If you're not familiar with Vice Grip Garage, it's one of the more fascinating automotive YouTube channels. The general recipe is that Derek, the host, buys a decrepit classic car or truck, gets the vehicle running, and goes on a long-distance drive. This time, the machine to revive is a 1986 Buick Grand National.
This car allegedly belonged to a little old lady who babied it during her ownership. Although, we can't know how much of that story is true.
The license plate shows 2002 as the last year of registration to drive on the road. Sometime around then, the owner parked the Grand National outside, and the Buick sat there for years. Mother Nature was not kind to this machine because lichen started growing on the body. The sun toasted portions of the interior.
Vice Grip Garage videos have a general formula. The host offers a tour of his purchase and what he knows about the vehicle's history. Then, it's time to get the car running. The process starts with the basics by confirming the engine turns over, checking for spark, and making sure the powerplant gets fuel.
There are always challenges along the way. In this case, the fuel pump is dead. After solving that problem, things go smoothly for a while. There's spark going to the engine, and the fuel injectors work. The engine roars to life immediately upon turning the key.
The next bump in the road isn't so easy to get over. The Grand National has a quirky power brake system with an electric motor that creates pressure for assisting in stopping. If the system fails, then the driver essentially loses the ability to slow the car. The issue is that this aged tech is prone to failure. Can Derek find a solution?
Today, the Grand National and even rarer, higher-performance GNX are highly collectible vehicles. The desire to own them among collectors comes from their low production numbers and impressive power for a muscle car in the 1980s.