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1982 Grand National Concept Drawings &
The REAL Grand National Prototype
Original drawing by Buick Designer Steve Pasteiner that inspired the Grand National
This drawing was created by Buick Designer Steven Pasteiner Sr. It appears to be influenced by Gary Byron's/Molly Designs 1977 Turbo Century. The previous year, Steve designed the '81 Regal Indy Pace Car. Buick already had a special Regal model called the Somerset, but it was, in Steve's opinion, kind of feminine. He wanted to create a "car for the guys" . He drew this up and presented it to Buick General Manager Lloyd Ruess. It got approval. Some noteworthy things about this drawing:
This picture appeared in a magazine
article with the following caption "Here it is: the only know photo of the
single prototype of the 1982 GN".
As you will see, there were several more.
The next step was to create an actual prototype. The was accomplished by Cars & Concepts, in Farmington Hills, MI (now defunct). While C&C is sometimes given credit for designing the car, this is incorrect. What they did is take Steve Pasteiner's drawing and made it a reality. The photo above is reportedly from while the car was still at C&C (in the snow!), before delivery to Buick. Note the colored Tri-shield emblems on the wheels and Uniroyal RWL tires. Some noteworthy differences between Steve Pasteiner's concept and the actual prototype:
This next photo is a close up of the fender. Again, the car is still at C&C. Notice the placement of the GRAND NATIONAL, V6 logo and single, red pin stripe. (Read more about this V6 logo.) The special Lear Seigler seats can be seen through the windshield. Also notice the sticker with 52168. Although hard to see, it appears the car has a VIN plate and number.
This picture is very interesting. It is the most commonly reproduced image of a '82 GN. Even Johnny Lightning used it on their diecast 1/64th car. But this picture is a little different. It hasn't been edited yet. Note the background clutter and shadows. These will all be removed before printing for press releases. Also notice the wheels. The center caps now has V6 logos and the tires are Goodyear Polysteels. NASCAR and Goodyear go together. The V6 logo will be edited out and not used in production. The front air dam appears to be one piece, unlike the three piece production unit. The 52168 sticker is now gone.
Next is the same style studio picture but of the back of the car. Though very hard to see, there is a small GRAND NATIONAL decal on the decklid, opposite the BUICK. A trivial point is the lack of the lock bezel. This car also has a rear defogger. Although not officially part of the GN package, most '82 GN's have it. Compare this picture with the B&W below. The editing is obvious when you notice the press photo no longer has a tail-pipe!
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