2-2-11 Inner Circle

2-2-11 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 02-02-2011 (Being sent out 02-03-2011)


We got another storm, along with much of the rest of the country, over the last two days. Our electric/cable/internet has been out, so our offices were closed again yesterday.

So this week's Inner Circle is not going out until today (Thursday.)

We were not able to handle any internet orders or phone orders until today. So, please be patient if you are waiting for any order. Incoming stock and outgoing orders have been affected by the weather here and throughout the country.

Seems like our area of the country gets hit with snow every 5-6 days now this winter.

We apologize for the delays.


As many of you know I personally am not a fan of the optional T-Tops that was available as an option on the 1984-1987 Turbo Regals. As Ford even found out during the last several years of production with their Fox body platform, they discontinued offering that option.

On a low-mileage stock Turbo Regal that has been garaged its entire life, the T-Tops can be a nice summer feature.

There are several factors that come into play, which can make T-Tops create trouble as time marches on.

Water leaks can eventually cause rust issues. Even garage kept cars can hold moisture. This is because when the car is washed unless the tops are removed and dried underneath moisture collects on the top bar above the windshield. A highly modified Turbo Regal coupled to having most of the roof cut out for T-Tops can lead to an alignment problem with the T-Top panels and body twist. Exposure to long hot summers outside can quickly fade interiors.

The first T-Tops GM offered on the Turbo Regals where non-lockable. This changed in February of 1986 when GM made them lockable. The Product Bulletin was dated February 28th 1986. This also bumped the price slightly for that option. Originally the T-Top option was $850, it then went to $895. Not a huge increase in price. Because of the timeline, 1986 production was winding down by the spring of 1986, so I would assume most 1986 models still would have received the non-locking T-Tops.

Interesting enough in my Buick price books and even on the Product information sheet, the T-Tops are referred to as Hatch roofs. This is similar to the name Hurst originally called them back in the 1970s, Hurst/Hatch.

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes made back when these cars were sold new, was when either the customer or dealership would install aftermarket T-Tops or hatch roofs! While it may have seem like a great idea at the time, in today's world of values associated with these cars, it hurts the value. Most of the time you have no idea what company did the aftermarket T-Tops and finding new weatherstrips is next to impossible. Not only are the panels a different size, but the interior headliner is completely different from the factory OEM design. The aftermarket did not use any OEM plastic panels to finish off the interior.

PHOTO 1 - Last year we bought a one-owner 1986 Grand National that had aftermarket T-Tops installed. Owner lived down the shore, so the salt air took it toll. He actually cemented the tops to the car! This top photo shows the major visual outside difference. You have a wider gap at the front of the top, versus the factory T-Tops format. The lower photo is a close up showing the front edge and how the owner literally glued the tops in place!

PHOTO 2 - This shows the center T section from inside the car. Note how the headliner material simply wraps around the center bar area, unlike a factory GM setup that had a plastic color matched shell in this area. You can see how the installer retained the original center interior light and put it in the center of the interior roof. GM in their factory T-Tops cars used a pair of smaller interior lights and mounted each of them on the back pillar area.

PHOTO 3 - The top photo shows the front hold-down clip used to secure the T-Tops, which can be seen in the interior of the car. GM used an internal pin design in their T-Tops that was not visible inside the interior. The lower photo shows the lock mechanism for this particular style of T-Tops. (The owner had died, so I did not get the key with it!)



I thought we would share with you photos from the 15"-18" our area got of snow last Wednesday and Thursday.

PHOTO 4 - This top photo shows a 1987 Turbo-T that I bought out of Delaware before Christmas that is still on my trailer. (I have one in the building I am still dismantling). The snow mountain you see in the lower photo actually is completely covering another 1986 Regal under that snow that we keep for parts and sits behind our pole building.

Fortunately, our son lives next door and has a Bobcat that moves the snow. We have enough room to keep all our vehicles inside when bad weather strikes. Our two outside cats love it in the pole building as well! They seldom venture out in this weather.


Happened a few weeks ago at an auction over in England. This article appeared in a recent Autoweek and reported to us from Rod Ramsey a customer of ours. A GNX with a mere 230 miles sold for $70,900 to a U.S. bidder and was brought back to the U.S.A.


Milton M. Levine recently passed away at the age of 97 of natural causes (the preferred method to clock out in my opinion.) He invented an educational toy back in the mid-1950s that would go on to sell more than 20 million. It was an instant hit, and in that 50-plus-year span it hardly changed from the original design. (Wish I could dream up something like that).

Levine and his brother-in-law came up with a transparent habitat with a 6" x 9" green plastic frame with a whimsical farm scene that allowed kids to watch ants dig tunnels in sand between two plastic frames. Ants worked day and night for the common good and never procrastinate. The company sold several years ago for tens of millions of dollars.

Levine would often remark the ants' most amazing feat was it put his three children through college!

I know I had one as a youngster, did you?


We have several new items in the works including the return of being able to offer once again brand new correct 120 amp alternators for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals. Also we have some other items in the works as well. We expect to have an announcement on this next week. This is one of the most critical parts related to these cars since having the proper voltage can affect many of the electronics in your car. (I know this from first hand experience in another vehicle). Any time you can buy something new over rebuilt it is a wise decision providing the part looks like OEM.


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]

Here is a link to this car on our website:


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.

5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, Florida

FREE show open to all Turbo Buick powered vehicles - from show quality to work in progress cars - to benefit the Orlando based charity "New Hope for Kids" that helps children who have lost a loved one. Old town is located on US 192 in Kissimmee, just east of I4 and Disney World.

For more information, contact Rocky at 386-690-1887 or check out their website:


Once again we will be holding our annual Spring Open House, Saturday, April 16th - 9 am until 3 pm. Yum Yum Donuts are known to run out in a matter of a few hours. We will have an array of tagged and bagged used parts at bargain prices, as will Pete from his collection of parts.

Our stock items will be discounted 5% on any in stock items and any items that we do not have that you pay for will include free shipping.

This event happens rain or shine. As vendors let us know they are coming we will update this information as well.

2011 BUICK PERFORMANCE GROUP - JULY 29th - 31st, 2011

The Buick Performance Group event will feature the Turbo Buick "step children" the T-Types and Pontiac's unclaimed child the Turbo Trans Am. The event is at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.

They have secured Scott Kelly to attend, as well as Denny Manner, Joe Guzek, Dave Roland, Ron Yuile. Denny has also contacted Tom Wallace in hopes that he will attend. The people mentioned have also contacted other retired Buick Engineers, including Mike Doble to have them attend. There will be displays and "tech" talks, so it should be very informative. I don't think there has ever been that many Turbo G-body Engineers in one place at one time. This is one event you do not want to miss this summer!

Information for the Event can be found here: http://www.buickperformancegroup.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?8-BPG-Nationals


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 for parts. If you need any specific parts, drop me an email - [email protected]