The Incredible Way The Buick Grand National Beat Lamborghini

American performance cars were having a renaissance in the mid-to-late 1980s. The king of 1980s American performance wasn't the Mustang GT, or any of the Shelby Dodges, or even a Chevy. It came from Buick, the same automaker that made your grandmother's station wagon. That king was the Buick GNX. 

Kings often don't come about overnight, and the GNX (Grand National eXperimental) was the final iteration of an entire product line of killer Buicks. First, the Grand National was introduced as a trim level for Buicks to spice up the look a bit and take it from an accountant's commuter to something a bit more striking (via The Drive). In 1984, the Grand National was introduced as an entirely separate vehicle. The Grand National looked like a souped-up Regal that John Wick would happily drive. Designers took every conceivable surface on the Buick and painted it a deep black. 

In 1987, the wizards at GM took the already evil Grand National and made it downright diabolical with the GNX. The GNX looks like a collaboration between Sauron and Darth Vader, and it performed like it too. Underneath the jet-black hood was a hellacious 3.8L V6 that made 276 horsepower. In 2022, 276 horsepower isn't that much. It was a different story 35 years ago. 

The GNX was entrusted with one simple quest: make every other performance car tremble

The Buick 'Kingslayer'

Nearly every college dorm room in the 1980s had a poster of a Lamborghini Countach on the wall. The butterfly-winged Italian supercar remains a style icon and has such a following that Lamborghini released a new Countach last year that sold out immediately. 

It's no question the Countach was fast in 1987. It had a V12 mounted in the rear and was covered in enough aerodynamic surfaces to make a fighter jet blush. But even the legendary Countach was no match for the GNX. The blacked-out Buick was about to make Ferruccio Lamborghini's prized creation think twice. 

On the track, the GNX made supercars pack up and go home with a zero-to-60 time of 4.7 seconds (per The Drive). That's just a hair faster than the Countach's absolute best. It was there that the humble Buick got a taste for supercar blood. With a time of 4.7 seconds, other cars were practically standing still compared to the GNX. 

While a child looks under the bed at night for monsters, the once-mighty Countach looks under its bed for Buicks.