The Buick Grand National - I recall first hearing of this when I was single digits in age. My Dad said it was such a cool car, and at the time I actually questioned this knowledge. The Corvette was on my radar and so were many other exotics, but this thing... A black, boxy two door sedan... Why on earth would my Dad think this was a neat car. Well as I grew older, I started to realize why he thought this. If you know nothing about the Grand National, Black Air is a great place to start.
Black Air is a documentary made by Grand National aficionados and it shows. The basic layout of this film is smashing together a bunch of smaller stories to create the full movie. Owning a Grand National is something I have yet to do, but for some reason I really, really want to. They are one of those cars that only certain people respect. The average person has absolutely no clue what you are driving and when you tell them what you paid for it, they would literally laugh at you. So if you are somebody who likes attention, people asking you about your car and even being impressed by it, the Grand National will not draw the type of crowd like a new Stingray would.
Buick is well known as a company that for the most part, makes cars for the older crowd. They aren't known for high performance and speed. Luxury and maturity are two things I think of being on the want list for Buick owners. The Grand National has a sort of stance and swagger to it that not many people understand, including average Buick drivers. This documentary focuses on that with the different small stories.
They go in depth with Bob Covlin, who is the owner of the last Grand National made in 1987. The old 80s footage of a Michigan winter outside of a GM plant had such a Roger and Me feel to it. I especially liked seeing the vehicle being assembled and also am quite impressed how they have kept it in basically museum quality, totally preserved forever. The other interesting guy you meet in this movie is Anthony Colucci. He is the owner of a 1985 Grand National that is a trailer queen, never goes in the rain and is stored in a plastic bubble - literally. This guy is a serious enthusiast and I give him props for keeping his car mint, but man.. I can't help but wonder what he is missing out on not driving that amazing vehicle.
The film does a great job touching on little details about the Grand National but at the same time I wanted more. It almost forces you to get on your phone while watching to confirm facts, figures and also research more. This included the GNX which I felt was given a unique look into production and how they were assembled to be the ultimate Grand National "Special Edition" - I truly want more GNX though. I'd love to see a full go Top Gear video shoot of this vehicle done in amazing high def. Thinking about this film as a whole, I really conclude that it has the same mysterious feel as the Grand National itself. A grayed out tint to the entire film, random snap cuts and close ups that all lead to wetting your appetite of Grand National trivia and information. The Grand National is something that has a unique following and a little bit of mystery behind it - this film follows suit.
Black Air 2 is in the works right now, which will consist of user submitted footage. General Motors has been re-trademarking the Grand National and GNX names. The history of this vehicle is something that car guys will always respect and normal Toyota drivers probably won't. I encourage you to get yourself a copy of Black Air today and educate yourself a little bit. Once you finish watching, you just might find yourself liking or even wanting a car that you never thought you would. Below are the first five minutes of the film, hope you enjoy!
Black Air Homepage - http://www.gnmovie.com/