When I was younger I used to like to build plastic models of cars I had on my wish list. I built Buick Grand Nationals, Mustang Cobras, Corvettes, Shelby Cobras and a variety of other cool cars. Later in life I started collecting die cast models since they were already done and were much more detailed and finished than any attempt I could make with plastic and paint. I still have a bunch of sealed model kits from the 80’s and 90’s that I keep around to pass down to my son. A few examples are shown below but there are many more in my Tupperware totes.
1987 Buick Regal Grand National by Monogram circa 1988
There are only a few scale models of Turbo Regals that I know of. The one you are probably most familiar with is the mold from 1988 which depicted a Buick Grand National on front pulling away from a Corvette at a downtown stoplight. This kit was distributed to retail stores across the country just as the GN was reaching legendary status. The box, pictured below, featured a small printed line that read “Fastest US production car.” Notice the front clip of the red Corvette as the Grand National pulls away.
This didn’t sit too well with the brass at GM since no other car in the lineup for that year was supposed to be faster than the coveted Corvette. Much to the chagrin of Buick fans, Monogram redesigned the box in 1991, removing the Corvette and the famous slogan. The model was finally dropped by Monogram around 1994 or so, but good shrink-wrapped examples can still be found at “five and dime” stores if you are lucky. I found my model at a local automobile swap meet. I can still remember buying this model at a local drugstore when I was a kid. I had no idea what it was, but the “Fastest US Production Car” banner got my attention.
1987 Buick GNX circa 1989
In 1989, Monogram produced a limited edition 1:24 scale model of the legendary performance investment for the fortunate 547, the Buick GNX. This model wasn’t produced for very long and is quite rare, although I do not have any production numbers to back up my claim. For this release, the box was very similar in appearance to the second release of the original Grand National.
1987 Buick Grand National re-release circa 1998
Fast forward to 1998. Monogram re-released the ever popular Grand National to join their lineup of performance muscle cars. The box had a whole new look and the scale remained at the popular 1:24. This model can still be found at almost any discount store and favorite hobby shop. Keep in mind that a model keeps its value to the collector if it is still shrink-wrapped, so I recommend picking up a couple. That way you can tuck away one model for the future and you can still enjoy building your favorite muscle car to exacting detail.
1:18 Die Cast Models
Peach State GMP has produced a wonderful 1:18 scale die cast model of the 1987 Buick Grand National. These little cars are popular since they are cheaper to maintain and insure than the real thing. It is made out of metal and boasts extremely fine detail of the interior appointments and engine bay. The model shown below released for $50, but they usually can’t be found for under $250 on eBay. Certainly a popular collectible! Here is an example of the 1986 T-Type, which was released in late 1999. This is also a highly sought after model as white is a very popular color with the TR crowd. It doesn’t command the price of the original GN release, but it certainly is a good addition to any collection. I am really hoping that they produce a maroon 1987 model so I can have one to match my car.
Early 2000 brought the release of the 1987 Buick GNX, which is considered by many to be the baddest Turbo Regal ever produced. A collection of these fine die cast cars would not be complete unless this car adorned the shelf. As you can see from the picture, Peachstate paid careful attention to detail, as reflected by the correct wheels, badging, and the louvers on the sides. They also issued a replica window sticker with each vehicle. Imagine how cool it would be for one of the lucky 547 owners to actually have a numbers matching window sticker!
Here is a 1:18 diecast Maisto model of my 2001 S2000. This is exactly like my real car which is why I made this eBay purchase.
Artwork and Posters
“Ten Years After” is an individually numbered and signed offset lithograph printed on acid-free archival paper. The lithograph is a limited edition of 547 impressions plus 55 artist’s proofs. One edition only. Actual image size is 13.5″X24.5″. This was produced in 1997 based on an original Ibusuki painting. I personally own 145 of 547 produced and it hangs in my office as a tribute to both the artist and the muscle car. The frame represented above is just an enhancement of the graphic and doesn’t reflect how mine is framed.