06-06-2012 Inner Circle

06-06-2012 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 06-06-2012


In the past we have written about the various parts of the brake system associated with the 1985-1987 Turbo Regals.

One point we covered was the fact that GM used four different sources for the brake proportioning valve. Of the four GM suppliers, only Weatherhead used a brass valve that did not rust. The other three suppliers used material that would rust.

PHOTO 1 – The top left photo shows a typical rusted brake proportioning valve on a Turbo Regal This is located under the car on the driver's side on the frame rail, near where the firewall would meet the floor pan. In the top right photo shows an original brass proportioning valve that is on our personal Turbo-T. Basically, we got lucky as our car got the Weatherhead brass one! Lower photo shows our excellent aftermarket Reproduction Brake Proportioning Valve, Part #7189, which is brass. It appears more like a machined piece rather than a cast one that originally came on our cars.

Like our new driveshaft, it's another nice upgrade you can make to eliminate the rust appearance under your car. I know many of you have put a lot of effort into parts top side on your car and now your attention may turn to tackling some of the issues under your car. (Makes it easy if you have a lift in your garage).

One of the most sought after items, which is only visible from the underside of the car is the aluminum bumper reinforcement braces for both front and rear bumpers. These offer two major advantages. First, a good bit of weight savings over the steel ones. Probably the most weight you can save in just one part over steel! Second, they won’t rust. I have seen steel ones rusted so bad that they had holes in them.

PHOTO 2 - We show a small section of the front one on our personal Turbo-T. Again, we are fortunate enough our car came with the aluminum ones and were in good enough condition. With a little effort, they shine almost like new.

Another area under your car that you may want to tackle is your gas tank. In many cases, your tank may already be painted black. If this is the case, you may want to simply replace both gas tank straps and insulators so they look new. The reproduction gas tank rubber insulator straps are Part #7102 and they run $17.95 pair. The reproduction gas tank stainless straps are Part #7103 and the price is $39.95 a pair. Chances are if someone has sprayed the gas tank, they painted over the gas straps as well.

If you go the painted route, I suggest you go with a satin or semi black paint. It gives it a softer look rather than using a glossy black that would draw attention to the visible gas tank. The second photo shows our original silver gas tank with the original rubber insulators and straps. What I don’t know is do all the gas tanks originally come not painted from the factory? The same goes for the original tailpipes as I have seen them both ways painted and left bare on original examples. My personal preference is a nice silver gas tank, and semi-black tailpipes.

Of the several projects we covered here for the underside of the car, the replacement of the bumper reinforcement braces would be the most time consuming project to undertake if you had steel ones and was switching over to the aluminum ones. Maybe you are lucky like us and already have aluminum bumper braces. You may also be that one in four owner that has a Weatherhead proportioning valve. Some of you may have already replaced your gas tank so it would be unpainted.


While I was researching the information and photos for this issue and taking photos of the underside of our car, I discovered something that until now I had never ever seen before and never seen on another Turbo Regal. I can’t even venture a guess what it means. Since I had no idea, I figured I would email someone with a lot more Turbo Regal knowledge than myself, Richard Clark. As of this writing, I have not heard back from him. I am sure I will have his input for the next issue.

PHOTO 3 - In looking under our 1987 Turbo-T, attached to the factory snubber by a small thin metal wire is this brown paper tag with the number 5 cut out in the middle. It measures about the same size as the snubber, almost a 1-1/2" square label. Perhaps because it is brown, I never saw it before. Since it is on index weight paper, I am surprised it is still intact, as our car has 80,000 miles on it.

I can’t even venture a guess as to what it means and can only assume it as put on there at the plant during assembly. We welcome any comments or ideas on this. Also, if you get a chance, look and see if your car has the number 5 or another number held by a thin metal wire attached to the snubber (which would be in front of the rear center section.) Maybe it's like that inspection sticker you find when you buy a new shirt, showing the number of the inspector.


In 5-30-2012 Inner Circle issue in Photo 2 we showed a 1949 or 1950 Olds Coupe. I did not know if it was an 88 two-door coupe or the cheaper 76 Business Coupe. I believe, the 76 Olds Business Coupe was the cheapest model and I mentioned years ago we had one.

I went through a bunch of my old photos and found several of the 1949 Olds 76 Club Coupe we used to own. We owned it for about a dozen years (1970-1982?) and in that time I had a beautiful black lacquer paint job done, and all the chrome was also redone. At the time I think I paid almost as much to get the chrome redone as I did the paint job! Car was extremely solid, no rust. Car had a 1957 Olds 371 cubic inch engine in it, coupled to a 4-speed modified hydromatic transmission. This car shifted extremely hard in each gear.

The car was a blast to drive as most people thought it was a Chevy coupe, and it only had a straight six in it.

PHOTO 4 - The top two photos show the 1949 Olds Club Coupe after I had it redone. It had American mags on it, and I deleted the massive front bumper guards and had it nosed and decked.

The bottom left photo shows a very young Darrell our son next to the back bumper. The license plate read, "CPE 49."

The bottom right photo shows the five vehicles on our front lawn, including the Olds Club Coupe. It was taken when we moved to Furlong around 1972. Next to the Olds coupe sits a 1964 Volvo 544 model which was supercharged, our 1947 Studebaker restored pickup truck, our 1963 split window Corvette, and one of the fastest cars I ever owned - a 1963 Studebaker.

The Studebaker was a two-door sedan (ex California race car), fitted with an Avanti R-2 engine with the ultra rare R-3 heads, dual quads, four speed, and is also supercharged. The rear was a 1957 Pontiac rear end with 4.56 gears. So, never write off Studebakers as always being slow cars! This car was the ultimate sleeper from any traffic light. Back then, most street racers were not familiar with the sound of a supercharger, let alone a Studebaker that was quick! R-3 Studebaker heads were like the Holy Grail for performance in the Studebaker world.

In looking back, it seems I was always attracted to the unusual and, in some cases, the lightest least-optioned cars. (We also had a 1940 Studebaker business coupe and a 1949 Ford business coupe.)


I was in Lancaster late last week on way to the "Fords at Carlisle" event in Carlisle. It happened to also be the same weekend as a Street Rod event in nearby York, PA. There were several street rods at the motel where I stayed in Lancaster.

Like many of you, I appreciate fine workmanship. Perhaps more than any type of restoration, street rods can really show off some talent meshing old style car models with newer technology.

I struck up a conversation with one older gentleman named Broderick from Virginia who had a car that I would love to own if I had the spare funds. I have a very keen eye for details and this particular car just showed an extremely well-thought-out design throughout.

The owner started with a 1937 Packard Business Coupe with zero rust. The original miles were thought to be around 50,000 when it was parked in a barn for many years. Even the floors were solid. He retained the original exterior appearance. Even the hood shuts the factory way. The car is painted a very nice show-quality burgundy.

The car is set up for cruising, in other words, no huge radical powerplant. The engine is a new GM 350 HO crate motor with AC and a 200 4R transmission with a Ford rear end in it. It has a tilt column, power steering, power driver's seat, rolled and pleated leather interior, four wheel disc brakes, and has an am/fm radio with CD player. Since its completion, he has driven it around 5,000 miles.

He decided to sell it since he is in the process of building another street rod.

This car is a work of art and you could not even begin to build one today and do it for what he wants for this car in this soft economy. I only touched on the high points, but this car is well worth the $35,500 price. First and foremost it's a 1937 Packard 115C business coupe, which in itself is extremely rare, even back when it was new. Years ago we had an original 1940 Packard 110 Coupe.

I should be able to provide photos to interested buyers. Car is located in Virginia. Car even is titled as a 1937 Packard. If interested, email me direct - [email protected] - for more info and photos.


While several GNXs have sold at major national auctions, this one is more of a smaller local auction being held in Lock Haven, PA, July 19th thru the 21st. About 50 vehicles are going to be auctioned from the collection of Grants Classic Cars.

For more info, call 1-800-248-8026. Of the few cars pictured in the ad I saw besides the GNX with 100 actual miles, there is also a 1954 Buick Skylark convertible in #1 condition and a fully documented 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge. These cars should garner some serious money in my opinion.



I still have no new word on getting these correct looking oval 12" GNX mufflers. I expect to have about 8 sets of them before the end of June. Once we do, we will put out the word and photos in the Inner Circle.


One of the highly desirable Grand Nationals we owned is now for sale. The car is 100% bone stock with a mere 3,500 actual miles. The current owner drove it less than 300 miles since he bought it.

It is a Grand National I located for Mike O'Neil, owner of O'Neil Buick/GMC dealership. It is a 1987 Grand National hardtop with very nice factory paint. It's low-optioned, super clean, and still smells new. The car is located near our office. The price is $29,900. For more info and photos, email me direct - [email protected]


1984-1987 Buick Regal -

Over time, the headliner deteriorates or may start to sag.

We offer an aftermarket grey headliner for the 1984-1987 Buick Regals hardtop models. This is a complete replacement headliner. The base is made of an ABS material, which is covered with a reproduction grey headliner material.

If you are having the interior restored, this is the time to replace the headliner.

NOTE - We recommend this headliner be installed by an upholstery shop. You will need to have a hole cut out for the interior light.

NOTE - We recommend you also purchase Part #7362, 1978-1988 Buick Regal (All G-Body Models) - Headliner Molding Clips (8) Set. Since the original clips are old, they may break when you remove them to install the new headliner.

Another great restoration item.

7418 - 1984-1987 Buick Regal -
Aftermarket Hardtop Grey Headliner ABS (Pre-Covered) $194.95

Here is a link to this headliner on our website:


1978-1988 Buick Regal (All GM G-Body Models) -

This upgraded driveshaft loop is “Made in the U.S.A.” by Metco. It is designed to fit with virtually every size aftermarket driveshaft. It is a one-piece custom designed loop to fit the floor pan of the 1978-1988 GM G-Body cars.

You simply unbolt the factory floor pan brace behind the front universal joint. No drilling is necessary to install this new upgraded driveshaft loop.

The ring portion is made from seamless DOM steel in an oversize dimension to accommodate lowered vehicles and oversized driveshafts. (Example - if you upgrade to our 3-1/2" aluminum driveshaft, Part #7415, you will need this driveshaft loop to clear the larger driveshaft.)

The flanges are laser-cut from heavy-duty steel and the assembly is precision welded in a fixture so each loop is exact. The loop is then powder-coated black.

Each loop comes with high-grade hardware.

A great upgrade and “Made in the U.S.A.”

7421 - 1978-1988 Buick Regal (All GM G-Body Models) -
Upgraded Driveshaft Loop & Hardware - $69.99

Here is a link to the driveshaft loop on our website:


1984-1987 Buick Regal -

These are factory GM replacement bushings. These are the 4 rubber bushings that sandwich the factory transmission crossmember at the ends to each side of the frame rail.

With age, exposure and weather, these rubber bushings usually become compressed and deteriorate.

If your car's bushings are severely compressed, it can alter the angle of the transmission in relationship to the rear.

An excellent time to replace these bushings is when you are having the transmission rebuilt. (You do not have to remove the transmission to install these, however you do have to support the transmission in order to remove and reinstall these new bushings.)

This is just another item that should be replaced to retain a firm support for the transmission. You may want to replace the Rear Transmission Mount, Part #6941 at the same time.

Another good restoration item.

7420 - 1984-1987 Buick Regal -
Transmission Crossmember Bushings (4) Set - $36.95 / set

These will be on the website soon.

Here is a link to this bushings set on our website:


Pete Hoffman has a limited number of the reproduction GNX Suspension Systems available. These are the Richard Clark systems that he has had made locally.

They are nearly exact to the originals, down to the welds and material used. They come with complete detailed instructions.

Limited availability! Call or email Pete 215-778-1036
[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.

NOTE ABOUT PHOTOS ON THE 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]


JUNE 15th and 16th, 2012 - Friday & Saturday
Friday afternoon World's Record attempt at muffler box dominoes.
Cruise through Lansdale, PA Friday night.
Saturday event is held at Performance Years headquarters, 2705 Clemens Road, Hatfield, PA 19440. They should have 150+ Pontiacs, 150+ musclecars and 150+ Mustangs. They even have 2 bands playing back to back on Saturday.

I have listed below the events for Saturday the main day at Performance years headquarters. We will be there as a vendor. Then that same night is the Lansdale car show in the center of town.

Saturday, June 16

8:30am - 4:30pm - Midway & Showroom Open
8:30am - 4:00pm - Featured Indoor Vehicle Display
9:00am - 4:00pm - PY & Pypes Open House
9:00am - 3:00pm - PY & Pypes Tours (Every ? hour)
9:00am - 3:00pm - All Pontiac Car Show
9:00am - 3:00pm - All Mustang Car Show
9:00am - 3:00pm - Musclecar & Truck Show
9:00am - 4:00pm - Name Your Price Swap-Meet (Hospitality Area)
9:00am - 4:00pm - Live Exhaust Installations
12:00pm - 3:00pm - Live Bands: Life Without... & Stepping STONE performing
2:00pm - Car Show Voting Closes
4:00pm - Car Show Awards Ceremony

"Lansdale Under the Lights" is that evening. Lansdale/Hatfield area should be crawling with cool cars!

All monies collected for registration, minus the costs of the trophies, goes to the ALS Foundation (Lou Gehrig's disease) in Philadelphia, PA.

Here is the link with for more details -

JUNE 15th, 16th and 17th, 2012 - Friday, Saturday & Sunday -
Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio.

Hotels - Best Western Norwalk - 419-663-3501 or All American Inn Norwalk - 419-663-1922.
For more info, contact Roberta Vasilow 810-655-8277 email - [email protected]
or Bill Wills 330-747-1029 email [email protected]

AUGUST 3rd and 4th, 2012 - Friday & Saturday
National Trail Raceway, Hebron, Ohio
The theme this year is the "Class of 1987." Open to all Buick models built in 1987.

SEPTEMBER 21st and 22nd, 2012 - Friday & Saturday
Cecil County Dragway, Maryland
Event is open to all models of Buicks

Featuring the 2nd Annual MAGNA (Mid-Atlantic Grand National Association) All Buick powered judged Car Show! All Buick's! All years! All makes!

Goodie bags for the first 50 Buicks in the show. Door prizes all day and 50/50 to win some cash. The ONLY ALL-Buick car show on the east coast!

For more information, contact Doug Dougherty - 302-653-2201 or John Csordas - 914-447-6068 or email questions to - [email protected] or [email protected] Visit their website -http://tristategsclub.com

OCTOBER 17-20, 2012 - Wednesday-Saturday
Beach Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Racing is FREE on Wednesday, October 17th. The correct dates are October 17-20, 2012. Because of the reschedule, they have negotiated FREE racing on Wednesday, October 17th. This includes "everyone" who comes thru the gate and pays the usual nominal entrance fee. There is NO usual additional charge to race your Buick powered cars on Wednesday.

The BCA (Buick Club of America) will be joining the GSCA event. This combination will make for a well-rounded event featuring all kinds of Buicks. This is one fall event you do not want to miss!


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 may not remember who requested the item.


I will be set up as a vendor at Performance Years Open House Saturday, June 16th at their Hatfield warehouse. The car show is open to all cars. Hope to see some of you there.

That same night in nearby Lansdale is the annual Lansdale show where they shut down the entire main street and park over 500 cars. This combination event is well worth attending if you reside in this area.