This Grand National ‘Coulda Had a V8…And Got One

Okay, so what would you do with a well-preserved, debut-year Grand National? Since this is Car Craft magazine and not Muscle Car Review, you know what’s coming. When car owner Buck Anderson approached NextGen Performance, he told NextGen’s Josh and Eric Buzzell he was tired of getting pushed around by soccer moms in mini vans, and despite the decent stock 11-inch front disc brakes, the 9.5-inch rear drum brakes just didn’t inspire confidence under extreme conditions. Action was necessary.

So the fix was in. After an intense eight week transformation, the super scarce GN emerged with a full mechanical makeover. An all-aluminum, 400 horsepower LS2 replaced the 125 horsepower 4.1 “big block” six popper, a 4L65E 4-speed automatic – with overdrive – replaced the Turbo 350 and out back, a beefy Ford 9-inch puts the torque to the tarmac. Sure, the purists may say the world has lost another rarity, but since NextGen made sure to retain the GN’s unique exterior graphics and interior, the car’s true identity hasn’t been lost. Heck, the guys even retained the specific GN wheels and fourteen-inch tires. Visually, the car retains its spirit and character. But thanks to the Gen III heart transplant, there will be no more embarrassment at stoplights. Better still, with the 4L65E’s overdrive top gear, 20-plus m.p.g. is possible…as long as car owner Buck Anderson can keep his right foot off the carpet.