13 October 2014

Generation Gap: Muscle Cars

In the latest episode of Generation Gap, Matt and Davin have brought the muscle. Matt’s pick, a 1987 Buick GNX, is arguably one of the best muscle cars to come out of the 1980s, with a McLaren Performance-tuned turbo-charged V-6 putting 245 hp and 360 ft.-lb. of torque to the ground. Davin thought he could slip one by with this unassuming 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle. The secret is that it’s a rare COPO with the 427-cid engine with 425 hp and 460 ft.-lb. of torque. This Chevelle looks like grandma’s car, but goes like a Yenko.

Voting for this episode of “Generation Gap” has ended.

65 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Giacomo Charlotte October 14, 2014 at 18:58
    NO DRAG RACE?
  • 2
    Alex Cleveland, OH October 14, 2014 at 19:00
    To me, there's nothing that gets me more pumped up than just seeing a GNX. The combination of style and performance is just right.
  • 3
    Shawn United States October 14, 2014 at 21:38
    COPO = Awesome, but I had to vote for the GNX. I've wanted one since I was little and they were new.
  • 4
    Randy michigan October 14, 2014 at 22:02
    The GNX is the better muscle car
  • 5
    Ben Utah October 14, 2014 at 22:52
    This was an absolute hard one to decide. I've always loved the GNX and wanted one since I was a lot shorter kid than I am now. I've never been a chevelle fan, not a fan of the styling. But that is a 427 with a manual behind it, it just screams bad a** muscle done right. The manual wins over the automatic.
  • 6
    Jim Boehm Oregon October 15, 2014 at 13:24
    Like the Buick but would sure like to drive the chenille
  • 7
    Paul Cox Atlanta October 15, 2014 at 14:27
    GNX Regal GN had 276 BHP, not the 245 of the normal regal GN. 1969 Chevelle was rated in Gross HP (without exhaust or accessories). I would put my bet on the superior traction and 200R4 tranny of the GNX for 0-60 but quarter might be close.
  • 8
    Phillip Franklin United States October 15, 2014 at 15:56
    Sorry but the 69 Malibu is just a cooler car period. No contest here
  • 9
    Sarcasticshrub United States October 15, 2014 at 17:11
    "Giggle like a little girl". Funny how horsepower does that to every guy on the planet...
  • 10
    joe c bethlehem.pa. October 15, 2014 at 17:18
    my 86 gn would spank that chevelle any day of the week....
  • 11
    MarkW East Coast October 15, 2014 at 18:49
    Why does Matt keep quoting the standard GN rating of 245hp? At least the spec sheet was correct.
  • 12
    Mike Milwaukee, WI October 15, 2014 at 19:42
    Two great cars, but I am a Buick guy and the GNX is one of the hottest cars to be built especially during the bland 80's.
  • 13
    Jeff Bentley Michigan October 15, 2014 at 19:51
    Both cars are a rare beauty.
  • 14
    Dave Hurst Katy Texas October 15, 2014 at 08:39
    Great cars, but the American Muscle Car has allways been a V8, You can't get the scare factor when you fire it up with a V6, yes it is super fast, no dought. But nothing and I mean nothing beats the sound of a camed up Big Block loping at idel.
  • 15
    Mike Reed Hastings, MI October 15, 2014 at 08:45
    Not even a contest! The Buick wouldn't see the Chevelle's taillights at the end of the quarter-mile.
  • 16
    Jim Waterford Mi. October 15, 2014 at 08:48
    I think the '69 COPO Chevelle is more rare, than the '87 GNX.
  • 17
    Townsedan Michigan October 15, 2014 at 09:09
    Sooo, Mat says that CHEVY (said to McLaren)wanted to see the Buick go fast? A slip, or did I work for Chevy and we accidentally worked on Buicks?
  • 18
    Jim Goodsmith Troy, MI October 15, 2014 at 09:19
    1969 Chevelle was in the REAL muscle car era. 1987 was long passed the famous Woodward Ave. cruising time.
  • 19
    Steve Hamilton, ON. October 15, 2014 at 09:23
    Both cars are great, no doubt, but I have to go with the Malibu. The '69 has always been my favorite. (Although I own a '69 Buick GS 400 Stage I). You just can't beat the torque of a BIG BLOCK!
  • 20
    rodster55 oklahoma October 15, 2014 at 09:32
    All of the big three were at their best in 1969. Thanks to the Jackass's of the world such as ralph nader, who chose the easy target, who preyed on the fed's because they didn't want to have a job, and the dumb ass federal government who also had no idea about working. It all went to hell from there. There will never be any production like the 1969 cars were. I am glad I got to live it.
  • 21
    Joe Richmond, VA October 15, 2014 at 09:49
    Liking the Chevelle better does not mean that I would not prefer to own the Buick. Since we already have a nice El Camino I'd opt to own the Buick because I might actually drive it to work once or twice a week (I have secure parking). I'd also have a regular driver with more modern brakes, steering, and more: maybe the Chev could wear disc brakes, but don't try to stop a car with drum brakes fast in heavy traffic :)
  • 22
    Tom Griffith Tennessee October 15, 2014 at 10:13
    My choice is the Chevelle, hands down. In the 80's GM, Ford and Chrysler fired all their design engineers and started the "rubber-stamp" vehicles. The only way to tell a Buick Regal from a Grand Prix from a Chevrolet Monte Carlo is to look at the name plate, and the tradition is carried on today. A Chevelle is recognizable 2 blocks away because it has a personality all it's on, as does all the cars of the 50s, 60s and early 70s. And did I mention the rumble of a big block v8 over the wimpy-wimpy of a v6?
  • 23
    Richard Michigan October 15, 2014 at 10:36
    I worked for GM and had occasion to drive an '87 GNX company car for burgers. I nearly spun it when the boost came on as I tried to exit the drivethru onto a busy highway. Strong for that time....but I owned an '87 Trans Am GTA with the rare 5 speed manual. My car was chipped, but otherwise stock. A friend owned a GNX and we had an impromptu dash from a 35MPH roll to about 80, and the 2 cars were pretty equal. Chipped GNXs are another thing altogether though - kick the boost up and they were VERY STRONG!
  • 24
    Tom Kerwin Clearwater, Fl October 15, 2014 at 11:17
    I know the Buick V-6 turbos are real quick but I'd put my money on the Yenko Chevelle
  • 25
    Eric Ruybalid New Mexico October 15, 2014 at 11:22
    Uhh.. the GNX was rated at 276hp. Not 245 like the production 87 GN, TurboT and Turbo Limited. That should have been caught before this went to publication.
  • 26
    Steve Alberta, Canada October 15, 2014 at 11:26
    Both Awesome cars! Having both, a 70 Chevelle SS, and Black 87 Monte Carlo SS, I loosely based my decision on the fact that when it's a cruise day, the Chevelle wins every time! Granted neither of mine are equal to the COPO or the GNx, there's something to be said for a Classic Big Block.
  • 27
    joe wagner michigan October 15, 2014 at 11:39
    i need one of those beautiful 1987 gnX buicks!
  • 28
    Tim Blackburn Springfield. OH October 15, 2014 at 11:55
    Interesting that the quoted 0-60 times have the GNX as faster......I'd imagine if you had wider better tires on the COPO it would have to be quicker. I had an AH 3000 w/ a 351 c motor in it with 165 /15 tires and the original wire wheels and hubs and had a hard time keeping it in a straight line! I picked the Chevelle, but the Buick actually looks much cooler.
  • 29
    Jeff Henry Tn. October 15, 2014 at 12:46
    Two great cars. The chevelle will take him out of the hole but the gnx will come on strong at the end to edge him out.
  • 30
    JG sweden October 16, 2014 at 15:37
    Chevelle all day, but gnx is a very cool car:-)
  • 31
    Al North Georgia October 16, 2014 at 19:09
    Apples to Oranges. Both are great cars but can be compared easily. One is pure brute force and the other is the product of advanced technology. Now, wouldn't it be interesting to apply the same technology to a 1969 427?
  • 32
    Mark Iowa October 16, 2014 at 09:13
    I doubt Chevy said "Hey McLaren make this fast." I bet Buick might have said it. :)
  • 33
    Bob C. Port St. Lucie, FL October 16, 2014 at 09:20
    Regarding the Chevelle I don't really get much of a thrill just because something had to be special ordered. It's what happens on the street that counts. A stock GNX performs as well and can use 93 octane gas while doing it.
  • 34
    Sean Ontario, CA October 16, 2014 at 21:29
    GNX true HP numbers were fudged just as the GN, probably for insurance reasons. That car was not only faster than the Vette, it was beating them all in 0-60 back in 1987 - Ferrari included.. Buick for me, hands down.
  • 35
    Joe Richmond, VA October 16, 2014 at 21:51
    On first viewing, I missed the remark about disc brakes and the COPO. Someone at GM back then was thinking smart! Still does not change my opinion that I'd prefer the GNX for a drive to work...I'll still take both, please, sir.
  • 36
    Steve Green Douglasville, GA October 16, 2014 at 10:19
    If I were buying a car for my wife and I to cruise, I would buy the GNX. But, if I were buying a car just for me to cruise, I would definitely buy the Chevelle. Gotta love the rumble of a big block!
  • 37
    Clark Florida October 16, 2014 at 22:42
    Were talking about 2 completely differnt cars here. I am a GM man but I am a buick man more than a chevy man. Were talking about "the buick 3.8 liter" which is one of the best if not the best engine ever hands down ever made.... Better yet with a turbo in this case.. I had to vote for the GNX
  • 38
    Walter California October 16, 2014 at 11:04
    Well, even if the Chevelle had a 307 in it, I would take it first. There isn't a bad 6 inches of design on that car, very sexy that the GNX can't boast. A car doesn't feel like car unless it has a carburetor. That's what it is about for some of us. If I had to pick an 80's car.. easily the GNX would be it.
  • 39
    Brian Maryland October 16, 2014 at 23:53
    It's a COPO vs. is turbo Monte Carlo at the end of the day... A Monte carlo with a V6... muscle cars aren't turbo'ed, they're big old V8's. Obviously it's a Buick and not a chevy, but it's still just a V6 Monte Carlo...
  • 40
    Terry Michigan October 16, 2014 at 00:35
    To set the record straight, the Buick GNX has 276 HP. The Buick Grand National has 245HP. A GNX with under 50 miles just sold at the mecum auction in Chicago for $97K
  • 41
    Tim So Cali October 17, 2014 at 13:06
    Nice match up. But....I've had a ZZ502 in my 68 Camaro (more powerful than thie COPO Chevelle) and the 3.8 Turbo in my 87 Grand National. The GNX is far more tune-able and without cracking open the motor, can easily be made to go 11's in the 1/4 with simple and quick bolt-ons and tune adjustments. My vote is for the GNX....
  • 42
    Harold Johnson San Francisco Bay Area October 17, 2014 at 03:41
    Mathematics 101; CUBIC INCHES + SIMPLICITY = MUSCLE CAR. "Keep it simple stupid". Turbo's add complications, YET produce power also, but I don't like straining small engines to act like big ones that don't even break a sweat. I own the same basic 427, put it in a 4600 lb '63 Impala SS 4 speed & beat Honda 750 motorcycles! Later, I put it in a '74 Camaro & FELT TRUE FEAR ! Consider THIS equation; BIG BLOCK + TURBO (or blower) = INSANITY x STEROIDS !! Nuf Said !
  • 43
    bud nasset saginaw mi. October 17, 2014 at 07:08
    beening a buick fan i do like the chevelles horse power.nels nasset
  • 44
    Matt Krawchuk Canada October 17, 2014 at 21:49
    The GNX has to out handle the Chevelle but it's just ugly and out-performed in a straight line by a previous generation car. I'm very impressed with the classic car here despite the McLaren heritage of the Buick and the turbo-muscle novelty.
  • 45
    Al PA October 17, 2014 at 12:22
    The Chevelle has performance, great idle, performance and most of all presence and character!
  • 46
    ted wi October 18, 2014 at 08:14
    I don't value the opinion of people who claim Chevy told McLaren to make a Buick faster.... idiots..edit your shit correctly!!!! as for my opinion, love the big blocks, but they were everywhere in the 60s, Mopars, Fords,GMs.....,the GNX is a rare bird especially rolling off the line in the economizer 80s era when Horsepower was choked for an MPG figure..MPG was not such an issue in the 60s . Look at the 70s cars, V8s with smog and emissions chokers, very tamed out era thanks to the so called oil crisis ..Go back to the 60s and see how many states had emissions testing stations.. Both cars are Holy Grails to their era I prefer a GNX... When you look in hindsight, Horsepower usually comes with working around economic times and as of the 70s tippy toeing thru all the added gov't regulations.. Hats off to Chrysler..from the brink of bankruptcy extinction back in the day, to bringing back some giggles with 707 HP
  • 47
    Sheila Nova Scotia, Canada October 19, 2014 at 08:37
    The Copo Chevelle wins hands down with me. I own a 1967 Beaumont Sport Deluxe. Canadian edition of the Chevelle. Only 251 produce.
  • 48
    Butch Oregon October 19, 2014 at 21:48
    Got to go with the 69 Malibu . COPO just is cool .
  • 49
    Mike Ohio October 20, 2014 at 14:54
    Since I own a '69 Chevelle, I a have to vote for the Chevelle. I have a 450 hp sbc in mine and I can say it makes me smile when I get on it. I was lucky enough to have a friend take me in a ride in his Gran Nat (I know, not the same but still cool) and it was nice, but my old muscle car still won in the straight line. So, yeah, in stock form, the GNX has some nice things going for it, but who keeps there car stock now. A couple more parts for my car and I'll have the perfect cruiser, for my taste.
  • 50
    Howard Salsitz United States October 21, 2014 at 20:45
    I actually saw one '87 GNX used in California and marked on the door, "State Police", NOT Highway Patrol. When I saw it, there was a guy standing next to it with a bullet proof vest. I believe there was some action like a drug or weapons raid going on. It happened in Fullerton, CA on Euclid just north of Chapman.
  • 51
    Robert Wich United States October 21, 2014 at 23:10
    damn, even though a Buick GNX or a hopped up Regal look-alike is certainly in my dream garage...it's not that pure muscle car that is clearly shown in the COPO Chevelle. they are both amazing cars and i love them both to death. If i wanted a show car to take out every other weekend, the COPO would be the one...but a Regal look-alike, that would be my everyday car, just because i don't have to worry about scratching the paint or damaging or wearing it out as i would in a piece like that COPO.
  • 52
    Utes Wisc. October 27, 2014 at 14:48
    My vote's for the COPO...no second thoughts. Ordered my '69 new in 'Nam prior to rotation home. Classic then, CLASSIC NOW! As cool as that shovel-nose Regal looks....it's still got that sewing machine sound....plus...aren't REAL muscle cars supposed to have 3 pedals on the floor ?
  • 53
    Utes Wisc. October 27, 2014 at 14:49
    My vote's for the COPO...no second thoughts. Ordered my '69 new in 'Nam prior to rotation home. Classic then, CLASSIC NOW! As cool as that shovel-nose Regal looks....it's still got that sewing machine sound....plus...aren't REAL muscle cars supposed to have 3 pedals on the floor ?
  • 54
    Spencer Milliken, CO October 28, 2014 at 22:39
    I had to pick the Chevelle because it is a classic Chevy. I love anything (almost) that is made by Chevrolet, and the COPO Chevelle is an iconic piece of Chevy history.
  • 55
    Chuckionadi orlando November 30, 2014 at 13:15
    I work for a company called seaside Buick in 1987 in Sold number 525 and 526....McLaren used a ladder bar suspension and when chipped out it was a race car...the F.B.I got the first 25 or so each numbered on the dash...vdo gages.......JESUS... GOD....I WANT ONE
  • 56
    cfh2020 United States January 24, 2015 at 23:12
    Both are awesome cars, but for collectibility hands down the copo. I have seen these bring over 300,000.00 at Mecum. For Big Grins both will put a huge smile on your face, the GNX will surprise you when it spools up and hits second while the copo has huge amounts of somewhat controllable torque. I would love to have the chevelle but the gnx can be made a lot faster than the copo with very little money. I know this for a fact as I have built up my 89 TTA pace car in stages over the years starting with baer brakes bigger turbo,exhaust, injectors dial a boost transmission mods etc this thing hauls ASS! I wish I could own that bad ass COPO
  • 57
    Michael Wyles United States May 21, 2015 at 13:50
    If it was for my Wife or myself it would be the Chevy over all More Classic and more Apple pie thank you
  • 58
    isaiah Arizona June 20, 2015 at 04:34
    Chevelle because it has more of a muscle car look and I've always wanted one.
  • 59
    chris ireland June 25, 2015 at 15:20
    the Chevelle because it has more of a muscle car look to it , the other looks like an every day car you can get from a car dealership but you know its not but that what it looks it is what it is my vote Chevelle big time !!!!
  • 60
    Logan regan McComd Mississippi September 20, 2015 at 10:17
    I'm going for the 1987gnx I love those cars I have one
  • 61
    hector kanawha November 21, 2015 at 00:03
    gnx because they give you more looks for having that beast
  • 62
    Honcho Limestoneville PA May 12, 2016 at 08:39
    I have always preferred the American V8 w/ a lot of overlap in the cam, BUT I'm also a lifelong Buick guy so GNX in that beautiful mean looking Regal body wins.
  • 63
    Jack Makinson St. Petersburg, Florida June 29, 2016 at 09:58
    I wish they had a side by side 1/4 mile race. My vote goes to the GNX.
  • 64
    Steve Corgan Indiana August 27, 2016 at 20:52
    Chevelle is my favorite car of all time but, I would take the GNX with out hesitation. For me the GNX wins. Nothing else looks or runs like it. It is perfect, a mom and pop car taken to performance perfection.
  • 65
    Louis Garcia New York September 10, 2016 at 23:32
    There is a unique sound of a 427 motor that produces when it is idling. The sound it produces is unmistakable and it talks to you. You feel the Chevelle shaking when it is idling. The Thunder it makes is like a 5 on the Richter scale. GNX is pretty fast and it does handle nice, and gets better gas mileage then the Chevelle. GNX sound tamed and any person can drive it. You had to let the 427 big Block know who is the boss. It will bite you if you don’t watch it. It takes a special person to know a 427 Chevelle. Look at the video when the person started the Chevelle. The way he reacted was classic.  My vote is on the Chevelle, any time. It may have lousy gas mileage, but the reward you receive is a big smile from ear to ear when you hit the gas pedal and say “HOLY S**t”. ..Besides, I own a 69 Chevelle.

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