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HomeClassic1987 Buick Grand National with LS Power Under the Hood

1987 Buick Grand National with LS Power Under the Hood

Roadster Shop chassis are found in countless performance builds and show vehicles. And at this year’s prestigious Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, the company showcased one of its most creative builds to date: a 1987 Buick Grand National with a GM LS7 engine under the hood.

The Buick belongs to a customer who grew up in a period when the Grand National was among the coolest vehicles around. The Roadster Shop team found the clean, low-mileage car in Wisconsin, not far from its headquarters in Mundelein, Illinois, and went to work.

“He tasked us with finding one for him to get a project started and he didn’t really have much of an idea of what he wanted to do,” said Roadster Shop owner Jeremy Gerber during the Goodguys event at the Ohio Expo Center. “He just wanted one. He knew it was going to go on a Roadster Shop chassis, but beyond that [it was] pretty much wide open.”

Gerber and the Roadster Shop crew set the car on the company’s FAST TRACK independent rear suspension chassis built for a G-body. The chassis selection allowed the tires to hug tight to the wheel openings.

“To get the stance where we wanted and get the look, we just accentuated the factory flares,” Gerber said. “I didn’t want it to be any sort of wide-body, I wanted it to very much look like a Grand National.”

The Buick belongs to a customer who grew up in a period when the Grand National was among the coolest vehicles around. The Roadster Shop team found the clean, low-mileage car in Wisconsin, not far from its headquarters in Mundelein, Illinois, and went to work.

“He tasked us with finding one for him to get a project started and he didn’t really have much of an idea of what he wanted to do,” said Roadster Shop owner Jeremy Gerber during the Goodguys event at the Ohio Expo Center. “He just wanted one. He knew it was going to go on a Roadster Shop chassis, but beyond that [it was] pretty much wide open.”

Gerber and the Roadster Shop crew set the car on the company’s FAST TRACK independent rear suspension chassis built for a G-body. The chassis selection allowed the tires to hug tight to the wheel openings.

“To get the stance where we wanted and get the look, we just accentuated the factory flares,” Gerber said. “I didn’t want it to be any sort of wide-body, I wanted it to very much look like a Grand National.”

The Grand National famously came with a turbocharged V-6 engine, but Roadster Shop stepped up to a V-8 as its staff looked to update the vehicle to what General Motors might build in the modern era.

“The natural progression would have been for that to be LS-based, so it seemed like the right thing to do,” Gerber said. “No disrespect to the V-6 crowd, but our experience is with LS V-8s. With the LS platform we knew that we could get to our horsepower goal while retaining durability and drivability, and do it with readily available components.

“Ninety-five percent of what we do is LS or LT-powered, and when you’re looking to throw some power adders and stuff on it, the LS is just a great platform for that.”

In addition to the turbos, the engine also features a Shaun’s Custom Alloy billet intake and a variety of other top-of-the-line aftermarket LS components. The engine is mated to a Bowler 4L80-E four-speed automatic transmission with a manual valve body.

The engine turns out some serious power, too. The Grand National made a conservative 1600 horsepower on E85 gas on the engine dyno and about 1,275 horses at the wheels.


“That LS platform is just bulletproof,” Gerber said.

The subtle, yet intricate modern upgrades also extend to the Grand National’s interior, which even features a roll cage.

“These cars had a very recognizable interior, they had that sweatpant-type material and pretty ill-fitting panels from that era of automobiles, the ’80s weren’t really known for fit and finish,” Gerber said. “We didn’t want to deviate and [have it] look like it was something super custom. So, we worked with JK Automotive Designs out of the Boston area and everything in that interior is completely custom and over the top, but at a glance, I think most people would think it’s just a stock interior.”

The door panels and dash are made from a combination of 3D-printed and machined parts, with the dash also wrapped in hand-stitched leather. RECARO Specialist seats wrap around the driver and front passenger with upholstery to match the original 1980s look.

The subtle, yet intricate modern upgrades also extend to the Grand National’s interior, which even features a roll cage.

“These cars had a very recognizable interior, they had that sweatpant-type material and pretty ill-fitting panels from that era of automobiles, the ’80s weren’t really known for fit and finish,” Gerber said. “We didn’t want to deviate and [have it] look like it was something super custom. So, we worked with JK Automotive Designs out of the Boston area and everything in that interior is completely custom and over the top, but at a glance, I think most people would think it’s just a stock interior.”

The door panels and dash are made from a combination of 3D-printed and machined parts, with the dash also wrapped in hand-stitched leather. RECARO Specialist seats wrap around the driver and front passenger with upholstery to match the original 1980s look.

According to Gerber, the Roadster Shop chassis is mostly stock, with just a few minor upgrades his company offers to any customer.

The chassis in tandem with the LS power makes the Grand National a very stout piece.

“When you’re in that car with the windows up and the air conditioning on, it feels like a brand-new sports car,” Gerber said. “It’s kind of the total package. Huge horsepower, awesome drivability, and it’s incredibly fun and enjoyable.”

The post 1987 Buick Grand National with LS Power Under the Hood appeared first on Wheelz.me-English.

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