Home / Auto News / News article: Buick Grand National Documentary 'Black Air' Hits Shelves - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Dec 11 2012, 1:31 PM

Ponderous in appearance, the Buick Grand National was more than a black sheep and a sleeper. It was, and likely still is, one of the most under-appreciated performance cars ever built.

As the antithesis of shallow-minded car buying, that’s a reality unlikely ever to change — at least to the degree it should. Be that as it may, a documentary of the car’s story, Black Air, went on sale today.

Buick started building the Grand National starting in 1982, but the turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 with 245 hp and 355 lb-ft of torque didn’t come out until 1987. At the time, it was faster than cars from Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche.

Needless to say, it turned a few heads.

Fast as it was, the car struggled with its identity. Ugly was an understatement, but just like the Scion FR-S, it was a performance bargain.

The clip below is a trailer for Black Air, which you can buy for $20 on DVD at gnmovie.com.

  • Tptrentpowers

    “Ugly was an understatement” …..What! If I knew the producers of this film would say that about the Grand National, I would have never gave them my $27+ dollars to support them! You have to be kidding me, they were sleek and mean and still turn heads today. If its so ugly why did you pick it to make your money on, ……just wondering, I would think such statements out before I started posting them for the world to see, they might question your IQ level

  • Miltonmckoy

    I guess people are entitled to their opinions, don’t neccessary have to agree with them especially when you call this beautiful machine “ugly”.I have been wanting one every since I seen one 25 years ago and there is nothing else in the GM line in the 80′s that I would want(except the Monte Carlo SS of the same era).That was a real bang for your buck especially when it could keep up with those overpriced and overglorified European sports cars.

  • Jrhss2

    This car is nothing short of a beautiful machine. Love this car and everything about it

  • DCrider

    The message of the movie is not negative at all – just ask the thousands of enthusiasts (like me) who bought and love this film.  To be fair, the 1980s were not a good time for the automakers, GM included.  This car stood out as a “strange and curious misfit” that could run with the sexy Ferraris, outrun the flagship Corvette, etc.  But at the end of the day, it was just a Buick and always would be – and THAT is what makes the car (and this film) so special and unique.  It is a different theme and message, but not in a bad way at all!

  • Gordgoroth

    I haven’t seen the documentary yet, I didn’t know it was released until I did a Google search to find updates on the re-release of the car.

    This was, at least to me, a beautiful piece of machinery. UGLY!!!!!!!!!!!! No, I disagree, and would protest.

    Now I have to go get the movie…

  • Dennis Glassford

    ugly are you fucking kidding….one of the best looking cars ever

  • Mike Choi

    it was a bit ahead of its time in terms of design trends too. it wasn’t until a few years ago that the GNX’s black wheels with polished lip look started to gain popularity (you see them on everything from civics to race porsches). the “blacked out” look also is gaining popularity again… the modern day cadillac is sort of what buick with their grand national was back in the day. old people drove stodgy caddys. as they did buicks (and still do?). but you don’t mess with a sedan (or wagon, in the case of the CTS-V) that can keep up with a vette…!