(Image of a 1987 Buick Regal)
1st Generation Regal
Buick released the Regal in 1973, which was more of a variant of the Century than its own model. By 1975, it had quietly dropped the Century label. The Regal did not go through many changes between 1973 and 1978, other than the square headlights on the 1976 model. Most models of the first era were powered by 5.7 L V8's, although there were some V6''s.
Buick Regal cars for sale
2nd Generation Regal
Things started heating up for the Regal in 1978. The model itself became smaller, but an option for the new turbocharged 3.8 L V6 would be a runaway hit for the next 9 years, ending with the spectacular GNX in 1987. The body style changed in 1981, influenced by a NASCAR design that Buick was working on. This design dominated the Grand National races and championships between 1981 and 1983, largely due to the new aerodynamic design rather than the engine performance.
Buick made plans to celebrate the Grand National racing success with a new limited edition Regal model in 1982. This model had a charcoal and silver gray paint scheme, accented with red. The engine was a 4.1 L V6, not turbocharged. Late in the model year an optional 180 hp 3.8 L turbocharged was available, but only 25 of these were produced. It seems odd that the flagship Regal model would be lacking the turbo engine that was so famous, but rumor has it that Buick was having a lot of quality control problems with the engine, and they didn't want to have those problems be associated with the Grand National name. Only 215 of these were built in 1982. The now famous all black Regal Grand National returned in 1984, after being skipped for the 1983 model year. The turbo engine received fuel injection, and the body was all black, and the wheels were black and chrome. 2000 were built in 1984, and it helped push the Regal T-Type sales through the roof.
Sales of the Grand National and Regal T-Types climbed upward through each year of their offerings, through 1987. The design did not change much on the Grand National''s, except the horsepower climbed each year, to eventually reach 245 - a substantial jump from 180 in the 1982 Grand National Turbo model. But 1987 would be the end of this line of modern muscle car, and Buick was going all out for it''s final turbo models.
The fastest production sedan ever built, the Regal GNX was under rated at 275 horsepower. At an $11,000 premium, the GNX was costly. Only 547 were built. The engine changes to the GNX were a ceramic turbocharger connected to a ceramic coated pipe, connecting to an updated intercooler, a special computer chip,and a reprogrammed Turbo Hydramatic 200-4R transmission. All this added about 30 hp over the T-Type version.
Sadly, the attention given to the Turbocharged 3800 V6 over the years was dropped in 1988. The Regal went to a front wheel drive model, whereas most other of Buicks model lines had already converted to front wheel drive. The 1988 Buick Regal did not have the option for a V8 OR the turbocharged V6.