Big hair, neon lights, Jordache shorts, and fast cars. The 1980’s were loose, wild, and rock and roll were the perfect matches to the powerful machines rolling out of Detroit. Although the late 1970’s were the start of the Malaise era of cars, the late 1980’s saw a real resurgence in fun cars with power. Automakers had learned to cope with emissions regulations and with technological advances engines became more powerful, more efficient, and thanks to computers, we were introduced to some pretty impressive dashboards.
5) 1987 Buick Grand National GNX – 276 horsepower – $29,000
The boosted V-6 of the Grand National GNX is the stuff of legends. The turbo lag was a bit fierce, but as soon as it hit, it hit hard. 276 horsepower is a respectable number, but we all know what turbos are indeed about – consistent torque. The Buick boasted 360 lb-ft of it spinning to the rear wheels.
What genuinely makes the Grand National cool is that it was a joint operation between Buick and McLaren. They designed the porting, engine mapping, precise Garrett turbocharger, and then enhanced the transmission. 60 mph (100 kph) came in just 4.7 seconds, and you looked great getting there because of all the individual trim, badges, and all-black styling. The only real downside to the GNX was that they only came with an automatic transmission and only 547 of them were built.