Comedian and actor Kevin Hart is an auto enthusiast who loves American muscle car restomods. The latest to join the collection is a modified 1987 Buick Grand National with a T-top by Salvaggio Design.
Rather than the LC2 turbocharged 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 from the ’80s Grand National, this one gets power from the LF4 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Cadillac ATS-V. However, to be more faithful to the original, it runs a single 67-millimeter Boost Labs BL67R ball bearing turbo with billet wheels. At 103 octane, the dyno shows the power plant making 650 horsepower (485 kilowatts). The plan was to add a new camshaft to push output to 700 hp (522 kW) on race fuel.
Salvaggio Design replaces the original GM G-Body platform with a laser-welded and TIG-welded frame. The bolt-on subframe provides increased rigidity over the original. Suspension includes Ultimate Performance coilovers and a four-link rear with Panhard bars. For braking, this Grand National has Brembo GT brake calipers which have six pistons at the front and four pistons at the rear.
Hart named his custom car, and this one is Dark Knight. The resemblance to the Caped Crusader is quite subtle.
The comedian asked for a vehicle with a sleeping look. This Grand National looks no different from stock on the outside, but if you know what you’re looking for, there are a few changes. For example, the front bumper is now made of carbon fiber and has a design to improve cooling capabilities. The hood, rear spoiler and mirror caps are also made of carbon. Some of the smaller touches include billet doorknobs with carbon inlay.
The Dark Knight wears BASF black paint with no extra tints or finishing to the material. It rides on 19-inch HRE 501 wheels with nickel finish. It is nine inches wide in the front and 11 inches wide in the back.
Like the exterior, the cabin looks similar to the original layout but with many subtle changes. The seats feature a mix of light gray and navy leather, reminiscent of Batman’s costume. Bronze stitching takes inspiration from the Caped Crusader’s utility belt.
Hart’s Grand National is on display at this year’s SEMA Show. His Restomod ’69 Plymouth Roadrunner is also there. Salvaggio Design also built it.