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The 1986 LeSabre GN: The Forgotten Grand National


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 1 year ago '10        #1
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Flex Luger 317 heat pts317
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The 1986 Buick LeSabre GN: The Forgotten Grand National
 

 
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Ask anyone about the Buick Grand National cars and they will most likely mention the Regals made from 1982 to
1987. Near the end of that amazing run of turbo charged V6 coupes came a strange anomaly in the form of the
full-sized LeSabre coupe. In some ways it could be argued that the almost one-off LeSabre Gran National did not
quite deserve the label because it was not turbocharged. What it lacked in get up, it made up for with style and
practical handling performance in a unique big front wheel drive coupe.

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The whole ideal of applying the name to the larger LeSabre came out of the need to qualify the newly downsized LeSabre coupe for NASCAR duty. Previously, Buick used the Regal, until aerodynamic advances by the competition led to the decision to use the new front wheel drive LeSabre as the Regal replacement n the ovals. By using LeSabres for NASCAR, Buick had hoped to improve sales of its larger LeSabre by lending it the Regal’s sporty image.

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The improvements gained from racing were primarily aerodynamic. In the case of the LeSabre, modifications to its rear quarter windows allowed better airflow therefore reducing drag. From an aesthetic point of view, simply adding a cover over part of the window made for a larger blind spot, but the small speed gains on grueling NASCAR tracks was worth it. The resulting modification had to find its way to production cars to qualify, so a limited run of modified LeSabres were built at the Buick City factory in Flint, Michigan. The cars differed from the run of the mill Le Sabre significantly, especially aestetically. A large front spoiler, black out trim, sport FE1 suspension, 15 aluminum wheels and a dual exhaust suggested this was no ordinary LeSabre.

image
Under the hood was more conventional, if not a duplicate of any other LeSabre with its off the shelf standard 3.8 L sequential fuel injected V6, something of a corporate engine for Buick, as it was found in many of its cars. At 150 hp, the LeSabre Gran National was not the quickest car off the line, considering it had to move over 3,000lbs of car. But then straight line performance was not the mission of this LeSabre. Unlike the Regal Grand National, the LeSabre
never got turbocharging. In fact, the point was made subtly with the addition of LeSabre’s own Grand National badge.
It like the one on the Regal’s had the turbo shaped curved graphic, but was red on the LeSabre as opposed to the turbo Regal’s yellow. Rumor has it that Buick was in the process of testing a turbo version of the upcoming 3800 V8 to be used if the LeSabre Grand National ever made it to long-term production. This was probably untrue considering that the newly designated “sport” models of the LeSabre called the T-Type would be naturally aspirated. The LeSabre GN did get similar suspension upgrades to the GN Regal including thicker anti roll bars and FE 1 suspension as mentioned before.

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While the outside might have been the most dramatic departure from the standard leSabre, the interior had its share of sporting touches also. Some concession to sport was made with a three spoke leather wrapped steering wheel, but the rest of the interior looked like a standard LeSabre, down to the kitchen counter looking dash. All LeSabre GNs were grey with very little bright work and only a little LeSabre badge on the passenger side of the dashboard to alert occupants of what they were in. Other luxuries of the day that were shared with lesser LeSabres were cassette stereos with ETR radios(some with AM stereo capability), power windows, air and of course three speed automatic transmissions. According to Buick, all the cars produced were black, with records indicating at least one red car and promotional material suggesting tha the cars would be available in white also.

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Completed cars were shipped from the factory, directly to Daytona Florida. The intention was to sell them in Buick dealerships in the Atlanta and Jacksonville sales zones. Only about 112 cars were made in a single run in December 1985. The cars came with commeritive items celebrating Buicks participation in NASCAR with a special cooler, and other race related items. Bobby Allison ran a LeSabre in 1986 for the Miller race team with the modified rear quarter window. Allison didn’t win at Daytona that year but placed highly at many races and eventually won at Talladega in the Winson 500. The ideal of a LeSabre Grand National came and wentalmost as fast as it was conceived. The low production numbers insure that the LeSabre Grand National will take its place among the most rare of modern sport-oriented Buicks.

88 LeSabre T-Type
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Some of The notoriety and knowledge from racing would be shifted to a line of sporty LeSabres wearing the T-Type badge after 1986. Many of the Lesabre GN exterior treatments like the blackout trim,sport wheels and spoiler would find their way to T- Type models in the following years. Sales of the T-Type performance cars were low, probably due to traditional customers being confused and thinking they stumbled upon a Pontiac dealership by mistake instead of the tranquil Buick haven they had become accustomed to. Buick would eventually wake up from its performance car dreams and restructure its line up, concentrating more on its traditional luxury cars and leaving the sport part to the people over at Pontiac. This handing over of the batton to Pontiac is no where more evident than Buicks most powerful and advanced turbo V6 ending up in a Trans-Am in 1989 due to an engine surplus caused by the turbo Grand National cars demise.

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1986 Buick LeSabre Grand National



Last edited by Flex Luger; 10-14-2017 at 11:59 PM..

30 comments for "The 1986 LeSabre GN: The Forgotten Grand National"

 1 year ago '04        #2
JayR04 118 heat pts118
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Fwd

That's where they messed up at

 1 year ago '16        #3
Almightyvsop 3 heat pts
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The look aint all that to me and its not turbo charged. And it just looks like a clunky a.ss hotwheel toy. I like the G body the national had and not to mention its turbocharged and lighter than that lesabre.

sh*t I still wanna get me another G body to play with. Preferably a third gen monte carlo on 14x7 daytons and vogue tires

 1 year ago '04        #4
JayR04 118 heat pts118
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 Almightyvsop said
The look aint all that to me and its not turbo charged. And it just looks like a clunky a.ss hotwheel toy. I like the G body the national had and not to mention its turbocharged and lighter than that lesabre.

sh*t I still wanna get me another G body to play with. Preferably a third gen monte carlo on 14x7 daytons and vogue tires
I've been lookin for one. Not sure if I wanna do lowrider style or big rim style.

 1 year ago '16        #5
Almightyvsop 3 heat pts
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 JayR04 said
I've been lookin for one. Not sure if I wanna do lowrider style or big rim style.
I had a 83 regal on 24s and honestly its ALOT of work doing it like a Donk. I had to put a 5in lift and spacers on it. Upgraded the brakes and rotors. It handled like a stiff truck cuz the wheels was big. Feeling EVERY bump in the road cuz i had low profile tires on it. If the motor not a 350 v8 or better it'll guzzle gas like a fish cuz it gotta carry so much weight with them chrome rims. I had a damn 383 put in i bought from my granddaddy camaro he aint drive no more.

After my sh*t got totaled (bi*ch ran the light and bent my frame up bad when i was turning ) i told myself if i get another i just want something to cruise in.

I wanna build up a monte carlo like lonzo monte carlo in training day.
[pic - click to view]

Keep the stance stock or maybe a half inch lower. Black paint with shimmering flakes in it. Lots of clear coat so it look wet as fu*k. Vanilla or tan leather. woodgrain steering wheel n shifter knob. Put a flowmaster exhaust system in it. Real low profile but classy.


Just gotta get cheese for it and find the right 79 monte carlo


Last edited by Almightyvsop; 10-15-2017 at 03:35 PM..

 1 year ago '04        #6
JayR04 118 heat pts118
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 Almightyvsop said
I had a 83 regal on 24s and honestly its ALOT of work doing it like a Donk. I had to put a 5in lift and spacers on it. Upgraded the brakes and rotors. It handled like a stiff truck cuz the wheels was big. Feeling EVERY bump in the road cuz i had low profile tires on it. If the motor not a 350 v8 or better it'll guzzle gas like a fish cuz it gotta carry so much weight with them chrome rims. I had a damn 383 put in i bought from my granddaddy camaro he aint drive no more.

After my sh*t got totaled (bi*ch ran the light and bent my frame up bad when i was turning ) i told myself if i get another i just want something to cruise in.

I wanna build up a monte carlo like lonzo monte carlo in training day.
[pic - click to view]

Keep the stance stock or maybe a half inch lower. Black paint with shimmering flakes in it. Lots of clear coat so it look wet as fu*k. Vanilla or tan leather. woodgrain steering wheel n shifter knob. Put a flowmaster exhaust system in it. Real low profile but classy.


Just gotta get cheese for it and find the right 79 monte carlo
Yea cleans ones around here go for 10k easy. I'll probably get a fixer upper so I can put my own touch on it.

 1 year ago '16        #7
Almightyvsop 3 heat pts
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 JayR04 said
Yea cleans ones around here go for 10k easy. I'll probably get a fixer upper so I can put my own touch on it.
Yea they bout the same out here in va. This old lady out my mama neighborhood got a clean a.ss white 1980 monte carlo but she aint tryna sell it cuz it was her sons before he moved back out cali. This n*gga been gone since i was 13 and im 27 now bruh. She wont even give me a price on it

 1 year ago '08        #8
ExNihilo 52 heat pts52
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Man, I never knew about this car being a GN.

I wish I never came in this thread.

You my mans, and that's the only reason I'm not slapping this thread, but fcuk you @ for bringing this to light.


[pic - click to view]


 1 year ago '10        #9
Flex Luger 317 heat pts317 OP
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 Almightyvsop said
Yea they bout the same out here in va. This old lady out my mama neighborhood got a clean a.ss white 1980 monte carlo but she aint tryna sell it cuz it was her sons before he moved back out cali. This n*gga been gone since i was 13 and im 27 now bruh. She wont even give me a price on it
Reminds me of when I was out in the burbs and this old guy was selling a 87 Cutlass Supreme. All original, white wall tires, no gaps in the bumper, no cracks in the half top with 67k original miles for $800. My punk a.ss when to Chase (not even a 10 min drive) and when I came back he was handing over the keys to someone else. I still kicking myself in the a.ss for that one.


[pic - click to view]


 1 year ago '10        #10
Flex Luger 317 heat pts317 OP
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 ExNihilo said
Man, I never knew about this car being a GN.

I wish I never came in this thread.

You my mans, and that's the only reason I'm not slapping this thread, but fcuk you @ for bringing this to light.


[pic - click to view]

Lol all good homie... Ran across this article a month or so ago and was torn on whether I should post it or not. Knew it was gonna fu*k up the GN name for somebody Personally I always been a fan of the 88 LeSabre T Type so it didn't really bother me.

Edit: You sound like me when I found out this was a Challenger


[pic - click to view]





Last edited by Flex Luger; 10-16-2017 at 01:28 AM..

 1 year ago '08        #11
ExNihilo 52 heat pts52
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 Flex Luger said
Lol all good homie... Ran across this article a month or so ago and was torn on whether I should post it or not. Knew it was gonna fu*k up the GN name for somebody Personally I always been a fan of the 88 LeSabre T Type so it didn't really bother me.

Edit: You sound like me when I found out this was a Challenger


[pic - click to view]




[pic - click to view]



Man, I'm logging the fcuk out for tonight

Edit: I thought the aerocoupe was the ugliest GN ever made before today


[pic - click to view]



Last edited by ExNihilo; 10-16-2017 at 01:51 AM..

 1 year ago '10        #12
Flex Luger 317 heat pts317 OP
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 ExNihilo said

[pic - click to view]



Man, I'm logging the fcuk out for tonight

Edit: I thought the aerocoupe was the ugliest GN ever made before today


[pic - click to view]

Yeah bro those 80s cars were straight hit or miss... except Chevy of course

 1 year ago '06        #13
mrep3 41 heat pts41
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 JayR04 said
Fwd

That's where they messed up at
Nah no forced induction is where they messed up.

 1 year ago '15        #14
satsuma 31 heat pts31
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Lets just face it germans make better cars.

 1 year ago '16        #15
Almightyvsop 3 heat pts
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 Flex Luger said
Reminds me of when I was out in the burbs and this old guy was selling a 87 Cutlass Supreme. All original, white wall tires, no gaps in the bumper, no cracks in the half top with 67k original miles for $800. My punk a.ss when to Chase (not even a 10 min drive) and when I came back he was handing over the keys to someone else. I still kicking myself in the a.ss for that one.


[pic - click to view]


n*gga I'm hurt for you.

My boy came up on a 96 SS Impala kinda like that. Chick was selling it cuz it was her husbands who was in Iraq or some sh*t. She was letting it go for like 1200 cuz it wouldn't start. she didn't know what was wrong she just wanted it gone.

So he buys it and tows it to his house and start messing with it. The key she gave him wouldn't go all the way in. Come to find out the impala had the original key tip broken off in it and all he needed to do was drill out the old lock cylinder and put in a new one. A 75$ repair and it started up like new. He turned around and sold it for 9500 after keeping it for a year.

I've never hated on a n*gga before in my life til he came up on that Impala like that Bruh

He came to my house with that sh*t all clean and on 22in irocs. I was mean mugging that n*gga the whole time he parked in the driveway
[pic - click to view]


Top 10 most propped recently  1 year ago '16        #16
foshoVoodoo 214 heat pts214
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The park ave's was better

 1 year ago '04        #17
JayR04 118 heat pts118
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 Almightyvsop said
n*gga I'm hurt for you.

My boy came up on a 96 SS Impala kinda like that. Chick was selling it cuz it was her husbands who was in Iraq or some sh*t. She was letting it go for like 1200 cuz it wouldn't start. she didn't know what was wrong she just wanted it gone.

So he buys it and tows it to his house and start messing with it. The key she gave him wouldn't go all the way in. Come to find out the impala had the original key tip broken off in it and all he needed to do was drill out the old lock cylinder and put in a new one. A 75$ repair and it started up like new. He turned around and sold it for 9500 after keeping it for a year.

I've never hated on a n*gga before in my life til he came up on that Impala like that Bruh

He came to my house with that sh*t all clean and on 22in irocs. I was mean mugging that n*gga the whole time he parked in the driveway
[pic - click to view]



That's a hell of a come up

 1 year ago '13        #18
DollaSignSage 8 heat pts
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that 88 or 86 goes so fu*king hard.. 92 buick lesabre was my first car and i thought it sucked until i found out it was the most reliable whip i had until my 2012 toyota.. now i definitely need to go find me a 86 or 88 lesabre after this

 1 year ago '15        #19
katurner 92 76 heat pts76
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started with a buick lesabre! -

 1 year ago '05        #20
SyDuck 8 heat pts
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FWD fail

 1 year ago '11        #21
ShaquilleBrown 10 heat pts10
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 Flex Luger said
Lol all good homie... Ran across this article a month or so ago and was torn on whether I should post it or not. Knew it was gonna fu*k up the GN name for somebody Personally I always been a fan of the 88 LeSabre T Type so it didn't really bother me.

Edit: You sound like me when I found out this was a Challenger


[pic - click to view]



Bruh...WHAT??!!!

[pic - click to view]



That ain't no Challenger cuh

American cars were really in a weird place in the 70's-80's, at least muscle/pony cars were

 1 year ago '04        #22
Dash 145 heat pts145
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 Flex Luger said


[pic - click to view]


 1 year ago '10        #23
Flex Luger 317 heat pts317 OP
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 Almightyvsop said
n*gga I'm hurt for you.

My boy came up on a 96 SS Impala kinda like that. Chick was selling it cuz it was her husbands who was in Iraq or some sh*t. She was letting it go for like 1200 cuz it wouldn't start. she didn't know what was wrong she just wanted it gone.

So he buys it and tows it to his house and start messing with it. The key she gave him wouldn't go all the way in. Come to find out the impala had the original key tip broken off in it and all he needed to do was drill out the old lock cylinder and put in a new one. A 75$ repair and it started up like new. He turned around and sold it for 9500 after keeping it for a year.

I've never hated on a n*gga before in my life til he came up on that Impala like that Bruh

He came to my house with that sh*t all clean and on 22in irocs. I was mean mugging that n*gga the whole time he parked in the driveway
[pic - click to view]

My favorite car I'm legit happy for that n*ggaz bro. Low-key I would've been muggin too tho.

 1 year ago '10        #24
Flex Luger 317 heat pts317 OP
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 ShaquilleBrown said
Bruh...WHAT??!!!

[pic - click to view]



That ain't no Challenger cuh

American cars were really in a weird place in the 70's-80's, at least muscle/pony cars were
Yeah bro even that early 80s mustang looks like it should be a escort or sum sh*t. I guess the coke got better in the mid 80s cause they started pushing out classics.

 1 year ago '17        #25
lostkauze47 1 heat pts
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 Flex Luger said
Lol all good homie... Ran across this article a month or so ago and was torn on whether I should post it or not. Knew it was gonna fu*k up the GN name for somebody Personally I always been a fan of the 88 LeSabre T Type so it didn't really bother me.

Edit: You sound like me when I found out this was a Challenger


[pic - click to view]



I had completely forgot that challenger existed hahaha

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