Featured Car - Rob Pinkston's 1987 Grand National

A Texas rose ... with thorns!

Rob has followed the Turbo Buicks since 1984 although he really didn't learn much about them until 1990. He was a senior in high school and the Turbo Buicks pretty much ruled the streets, although he hadn't really learned that yet.

Rob was about to be "schooled"! He and a friend had just stabbed a pretty nasty small block Chevy into his friend's '82 Cutlass. Rob was working on a similar engine buildup for his '79 Monte Carlo. They thought they knew what it took to run with the big boys at the local street gatherings. Little did they know!

The very first night they took the Cutlass out for some action, they spanked a couple of relatively stock Mustangs. They started to get cocky, when they saw a gorgeous Grand National up ahead in traffic. They jockied for a position beside him and lined up at the next light. Rob noticed the GN had some pretty serious looking M&H Racemasters on the rear but he dismissed it because the GN was so quiet compared to the Cutlass. They started power braking the Cutlass and the guy in the GN started spooling up.

Rob can remember thinking, "Damn that turbo is loud!" Well, needless to say, when the light turned green the GN jumped so far out in front of us that the guy backed out of it just as he crossed the intersection as if he was letting us catch up. But nevermind, they had just been to "school"... and they didn't need to learn anything more from the little V6! Rob was sure their jaws had dropped to the floor because when they finally cruised past the GN, the driver just smiled like he could read their minds.

Rob continued to mess around with small block Chevy's for several years, but he really wanted a Turbo Buick. Rob finally bought an '86 T-type in '96 but it had too many problems for a full time college student to straighten out, so he sold it only a few weeks after he bought it. He continued to learn about the Turbo Buicks by reading anything he could get his hands. He found the Turbo Regal Website and mailing list were the best resources and soaked up all the information available.

Finally, in March of 2001 Rob purchased this '87 GN with 16,231 miles on it. The car was showroom stock except for an early generation ATR chip, stock replacement K&N, and 160 degree T-stat. The car was built in September of '87 making it a "late build" car. It's a solid roof car with power windows, power locks, power drivers seat, power antenna, lighted vanity mirror, limited slip diff.and Concert Sound II without equalizer.


  • Stock 231 c.i. (3.8L) V6
  • Stock cam
  • Stock heads
  • Stock Turbocharger
  • Stock injectors
  • Stock intercooler with Duttweiler neck
  • Hemco upper plenum
  • Stock downpipe
  • 160 degree thermostat
  • Walbro 307 Fuel pump
  • Casper's fuel pump hotwire kit
  • DeQuick billet fuel pressure regulator
  • Kirban Cold Air System
  • B&M rail mount fuel pressure gauge
  • Test pipe and ATR 2.5" cat back exhaust
  • Jay Carter 93 chip for street and Thrasher 108 for track

Transmission/Rear End

  • GM Hydromatic 200 4R
  • B&M transmission cooler
  • Stock converter


  • Rear seat braces
  • Underhood braces
  • Front end braces
  • Bushings: added missing body bushings except for "GNX bushing"


  • GN logo floor mats
  • Oil pressure and Coolant temperature gauges in console pod
  • Knock and Boost gauge in A-pillar pod
  • ScanMaster II


  • Kirban's rear springs
  • KYB' shocks front and rear
  • Boxed stock upper and lower trailing arms with polyeurathane bushings
  • Air bags: right and left
  • Wheels and Tires\
    • Stock '87 GN steel wheels
    • P235/60/15 BFG Comp TA ZR on front
    • P265/50/15 BFG Radial TA on rear
  • NAPA carbon-ceramic brake pads on front


  • 9.20@?? 1/8 mile, unable to hook-up with above combo. (will be running 10.50/15 ET Drags next time at the track)

Rob Pinkston


Last updated: