Black Air: The Grand National Documentary
The Buick Grand National was a misfit in the world of cars. It came from Buick, which was (and still is) known as the car for the doctor, lawyer, or businessman. What made the Grand National such a surprise to car reviewers and car buyers was the fact that it was fast, really fast. At the time the Grand National was on the new car lots, it was faster the hottest exotics: the Lamborghini Countach as well as the Ferrari Testarossa.
In 2013, the underappreciated car became the subject of a film called Black Air. The movie was made by Andrew Filippone, Jr., who collects Buick Grand Nationals. He created the project to celebrate the 25th anniversary after the last Grand National was made in a GM plant in Flint, Michigan on December 11, 1987. The Grand National is a car that true enthusiasts know about, but very few other people do.
The car was created by Lloyd Reuss from General Motors who wanted to try to make Buick a cooler car brand for younger drivers. His car became the monochromatic black car (that some refer to as Darth Vader on the outside) with a turbo 3.8 V6 that could go from zero to 60 in under five seconds.
Black Air is 70 minutes long as is available for purchase on Amazon.com on DVD. The movie not only includes footage of the Buick Grand National showing its skill on the asphalt, but there are scenes of the cars being rebuilt and enjoyed. Enthusiasts will enjoy the presentations from the employees who were involved in the production and design of the car. It is a car documentary worth seeing, especially for those who remember the Buick Grand National from the decade of excess.
The timing of the film coincides with the fact that Buick and GM have been tossing around the idea of bringing back the Grand National and the uber-fast GNX models. Buick might not have had much of a chance drawing in younger drivers in the 1980s, but now that Pontiac is gone, Buick has a better chance of drawing in those younger drivers with a 2015 Grand National in jet black with the tough fenders and slick features of the newest Buicks.