This 1987 Buick GNX is a $215,000 car per BAT buyers

It’s easy to make jokes about the auction prices paid on Bring-A-Trailer. Low-hanging fruit, really. But this one feels particularly extra bonkers. What you see above is an absolutely wonderful example of the Buick GNX. Per the listing, Buick cranked out just 547 examples and this one is #255. On top of that, it’s in perfect shape and has just 1,200 miles on the odometer. And that’s enough for someone to plunk down $215,000 for it, apparently.

According to Hagerty’s valuation tool, a Concours-ready car is worth $200,000. But that’s literally accounting for the one here that just sold and destroyed the market for these. Especially seeing as this car is overvalued by $80k-$100k. Still, a car is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. And to this buyer, that means this GNX is worth a ton.

You can make arguments for and against this sales price. I’ll nod along to all you have to say too. But in no universe is this a “good buy” at this price. This vehicle has set a new market top point. And I will print out this article and eat it if this number is ever bested by another GNX.

Now… if the buyer is actually going to drive the thing then rock on. But as an investment, this GNX is like buying Dogecoin at $0.68 and clapping and cheering about your new investment.

15 Comments

  1. It’s a lot of money for a car, yes, and I admit when these were new I thought people who paid $10K above sticker to store as museum pieces were not making sound financial investments. But the price doesn’t seem beyond the realm of what others have sold for recently. Supply and demand.

    262-Mile 1987 Buick GNX


    https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1987-BUICK-GNX-247831

    But which calculation are you using to determine that it’s overvalued by $80-100K? Or were you comparing the GNX to a GN?

    1. Not Jeff, but it looks like he’s going by the Hagerty chart, where a Concours-grade GNX was pretty steady at ~$130k until the huge spike in the past couple months.

      1. The purchase in September 2021 at $215K for a car that Hagerty said is worth $200K in September 2021 is overpaying by $15K perhaps, but not by $80-100K. That valuation was already established before the BAT auction closed. You might not agree with it, or be able to afford it, but with an auction, those who are able to afford it set the price.

        The links above point to a $205K sale in May (BAT) and a $275K sale in June (BJ). I didn’t post some other links like $220K for #547 in 2017, or some prior sales activity on the car that sold at BJ in June (BAT sold it for $200K in 2019), which, even after sales commissions and transportation, probably WAS a good investment for the two years that the prior owner held it).

        It looks like #3 condition cars have not seen any drastic price changes for a while. Buy one of those and enjoy it.

  2. I bought my Austin Allegro and Maestro before that place became an auction site but, given their BaT provenance, I’m now prepared to entertain offers in the multiple-figure range.

        1. Maybe we can talk BaT and Jeff into a Hooniverse special? An M5, Allegro, Vivaro and Centennial walk into an auction…or so it starts.

        2. Boys, he’s getting that crazy look again, we need to distract him

          MDHarrell- Look! Is that a 1959 Saab behind that bush over there?

          1. I know I should get excited over the bullnose front end and the suicide doors but my eyes went immediately to the wheels. Those are the early style which have a raised section around each lug bolt (yes, bolt). This is a known weakness for which SAAB Sport & Rally offered a set of lunate tabs to be welded to the wheel for reinforcement. They later redesigned the wheel to one which otherwise looks similar but is flat around the lugs and is much stronger. I didn’t know any of this when I started racing mine but discovered a wealth of information on the subject shortly after my left front wheel came apart on track…

  3. Honestly, what bothers me more about BaT auctions than the insane prices, is that it has become a front for dealers flipping cars. Yes, lots of well-preserved (or hardly driven) vehicles, but so many “were acquired from the original owner in [insert month] ’21”. Then the re-seller shines it up and hires a photographer, pocketing the jump in value due to exposure and their own effort put into the vehicle. Nothing wrong with that either, but it takes away all the charme.

    1. On top of this, the commentariat, which used to be the strongest part of BaT, now just plainly sucks. People are happy to piss on a vehicle they have no intention of bidding on (or, are bidding on through another handle), just to feel important. I’ve become friends with the guy I bought my red wagon on through BaT, and it’s a constant struggle for him.

      1. The comment model worked better with the way BaT started – finding good offers, and people would comment on details. So much knowledge, I often wondered if it wouldn’t make sense to build a Wiki with all the weird info coming out of these contributions. I can imagine that this is worse in an auction. It’s not many items I click on at BaT nowadays (too many expensive 1%er cars, see above), but I feel like the tone in weird auctions is usually good. The spacing between worthwhile comments has become much wider though.

  4. Agree 100%. So much could be learned, and it seemed as if the group was helping to do diligence for whomever was actually bidding. I stopped subscribing to their email (yes, I was THAT butthurt when they wouldn’t take my e61), as there just isn’t much fun in it anymore (that, and as you noted, the prices are stratospheric).

  5. That’s insane. “Value” is obviously a subjective term, because I wouldn’t want one if you gave it to me (except to sell, of course). And I’m a huge musclecar fan.

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