Wagon Wednesday: Buick Grand National Wagon

Well, it’s obviously not a Grand National but it is a 1983 Buick Regal Estate. The body has been tastefully modified to Grand National specs, while retaining its long roof. While the original engine has been replaced, it’s been replaced with a healthy V8 rather than a turbo V6.
But does any of that really matter? Just look at it…

From the ad:

1983 Buick Regal Estate Wagon

1983 Buick Regal Wagon Grand National 455 Big Block!

Very Rare 1983 Buick Regal Estate Wagon (2 Year limited production).  It started its life with the Clark Grizzwald front end and a 4.1 V6.  Not content with that, I chopped the front fenders and grafted the front of an 84 2 door Regal to it.  All the work was done with sheet metal, not fiberglass, wood, plastic, bubble gum or duct tape.  The bumpers were professionally stripped of their chrome and painted body color.  The rest of the cars shell was painted 1988 Medium Orange Metallic used on the IrocZ Camaro using the PPG paint line and high build clear.  It compliments the cars brown interior nicely.  All the trim on the car was removed, media blasted and painted satin black.  During the paint process the car was stripped to metal including jams, window frames etc.  The point I am trying to make is the car was done right, not a hack job.  The car still wears all of its own sheet metal virtually rust free.  The power plant of the car is a modified Buick 455 .030 over, 10:1 compression ratio, decked, mild T/A performance Cam and an Eldelbrock intake and a tuned Q-jet.  It has a very healthy rumble coming out of the rear exiting dual exhaust.  The transmission is a TH400 with a solid shift kit and a 2400 Saturday Night Special stahl converter from Jegs.  The rear axle is an 8.5 Corporate Posi from a Buick Grand National geared to 3.23 and includes the early Grand National Rims and tires.  The interior is in exceptional original condition having only one small tear in the driver seat.  The rest of the interior is almost perfect including the rare brown T-Type steering wheel.  All the window seals, felts etc were replaced with high quality replacements and the windows were tinted black.  I worked very hard to keep the appearance of the car stock including the interior and all of the options.  This is how Buick “Should” have made the station wagon.  With all the modifications I managed to keep the original A/C, Cruise Control, Tilt, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Power Steering, Power Brakes, Power Rear Hatch Release, Power Seats etc and it all works.  A/C will prob need a can of R134A which I will give you.    
This car demands attention everywhere it goes and is an absolute blast to drive.  It corners on rails with its Hotchkins springs and totally replaced suspension and upgraded sway bars.  This car was built 6-7 years ago and driven often so there are some mentionables that I will disclose.  The rear side cargo windows are missing the trim because as of to date I have not been able to locate replacement parts.  Those windows have also lost their air tight seals and need to be resealed.  Power windows work, but are slow to go up, new motors will fix.  The tint on the windows is pealing in a few spots.  Since I drive the car often there are some blemishes (chips/bubbles) to the paint that should be an easy fix for any body man.  I will include a little less than a pint of the original color as well for a perfect match. 
This is a one of a kind custom turn key car.  I am selling mainly because I have several other cars that I maintain and time gets shorter and shorter with 2 kids etc…..   You know the story.  I am not pressed to sell this, just hate to see it sit.  Don’t make me low ball offers or try and “educate” me on how much more you know about the car I am selling and built.  There will be at least one person who tells me the Grand National rear axle is 3.42 not 3.23…….  I did this because the 200R4 trans in the Grand National had 4 gears and an overdrive transmission (.67:1 ratio) where the TH400 is a 3 speed (1:1 ratio) and I didn’t feel like hearing the motor rev at 3K RPM’s at 55 MPH.  🙂  Please ask any questions you may have and don’t bid unless you can pay or need to ask your wifes permissionIf you are going to put 24” rims on it and 16 speakers and a 55” TV in the dash, please don’t tell me, I don’t want to know

Emphasis above is my own.
Read the seller’s description carefully. The seller sounds like he’s one of us, or at least one of us who aren’t hacks. Seems like everything was done right and with a purpose. And everything works, which is rare these days. Usually sellers provide an awesome list of stuff that has been done and a longer list of little issues. Those little issues take half an hour to fix, as per their own description, and yet many sellers just cannot do those simple repairs before unloading his project.
Not here. This thing seems very clean, done well, and period correct.
Sure, it is not perfect. I would have preferred Grand National seats, center console, and floor shifter but that is more of preference than a need. At the time of this writing the bidding is at $6300 and the reserve is not met.

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19 responses to “Wagon Wednesday: Buick Grand National Wagon”

  1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Could you possibly consider that shade “magenta”? In any case, needs a Playboy decal.

  2. Andrew Pierce Avatar
    Andrew Pierce

    > A/C will prob need a can of R134A which I will give you.
    Or maybe he could just toss it on into the system and then he could advertise working A/C. I’m sure there’s not a good reason to do it that way. Except… doesn’t a 1983 car with original A/C need R-12 which you can’t even get?

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      He seems to be saying the A/C works, but could use a topping up. The A/C system isn’t the original 1983 system off the V-6, but whatever fit the big block he stuffed in there. Some aftermarket hot-rod supply company, probably.

      1. Jonathan Hecht Avatar
        Jonathan Hecht

        Actually it is the 83 AC system evaporator condenser lines etc. Only mod I made was changing it from the Harrison R4 compressor to the V5 compressor to accommodate a better r134 conversion.

    2. Smitty Smithsonite Avatar
      Smitty Smithsonite

      Plenty of R12 still out there that you can get … but better have a fat wallet. I’ve got 50 pounds of the stuff. 🙂

  3. gord Avatar

    presuming on ebay but link it just to the seller only, cannot find it… help!?

      1. gord Avatar

        thank you!

  4. Maymar Avatar

    So long as I don’t try and think of it as a Grand National*, it’s really cool. I mean, I don’t know how I feel about burgundy on brown (which seems like result of an ordering error), but the GN wheels work really well on the wagon.
    Just a shame there aren’t more of these – a google search turns up a couple Monte Carlo SS wagons, but they’re pretty heavily modified.
    *Slap an unnecessary turbo on there though, and I’m in.

    1. Alcology Avatar

      Looks burgundy to me as well. Ruh roh.

  5. Jonathan Hecht Avatar
    Jonathan Hecht

    Hey, this is my car, glad to see most of you like it, and yes I am an old school mechanic mostly into Buicks. The car was an accidental project honestly. I had a wrecked GN and a Regal, a 455, and the wagon which I was using as a daily driver for awhile. I thought “I wonder if I could stuff all that in there……. Oh, to the guy who ragged on me for not charging the A/C before selling it. Have you ever tried charging A/C in the Winter??? Try it and let me know how it works out for you. 🙂 Jon

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      I wish my intentional projects turned out as well as your accidental ones.

    2. Kamil K Avatar

      Great job, Jon! Good luck with the sale.

    3. Alcology Avatar

      Nice work Jon

  6. Zentropy Avatar

    I like wagons, period, and props to the builder for a nice job on this one. Everyone is going to have their “should-have-done” nits to pick, but sometimes projects don’t spring from well-wrought plans and a limitless eBay Motors account, but just from what’s lying around the garage. This is excellent use of a Regal estate, in my opinion, and I like that it looks period-possible. Personally I prefer to hide performance parts beneath a sleeper body (earth-tone paint, un-tinted glass, base-model wheels), but I’m glad to see this car isn’t jacked up on 26s, or slammed on hydraulics with wire wheels.

  7. Maymar Avatar

    My wife thinks I’m color-blind too – I totally missed you listed it as orange. In my defense, most of the pictures make it look reddish (to me at least), but yeah, from the roof shot, it’s clearly orange. Sorry about that, I can see orange working a little better with brown

    1. Jonathan Hecht Avatar
      Jonathan Hecht

      Yes, the color has a ton of pearl in it so under different light it takes on differing shades. Great color though.

  8. DavesHoliday Avatar


  9. RicknRedmond Avatar

    Looks great. Colors are real close to the ’89 Pontiac Bonneville SSE I just bought. No shiny trim anywhere. All black. A simple stripe down the side adds a lot visually. I use a black over gold stripe as the side moldings are black with a narrow gold stripe. I’m sure the power train works well. Plenty strong. Were it mine and I didn’t have the 455 to use, I’d lean toward a lighter combination. Not criticizing. Just my preference. Good job.