So how do you know you have an 82 GN?

As most of you can tell, the 82 GN looks just like a WH1 car.  Hopefully this page will help you distinguish between the two types of cars.    The photo above was listed on EBay for an 82 GN for sale.  Instead of reinventing the horse, please see the 1982 Grand National web page by Rich George for further information.

I was looking at an ad in the paper one day for a turbocharged 82 GN.  Searching through the GN/T-Type mailing archives landed me the name of Dan McCann.  Being an owner of one of these cars, I asked him what makes an 82 GN a GN and how can I tell if it's turbocharged?  The following text is a word for word answer.

VIN: check for 82 model year and turbo engine code. No other info is available from the VIN. To truely know it's a Grand National is to have VIN match VIN on original window sticker and body # on window sticker match body # on build sheet, and on build sheet, have GRAN NAT in the options box where it would have options codes for Wagons. You'll probably not get that kind of documentation or the guy would know it's an 82. So what else....

Color: Should be originally a charcoal gray car from the factory.  Should have noticeable paint lines where the silver was added down the  sides by Cars and Concepts. The red should be vinyl pinstriping about 1/8" in on the silver. Where the silver is painted onto the front bumper fillers, the paint line should be horrendously ugly as they didn't remove the front bumpers when spraying the silver, so the silver will not completely cover the charcoal on the fillers.

Interior: Natural the Lear Seagler seats. The interior is probably all faded to look tan on the plastic and cloth. Originally it was all dove gray. The cloth will be Brandon (pattern name). This cloth has the larger diamond pattern to it. On the dash should be a Grand National plate in place of the clock delete. That part of the interior is near impossible to find. It's not guaranteed to have this, but if it does, it's a good sign. Most that don't have this plate in the dash are just clock delete. Very few had a clock. None were supposed to tho. All were to have this plate in place of the clock, but not all got them. Most did tho.

Front spoiler: The spoiler should be a 3 piece spoiler. It should be bolted to the bumper and have a right and left side, and center section. The spoiler will have no scoops in it. The 82 GN spoiler was unique to the 82 GN only, no other Buick ever got that spoiler. It too is a near impossible part to find. I have several end pieces (NOS), but nobody has ever purchased one from me. The spoiler center section is the hardest to find. Again, near impossible.

Exhaust Manifolds: In 82 exhaust manifolds were cast iron. In 83 they went to stainless tubing similar to newer 3.8 turbos. If it doesn't have cast iron exhaust manifolds, it's an 83.

Decals: The rear quarters had the BUICK decals. These are easy to get, therefore they cannot be relied upon for determining an 82 GN. Most don't know where to find them tho and often use the wrong things if body work was done. The ones pictured on my web page and the list archives are correct.

There are no option code stickers in the 82's, so verifying options can only be done against a window sticker and seeing if the car has the option installed. My bet is since he called it an 83 GN, it's an 83 Sport Coupe with the "designer package". The "designer package" meant a black and gray paint scheme similar to the 82 GN in look, but not near enough to try a fake conversion.

Off the top of my head, these are all I can think off right away that are going to be obvious. But I'd bet it's a designer package and not a true 82 GN. Let me know what you find and if you need more verification if it indeed does look to be an 82 GN.

Dan wrote:

> Dear Dan

I'm about to go look at an 82 GN (turbocharged) in my area. As it is right now, I don't know much about the car. It is listed as an 83 Grand National...well, they didn't make GN's in 83 and asked him what the color was...he said black and grey. Anywho, providing it's not a T-Type, which it might be, besides the VIN code, how can I tell that it is a GN and not a T-Type made up to be a GN? The car from what I"m told has 53K miles and the turbo has failed. Any advice or web page links would be great. I'm just about to hit the TR web ring to dig up some stuff. Any input would be great. Thanks.

>Ben Ayotte

I hope this page helps anyone who is looking for an 82 GN in there area.  If you have any questions, please feel free to E-mail me at

Special thanks to Dan McCann for this information.  This page was last updated on 2/14/03 (4/23/99 org).

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