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1987 Buick Grand National - Deadly Red

A Spicy-Hot GN From South Jersey's Jose's Motor Sports That Runs 9.40s With A Big 'Ol Set Of Tires

Jim Campisano Mar 1, 2008

Jose Torres and his shop Jose's Motor Sports in Camden, New Jersey, is no stranger to Turbo Buicks, having built many a turbo V-6 since 1987. His most recent passion project, an '87 Grand National, has been coming together over the past eight years. The GN was purchased with the intention of transplanting a powerplant that would make good use of the rollcage and 4-link S&W Race Cars installed for the previous owner.

To do so, Jose's put the boring bar and honing machine to work on a Buick Stage II off-center block for a bump in displacement and the strength to easily propel the full-weight GN into the nines and beyond. Using JE forged pistons and rings, Carrillo forged rods, and a Buick Motorsports forged crank, the short-block boasts 252 cubic inches. A 220/230-duration Comp Cams solid oller cam dishes up the extra spent fumes to a Precision Turbo P76 turbo, while also inhaling 25 psi of chilled boost from a PTE front-mount air-to-air intercooler. Champion aluminum heads were hand-blended and polished by Jose's crew prior to installing stout Manley 2.02 intake and 1.60 exhaust valves. The dished pistons and heads serve up a oost-friendly 8.0:1 compression that works well with 116-octane race gas to resist detonation.

On the top end, T&D 1.6 ratio rocker arms and a Bowling Green Customs intake make sure the solid roller and Comp Cams pushrods' commands are well heeded. The Bowling Green intake is port-matched to the heads and mated with an Accufab 70mm throttle body as well as 96-pound injectors from Precision. A Weldon Racing external fuel pump supplies the estimated 800hp motor with adequate go-juice, while a FAST computer controls the injection and ignition from the stock coils and MSD DIS-4 box. A Lee's Performance wastegate and Keith Mease/MPE Racing Fabrication 3-inch downpipe vent the turbo's regurgitation. Three-inch pipes take the fumes the rest of the way, before terminating aft a Flowmaster muffler. ATR ceramiccoated headers, in addition to a transbrake- equipped Turbo 400 from Trans Specialties, help the turbo spool. Nearby Pat's Performance Converters supplied the 4000-stall, 9-inch torque converter that enabled a 1.30 60-foot time.

The S&W Race Cars 4-link is also responsible for those impressive short times, boasting QA1 adjustable coilovers, fully welded track locator, adjustable shock mounts, and an integrated 9-inch rearend housing. Moser 35-spline axles and 4.30 gear accommodate the enormous 32x14 Mickey Thompson slicks. A lightweight spool and Weld wheels keep the rotating mass in check, while the simplicity of the stock interior and body panels (aside from the J&E Automotive cowl hood) keep the race weight at 3,360-pounds with driver. A chromemoly 10-point cage from S&W does help minimize the burden, as do Wilwood brakes, which are also very crucial to making the 9-second beast safe. As a frequenter of many Buick-vs.-Mustang events at Atco Raceway and Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Jose has been certain to make sure his Buick is up to NHRA standards with an ATI balancer, 3-inch chrome-moly driveshaft, J.W. flexplate, ATR driveshaft safety loop, Gforce harnesses, and a battery cutoff.

It's almost a sacrilege that this nearly Outlaw-style build plays by the rules, but it just goes to show that it doesn't take any trickery (nor does it take eight cylinders) to whoop on Mustangs.



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