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Hagerty Employee

Black Friday: 7 of our favorite blacked-out factory models

Automakers from Rolls-Royce to Ram have offered blacked-out versions of all manner of vehicles over the past several years. It seems like you can’t visit a new car showroom without having some sort of special edition model targeting those that despise chrome. Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Ram have “Night Edition” models, Chevrolet and Nissan offer models with the slightly more specific “Midnight Edition,” and Honda gets right to the point with its “Black Edition” Ridgeline.


For Black Friday, we wanted to look back to find our favorite blacked-out vehicle options that paved the way for the current trends—love them or hate them­—that we’re witnessing today.


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Pit Crew

One of my favorites is the Black Cat Capri. 


The model T can't win because that was the only color available. The Grand National has the best blacked-out look of these choices, probably because a regular Regal was rarely seen in black. But the Trans Am pulls off the look best here, by getting the wheels black. That said, none of these would be in my garage. Black is too high maintenance.


Would love anyone of them but a couple seem like they need something, maybe a skull and crossbones.


These are cars for those with no design sense, history, or taste! What designer since the '80s, would spend weeks or months on a design of a car, or wheels, so they can disappear?
It was a shocking reaction when it first came out, but has been an anachronism, since the turn of the century. A little color or chrome is like jewelry or makeup on a woman. It enhances and punctuates the inherent design qualities!

Intermediate Driver

Did the Model T only come in black?

Check out Ken Jennings:


Yup, it’s only myth! 

Hagerty Employee

Look again, we didn't say it only came in black.
New Driver

I second the vote for the GMC Syclone, but I think you guys also missed the 1986 Omni GLHS.


Conspicous in its absence is the Lincoln Blackwood.

Pit Crew

What happened to the Lincoln Blackwood pick up truck? What a beauty.....???

Intermediate Driver

A great addition would be the black ‘07 Shelby GT. 

Pit Crew

Try the CT6V...

Pit Crew

My favorite, my old 1986 Shelby GLHS and my old 1985 GLHT. 

Light weight, fast and fun with amazing handling. My son Scott and I flew to Texas and picked up the GLHS and then “flew” home. We covered the 1750 miles in 22 hours, what fun. 

Cliff Ramsdell 

Advanced Driver

My favorite would be, none of them. Not a fan.


The GNX is the ultimate ride

Intermediate Driver

as far as the blacked out cars go, its hands down the Buick turbo regals, I modified  a turbo T type that I drove back and forth to work, a one hundred mile round trip, if I drove it like an adult it got very good mileage but most of the time that wasn't the case. my plates said LO FLYR, cops didn't like me or those troublesome plates.

Intermediate Driver

So wonder who had connections from that car company to have the video of the ford pick up? Shameless plug or?? only one that had a video you could get rights to? (I think not) they sponsor your content? Back to the black vehicles. GN from this list...a 4 door anything...meh!! Nice but...and oh since truck prices are up not surprised you favored them heavily in this...lots of CARS to mention without a truck in sight...get over listing trucks just because right now they are fetching stupid prices.....don't get me wrong I like both mentioned here ( among others) but on this LIST they wouldn't have been in the top 10 lists of most enthusiasts...those execept speculators who bought some trucks to flog!!!!

IF it has wheels I'm into it!!
Hagerty Employee

Not everything is a conspiracy.

Murphy88 is absolutely right.  No dark tint, no loud exhaust, no radical stance.  Fly under the radar.


I still love most of the vehicles on the list, though.

Intermediate Driver

The Grand National would be my pick. I owned one these babies and have been kicking my rear for the past 33 years for that lack of judgement.


My favorite was the 90-92 Lincoln Mark VII Monochromatic black edition.


'Blked out' means to me the badges, bling, chrome, etc. May B the heavy window tint. I like it on the chrome, not elsewhere. A few vehicles show better but I'm w/the 3 guys below. However, never knew it as the 'new red' ("C me Ticket me" for speed/swerving). Usually the era correct is just right for me~

Intermediate Driver

No 2006 GTO?

Intermediate Driver

Not really a "Black Out" car, the '88 BMW M5 (available only in black, however) is worthy of your 'Black List" and as the old Beach Boys song says: "She'll walk a Thunderbird like it's standin' still"  You may substitute 'Thunderbird' for pretty much anything in its era. (And, not to mention many cars that came after it!)  Good list, though!


What about 2010 Dodge Challenger Mopar 10 edition! Google it & see for yourself.

Pit Crew

Buick Grand National! Hands down!


grand national hands down


Shelby GLH-S. You could get them in any color, as long as it was black with silver stripes and a giant Shelby sticker across the top of the windshield. And as far as 1/4 mile times go, the GLH-S would come in 2nd place behind the GN, but 1st place in top speed as the GN is limited to 124 due to it's non-speed rated tires. The GLH-S will do 135. Ask me how I know.

Intermediate Driver

The blacked out style isn't really for me. But KITT will always have a spot in my 9 year old heart.

Pit Crew

My favorite would definitely be the Buick GN.  Another all black car that I remember is the 1977-1981 Firebird Trans-Am; the ones in the Burt Reynolds Smokey and the Bandit movies.  I know the Firebird was available in many colors but if I think about a Firebird of that period it is always a black one with a gold phoenix bird on the hood that comes to mind.  

Pit Crew

If you want a sinister looking black car the Grand National is by far the best choice in this category. It was always my dream to own one when I first saw one in town around 1984. I had a 1982 Buick Regal as a company car which was close to the future Grand National. Well after many years of dreaming of this vehicle I was browsing the Auto Trader and Kijiji over the years seeing what was available. Living in Northern Ontario Canada the choices I was finding were few and their conditions were not that nice. I always kept an eye out for my "dream car" and saw one which caught my eye. The vehicle was the last year of production (1987) and it had the hard to find "astro roof". The mileage was reasonable and the condition was a 7 out of 10. The owner was a mechanic whose wife just had a baby so was selling his vehicle for that reason. I just happened to mention this vehicle to my wife and out of the blue she said "Why don't you go and take a look at it. You've got time and it would be a great opportunity for you." So, with that I contacted the owner and made the arrangements to view the vehicle. I took my brother-in-law with me as he was a retired engineer from GM so I'd get his opinion on this black beast. After travelling to look at the car I was surprised to see it was in pretty decent shape. It just needed to be painted (as the paint in those days didn't last too long) and a new headliner installed. The owner even had the headliner fabric that was going with the car as well as a cover. So, I made a deal on the spot that day. My dream of owning this car was finally a reality, with the full support of my wife. Can't get any better than that. After getting the vehicle home several weeks later you now have to go over it and see what needs to be done and then see what the budget would allow. Fortunately we had a 1 car garage so keeping it safe and out of the Northern Canadian winters wasn't a problem. If fact, it got the wheels in motion to build a 2 car garage so that I could have more room to polish and detail the GN. After owning the car for a couple of years, my wife for Christmas gave me a cheque to have the vehicle painted. What an outstanding Christmas that was. I'll never forget that day. I was totally surprised and numb too! I joined the local car club and entered many show and shine events. I received 1 trophy for second place at on of our events. My wife and I loved that car and drove it everywhere. When cruising down the highway people passing you would honk and give you the thumbs up. This Buick was a very fast and comfortable ride. However, on a sad note the vehicle of my dreams was totalled several years ago. It was a sad day to have to part with this beautiful black beast. We couldn't find parts to repair it but it just wouldn't be the same. A vehicle that has been in an accident is never the same. So, it certainly was a sad day when the auto wrecker came to my house to retrieve the vehicle (after I was paid by the insurance company). Trust me it was sad to see the vehicle go. For the record, the accident wasn't my fault. This truly was the best (and only) muscle car I owned at the time. Having had that experience of meeting and going to various shows gave me the bug to continue with this passion. So after searching for a while for a replacement I was able to find another vehicle of my dreams (high school dreams). I replaced the Grand National with a 1970 Chevelle SS 396 4 speed. The fun just never ends does it. Love these stories and Hagerty puts it all together for us to enjoy.  Stay safe during this crazy pandemic. Wear your mask and social distance. Cheers


What? No 1986 Omni GLHS?

Pit Crew

Shockingly for me, it’s the Grand National, cause I’m really not into 6 cylinder muscle cars, I’m 59 and on my block in the 70s big blocks were it, but the Grand National got my respect after driving one, for its time, it was really something 

Pit Crew

The GN was not only "really something" for it's time, it's also "really something" today and will continue to be far out into the future. About every other time I drive my 87 GN and stop at a traffic intersection, some guy in a pickup truck or service vehicle rolls down their window to yell "NICE CAR". People in luxury (!) cars stop and similarly yell: "NICE CAR" - then they add: "DO YOU WANT TO SELL IT"? Kids on bicycles yell: "I like your car"! An elderly woman in a grocery store parking lot stared at my car for a while, then asked me: "What kind of car is that"? So yes it was "really something" for it's time, but in my experience it's pretty much "timeless".  Few other cars attract so much attention.  None I've ever owned at least...

Pit Crew

Your article reminded me of those very dangerous looking black 3-door Saab 900 Turbos of the early 1990s.  

Advanced Driver

I still own my Black 87 MCSS (bought in 88 and just completed a Resto) and must say she would be a good looker next to any of these including her sister Grand National.

Pit Crew

Being a mostly Chevy man, I would pick the Impala SS.  However, I don't really care for the "blacked out" theme either, so would want one in that dark grey-green, PLUS I would want the only year with bucket seats....1996, I think it was!?

Advanced Driver

Grand National/GNX for the win, and the 3rd gen Firebird with factory Black wheels would be a second...    But the GN holds the edge...



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On the list, I would choose the Grand National, or the 'Blackbird' Trans Ams, but I'm grossly biased as a former 24 year employee of a, wait for it, Buick-Pontiac Dealer.  We added the Pontiac franchise in '76, ushered in by a Factory Rep sporting around in a 50th Anniversary Black T/A, which so impressed me, I ordered a handful of the Gold octagonal 50th dash decals, which he had to approve and override for me.  The look of those cars was heavily (HEAVILY) influenced by the ubiquitous JPS Lotus 72, which I have in 1/32nd scale on my Trophy Shelf.  And with Emmo driving it?  Well, my 2nd Road Race helmet has the 'Spider Man' design he made famous, this one on a Simpson Carbon Fiber model 32.  Of Friends and Acquaintances, the list is pretty well covered, but I'd like to make a couple additions, you know spring-boarding off the Lotus theme.  Please add the Cologne Capri ('76-77) which I don't have, and the Cosworth Vega ('75-76), which I do.  Lots of Black, Gold Wheels, semi-monochrome theme; Total 70's!

Alas, all I did was Sell and Service the Black T/A's, as all my own Firebirds ('74 SD, '84 HO, '87 GTA, '89 Turbo) are White!

New Driver

Always loved the GN, but always liked driving a stick. Now we’ve got a Challenger Blacktop Edition.  Looks mean and drives the same.  (But for a color change we also have an Inferno Orange Camaro SS)


I see that someone beat me to it, but I still wanted to comment about the 1988 BMW M5.  I think this car should be at the top of the list since it was only offered in black and a 5 speed manual transmission.  The only thing that wasn't black were the wheels.  BMW was basically telling their customers that this bad a$$ car should only be driven this way, haha.  Also, at the time of release, it was the fastest production sedan in the world.  And by the selling prices online, from $18,888 to $45,000, people are starting to appreciate it.