Buick could be reviving Grand National, GNX and Riviera

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Buick Grand National

General Motors has trademarked Grand National and GNX as names, which were formerly astoundingly-powerful limited edition Buicks. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

General Motors appears to be cribbing a great deal from its past successes in coming up with ideas for new cars among its brands. Trademarks were recently obtained by GM for the names of some classic Buick models, such as the Riviera, Grand National and GNX.

A stroll on the Riviera

Though modern cars and technology are fantastic, “retro” will always have appeal. A great number of cars are designed to mimic previous cars of the same name, such as the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and MiniCooper. Others, like the Dodge Dart, simply have the old name attached to them, despite sharing little in common mechanically.

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General Motors is currently trademarking names of classic Buick cars, ostensibly to kindle nostalgia and thus sales of the near-luxury brand. Several weeks ago, according to USA Today, it was reported that GM had trademarked the “Riviera” name, as in the Buick Riviera, the full-size coupe made from 1963 to 1999.

Baby Grand

GM has also, according to AutoGuide, applied for trademarks for the names of two Buick models from the 1980s that are considered underground legends to muscle car enthusiasts: Grand National and GNX. As with any filing for a trademark for a car name, as AutoGuide points out, it doesn’t mean a car will wear the badge, but merely that GM wants it just in case.

Speculation on a recent Automobile magazine blog post is that Buick may be getting a rear-wheel-drive coupe. Currently, the only RWD car made by Buick is the Park Avenue, which is only sold in China. However, it is known that Chevrolet is getting a new RWD muscle car, the SS; Buick may be next in line. If Buick is bringing back the Riviera, the Grand National and GNX may not be far behind.

Brawler from grandparents car brand

Some may think Buick is an “old people” brand, but the company does have a history of occasionally stuffing a nuclear bomb under the hood. The Grand National was just such a car.

The Grand National was a performance variant of the Regal coupe, according to Edmunds, made between 1982 until 1987. Only offered in black, the car had a menacing appearance that some thought resembled Darth Vader from the “Star Wars” series.

All models had a turbocharged engine, which was refined every year, according to AutoTrader Classics. The 1985 model boasted an ample 200 horsepower, but further tuning and an intercooler resulted in the 1986 Grand National being an unhinged 235-horsepower beast. More powerful and faster than the Chevrolet Corvette of the day, the 1986 “GN” was capable of 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds; supercar territory in those days.

The 1987 edition was further tuned to 245 horsepower. Alongside it, in its last year, was the GNX, an even more powerful version rated, according to AutoGuide, at 276 horsepower.

Sources

USA Today

AutoGuide

Automobile

AutoTrader Classics: http://www.autotraderclassics.com/car-article/Future+Collectible%3A+1986+Buick+Grand+National*T_Type-66683.xhtml

Edmunds: http://www.edmunds.com/buick/regal/


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