Kevin Hart is one of the most popular comedians and actors, and the Buick Grand National GNX is a classic muscle car. Somehow, this makes for a perfect pairing.
Recently, Hart acquired a new GNX which adds to his collection of all-black muscle cars, making three total for him. Soon, he might need a bigger garage, but this new Buick could be the most fun car that he’s bought and commissioned. This classic sports car is a restomd, with some impressive performance upgrades to make it much cooler than it originally was.
What Makes the GNX Special?
The Grand National GNX from Buick was only offered for one model year, 1987. This car was made to be a fitting farewell to the Grand National. The model that Kevin Hart owns has T-Tops and is a restomod built by Salvaggio Design. The fact that it’s a restored and modified vehicle makes it unique, which takes it away from the traditional pedigree of many restored muscle cars.
The original version of the GNX used an impressive 3.8-liter turbocharged and intercooled V6 engine that produced 276 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque. This power level was pretty impressive at the time. You could put the GNX up against most other cars with bigger engines, and this Buick would show challenger the taillights.
A Bit of a Dilemma Ensued
Some celebrities don’t mind having several models of the same car in their collections, but it seems that Kevin Hart, who already owns a Buick Grand National GNX, had a bit of a dilemma. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a team ready to turn such a car into a seriously fun restomod at the ready. With whispers in his ear, the Salvaggio Design team out of Wisconsin began the improvements to this classic Buick muscle car.
The Dark Knight Rides
Hart calls this new Grand National the “Dark Knight,” which does more to pay homage to what the GNX stood for than to build a brand new version of this car while only using the body to give the desired look. Rather than creating a car that wasn’t part of the original build, the team worked to give Hart a car that is only a little different.
Kevin Hart chose to tighten the lines of the Buick Grand National GNX to give it a slightly different front bumper, hood, and rear spoiler, all of which are made of carbon fiber which makes this car a bit lighter. The Dark Knight also has new door handles, and the whole thing is finished in BAS black paint. The wheels under this glorious nod to the past are 19 inches and finished in nickel.
One area where this GNX appears to be extremely similar to the original is the gray and blue accents in the leather interior. This leather upholstery also benefits from bronze cross stitching to give the car a bit of a look that you might find if Batman himself drove this cool Buick.
Where Are Most of the Modifications?
Although the styling of this GNX is extremely similar to its original form, the changes offered that make this car more of a restomod take place under the body panels. The idea was to think about how this car would be built if it were part of the modern lineup from Buick. With that in mind, Salvaggio Design gave this car a 3.6-liter V6 engine from a Cadillac ATS-V. It makes a lot of sense to use an engine from a GM product for this classic Buick.
The project continues to get interesting with the removal of the twin turbochargers that come with the ATS-V powertrain. In place of these boosters, the team opted for a Boost Labs ball-bearing turbo and only a single unit. Using racing fuel, this new engine layout can pump out 650 horsepower, but the team expects it might even reach 700 ponies.
Other modifications to the GNX include a new laser-cut TIG-welded frame with a bolt-in subframe, a retuned suspension, and Brembo GT brakes at each wheel. These upgrades give this impressive muscle car a lot of performance fun and a much smoother ride out on the road. Of course, there’s a good chance that Kevin Hart might want to take his Buick Grand National GNX to the track for some fun laps.
What are Some of the Other Cars in Hart’s Collection?
Kevin Hart seems to be on a bit of a classic car binge, and who can blame him? In the past couple of years, he’s purchased an all-black 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner and a similarly-painted 1970 Dodge Charger restomod. He also has a Fanny Green 1959 Chevrolet Corvette, which is absolutely gorgeous. The Corvette features attractive chrome accents and white-walled tires.
Where did the GNX Originate?
The Buick Regal and GNX are related. We don’t have to play six degrees to get there, but the GNX name is added to the Grand National, which is one of the personal luxury cars from Buick in the 1980s. The Grand National and Regal were used for several years, but the GNX was only made for one year, and the X takes the pace of the word Experimental in the name. The GNX brought much more power than the regular Grand National model, giving us a car we really wanted to drive.
How Fast Was the Original GNX?
While the Kevin Hart Buick Grand National GNX restomod will be much faster than the original car, the 1987 model wasn’t a slouch. This incredible performance car could hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. This was faster than the Corvette, some Ferraris, many Porsches, and even the Lamborghini Countach of the time. It’s pretty amazing to think that a Buick was faster than all of these high-performance cars from the same timeframe.
We might get to learn about the actual performance numbers of Hart’s GNX, but then again, it might never get pushed hard at the track. Either way, this new restomod is a fitting addition to the car collection Kevin Hart is building.
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