Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Black
Dillsboro, Indiana, United States
As Buick currently claws and scratches its way back into relevance to compete against luxury brands like Lexus and Acura, it's hard to believe that not too long ago, the brand had a car that was mentioned in the same breath as Corvette, Lamborghini and Ferrari. That car? None other than the Buick Grand National. All black with a turbocharged V6 and some of the quickest acceleration of its time, the Grand National, in today's standards, is along the lines of a 2013 Shelby GT500 with both cars essentially being a working man's supercar.
The last Grand National rolled off the assembly line in Flint, MI on December 11, 1987, and to mark the silver anniversary of that somber occasion, Black Air is a documentary of the Grand National from the perspective of the enthusiast, the collector, the media and even from those at General Motors responsible for creating such a sinister legend. Like the car itself, Andrew Filippone Jr. shoots the documentary in a raw fashion, and it definitely helps to show why a low-volume muscle car from the 1980s is still the object of obsession for many automotive enthusiasts to this day.
"Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?" So asked one Marty McFly of his mentor Dr. Emmett Brown, who replied: "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"
Doc Brown was right, of course: with an exotic mid-engine layout, gullwing doors and stainless steel body, the DeLorean DMC-12 sure looked the part. It just needed a little more juice. Well this one might not have 1.21 gigawatts of time-bending power - that'd be more than one and a half million horsepower - but it does have more than the 150 hp in the the standard 2.8-liter V6.
That's because this particular DeLorean has had its stock Peugeot Renault Volvo engine swapped out for a Buick-sourced, all-aluminum, 4.3-liter V6 from the Grand National. Dutteiller Performance didn't leave the engine in stock form, either: while they were swapping it out, they added a pair of turbochargers, new pistons, crank, cams and much, much more.
The Opel Adam, the microcar of General Motors' European subsidiary, has seen its sales cool significantly since it first hit the market in the United Kingdom and Europe, but a push is reportedly under way that just might be enough to get the stylish, little car moving again.
Using the Opel Adam Rocks Concept as a template, Opel will ruggedize the Adam, so that it might compete with the growing herd of city cars that sport SUV styling, like the Volkswagen Cross Up and Fiat Panda 4x4, according to a report from Automotive News Europe. Sporting a bumped-up ride height and tougher body work, it's a dedicated soft-roader, but will freshen the Adam's lineup and, hopefully, broaden its customer appeal.
The Adam Rocks, according to IHS Automotive analyst Ian Fletcher, should also make some more coin for GM's struggling European arm. "Automakers are happy to meet demand for SUV and crossovers as the customer pays a premium," Fletcher told ANE. And although the Rocks might have been planned from the start as a production vehicle, the timing, with the Adam's sales slowdown, doesn't seem like a coincidence.