4-21-10 Inner Circle

4-21-10 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 04-21-10


Now that we have covered the T-Type models that Buick offered on various models during the 1980s, you can probably think of other car lines that used the same idea. For example, Chrysler under the Dodge nameplate not only has a Charger RT, but a Dakota RT, a Durango RT, Caliber RT, and I believe an Avenger RT. The Charger RT had the Hemi 5.7 or the 6.1, which developed the most power.

Over the years, Chevrolet has used the SS logo on many models; starting back around 1961 they used it on the Impala, then Monte Carlo SS, the 454 SS Truck, the SS Cobalt. Probably the one later model SS that outperforms them all is the Trailblazer SS, which is fitted with the Corvette powerplant. Now it's the new Camaro 1SS and 2SS that have returned GM to the horsepower wars.

These are just two examples that quickly come to mind. There may be others that have come and gone over the years.


Even though the weather looked iffy and cool, we had a tremendous turn out. There were probably over 45-55 Turbo cars/Turbo Trans AM, SRT Jeep, Trailblazer SS, late model GTO, Typhoon, even a real GNX along with a wide array of Grand Nationals and T-Types and Turbo-Ts.

Between the 50/50 raffle and the Bake Sale for cancer, they raised $400 for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ Walk. There was a wide array of used parts were available, as were many new items from Casper's Electronics, Jay's GN, World of Motorworks, Pete Hoffman, and John Follweiler. I personally hardly have any used parts to take to Bowling Green next month!

Richard Clark was kept constantly busy answering questions from car owners. I don't think its possible to stump him on any question regarding the 1986-1987 Grand National/GNX.

Jim Chaudrue, who is part of the local MAGNA CLUB, took a bunch of terrific photos of the event and has them posted on Flickr. The Magna Club met at K-Mart, then caravanned to our event. Thanks Jim for posting those photos!

Here is a link to the photos Jim took at the event -

Thanks to all who came out for one of the first spring Buick events. It was a great time.

We also want to thank our family, friends and staff -
Darrell and Carrie Kirban, Kris Mann, Pete Hoffman, Christina Domene, and John Hall.
Richard Clark and Jill
Jason Maxfield all the way from Canada
John Follweiler, The Packaging Outlet (he provided all the sodas, water, ice)

And THANKS to the vendors who participated -
Jay Frick, JAY'S GN
and Paul Castle & Paulie, WORLD OF MOTORWORKS

SPECIAL THANKS to John Spina, Casper's Electronics for taking lots of photos while he was here.

He arranged a great group shot around 12:30 in the parking lot. We planned to pose whoever was here at that time, so we could quickly print it out on an 11" x 17" sheet of paper, then have people sign it. We sent it to Molly on Monday with a note "Sending our Thoughts and Prayers out to you Molly!"

Photo 1 - Shows one of the group shots John Spina took with his special Nikon camera in the parking lot at our Open House April 17, 2010. We sent a similar photo to Molly along with a Get Well card everyone signed.

Photo 2 - Shows some of the vendors displays - Top photo on left - ZDDPlus™ and some of the autographed collectibles. Top photo on right - Pete Hoffman's parts. Lower photo on left - Paul Castle WORLD OF MOTORWORKS parts. Lower photo on right - Jay Frick JAY'S GN parts.

Photo 3 - Shows Richard Zipin's GNX on the left and Brian August's 1986 rare color T-Type on the right.

Photo 4 - Shows the 1956 Crown Victoria Ford I owned in the 1960s. (See "Memories of My Youth" story at the end of this Inner Circle.) You can see that the trunk has been decked. Of course, during the 1960s one of the more famous logos was the "Playboy Bunny." It was already hand painted on the deck lid when I bought the car. It wasn't such a great image to have on my car when I showed up to photograph a wedding that summer of 1964!


At last Saturday's Open House at our shop, my buddy Greg brought his fully restored 1970 Buick GS Stage 1, 4-speed coupe. Greg has photos showing the frame-off restoration. It is one of just 10 produced, which are equipped this way. It's a two-owner bare bones car, white with a black interior. There are over 30 pieces of original paperwork and he will guarantee in writing that the car is a number matching motor, transmission and rear end. Car is located in New Jersey. For more info, contact me - denniskirban@yahoo.com


I have three very extremely rare items for sale. Of these two items, only 2 exist and that's all that will ever exist. The other item, only 4 exist and no others will ever exist. They are brand new. Don personally signed them and I have photos to go with them. They are not cheap.

They are off his 001 Challenger Drag Pak car, which is valued at over $75,000.

If you are interested, email me - direct denniskirban@yahoo.com - for further details and prices. We may have one on display at our Open House.


One of the parts in the works for late spring delivery is the factory-style HEADERS for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals. We expect to also have the driver's side alone available as well. They will be made from 409 stainless. As delivery time draws closer, we will have a special introductory price to determine initial sales response. We have recently been informed that the mounting flange will be changed to accept the various style cylinder heads.

Watch for updates on this project.


Got any Turbo parts you are not using? Why not cash them in for parts you need with a Letter of Credit. Simply email me a list - denniskirban@yahoo.com -

Also we are still buying dead or partially dead 1984-1987 Turbo Regals under $4,000 that are within 250 to 350 miles of our location.


It appears that the GM supply of the factory 1986-1987 GM factory original molded boost line kits are dwindling and may already have disappeared from GM's warehouses inventory. We currently have a decent supply of them.

This is a very critical part, for any 1986-1987 Turbo Regal, since it is needed to control boost. They have 3 specially formed hoses with a special size diameter T in between two of the molded hoses. These also have the GM wording on them.

Over a period of time, heat can cause the hoses to swell and crack. While they last, we have them available for $44.95 plus shipping, Part #6644. Supplies are limited.

Here is a link to the Boost Line Kit on our web site -


We have the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal - GM Air Flow Duct (from turbo to MAF sensor), Part #6536 in stock for $61.95. Just a few left now.

We still have a few brand new GM right hand side marker lights with the blackout package. This is the marker light that attaches to the side of the headlight bezels. Price is $61.95 plus shipping.

If you are interested in any of these parts, you must call our office to purchase it. Some of these close out items are just about gone from the GM parts system.



NOTE - If you know of a GM or Buick Turbo event for this year, let us know and we can post it in our weekly Turbo Regal Inner Circle so our members are aware of the event.

The best way to stay informed with the show season is to check out the various Turbo Buick forums.


30th ANNUAL GS NATIONALS - May 11th thru 15th, 2010 - Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Confirmed, as a special guest is noted drag racer "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, voted NHRA Top Driver from 1951-2000 Don Garlits, courtesy of ZDDPlus™. He will be at our Kirban Performance space.

Don has informed me he is planning to bring his Challenger Drag Pak car. He received the very first one from Dodge. Currently in the quarter mile he has run in the ten-second range.

Also confirmed returning this year is the 6-second Turbo Buick of John Gallina. Kenny Duttweiler and his crew are expected.

I have just been informed the ZR1 Corvette group has their event that same week in Bowling Green. They will be participating at some point during that week as guests at the racetrack. Assuming the ZR1 group includes the latest potent example, this is a rare chance to see one of the unique ZR1s that GM produced last year in very limited numbers.

For up-to-date information and motels for the 2010 GS Nationals, go to their web site - http://www.gsnationals.com - or go to this thread - http://buickgsclubofamerica.yuku.com/forums/1

Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary - Saturday, May 22, 2010 - 12 pm - 6 pm
109 North Park Drive, Anderson, SC 29625 - (864) 332-5929
(from Pearman Diary Road/28 Bypass, turn on McGee Road at Sunbelt Rental, first left on North Park Drive)
Open to all years, makes and models! Trophies, goodie bags, door prizes and live music. Proceeds to benefit local charities. For more information - www.metcomotorsports.com

"Light Your Fire" - 2010 BUICK PERFORMANCE GROUP NATIONALS - July 30th - August 1st, 2010 at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron, OH (near Columbus). They want to gather together the largest number of 1969-1974 factory Stage 1 cars anyone has ever seen since the Buick muscle car days of Flint.

This is a special event that may never come to pass again, so don't miss the factory "Stage 1 Convention" at the 2010 Buick Performance Group National Event.

For more info, go to - http://www.buickperformancegroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8754

NOTE - If you know of a GM or Buick Turbo event, let us know and we can post it in our weekly Turbo Regal Inner Circle so our members are aware of the event.


NOTE - THANKS to those who have already contributed or plan to contribute to this great cause. We've heard from readers who have had Breast Cancer affect their immediate family. Thanks so much.

Our daughter-in-law Carrie has committed to a 60-mile, 3-day walk in October to raise money for Cancer research. Many of you have met her at our events. She needs to have $2300 raised by July 1st. If you would like to help with this fundraiser for a good cause, here is the information and a message from Carrie.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ Walk - Carrie Kirban

I have taken on an incredible challenge. On October 15-17, 2010, I'll be walking 60 miles over the course of three days, camping out at night with thousands of other women and men taking this journey with me. I have committed to raise $2300 to be able to participate in the walk. The money I need to raise goes to cancer research and I pay for my expenses separately.

It's for an event called the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™. Net proceeds from the Komen 3-Day for the Cure are invested in community-based breast health programs and breast cancer research.

You never know who this disease will strike next. My prayers go out to all of my friends and family that have been affected with this disease. Let's find a Cure! To make a donation, go to - The3Day.org - Click on Donate and search for my personal fundraising page under Carrie Kirban.

Here is a link to their site:
Or you can call - 800-996-3DAY - to donate over the phone.

Any questions, please contact me - carrie@kirbanperformance.com

Thank you for your support.
Carrie Kirban


If you would like to see any Kirban Performance Products items listed on eBay, here is a link to our store and auctions -
http://stores.ebay.com/Kirban-Performance-Products-Inc_W0QQssPageNameZl2QQtZ km


Any inquiries concerning used parts, you must email me direct - denniskirban@yahoo.com - I will answer you. However, if I fail to answer you within 24 hours, please email us again. Since expanding into used parts, I get a lot of emails and sometimes I may forget your request or not remember who requested the item.


In our series of "Memories of My Youth," we left off last week when I was in 11th grade.

It was the spring of 1964. Within a few months of buying the 1954 Ford coupe, one of the girls in my class rear ended me at a nearby traffic light puncturing the gas tank.

At this point instead of fixing the car, I decided to sell it and look for another car.

For whatever reason, I seemed to like Fords back then.

I located what today, is a highly-collectible Ford, but back then was just a typical used car to me. I found a 1956 Crown Victoria Ford and I think I paid about $900 for it. The exterior was black and white and had a chrome bar that went over the roof line. The car was nose and decked, so the trunk lid operated by a rope you pulled from under the rear seat!

My "Crown Vic" is near the top-of-the-value chain for 1956 Fords. Mine had either a 292 or 312 V8 engine in it, I can't remember for sure.

By now I was dating Eileen, who is now my wife. She was 2 years younger than me. We were quite serious, as I gave her an engagement ring when she was just 15. She was on the Honor Society (A's and B's) while my grades were at the other end of the spectrum.

That spring, my Dad added another business - a wedding photographer.

Keep in mind, I am only 17 at this point.

That summer, especially the month of June, my Dad sometimes booked 2 weddings on the same day. I was trained to photograph a wedding completely on my own. I would take Eileen along to help me. At 17 I was not happy wearing suits and spending Saturdays covering weddings as a photographer. The only part I enjoyed was the meal, since they usually fed the photographer.

It was quite an education to figure out the different weddings procedures, how long the ceremony in the church would last, and getting the bridal party together for photos. Dealing with the mother of the bride was always tricky.

My Dad used a Swedish camera, a Hasselbad, which was one of the best in its day, if not the best. I would use a twin-lens Rollei that was German made. I believe it used 2 inch square negatives, so when the photos were developed and blown up to 8" x 10"s or larger, the pictures stayed crisp and sharp.

Although I was not fond of this job at the time, little did I know how valuable this experience would become when I entered the Army and was sent to Vietnam (that will be another story).

It's now the fall of 1964 and I am a senior at Lower Moreland High School.

Over that summer I bought another 1950 Ford, so I now have two cars.

Within a few months of ownership of my Crown Vic, I discovered the problem most of these overhead Ford V8s had... lack of oil to the rocker assemblies. Once I pulled the valve covers, a lot of oil sludge around the rockers was apparent. Not a good sign.

Back then, to do the job right required a rebuilt engine. Luckily, my good friend, who was a few years older than me, had a Goodyear credit card. I convinced him to advance me the money to buy the engine.

My next immediate problem was where could I pull the engine and install the rebuilt one. My house was out of the question, as my parents would never tolerate the mess this would create.

The answer came to me one day at school. I simply pulled my Crown Victoria up to the side of one of the schools two entrances to the parking lot. It was lined with sturdy trees. In my mind, these were trees that could be used to pull an engine. It never occurred to me to ask permission from the school. No one at school ever questioned me. Today, there is no way you could do this on school property, especially with liability concerns.

I borrowed a chain to remove the original engine, had my buddies bring over the rebuilt engine and in a few days working on it after school, we dropped it in. I could actually sit in some of my classes during the day and look out the window and see my car sitting half done under that one tree.

My girlfriend Eileen, lived within walking distance of the school. Since I would be working on the car after school until it got dark, she would bring me dinner and keep me company.

Within two weeks I had a rebuilt engine back into my Crown Vic. So then I was broke again.

I was still left with the task of lying under the car and getting that heavy 3-speed manual transmission back into the bell housing and into the pilot bearing.

This turned out to be my nightmare. On the grassy ground we would lift the transmission and, try as we might, we could not get the shaft lined up in the bell housing to seat in the pilot bearing. I tried for days with no luck. Finally, I decided to have the car towed home, explaining to my parents that it wouldn't sit too long.

I pushed it to the top of my parent's driveway so it was out of the way from their two cars. Over dinner, I explained to my father just how frustrating this project had become and until I raised some more money, I couldn't get the car fixed.

Well, a few days later, I drove home in my other Ford and noticed my car was gone! I asked my Dad what happened, and he said, "I have a surprise for you." He had the car towed to a transmission shop and told them to do whatever it takes to have the transmission installed and get the car running.

This was a great surprise I have never forgotten. It's a memory that I will never forget. Since my Dad is not a car guy, it was especially nice that he had done this for me as a surprise.

True to form, I never kept cars long. When I graduated in June of 1965, I sold my Crown Victoria Ford to purchase my first Corvette. I sold the Ford for about $900 back in 1965.

True Story!

Photo 4 - Shows the 1956 Crown Victoria Ford I owned in the 1960s. You can see that the trunk has been decked. Of course, during the 1960s one of the more famous logos was the "Playboy Bunny." It was already hand painted on the deck lid when I bought the car. It wasn't such a great image to have on my car when I when I showed up to photograph a wedding that summer of 1964! The bumper guards were removed, as were the wheel covers. The pictures are just 2 of the few pictures I have of this Crown Victoria Ford.

Update to this story -

In 1998 a Buick customer in a nearby town called me to order some parts for his car. He said the strangest thing happened.

He hired a guy to come and install new kitchen cabinets in his house. Somehow the subject turned to his Grand National. The kitchen carpenter remarked that when he was young, he bought and traded several cars with a guy in Huntingdon Valley, PA. My customer, who had purchased my book, remembered that I had mentioned growing up in Huntingdon Valley. He asked the carpenter if his name was Dennis Kirban? It's a small world. The person installing his cabinets had actually bought my Crown Victoria Ford in 1965. Phil Selby was his name. We have since talked about old times. Of course, he also sold that car years ago.

My younger sisters, who also went to that same high school, remember seeing that same chain used still hanging in the tree when they were in school. It has since disappeared.

I attend a lot of car shows in the area hoping, maybe by chance, some day I will see another 1956 black and white Crown Victoria. Not a 1955, it has to be the 1956... they had the better dash and cleaner front end. Heck, any teenager back in the mid-sixties knew that!

More "Memories of My Youth" stories to come.


We just got word over the weekend that he suffered another stroke, this one affecting his right side. His speech is worse and his voice is very weak. Because of the decline in his health, it has been nice to remember some of the good old days with these "Memories" stories.