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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Tolland, CT
    Posts
    212

    Default 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    I'm thinking of adding a GN to the collection and am trying to understand or get some opinions on getting past owning a 1986 vs. a 1987 from a collector standpoint. I have the opportunity to purchase a very nice 86 model with low miles that if it were an 87, would be thousands more from the research I've done. Besides slight cosmetic changes, is it just the fact that 87s are the last year of the G body that drives the price up? There were far less 86s produced so that would seem to suggest more collectability. Don't get me wrong, I want to drive and enjoy whatever GN ends up in the garage but it bothers me that 86 models don't seem to benefit from the 87 prices.
    Jason
    1972 Skylark Custom Convertible
    462 w/ Stage 1 iron heads, KB 107, and B4B.
    1971 GS Convertible - SCO 505 - Triple black w/buckets (In full resto)

    Past Buicks:
    68 GS California - VIN#433278H365709- In SoCal
    68 GS 350 3 speed
    70 Skylark Convertible
    70 GS 350 3 speed
    87 Grand National

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    PAWLEYS ISLAND SOUTH CAROLINA
    Posts
    1,259

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Maybe it's that funny chrome bar in the grill of the '86 that people don't like.
    It certainly detracts from an otherwise blacked out car.

    Buy my '87 "Most Optioned" one of one for $25,000 and you won't have to worry about the value going down while your enjoying it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    72 GS Stage1 Numbers matching Survivor"
    * 2 - 87 "GRAND NATIONALS" Most Optioned SOLD and GrandNasty
    * 1969 Electra 225 Custom--"RED on RED CONVERTIBLE" (BiggestRed)--Numbers matching California Survivor"
    * 1970 Electra 225 Custom--AquaMist--Numbers matching Survivor--Sold !!!"
    _________________________
    "HE WHO HESITATES IS LOST"
    _________________________


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,171

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    I bought a modified 86 (cam,tubo,steel crank,) had some paint work done on it and never looked back. Paid a reasonable price for it and I don't care that it is not an 87. It just depends on what you will settle for. I like mine. It is smaller inside than a GS so if you are a big guy keep that in mind. Also, the solid top cars do a little better holding their value than the "T" Top ones. I don't know about moon roof versions. Mike D.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Buy the best example that you can afford. I would not hesitate to buy an 86 if it was a good car. I have owned my 87 since 93, and bought it because it was a good car, and it was available. Do your research and talk to current owners about these cars, as you do NOT want to get taken by a junker in disguise. Thanks, Rudy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    836

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    87's technically have more power even though its probably not noticeable. The reason for being higher priced is because it's the last model year. Id find maybe 3-5 different GN's being sold in your area ( if you do not want to deal with a long distance sale ) and look/drive all of them before making a decision.
    81 Sport Coupe -- 464 Buick, zero decked, SRP Forged Pistons with valve reliefs, Scott Brown cam, 69cc Bulldog heads w/ 1.6 KB roller rockers, SP1 intake topped off with 950 Quickfuel Black Diamond Carb. GN serpentine setup w/ vacuum assisted discs. 8.5 30 spline yukon posi w/ 3.23 richmond gears and 30 spline moser axles. CK performance custom built hybrid AOD and custom 3500 Pro Torque convertor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    LI,NY
    Posts
    16,238

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    its akin to why 1970 GS's are more valuable than the 71 and 72's. even though they are virtually the same car cosmetically. People just like the grill better

    The 87 is the highest horsepower (even though the difference is only 10 HP). Its also perceived as the pinnacle year for them. Its odd, I agree. But if I were looking for one, it would be the 87
    Jason Cook
    BPG #1675
    "Expert in obsolete technology"

    1968 Riviera GS- some assembly required
    1969 Riviera GS- my first car
    1970 Stage 1 4 speed Aquamist
    1971 GS 455 11.93@113.36
    1971 Skylark Custom convertible
    1972 GS-350 project car
    1970 Stellar Industries vintage go kart

    When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Tolland, CT
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    That's a good point about the 70's vs. the 71s and 72s. My convertibles are those two years so maybe an 86 would fit right in. I hate thinking of this purchase as an investment...
    Jason
    1972 Skylark Custom Convertible
    462 w/ Stage 1 iron heads, KB 107, and B4B.
    1971 GS Convertible - SCO 505 - Triple black w/buckets (In full resto)

    Past Buicks:
    68 GS California - VIN#433278H365709- In SoCal
    68 GS 350 3 speed
    70 Skylark Convertible
    70 GS 350 3 speed
    87 Grand National

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    LI,NY
    Posts
    16,238

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    [QUOTE=72skylarkcc;1934753 I hate thinking of this purchase as an investment...[/QUOTE]

    You really need to though. Eventually resale time will come and you'll have alot more success in selling an 87 over an 86. They cost the same to restore/ repair so might as well spend the extra few bucks now.
    Jason Cook
    BPG #1675
    "Expert in obsolete technology"

    1968 Riviera GS- some assembly required
    1969 Riviera GS- my first car
    1970 Stage 1 4 speed Aquamist
    1971 GS 455 11.93@113.36
    1971 Skylark Custom convertible
    1972 GS-350 project car
    1970 Stellar Industries vintage go kart

    When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Wasn't the '87 the year with digital boost gage? I remember people liking those better for launching - if you want to do that sort of thing. No idea if that adds to collectiblity though.
    BCA # 46020
    1968 GS400 Conv

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    836

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Id swing over to turbobuick.com and check the for sale and regional sections. Usually some nice cars and nice people there. Also would be good indicator on pricing.
    81 Sport Coupe -- 464 Buick, zero decked, SRP Forged Pistons with valve reliefs, Scott Brown cam, 69cc Bulldog heads w/ 1.6 KB roller rockers, SP1 intake topped off with 950 Quickfuel Black Diamond Carb. GN serpentine setup w/ vacuum assisted discs. 8.5 30 spline yukon posi w/ 3.23 richmond gears and 30 spline moser axles. CK performance custom built hybrid AOD and custom 3500 Pro Torque convertor.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Irving Texas
    Posts
    865

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Just buy the best condition of either model you can find. There are values to be had relatively speaking. The 25k dollar cars of 5 years ago are now 18k or so. I dont see the prices rebounding soon if ever. With that said, I believe anything you buy now well will hold its value assuming you resale in similiar condition as purchased. If the chrome grill bothers ya in a 86, put in a black one........

    http://www.kirbanperformance.com/pro...++%237215.html
    Wayne Turner

    1970 Buick GSX'ish
    1970 Buick GS 455
    1987 Buick Grand National

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Hudson Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,689

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Quote Originally Posted by 1970GS455 View Post
    Just buy the best condition of either model you can find. There are values to be had relatively speaking. The 25k dollar cars of 5 years ago are now 18k or so. I dont see the prices rebounding soon if ever. With that said, I believe anything you buy now well will hold its value assuming you resale in similiar condition as purchased. If the chrome grill bothers ya in a 86, put in a black one........

    http://www.kirbanperformance.com/pro...++%237215.html
    Prices are way down, if you have cash it's a great time to buy. Just know it will be awhile until you can sell. I have a 87 that's kinda for sale. Driving from WI to BG next week. Search my posts to see it. $9500 takes it
    Low option "T". I say kinda because I should sell it, but it's so much fun to drive. Slightly modded with a fat tune, 22 psi boost and 20 + MPG

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Delran NJ.
    Posts
    575

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    BTW, there is no real 10 hp difference. The drive train is the same. It's just one of those number games GM played.
    Gregg

    70 GSX, yellow, #'s match....12.5@108
    87 GN, some mods....10.66@128
    '09 ML63 AMG
    '06 E55 AMG

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Squamish, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    268

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Jason,

    You owned an '87 GN in the past, so I don't have to tell you how well these cars run, even in factory-stock condition. I bought my 1986 Grand National in July of 2007 from the original owner, and didn't learn until later of the differences between the '86 and '87 GNs. I wouldn't hesitate at picking up the '86. Yes, there are about 4X as many produced in 1987 than 1986, and as 1970gsx correctly stated, GM played down the hp numbers in 1986, so the Buick powerplant wouldn't be rated higher than the Corvette's hp rating that year. The hp rating at the rear wheels, and not off the flywheel, would be closer to that rating anyway. I've had my GN on the dyno to prove it.








    My GN has less than 40K miles on it, right now.


    Nando.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NW Florida, originally from Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,695

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    I read some time ago that the `86 sat a little lower than the `87. Not sure why, slight suspension changes perhaps. If there is a 10hp difference, which I doubt, there a easy remedies for that. Most of them aren't anywhere near their original hp ratings anymore, anyway.

    I had a new `87 Turbo T that ran a 14.11 at near 99mph bone stock. No chip, nothing, even on those POS Goodyear Eagle GT tires it came with. It was definitely no slouch. What was so much fun back then was that very few people knew what those cars were but I made believers out of quite a few musclecar guys. Of course, I usually had to open the hood to prove it was really a V6 because after being whooped by the car no one wanted to believe it
    Bill

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Tolland, CT
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Thanks for the recommendation to check out the turbo buick site. I've missed my 87 since the day it drove out of the driveway. I'm good at over thinking these things but this 86 is looking better every day..
    Jason
    1972 Skylark Custom Convertible
    462 w/ Stage 1 iron heads, KB 107, and B4B.
    1971 GS Convertible - SCO 505 - Triple black w/buckets (In full resto)

    Past Buicks:
    68 GS California - VIN#433278H365709- In SoCal
    68 GS 350 3 speed
    70 Skylark Convertible
    70 GS 350 3 speed
    87 Grand National

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    South Bend, IN
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: 1986 vs. 1987 Grand National

    Quote Originally Posted by 72skylarkcc View Post
    That's a good point about the 70's vs. the 71s and 72s. My convertibles are those two years so maybe an 86 would fit right in. I hate thinking of this purchase as an investment...
    Its not an investment. However it is an addiction that starts with a new chip and injectors, and snowballs into bigger turbos and sticky tires and expensive converters. After that your doing alcohol and meth and wrenching on it all hours of the night.

    now that I give it some thought I wish I had gotten one sooner

 

 

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