1-5-11 Inner Circle

1-5-11 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 01-05-2011

Here is the link to this Inner Circle on the web site -


Hard to believe another year has come and gone. The average age now of the 1984-1987 Turbo Regal is just over 25 years old. (Like most of us).


Back in the late 1980s, one of the most popular T-shirts designed for the Turbo Regal was this "Bad Medicine" T-shirt. Our company was probably the first one to offer it nationally back in 1989. How it came about was I would attend every Spring and Fall Carlisle swap meet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. As many of you know from previous articles, this is one of the largest swap meets in the U.S.

The person who had it designed was local to Carlisle. That is where I first spotted the T-shirt for sale. In looking through our old catalogs, we sold it from 1989 through 1994. During that time period, we also added Molly's Buick shirts and started silk-screening our own T-shirt designs as well.

Some of you long-time Turbo owners will recognize this T-shirt. For a limited time we also carried his sweatshirts and spring jackets that also had the same artwork. If I remember correctly, I think he originally did the T-shirts in white and then switched to the ash grey version.

PHOTO - 1 Shows the ash grey "Bad Medicine" T-shirt. You can see how the Buick Grand National always had the sinister look to it, even back when it was a fairly new car. In my opinion, this was one of the biggest sellers at that time for the Turbo Buick owner. The inset photo shows the "Bad Medicine" T-shirt when it first appeared in our 1989 catalog. At the time, we sold the T-shirt for $13.95 and the sweatshirt for $23.95.


I am referring to the Bosch fuel regulator that came stock on the 1984-1987 Turbo Regals. In the very beginning, it became clear to those providing performance parts that the fuel regulator was something that had to be upgraded - either with another fuel regulator or by making the stock one adjustable depending on the demands of the fuel system.

One of the most primitive methods for increasing the fuel pressure was to simply “crush” the top portion of the actual original fuel pressure regulator.

This had several drawbacks:
1 - It could possibly crack and leak.
2 - Once it was crushed, it could not be reversed.

The stock fuel pressure regulator was a Bosch unit, Part #280 160 233.

When the 1989 Turbo Trans Am came out, they received a different Bosch regulator Part #280 160 237 better known as the 237 fuel pressure regulator. This allowed higher fuel pressure, but was not adjustable.

The big players at the time each had their own adjustable fuel pressure regulator. Kenne Bell had one style, ATR which is still seen on many cars today had a machined black top on it and made the adjustment screw at the top. The ATR design moved the vacuum port to the side. These were all black.

Bowling Green Customs would take a stock one and put an insert that was regulated with an allen wrench through the small vacuum port on the stock fuel pressure regulator.

We carried both the Bowling Green Customs' design and the ATR design for a period of time during the early 1990s.

The Bowling Green Customs design had its limitations, since the allen screw (if adjusted frequently) could possibly strip out and not hold a set fuel pressure.

Although the ATR design was popular, I never liked the fact that the vacuum port was now moved to the side of the housing, making the owner bend the stock vacuum line adjust to its new location.

By 1996 we had another source provide us with what would become one of the most popular versions. It was similar to the ATR format except the top portion was made from billet and both the adjustment screw and the vacuum port were on the top. This made attaching the factory vacuum line easier.

NOTE - I am sure other formats existed in the aftermarket, but I am referring to the most popular ones that were sold to Turbo owners. Companies like Accel and Mallory also made various versions for the automotive market.

PHOTO 2 - The top photo shows the primitive method of crushing the top portion of the fuel pressure regulator housing to increase the fuel pressure. The car I am currently dismantling had this crushed unit on it. In many cases, the factory paint would flake off as seen in this photo. The lower photo shows the latest design that has been available since around 2001. The entire fuel pressure regulator looks factory and is 100% brand new. It's one of the most popular ones seen today on 1984-1987 Turbo Regals. It's also the one we have offered since they became available.



In the 12-08-10 Inner Circle we touched on the fact it is next to impossible to fabricate a LED light system for the heater control unit.

PHOTO 3 - Shows the front face of a typical 1984-1987 Turbo Regal Heater Control unit. The second photo shows the back side of the unit. We have drawn an arrow showing the one single factory light socket that is all the way over to the far right side of the control unit. This is why it would be difficult to shine more light into this housing. Apparently, with the end of the rear-wheel-drive Regal platform, Buick did not invest any money into better instrument lighting during the run of the 1984-1987 Regals.


Last fall at Carlisle I found an unusual fabricated fiberglass Studebaker front nosepiece. It measures about 42" long by 18" tall. It was all a bright ugly pink color. It is based on the early 1950s Studebaker, when the front end looked like an airplane. I have no idea when it was made or what the purpose was. As many of you know, I collect mostly unusual advertising items or displays.

I gave it to my son Darrell to turn his magic on and he presented it to me on Christmas morning.

PHOTO 4 - The upper photo shows Darrell giving this unique fiberglass Studebaker front nosepiece he painted and airbrushed to me Christmas morning. Back in the days of the early Studebakers, black was the most popular car color. So he painted it glossy black, then did all the airbrushing and shading of the grille. The lower photo shows another unique display item I picked up at Carlisle several years ago was this car display shelf, based on a typical late-1950s classic car with the fins. It measures about 24" tall by 36" long. It is completely original and in very good condition. How many of the figures on the shelf do you recognize?


Our good friend for many, many years, Paul Zazarine passed away on Monday, January 3rd. Because of our association with the Pontiac GTOs, we have attended many events with Paul and he has also come to some of our events. He was well-known for his many automotive articles, especially for GTOs, Corvettes and Mustangs. He co-authored the "GTO Restoration Guide" with Chuck Roberts, and co-wrote "Glory Days" with Jim Wangers.

We will write more about him next week.

Here is some biographical information from Paul's website.

Paul Zazarine's Summary

I've spent thirty years in the automotive hobby magazine industry, first as a freelance writer and photographer. In 1985 I was hired to edit Musclecar Review magazine at Dobbs Publications. In the next few years I launched several titles for Dobbs, including Mopar Muscle, Corvette Fever and Chevy Truck. I was promoted to Editorial Director at Dobbs in 1989 and Vice President in 1996. I joined Pontiac Enthusiast magazine as Editorial Director and Associate Publisher in 2000 and brokered the magazine's sale to Amos Press in 2003. While at Amos, I launched Musclecar Enthusiast, Mustang Enthusiast and Corvette Enthusiast, all in the same year. I left Amos in 2004 to become a freelance writer and photographer and currently contribute to over a dozen automotive titles including Popular Hot Rodding, Corvette, Car Collector, Collectable Automobile, Vette, Musclecar Review and others.

UPDATE - There will be a Memorial held to celebrate Paul's life at Carl Black Buick GMC, 11500 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32817, Sunday, January 16th, 2011 at 6 pm. His wife, Alexis, wanted everyone to know that all are welcome.


One of our friends in Canada, Jason Maxfield, saw this ad for a Grand National for sale.


I am not saying the car is not worth it, but should it bring that kind of money at this point in time, it would definitely raise some eyebrows in the Buick world related to Grand Nationals!

Thanks to Jason for spotting this Grand National for sale.

NEW vs OLD - 2011 Buick Regal Turbo vs 1987 Buick Regal Grand National -

We all knew it was coming, when the new front-wheel-drive platform Regal Turbo would be compared to the Turbo Regal of old. EDMUNDS INSIDE LINE has an article entitled, "2011 Buick Regal Turbo vs 1987 Buick Regal Grand National" on their website. There's even a video clip. Special thanz to Mike Frayler for sending us information with this link:



We last offered the original GM 1986-1987 Turbo Regal Fan Delay Relays available in limited quantities back in 2007. At that time we were selling them for $75 each.

We now have these reproduction units in stock for immediate delivery - Part #7310 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal - Reproduction Fan Delay Relay and Pack of Dielectric Grease $84.95

Here is our description from the website:

1986-1987 Turbo Regal -
REPRODUCTION FAN DELAY RELAY & Packet of Dielectric Grease

The new reproduction fan delay relay comes with a packet of Dielectric Grease (shown in Photo 1).

This is the largest of the 3 relays found on the driver's side inner fender (shown in Photo 2). Because it is affected by water and moisture, this relay can cause numerous problems... from not having the fan kick on at all when the engine is hot and off, to having the fan kick on in the middle of the night and drain the battery. It can also be the cause of a low amp volt condition and can blow the CTSY fuse.

Since the original is not a sealed unit, rain and years of washing your car will allow water to seep in. This can cause corrosion problems since the original electronics are located in the base of the original relay as shown in one of the photos.

The reproduction is exactly the same shape and size, complete with metal tab to secure it. Because it is 100% identical in size and shape and since neither the original or this one has a glued-on housing, you can switch the outside housing so it will have the same original factory markings/numbers as it did originally.

The new reproduction units have positioned the internals at the top of the housing so moisture will not attack the electronics and cause problems like in the original fan delays. This can be see in the one photo comparing an original sensor to the new reproduction. When the internals were located at the base of the sensor, the moisture easily caused corrosion.

Since the new reproduction fan delay relay does not have any connector protector grease on the exposed terminal connectors to lock out moisture and corrosion, we have included a small packet of Dielectric Grease that you can put on the terminals prior to hooking it up.

This reproduction fan delay relay was made in very limited quantities for another purpose, so we have no idea how long we will be able to make these available for our application.

It's another item you may want to keep on hand. Supplies are limited.

7310 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal -
Reproduction Fan Delay Relay & Packet of Dielectric Grease - $84.95

Here is the link to this fan delay relay on the web site -


All these new body bushing/cushion kits are now available for immediate delivery. They make for a nice winter project and restore your Regal back to the way it rode when it was new!

PART #7304 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) - Reproduction Radiator Core Support Bushings/Cushions (4) Kit. This would be for position #1. Kit has enough for both sides - $37.95

PART #7305 - 1982-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) - Reproduction Body Mount Bushings/Cushions (22) Kit - $249.95

PART #7306 - 1982-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) - Aftermarket 4-Piece Lower Body Bushings/Cushions (4) Kit - $29.95

PART #7307 - 1982-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) - Aftermarket 6-Piece Lower Body Bushings/Cushions (6) Kit - $39.95

PART #7308 - 1982-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) - Body Mount Frame Repair Steel Washer - $6

PART #7309 - 1982-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) - Body Mount Frame Repair Steel (2) Washers $10 / pair

NOTE - These Bushings/Cushions kits and washer may not be on the website for a few days.

You can call our office to place your order (215-766-1611 x 0).


We highly recommend you examine your body mounting points to see if you are "missing" either the 4 lower body bushings/cushions or possibly all 6 of them. The longer you delay doing this project, the tougher it may be to remove the body bolts to install them.

Also, it's not very often that a replacement part is now cheaper than the original body bushings/cushions we used to sell for the 4-piece or 6-piece bushings/cushions kit. Each of these kits includes the new proper size grade 8 bolts. This project can be done on a flat surface providing the body bolts are not rusted in the body. I personally did every Turbo Regal we sold.


We have heard from a couple people that have viewed the photos on the website. Because these have to be low-resolution photos to work on the Inner Circle segments on the website, any photos of text don't appear clear when enlarged. This is a problem when you are trying to see numbers, such as those on the VIN labels or pages from Options booklet. Also, because of photo reproduction and computer screen variations, the colors may not be true to the actual product or photo.

If you would like to have us email you any photo at the higher resolution for viewing, just email us and we will email them to you. Be sure to be specific on which pictures you want to see - Reference Inner Circle date and photo number 1, 2, 3 or 4 - [email protected]


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 - [email protected]

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.


The 2011 events will be posted very soon.

If you are involved in a Turbo Buick related event, send us complete information and include a website or promotional flyer. We would be happy to list the event on our website and in our Inner Circles emailed newsletter.


If you would like to see any of the 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 - [email protected] - 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.


Currently we are dismantling two 1987 Turbo-Ts.

Should you need any specific parts, drop me an email - [email protected]

We may be able to help you. I am still limited as to what we can do until my foot heals completely.