1-19-11 Inner Circle

1-19-11 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 01-19-2011


One of the two we have pictured some of you are probably familiar with as we picture it in our book "Kirbans Guide to 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regals" at the bottom of page 259. I am referring to the special GNX T-shirt ASC gave their employees back during the production of the GNX. Only a very select few can hope to own an original of this unique T-shirt.

I have one in my private collection. Over the years, I have only been able to purchase one other, which I did sell to one of our customers that bought one of the GNXs we sold years ago.

At the time these T-shirt were given to the ASC employees, GNX owners had no idea this GNX T-shirt even existed.

The other item is more of a conversation piece that just happens to feature the correct Goodyear VR 50 series tire. This is the tire that came on the GNXs.

Years ago it was fairly common for various tire manufacturers to make up promotion ash trays, usually with a glass ashtray with a mini tire identical to production around it.

Back in the 1940s and 1950s, smoking was actually promoted as being something healthy. Many companies produce ashtrays with their logos as promotional items for their business.

There are collectors that collect various tire ashtrays and I can only take a guess how many different varieties exist.

This version shows the Goodyear VR50 series tire that was produced in the mid-1980s. This was probably near the end of any tire companies producing promotional tire ashtrays, since smoking was determined to be extremely harmful.

I have not seen any tire ashtrays that featured tire tread designs newer than the mid-1980s.

The mid-1980s Corvette I believe also used a Goodyear VR tire as well.

PHOTO 1 - Shows the original used ASC GNX T-shirt that was given to the employees that worked on the GNX project at ASC. One can only guess how many they actually made originally, or how many originals exist today. This one is a size medium and is slightly discolored from time.

PHOTO 2 - Shows the Goodyear VR50 tire ashtray from my private collection. The actual tire is rubber and has the correct tire tread pattern on it. It measures approximately 6-1/4" in diameter and the actual tire width is about 2-1/2" wide.

I would venture to say both of these items would be quite rare to own. These are something most GNX owners would love to have in their collection.

Probably not as rare as the 2 GNX-related items mentioned above would be the Monogram 1/24-scale twin-pack models. The box had the new Corvette ZR1 and the Buick GNX packaged as a twin kit. Perhaps even more interesting is it is dated 1989. Originally the ZR1 Corvette was supposed to be available at some point I believe in 1989. The ZR1 did not come out until the 1990 model.

PHOTO 3 - Shows the Monogram twin pack featuring the new ZR1 Corvette and the Buick GNX. This one is still factory sealed and still had the K-Mart price sticker of $9.96 on the side of the box. It has a 1989 Monogram Models, Inc. copyright. I don't think this twin pack was as popular as the single Monogram Grand National and GNX models. In part, probably because Buick owners may not have been really interested in the ZR1 Corvette. Also, when this model came out, the ZR1 was still one year away from hitting the show rooms. Again, I am just guessing as to why we didn't see this twin pack for sale at various stores, even back in 1989-1990s.


Last week we covered the various fuel pressure regulators we had made based on the Bosch fuel pressure regulators. As we stated, we have sold thousands of the two Mustang versions. The Turbo Buick style, which also works on the Syclone and Turbo Trans Am, would be second in sales.

The 4 Porsche versions came about partly by accident, since we have never even owned a Porsche. At one time I had seen an adjustable fuel regulator advertised for various Porsche models. It did not look anything like the factory Bosch version. I did some research and realized that the popular ones were very similar in design with the bases being different depending on the various Porsche models. Granted sales would never be great due to smaller production, but at the same time I knew they would sell to tuners. Most of our Porsche adjustable fuel regulators are for the 924 and 944 models.

Our crowning moment with the Porsche fuel pressure regulators came about over ten years ago, in 1999.

In Nevada they run the Silver State Classic, which is a 90-mile course. The object is to run as fast as you can covering the 90 miles. The Porsche tuner that prepped Susan Kirby's Porsche 928 pumped out 453 hp at the rear wheels and 480 ft lbs of torque at just 3,800 rpms. Susan actually drove her car to the course! The Porsche 928 was a 5-speed with the stock rear end. It was September 1999. She took first place for the woman drivers division with an average speed over the 90-mile distance of 167 mph. Perhaps equally impressive is on the men's side, only four men bettered their speed over her time! Our Porsche fuel regulator was on her car. Remember, her AVERAGE speed was 167 mph over the course.

PHOTO 4 - Shows a 2 pages of a 5-page article, "Pressure Cooker in the "5.0 Mustang and Super Fords" magazine, February 2002 issue. This magazine covered our popular 5.0 Mustang fuel pressure regulator. You can clearly see why we believe we have the best version of the billet style adjustable fuel pressure regulator. It's not often the same aftermarket part is made for a Mustang, Buick and a Porsche!


Just got word from a long-time customer of ours that wants to sell his pride and joy, GNX #545.

This GNX has 25,000 miles on it. It is slightly modified however, all the original parts have been kept. He has the jacket and GNX book. Owned by an older gentleman. GNX #545! Just 2 from the end of production. I can supply additional photos and information. Serious inquiries only.
Priced to sell at $58,900. Email me - [email protected]


The front and rear aluminum bumper supports that we now have available is one of several methods to shaving weight from your 1984-1987 Turbo Regal. Every racer well knows that any weight you can shed translates into additional horsepower with no down side associated with it. One reason probably every racer removes the spare and jack and some cases even the passenger seat!

Even Buick with the introduction of the WE4 in the fall of 1986 touted the fact lighter in weight and theoretically makes the Turbo-T faster than the Grand National. This information is clearly stated on the original Buick Product Information flyer dated 11-16-86.

So, it was possible to spend less money on a Turbo Regal and have one that was quicker than the higher priced Grand National assuming both of the drivetrains produced similar horsepower on the dyno. The big difference, as many of you realize, is just in the weight difference from the chrome steel Grand National wheels and the light-weight aluminum wheels found on the Turbo-Ts (including the WE4 model.)

That savings alone amounted to about 40-45 pounds. This is one lesson GM has always practiced and stayed faithful to with the Corvette.

For example, the 1953 Corvette came in at just under 2,900 lbs. By the time the C5 (1997-2004) Corvette came out, the weight was just under 3,300 pounds. In that span the weight difference only increased by approximately 400 lbs and the difference in horsepower from the six cylinder to the potent V8 more than made up for the mere 400 pounds.

Interesting enough, even though the C6 Corvette (2005 and up) may appear larger, it is actually smaller and comes in weighing under 3,200 lbs! Very similar to what a low-optioned Turbo Regal weighs in at. Corvette is perhaps the only U.S. performance car that in a 50-plus-year span has not ballooned much in vehicle weight.

With two of the current U.S. performance cars - Camaro and Challenger - both tip the scales at around 4,000 pounds. I think in the upcoming years you will see them shed some of this weight. Ford already has shed some of its weight and now the new 2011 potent 5.0 weighs less than its counterparts.

I just read where GM and Ford both hope to cut between 500 and 800 pounds out of their line of pickup trucks by the year 2014. With tighter mpg on the horizon, they clearly recognize this is one method to help achieve the goals they need to meet.

We now offer aftermarket front and rear aluminum bumper supports (Part #7311, #7312, #7313).

These aluminum bumper supports are a nice upgrade to shed some weight, especially if you are fortunate enough to have the aluminum front and rear bumper reinforcement braces already. What is also nice about the aluminum supports and the aluminum reinforcement braces over the steel, is aluminum will not rust like steel does.

Having now disassembled over a dozen Turbo Regals, I can clearly see how debris can accumulate in the bumpers and hold moisture and in time create rust. Without a doubt, rust is one of the top expenses associated with restoring one of these cars. I think most of you would agree.

1984-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -

Here is a simple way to lighten the front and rear end of your car. These are in stock now.

These 1984-1987 Regal light-weight aluminum bumper supports replace the factory piston-style supports. These aluminum supports are thick enough to support a front or rear steel bumper. These will also work with a fiberglass bumper.

You can also achieve a weight savings of 5-6 lbs off the front or rear end, or about 10 lbs if you replace both the front and rear bumper supports.

Installation is a direct bolt-in using your original hardware.

NOTE - These are recommended for racing or off-road use only, since it eliminates the shock format.

Another excellent replacement for any exterior restoration.

7311 - 1984-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
Aftermarket FRONT Aluminum Bumper Supports (2) - $72.95 / pair

7312 - 1984-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
Aftermarket REAR Aluminum Bumper Supports (2) - $72.95 / pair

7313 - 1984-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
Aftermarket FRONT (2) & REAR (2)
Aluminum Bumper Supports Set - $134.95 / Set - (Save $10.95)

Here is the link to these Aluminum Bumper Supports Sets on our web site.
http://www.kirbanperformance.com/products.php?search_text=bumper support&submit_button=


Earlier we mentioned the new Challenger and the new Camaro. One option for 2011 is that the new Hemi in the Challenger has been bumped up to 392 cubic inches and cranks out 470 hp, called the SRT8 392. Perhaps a play on words, but production will be limited to 1,492 for this special production run. If you remember anything about early American history, you realize that Columbus discovered America in 1492 and he was of Italian descent. Chrysler, as you know, is now owned by Fiat, which is Italian. The plan is to sell 1,100 in the U.S. and Canada will get 392. Great marketing ploy by Fiat!


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 Chicago Chapter of the Buick GSCA will have their tech session/swap meet at Caspers Electronics' new facility - 1111 Rose Road, Lake Zurich, Ill 60047. Phone - 847-847-1544.

The date is Sunday, February 13th and it starts at 10 am. Expected is Bob Bailey, along with several of the folks from Precision Turbo. Richard Clark may also be attending, if he can work it into his schedule.

Directions to Caspers' facility - Take I-94 to Hwy 22 (Half Day Road), travel west about 9 miles, after you pass Quentin Road turn right on Telser, then about 1/4 mile to Rose Road turn right and Caspers will be on the right.


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.


The Jets was the big surprise win this past weekend of the four games.

Currently we are dismantling two 1987 Turbo-Ts for parts. If you need any specific parts, drop me an email - [email protected]