12-05-2012 Inner Circle

12-05-2012 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 12-05-2012


It’s a well-known fact that one of the easiest ways to gain power is to lighten your car. The fewer factory options, the lighter your car weighs. While others may seek a heavily-optioned Turbo Regal, having a bare bones car puts you ahead instantly without doing any other modifications.

As many of you know, our personal Turbo-T lacks most of the add-on options and even has the fixed chrome mirrors.

You can do further improvements to shed weight.

One example is to replace the stock front solid sway bar with the larger GM 36mm sway bar, which is hollow. It's the same sway bar listed as #1821 in the Rare Parts Section in this issue.

Another upgrade that shaves off some weight is going with the aluminum driveshaft, our Part #7415. Not only is it balanced to stricter specs over your stock driveshaft, but it is also almost 3 pounds lighter. Plus, unlike the stock one, it will never rust and it's beefier than your stock one.

Unfortunately, there are not many items you can change or delete that will cut a lot of weight off your car at one single time. One method would be shedding the 28-pound steel chrome Grand National wheels and going with the lighter 16 inch GNX-style wheels. That knocks off at least 35 lbs total. The other big weight saving sits behind your front and rear bumper. Unless the codes are VD6 and VD7 on your trunk ID label, you have the heavy all-steel bumper reinforcement brackets that secure your bumper to the car.

Not only is the steel bumper reinforcement brackets extremely heavy, but they are subject to rust. Some of you may be fortunate enough to have the light-weight aluminum front and rear bumper reinforcement brackets. The aluminum brackets only weigh 9 pounds each. Not only are you saving weight, they will not rust! I do not know the weight of the steel reinforcement brackets, but it is easily double that for each one!

A third version of the Buick Regal reinforcement bracket exists that is quite rare to find today. These mini front bumper reinforcement brackets come in at a mere 6 pounds total. This makes it the lightest factory GM method to secure your front bumper on your Regal. I see no proof a similar style reinforcement bracket was made for the Buick Regal rear bumper reinforcement support. These were available only for the front.

Although they are pictured in the 1991 Buick 44W book and listed, they do not give a part number by the part! Fortunately I have a 1987 original Buick Price book and they are listed in there at just $6.45 each! The price book shows this item was only stocked at certain distribution plants. Meaning for less than $13 a pair, you could have bought the lightest front reinforcement brackets right from Buick! Wishful thinking - Had any of us invested even a few hundred dollars back in 1987 at $13 a set, you can clearly see how that investment would have paid off 25 year later! Not only are they difficult to find today, but since they are steel, they are prone to rust.

PHOTO 1 - Shows a brand new pair of the factory front bumper reinforcement brackets that weigh a mere 6 pounds total. This is a brand new pair. Both brackets still have the GM parts sticker on them. What you may not be able to see in the photo is the fact both GM stickers are not the same, as one has an older style GM logo on the sticker.

I was fortunate enough to buy two sets of these at the October GS Nationals event. I plan to install the other set on our personal Turbo-T, since I have incorporated almost every light-weight upgrade feature possible.

The set pictured is listed in the Rare Parts section for sale. In all the years I have been involved with Turbo Buicks, I can’t recall having a brand new pair of these mini reinforcement brackets.


Probably about 10-12 years ago several of the major headlight companies produced plastic headlights in the 4-headlight figuration to replace the stock glass headlights. We used to offer them in our catalog.

Since our cars were built, headlights have under gone tremendous changes, not only in shape and material used, but also in quality of lighting.

Back in my youth, in most of the used cars I owned they were only 6 volt systems, so the headlights were not very bright. Also all the headlights back then were glass and round and limited to maybe, at best, two different diameters! I think back then headlights had to be a standard shape.

The weight of your Turbo Regal glass headlights is 4-1/2 pounds for the four lights. If you switch over to the plastic headlights, all four weigh only two pounds. While that in itself, is not much of a savings, it adds up as another method for shaving weight from your car. Perhaps the most overlooked method of shaving weight from the car can be seen every morning when some of us look in the mirror.

PHOTO 2 - I recently acquired a full set of plastic headlights and will be installing them in our Turbo-T this winter. We show one of the plastic headlights on the right. You can find them from time to time on eBay. You can expect to pay $25 to $30 per pair. Low beams seem to be tougher to find than the high beam headlight. Since I've been going to these "U Pull It Yards," I've discovered a very interesting headlight that GM used in one of their Oldsmobile 98 models sometime during the late 1980s or early 1990s. In this photo we show one of these unique headlights on the left. It may be the only example where a GM car line actually put the car name on the actual headlight. It’s not simply a decal, but appears to be imprinted on the plastic bulb. I doubt replacement headlights for that model Oldsmobile have that unique feature!


In last week's Inner Circle (11-28-2012) in the first photo we showed another version of the Price Guide Directories for 1985 through 1987 Buicks.

I did some more research and found out it was started by a company called Price Books and Forms Inc. and way back in 1930 by Orville L. Williard.

At the time, he was a Ford Motor Company representative and he saw a need for the automotive pricing information received by the local dealerships to be in a more appropriate form for the dealers use and in quantities for the sales force. Unfortunately, this was during the Depression, so the company struggled during the first years and only handled local dealerships.

For the first thirty years they only had the Ford account and in the 1960s added Chervolet. In the 1980s other GM car lines were added and that is how the Buick ones we featured came about. Today the company covers all domestic models and as well as Nissan and Infiniti.

So, in quick review it would be extremely rare to find any Price Guide directories for the Ford models dating back to the early 1930s!

A few years back I was a guest speaker at the Studebaker National convention in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As I have mentioned before, Studebaker started way back in the mid 1800s, first by making wagons and then onto automobiles.

PHOTO 3 - The photo on the left is the cover of a 1967 reproduction copy of the "1876 Studebaker Bro’s Price List" for their wagons. The photo on the right shows two typical pages from this reprinted 1876 Price Guide. They offered over a dozen wagons that year, including various boxes for the wagons and even sleighs!

On this particular page the wagon on the right was called the Nevada and was an iron axle wagon, which had a capacity of 20,000 lbs. This was pretty impressive. In looking at their various prices, wagons ran about $150 to $300 each in 1876.

So, in quick review, mini price directories were not something new. They date back to at least 1876.


There is still time to get in on our Christmas Specials. These are all items that enhance the ownership of having a Turbo Regal.

Our Christmas Specials run until December 7th - This Friday!

Here is a link to view these specials on our website.


Every year at this time we all dig out some of our favorite Christmas movies to watch with family or friends. Your list of favorites probably include "It’s a Wonderful Life," "Christmas Story," and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." By the way, when "It’s a Wonderful Life" was released in the late 1940s, was not a hit initially. It has since become a classic. Jimmy Stewart was one of the great actors of the golden era of movies.

One Christmas movie that you seldom see and may not be aware of is actually based on a true story. In 2005 it was nominated for an Academy award and Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign film. Entitled "JOYEUX NOEL" (Merry Christmas) it is the true story based on the Christmas Eve 1914 battle field when a Christmas Truce was declared by the Scottish, French and German troops in the trenches of World War I.

I highly recommend you watch this with your family as it is quite moving.

PHOTO 4 - Here is the actual Joyeux Noel DVD. This actual DVD will be part of our prizes for our upcoming M & M contest in time for Christmas. Our Annual Christmas M & M Contest will be in next week's Inner Circle!


A local customer of ours is selling his 1987 Turbo-T. This was actually one of the cars we sold that came out of Florida maybe 12-15 years ago. At the time, it had an engine knock.

Since that time, the owner has had the engine completely rebuilt. It's a very low-optioned car with a bench seat and am radio. This is a column shift car with roll up windows. Car is white with chrome package. Shows 72,000 miles, senior owned. It has been repainted four years ago and I would rate the paint job as fair.

Car is unmolested number matching and has never been hit. The turbo has also been rebuilt. Car has been sparsely driven last few years. The car runs out quiet and the transmission shifts nice and crisp. The powermaster needs attention. Car has all new Cooper tires on it.

Car needs detailing and some interior work. Car is priced to sell at $7900. Car is located near the Valley Forge, PA area. I can provide the owner's name and he can provide photos.

I have driven the car and it runs out strong and shifts great. If interested, email me direct - [email protected]


1986-1987 Turbo Regal -

The only weak links in the intercooler turbo system are the three factory connecting hoses that GM used (#1, #2 & #3 in the illustration.)

The smallest hose connects the intercooler to the turbo and the other two connect the tube to the throttle body. The hose is cut rather short leaving very little to clamp against and the material is quite flimsy. When subjected to heat and flex, they could split or come off. If this happens, the car will sputter and choke.

Our replacement set is twice as thick as the original GM equipment and slightly longer for a better fit. Our hoses are ALL black except for printed striping that can be positioned on the bottom and out of sight.

A MUST improvement for your Buick... it's a good idea to keep a spare set on hand.

7458 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal -
Intercooler and Turbo Heavy-Duty Hoses (3) Set - $29.95 / set

Here is a link to this Heavy-Duty Hoses kit on our website.

1985-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

This is the entire kit to replace all the hard metal brake lines from the powermaster brake unit to each wheel. You must have the powermaster brake system on your 1985-1987 Turbo Regal for the front two lines to attach properly.

The kit consists of 7 pliable pre-bent lines with stainless fittings, reproduced to match the factory bends.

You may also want to update the brake hoses to the front brake calipers, our Part #7218, 1979-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Models) - Stainless Braided Brake Hoses (3) Kit. These are the upgraded stainless braided brake hoses to replace the original old rubber hoses.

You may also want to update the brake proportioning valve to the brass proportioning valve, Part #7189, 1982-1987 Regal V6 (Including Turbo Regal) - Reproduction Brake Proportioning Valve.

NOTE - If you only need a portion of this kit, call us (215-766-1611) and we can work out a price for whatever lines you require.

NOTE - Because you need a lift, we recommend these brake lines be installed by a qualified mechanic.

Another excellent restoration item done in stainless, so it will not rust.

7459 - 1985-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
Reproduction Complete Brake Lines (7) Kit - $149.95 / 7-piece Kit

Here is a link to this Brake Lines Kit on our website.

1978-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -

Because of the age of these cars, some may have sagging door hinges, which need to be replaced.

These reproductions are case-hardened steel, identical to the original GM door hinges.

On high-mileage cars this is one of the issues that can easily be eliminated by replacing the door hinges. We recommend you replace both the upper and lower hinges on whatever side(s) you plan to restore. The longer you put it off, the more wear and tear can occur on the door striker and pillar post.

NOTE - We offer the hinges separately and as a 4-piece kit. The same lower door hinge fits both the driver’s and passenger’s side doors.

Another nice body restoration item.

7460 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
Reproduction Driver’s Side Upper Door Hinge (1) - $79.95

7461 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
Reproduction Passenger’s Side Upper Door Hinge (1) - $79.95

7462 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
Reproduction Driver’s or Passenger’s Side Lower Door Hinge (1) - $59.95

7463 - 1978-1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
Reproduction Driver’s & Passenger’s Side
Upper & Lower Door Hinges (4) Set - $249 (Save $30.80)

Here's a link to these Door Hinges 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]


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_


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.


We will have our annual M & M contest next week. Be sure to watch for it!

There is still time to get in on our Christmas Specials. These are all items that enhance the ownership of having a Turbo Regal.

Our Christmas Specials run until December 7th - This Friday!