great story! I still have faith. Every time I've broken down there has always been someone that offers help. Removing the lug nuts sure was a great idea!