To commemorate its NASCAR racing success, Buick, in 1982 released a modified Regal, termed the Grand National. The car was painted silver with a few sporty accents including Buick decals, and produced 125 HP – not exactly the stuff of legends.
But, in 1987, Buick introduced the iconic GNX, with 276 hp and 360 lb-ft – thus a serous sports car was born. The GNX was so serious, that it was featured in magazine after magazine as a supercar killer, when pitted against Ferrari’s, Porches, or Corvettes, the GNX always gave it’s competitor a run for its money. Considering that at $30,000, considerably less expensive than many of the car’s competitors, the GNX was quite an achievement. Despite its conservative styling, the GNX took on a sinister persona with its black paint, and propensity to lift up the rear wheels under heavy acceleration, the GNX earned the nickname “Darth Vader’s car.”
To commemorate Buick’s daring automobile, documentarian Andrew Filippone Jr. has been working on his film, aptly titled, “Black Air” for the past four years, compiling interviews with GM executives, car journalists, and enthusiasts. Filippone plans to release the first 20 minutes of his film at the Buick Performance Group Meet in Ohio on August 4. The film will be released to the public later this year. Until then, here’s the trailer to “Black Air,” I can smell the burning rubber already.