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.