It was a strange and curious misfit. Though born a Buick, the Grand National was clearly something else. It was too quick and too brutish to carry that stodgy name. There was something inside the car trying to get out. Its straight-line acceleration was extraordinary. Nothing in the mid-1980s could match it. Not Corvette. Not Lamborghini. Not Ferrari. But, in spite of this talent, the car was little more than a curiosity, a sidebar in debates about the performance elite of the day. Its roots as a Buick Regal, a conventional, mass-produced personal luxury car, marked it as an outsider, something too ordinary for serious discussion. Its shortcomings were obvious and plentiful – a boxy design, a mediocre chassis, an undersized engine, an electronically limited top speed, and an unremarkable pedigree. But with just six cylinders, an intercooled turbo, and fierce black paint, the Grand National became a legend. In its final year of production, outfitted in GNX trim, it was the quickest production car in America, reaching 60mph in only 4.7 seconds. Impossible? Ridiculous? After road testing the Grand National for Car and Driver, Technical Editor Csaba Csere remembers thinking, “there’s no way this can go that fast.” But it did, test after test, and on streets across the country. The only Grand Prix it could qualify for was the “stop light” kind, but that was enough to prove its worth. But, how to reconcile these opposites? This car that straddled worlds, where did it come from? Where did it fit? And now, two decades after its passing, what is its legacy? In BLACK AIR: The Buick Grand National Documentary, these questions – and more – are answered by the people who built the car, who wrote about the car, and who own the car. Featured voices include Lloyd Reuss, the Buick General Manager who launched the Grand National project; Tony Assenza, the Car and Driver Editor who dubbed the GNX an “ax-wielding barbarian;” Richard Clark, the renowned owner, enthusiast, and collector; and many, many others. On December 11, 1987, Buick built the last Grand National. 25 years later, BLACK AIR arrives to commemorate this landmark car.
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Cast & Crew
- Telling Story, Inc.
- © 2012 Telling Story, Inc.
- English (United States) (Stereo)
- Closed captions refer to subtitles in the available language with addition of relevant nondialogue information.