Opinions wanted on GN purchase


New Member
As with a lot of people, I've wanted a GN since 1987 when the intercooled ones came out. I've finally gotten myself in a position to buy one. I'm looking at one locally with a new engine, tranny, paint job and enough modifications that the owner claims 400 horsepower and mid 12 time slips. He said he'd sell it to me for $11K and that's what he's spent on it in the past couple of years. Should I be jumping on this before the guy changes his mind or is this just about average for what they're selling for? BTW, I'm 40 years old and the seller is in his 60's and is just tired of the car according to him. Opinions?
Yes, this is the first one I've looked at. He drove it up to the Hardware store I manage the other day. I've been thinking about buying one for a while now but never acted on the urge. We got talking and I just casually asked if he'd ever consider selling it. Most older guys just hang on to cars around here until they die. That's when he told me that he was getting tired of it and would sell it to me for $11K. It looks like new inside and out. I didn't go for a drive in it as it was snowing like crazy at the time. That's another thing that shocked me. He was out driving it in the snow. I'm sure he greatly exaggerated the performance of the car but did say he had receipts for the new engine, tranny and paint job. I'm not looking for a GN to set records or anything. I'm just looking for a nice clean one that will run 12's on radials. I'm not into putting slicks on a car just to run the number. And no, the current owner is not the original owner.
I guess I should explain why I've wanted one since 1987. I bought a brand new 5.7 liter IROC and thought it was unbeatable by new cars. Then a new 1987 Grand National handed me my ass badly. I didn't even know what they were before that. I've seen wanting one ever since but just never got around to purchasing one. Thanks for the info. I didn't realize they were intercooled in 86 as well. I thought 87 was the first year.
A couple of things.

Snow is not that bad to drive in.... no different than rain.
What will kills a car is SALT! If they don't toss salt in your area you shold be ok.

A stock motor can run 12's with minor mods.
Check member PRONTO out. hardly any mods & he ran 12.7
I am sure he will be faster this season.

Is the rebuilt stock? seems like he had to do a lot to the car which is better for you.

Also go test ride a few so you can feel them.
Thanks for the link to the info. I guess my next step is to get up with the current owner and take it for a spin. He said the engine and tranny were "new" but they're probably rebuilt. I'll check the things I saw on that "things to check" list. What's a clean, nearly stock GN sell for these days? I know the Blue book is BS. I at first thought $11K seemed a bit high but he said he'd show me receipts totalling more than this that was spent on the car. That led me to here looking for answers from those more knowledgeable on these cars than me. Thanks again for any replies.
I just picked up an '86 GN for $9700. The body has been restored, new paint and badges. A couple of goodies. Overall a very clean car and well worth the money. It was the first one I looked at. The other two weren't nearly as good and I couldn't have made them as nice for the difference I was saving on the price. Check it over real good and follow the guide from the link above. Good luck.


Did I miss something or is there no mention of miles for this car? Just because he spent a lot of money to fix the car doesn't mean you need to pay him back for it and it also doesn't mean it was money well spent. I would also check out twobryans on this site. he always has a bunch of really nice turbo cars for sale and he is in VA so the ride wouldn't be bad to go see the car from NC. I wouldn't just jump on the first car you see. Give us some more details on miles and options. There is a lot of knowledge on this board, take advantage and make sure you aren't killing yourself on the first GN you buy.
I don't have a lot of details right now. No idea how many miles or options. Let me go talk to the guy again and get a few more details. I know there is a wealth of knowledge here and I appreciate the help. I just kinda like the fact that the current owner isn't really into drag racing or anything else that would tend to tear up the car. I'll get back on here one I get some more details. And thanks for the help and concern.
Besides arming yourself with all of the internet resources on these cars, you should consider purchasing Kirban's books on purchasing a Turbo Regal. They are very informative. My immediate suggestion would be to make sure that you hook up with some local TR guys that could help you learn and look over the car in questions with and for you. This would include several hrs to check everything closely and to also run engine diagnostics scan on it. Would hate to see you get burned as it's "buyer beware". Just because he's an older more mature owner doesn't mean that the car may not have issues. Take your time, be safe, get educated on the ins and outs of these cars, and have fun in the search for one that is right for you.
When I was looking for a GN a few years back, I found many good deals in Canada. Maybe more of a drive than you want, but don't settle for a car. I picked mine up for 11k with only 41k original miles, and close to show condition.
Originally posted by Evans Ward
Besides arming yourself with all of the internet resources on these cars, you should consider purchasing Kirban's books on purchasing a Turbo Regal.

This is good advice and you might also look at Kirban's website-- he lists all the Turbo Regals he'd sold in the past couple of years with milage and price (look to the bottom of the Cars for Sale page). The cars he sells are clean and well maintained and there may be a bit of a price premium, but the data there should get you into the ballpark.


Good luck!