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Dechroming The Interior of a Buick Grand National (Project Blackout)

The (mostly) all black exteriors of these all black Buick Regal Grand Nationals is one of the things that made these cars stick out as an unusual feature back in the mid to late 1980s. The Darth Vader look. The awesome factor.

We decided to take it a bit further and totally dechrome the Gbody Regal interior to match the blackout appearance on the outside.

We think Buick missed the boat on this one.
Using parts from a Monte Carlo SS, there’s actually a lot of different black colored items that can be swapped out to perform this task.

The next 2 weeks will show you all of the swapped parts we replaced on our 1987 Buick Grand National, turning them from chrome to black.

“Project Blackout” is our new series all about this subject.

[these be posted in between the car show coverage and other things we do on this website!]

We’ve never really been a fan of chrome, and considering these black beauties came from the factory (mostly) blacked out, and look awesome in all black, it’s puzzling to us why people then add on chrome accessories (especially under the hood). We get it though, chrome aftermarket parts are readily available, and add a touch that isn’t stock. It’s fine if that’s what you’re into, but we prefer black when possible, so these modifications work great for us.

[we do like stainless steel, sort of a chrome look, but not quite]


Future posts will show you us swapping out and replacing these interior pieces:

* All of the chrome screws with black screws.
* The tilt steering column lever.
* The delay wiper / cruise control / turn signal stalk.
* power door lock bezels
* power window bezels
* drivers side remote mirror bezel (on the door)
* black face glove box lock set
* ashtray (behind drivers seat)
* sun visor brackets
* interior door handles
* dome light housing
* rear coat hooks
* lower dash vent


Here’s the stuff we already did previously:

The door sills were previously swapped out with black carbon fiber door sills.

The long chrome dash strip (above the glove box) was topped off with a blue colored molding strip (using rim trim that you’d put on your wheels to protect from curb rash).

This was simply attached on top of the existing chrome strip using 3M double sided tape.

[the new trim wasn’t wide enough to just jam it in the factory slot (too loose), that’s why we put it over the top of the stock piece]

(Why blue? Because it matches well with the other blue colored components we have on the car)

Door lock knobs.

We replaced the chrome fat-headed versions with pencil shaped black plastic pieces.

(this also prevents theft, since the OEM type are easily pulled up with a coat hanger thru the windows)

[swapout was quick & easy, just unscrew old ones & screw in new ones. Just make sure you get the right thread size, there’s a few different available out there!]

We still need to take the surrounding ferrule (the round bezel that the button goes into) and turn it black as well.
[it’s on the future project list…]

The 4 upper (heat/AC) dash vents:

Stock versions have a chrome like accent around them.

We took a blue paint pen to them to match the scheme going on in the interior.

[you’ll see us black out the lower dash vent in a post a few days from now]


Parts we can’t (don’t want to) change to black:

The heater / AC control head has some chrome accents, as well as knobs, but we’re going to leave this as is.

The seat belt connectors. We could paint them, but we think due to constant use, they’d get all scratched up. It’s not that much chrome, so they’re staying like they are.

The door escutcheons:
They are chrome plated from the factory, and considering they always break, a long time ago we replaced them.
Not with stock replacements though, as there was a guy on the Buick board that actually made pieces for these crafted from billet aluminum!
We’ll never have to worry about these sturdy units cracking!

(we believe we got the very last set he made, and at a smoking deal too!)

(granted, they’re not black, which we could easily paint or powdercoat them, but we’re happy with how they look right now)

[the door escutcheons have a lightning theme decal in the middle of them, as it matches the rest of the theme going on within this Gbody Regal]

[we did replace the stock 1987 gray door pulls with the black version from a 1986 Buick GN, as we think it adds a nice contrast to the door panel]

[and we’re thinking we may replace the gray arm rests with a black version as well]


rear door strap escutcheonfront door strap escutcheon


For the ignition key lock cylinder (which only costs about $15 shipped), we already have one in black here, but we’re debating on replacing the OEM one, as it’s quite a job to do it!

(but of course if we do, you’ll definitely see it on here)



Finally, the B&M shifter we installed has a chrome stalk.
Again, not too much chrome to stay.

(we could always paint it black if we really wanted)

The shifter handle itself was made out of billet aluminum that has a powdercoat black finish, with a couple cool looking cutouts (as well as on the ends) on it (showing the aluminum).
We like it like that, it adds a neat standout feature on it.

[see the Turbo Buick aftermarket shifter handle here]

OK! That covers all the chrome pieces in the interior.

Be sure to join us over the next couple weeks watching all the parts get replaced and swapped over!


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