In July I wrote about Black Air: The Buick Grand National Documentary, which made its debut at the Buick Performance Group Nationals. Most of us were not able to attend the event, but you will still have the opportunity to view the documentary in the comfort of your home starting on December 11, 2012.
Or, if it’s your other half that’s the Buick fan, Black Air would make a very nice gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate.
The Grand National’s debut in 1982 was a far cry from the 13-second machine that we’ve gotten to know. After skipping the 1983 model year, Buick marginally improved the GN until, by 1986, it was putting out 235 horses and laying waste to Mustangs and Corvettes. Less than 250 were built in its inaugural year, but the GN averaged approximately 2,500 units per year for 1984-86; as enthusiasts knew at the time, the Grand National was going to be put to rest because GM was replacing the G-body (Cutlass, Regal, Monte Carlo) with a new front-wheel drive platform. Demand spiked to 20,193 GNs for 1987, plus 547 special high-hp Grand National christened the GNX.
The last Grand National was built on December 11, 1987, a few months into the 1988 model year (shades of the 1969 Camaro/Firebird, no?). This special Grand National has been owned since new by Buick-Chevrolet-GMC Truck dealer Bob Colvin of Springhill, Louisiana since new.
“Even though I had campaigned vigorously for the last GN, I was fully prepared to settle for the last “retail sale” GN, not the actual last built. Buick and General Motors had retained GNX #001 and #500 and I was told that Buick was going to keep the last production GN. Much to my surprise that did not happen and our request was honored,” said Colvin, a second-generation Buick dealer. When his car came off the line, it showcased a plethora of mechanical parts signed by final-line workers, including a special time- and date-stamped window sticker. An additional GM emblem was installed on its header panel to distinguish it as the last built. Bob, his wife Charlotte, and son Matt followed the car down Final Assembly, documenting every stage of the build process.
“We chose Bob Colvin’s GN for our movie poster and a staring role in Black Air because of its historical significance to Buick GN owners, as well as muscle car enthusiasts regardless of brand loyalty,” said filmmaker Andrew Filippone, Jr.
Exactly 25 years later to the day, Black Air: The Buick Grand National Documentary will be released on DVD at gnmovie.com. Wouldn’t you rather have a Buick gift this holiday season?
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