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New Grand National ???


96roadmaster
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Who would like to see a new Grand National be built again?<P>Pontiac is bringing the Opel to the U.S. from Australia and labeling it as a GTO, with the Corvette LS1 engine and 6-speed. The same car also happens to be available in Australia with a supercharged 3.8 V-6.<BR>Now, if Buick changes the look and brings us the 6-cylinder for a lower price than the GTO, it would be the ideal Grand National for the 21st century.<P>I'll take mine in black.<P>I hope Buick monitors this Forum...<p>[ 07-19-2002: Message edited by: 96roadmaster ]

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The car is all Australian designed Monaro. Its a variation of the 4 door Commodore. Nothing to do with an Opel.<P>20 years ago the the Australain Holden was similar to the Opel, but not now.<P>The base engine in these Aussie GM's is the 3800 V6, Originally these were imported from Buick (USA) but now they are manufactured here. Some small parts still come from US<P>The V8 engine is a Chev fully imported from the US.<P>Not sure if they will send the Monaro/GTO to the US engineless or import a V8 emgine from US, put in the car here and then send it back to the US. <P>Allan<BR>Australia

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By all accounts, with the Monaro selling very good in Australia, all they can use for stateside GTO vehicles is about 20,000 per year. No room for extra Buick models nor have any been mentioned.<P>I strongly suspect that there will be some rear wheel drive Sigma platform plants pop up other than the one in Lansing in the future. By the same token, that new plant has the capacity for 5 different products. Lutz claims the Sigma platform is "too expensive" for more mainstream, lower level vehicles but the Monaro platform probalby would work fine. Therefore, if any Buick variations happen, it'll be after the Camaro might come back online and would still be a few years off.<P>If a Buick hot rod will be in the mix, the powers that be would have to build a good business case for it. We know the demand would be there for loyal Buick people, but the suits need to be convinced that our fellow enthusiasts would support a 3 yr model run -- unless it could also get conquest sales from the Infiniti and Lexus marque hot rods, which is a possibility.<P>A "reborn" Grand National is a great idea . . . now it just needs to be "sold" to the people that control those things. Such a car could make more sense than a production Blackhawk, for example. Plus, the supercharged V-6 will get some more power in the near future.<P>NTX5467

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Guest Skyking

Sorry to say, It doesn't look any different than any other car on the road........I guess we are stuck with that boring shape. Thank God for Chrysler cars......

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Allan/1939 Buick: I think you are wrong about the Holden/Opel family; I believe all Holdens are related to all Opels in some manner. I do understand that the Holdens use the American 3.8 six and larger v-8 engines. However I believe the current large Holdens (Commodore, Monaro coupe, Ute) are quite closely related to the now out of production rwd Opel Commodore (and of course the now discontinued Cadillac Catera). I believe GM is trying to use common body structure worldwide where possible. Therefore Opel Vectra=Vauxhall Vectra=Cadillac CTS. And Opel Omega=Vauxhall Omega=Saturn "L" class. As for your large body Holdens coming to USA; GTO is OK, a Buick coupe version is ok too but what I would really like to see here is the ElCamino/Caballero return in the form of your Holden Ute.

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Guest Skyking

Ranchero, I agree with you on the ElCamino returning. I own an 87, their last year and would love to be able to buy a new one.

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The Holden may be related to the European Opel Commodore, but its a distant relation now. The Aussie has been physically larger for a few years now compared to its distant Opel cousin. As Skyking said, it doesn't look any different than any other car on the road.<P>Getting a left hand drive ute / ElCamino / Caballero would not be that hard if GM could make & sell enough to get a good $ return out of it.. Building it would be the easy part.. Getting the design past the safety & regulatory rules would be the problem<P> <A HREF="http://www.holden.com.au/app/serve?page=uteEntry" TARGET=_blank>http://www.holden.com.au/app/serve?page=uteEntry</A> <P>The larger Holden Commodore (Statesman) is built here and sold left hand drive into Saudia Arabia (with a Chev badge). So all the left hand drive steering, dash. etc is available. The position of the fuel tank to meet US regulations may be problem<P>Interestingly the equivalent Ford (4.0 litre 6 cylinder rear wheel drive) has the fuel tank positioned in line with US regulations<P>One of GM Aust selling points to GM US is that they can have lower productions numbers yet still make a profit.<p>[ 07-20-2002: Message edited by: 1939_Buick ]

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From what I've observed, GM-Australia has been sort of a "renegade" group. For example, when we were in Flint in '88 at the national meet, it was announced that GM-Australia had accepted the new balance shaft 3.8L Buick V-6 to replace the Nissan 6 cylinder they had been using. I thought that was very odd, unless there were some significant supply issues or something.<P>I tend to agree that there has been more Opel influence in the current Holden architecture than many really admit to, but I'll not argue the point. It's my gut suspicion that your current or last gen Holdens are the same basic vehicle as the now discontinued Catera and that the new Sigma platform is more related to the Catera platform than many also desire to admit to--otherwise it wouldn't use an engine from the previous Catera engine family, I suspect. I've heard about how the new Sigma platform is not a revised Catera platform, and the part numbers on the chassis bear that out, but the same control arm with a different bushing generates a different part number too. These "mysteries" will unfold in the future, I suspect.<P>The El Camino vehicle probably would not have lasted as long as it did if the production of the last few years had not been shifted to Mexico from the US. Unfortunately, the people I saw buying them new in those last years were people who'd driven that type of vehicle since the '60s so the growth factor in that market had basically gone away. <P>The reason Holden is so profitable now is that they have basically one platform of vehicle in two wheelbase lengths. With those two related architectures, they cover a whole line of vehicles from basic to fancy to utility to performance. Therefore, tooling costs are lower and profits happen quicker at lower volume levels. <P>By comparison, during the earlier '80s time frame, GM had at least three unique smaller car platforms and there was not more than 3 inches in wheelbase separating the shortest to the longest. "Purpose engineering" has its place, but more commonality would have resulted in greater operating profits had they used common architecture on all three vehicles. Not the commonality that Roger Smith desired and handed us, but commonality of vehicle architecture under the skin just as there was with the Chrysler mid-size Belvederes/Coronets that were shortened to make the '70-'74 Barracuda/Challenger vehicles.<P>The reality as I perceive it is that little will be done to any Buick vehicle presently in production -- of any significance -- until the next gen Regal/Century,LeSabre, and Park Avenue-type vehicle arrive in about 2 yrs or so. But other than GM vehicles, the similar Chrysler vehicles will be in the same situation as will many of the Ford vehicles. That's just how the product cycles are going to happen this time, it appears.<P>Recall the words of Ed Mertz when we were in Flint last time? He stated that Buicks were Substantial, Powerful, and Smooooth (with the portholes of a '55-style Roadmaster making up the "oooo" part of "smooooth"). He went on to state "No more 'boy racer' Buicks" (as in turbo Regals). That was also when "Buick: Premium American Motorcars" was announced for the advertising. As much as some might find fault with the recent direction of Buick, Mertz's orientation is still in place just as it was in the middle '50s, in spite of the comings and goings of GM's financial health and organizational side tracks in more recent times.<P>Just some thoughts . . .<BR>NTX5467

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Sorry about that, it is a Holden... I had written the post off the top of my head without rechecking.<P>I still would like to see the return of the Grand National.<P>The Grand National started it all with the monochromatic paint job. Then the rear-drive Impala SS took over (ended in '96). Now, Mercury is trying a shot at that, although it is overpriced and underpowered.

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