1987 Buick Grand National hardtop
In 1987 John’s Dad purchased a brand new Buick Grand National, John was just 8 years old but knew immediately that the Grand National was his favorite car and he would some day own one for himself.
Sadly John’s Dad sold their Grand National and owning his won Grand National was now just a dream until……
Returning home from work one day in 2005 John stumbled across this 1987 Grand National Hardtop “for sale”. The car was in need of some real TLC but was operational. John decided to drive and enjoy the car until a restoration was imperative.
Their have been many bumps in the road for John and his Dad but now the time has come for this Father/son team to bring this American icon back to its former glory.
As best we know so far this was a complete car that went to a body shop to be painted. Some time later the car was rescued with a questionable paint job and the rest of the car piled into boxed with nothing labeled.
After weeks of inventorying the remaining parts and sourcing many of the missing parts we are ready to take her apart and bring her back to her former glory.
Working on the many parts to complete the motor. Lines, nuts, bolts and brackets are all powder coated as well as the fuel rail.
After several acid treatments we were able to uncover the VIN numbers on the engine block and they match.
Engine harness before
Engine harness after
This area is where the passenger’s side fender mounts. The mount point on the body is rusted away and will have to be reconstructed.
Radio wiring will have to be redone, But that is something we always plan for
These are just some of the wires we have removed that don’t belong
A fair amount of rust but so far no holes in the floor. We will know better once we strip the belly.
Body bushings: I have come across many rusty bolts before but I have not come across no bolts before. It appears that someone in the past tried to remove the body bushing and snapped off several of the bolts. Rather than access the nuts, which is a lot of work they simply placed several of the number 5 bushings, which are also know as the “GNX” bushing. These bushings are meant to rest in the frame and are held in place by the weight of the car. They are not designed to be bolted. So the anywhere there was a number 5 bushing the car was not bolted to the frame. In fact the car had only 3 of the 10 bolts holding the body to the frame. Both number 2 and a number 7 were bolted to the car. The floor will have to be cut out in 6 spots to access the nuts.
Thew front or number 2 bushing are flat but bolted in.
These sections of the floor have to be cut out to access the bushing nut. 2 more sections of the floor will have to be removed in the cabin area of the car as well. Its a lot of work and I guess the last person did not want to do it.
The little things no one can see. The headlight buckets are powder coated back to the original color and will now never rust.
Nice powder coated headlight buckets
The only way to insure a great long lasting paint job is to strip every thing by hand to bare metal.
The Radiator support and inner fenders were just picked up from the powder coater. This insures that all the parts match and never rust. The wheel wells have also been restored to “like new” condition.
One installed the correct reproduction stickers will be applied.
This is the trunk jam its appears that the original paint had pealed and it was painted a flat color right over the pealing paint. This area will be stripped to metal and painted the same as the body color.
Paint has already begun to peal. So every part will be stripped and repainted
Best guess is that someone did not know how to install the front bumper fillers and used zip ties and drilled hole in the face to secure them. We will new replacement fillers made of the correct OEM material
The radiator support and inner fenders are still in original condition. They look drab.
At some point the Grand National header panel was replaced with a regal header. You can see where the hole for the regal emblem was filled.
Quite a bit of primer over spray. No worries as the entire underside of the car will be painted as part of the complete restoration.