01-08-2014 Inner Circle

01-08-2014 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members 01-08-2014

JANUARY - "The Adventures of Tommy Turbo" CARTOON -

PHOTO 1 - Shows our January “The Adventures of Tommy Turbo" cartoon, which depicts a replica GNX needing some TLC.


If you have attended any major automotive swap meets in recent years, you have seen first hand how the prices of original automotive signs have skyrocketed. Ebay is also another source for original automotive signs. If they are mint or nearly mint metal signs and lighted signs from a bygone era have become very collectible. The TV show "American Pickers" also seeks out old signs and give their ideas as to their value. Years ago the garage was simply a place to park your car to keep it out of the elements. In many cases, these garage bays were 7 feet wide by 18 feet deep, making it a tight fit for a collectible car and your various lawn equipment.

This format has changed in recent years as even some of the new homes you see being built now have 3 or 4 garage bays. Some are even designed to have a 12-foot ceiling, which allows the owner to install a lift.

Garages have become showcases for car collectors, myself included. This has created an upsurge in the sales of various related original signs to decorate garages. A secondary market has also emerged as reproductions of signs both in metal and the light-up format, have gained popularity.

I have always liked old automotive signs, seeking out near mint examples that bring back personal memories. Near our office is an antique market that features a large array of automotive-related signs for sale.

PHOTO 2 - This photo shows one of the lighted outside signs featuring the old-style Sunoco logo. This place actually has two of them. They are priced at $1,500 each or best offer. All you would need is a method to mount them to a metal pole and permission from your spouse to install this at the end of your driveway!

PHOTO 3 - Here is another huge outside sign featuring ATLANTIC gas, which later became ARCO. This sign is in very nice condition. I do not know the price. In 1969 I bought my first tow truck from a buddy of mine that operated an Atlantic gas station.

PHOTO 4 - This photo shows a Chevron station sign, a Texaco sign that is barely visible and a STOP sign. The 4-seater pedal-style carriage appears to be fairly new. Fortunately, I am not yet at the age where I need something like that to get around in!

If any of these interest you, email me and I can find out exact prices and perhaps work out getting them crated for truck shipping.


Jeep has a button with the word “Launch” on it to designate the 470-horsepower all-wheel drive Jeep SRT8’s Launch Mode. No guessing at the meaning of this button! The button depicts a drag strip’s starting lights, aka “Christmas Tree.”

You stop on a level surface before fully depressing the brake pedal while in drive. Press the launch button while holding the brake, mash the accelerator pedal to the floor and within a half second and the engine will rev to a predetermined rpm. Once the engine speed is up, all the driver has to do is lift off the brake pedal and the SRT8 launches perfectly every time.

This will enable the SRT8 Jeep to run 0-60 mph between 4.5 and 4.2 seconds. I can see this option being offered by various gauge companies before long! With those zero-to-sixty times in the mid-to-low 4-second range, that puts the Jeep squarely as one of the quickest U.S. production vehicles.

Here is link to this article:


Here's a mini contest to enter.

Go to turbobuick.com - scroll down the home page to the MISCELLANEOUS Section. Click on and under "TURBO LOUNGE" look for the thread with the heading "BARRET-JACKSON AUCTION – CONTEST."

All the rules and deadline are in this post. As long as you are a member of the turbobuick.com forum you will be able to play the contest that I have posted in that forum.

Act quickly as the contest ends January 10th, 2014.


All our orders for Brake Bowls have been filled, both retail and wholesale to the other vendors. We have these in stock, if you need one for your car.


One of our customers Don Edmands gave me the name of Dawayne Nelson who worked for Delco Electronics in the early 1980s. He has emailed me the story below:

"I worked for Delco Electronics who designed and manufactured the ECM (computer) for all GM vehicles. I was transferred up to the GM Proving Grounds at Milford Mi. in 1980 to help in the development of the computer controls on the vehicles. Early on we worked on TBI (throttle body injection) and Fuel Injected engines. Later TBI dropped out and they went to Fuel Injected on all engines. In 1983 I was transferred up to Buick as the Resident Engineer from Delco for engine development. This involved testing at the Proving Grounds as well as road trips. The road trips involved going up to Kapuskasing Ontario for cold weather testing (-40 degrees, brrrr.) involving cold starts and driveability, and going down to Death Valley (120 degrees) for hot weather testing.

This involved driving at high speed until the engine got good and warm, then parking them and shutting the engine off and letting them hot soak for 15 to 30 minutes. You would stand outside the vehicle during the hot soak) then get in the vehicle start up and drive away without any problems. We also drove all over the country with competitive vehicles (both foreign and domestic) for evaluation with our vehicles. This involved fuel economy, ride and handling, acceleration etc. This was long hours sometimes, but very interesting and enjoyable work.

Some interesting comments on the Grand National:

During development, the GN was the fastest car GM made. The development guys had some front license plates made that said "We Brake For Corvettes". This really got the Corvette guy's PO'ed, so next year the Corvette was a couple of MPH faster than the GN.

Another one was: During development of the GN, one Development Engineer was using an ugly brown Buick station wagon for a mule to develop the GN engine. He was at the Desert Proving Ground checking out the engine in hot weather. He was driving in Phoenix with his wife and two kids in the back and this Mustang pulled up alongside him and was revving up the engine and peeled rubber away from the stop light. At the next light the Mustang owner looked over and grinned at the Engineer. Well, when the light turned green the Buick left the Mustang in the dust, and the kids in the back seat were waving back at Mustang driver. He was not grinning at the next light.

Hope this helps you.


It's interesting that they made a license plate that said, "We Brake for Corvettes" as most of us only know about the bumper sticker that circulated when the cars were fairly new.


Richard Clark called me to let me know #GNX 482 will be sold at no reserve at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Auction, lot # 5005. Owned originally by Miller Brewing Company, it has a mere 11 miles on it and is billed as one of the lowest-mileage GNX’s in the country. Richard Clark probably has the lowest as one of his has only 6.6 miles on it! It will be interesting to see what this GNX brings.

They also list three 1987 Grand Nationals, lots #93, #98 and #100, all being sold at no reserve. One has 15,000 original miles, another has 22,000 original miles, and one has no mileage listed in the description and is slightly modified.

So, this year's event has 4 cars of major interest to our Turbo Regal enthusiasts. It will be interesting to see what they all do on the big auction circuit!

The auction dates are January 12th - 19th, 2014. For more details and information, their website is barrett-jackson.com/scottsdale. You can search by lot number for the Grand Nationals and GNX.

I know we always see a huge bump in our book sales in December and early January on Amazon for the two major books we wrote on these cars. This is probably because buyers are researching cars listed at the various winter auctions.

2014 CAMARO Z/28 -

The new 2014 Camaro Z/28 will be available this spring. According to a recent article that Jason Maxfield emailed me, the sticker price will be a cool $75,000.

It will be available in just five colors. Powered by the LS7 engine and rated at 505 horsepower. At the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, they will be auctioning off the rights to the very first one #0001. One can only imagine how high that will go above the $75,000 price tag.

GM will start taking orders later in January. So, that gives most of us time to line up our financing!


As part of our growing business, we need to see if there are any local customers with the good fortune of owning a new 2014 Corvette.

We need to examine it under the hood to see what parts we can make for that market.

If you have one locally to us, contact me direct - [email protected]


The incandescent light bulb commercially produced first by Thomas Edison, has ceased production in the U.S. for 2014. Once current inventory is exhausted, they will become a memory along with Beta tapes, pay phones, and a host of other items that have gone away.


Phil Everly, who with his brother Don made up the most revered vocal duo of the rock-music era, The Everly Brothers, has died.

My wife and I grew up during their many years of recording hit records. We were also fortunate enough to see them perform in person years ago when they reunited. Phil was 74 years old.


Ron Joseph has sent us word about plans for next year's GS Nationals (2015).

"Next year is the 50th anniversary of the Buick Gran Sport. At next year's Nationals, we will be honoring this Buick Model along with other attractions related to this car."

For more information, here is a link to their website:


We will soon have available our new T-Type fender covers from Fender Grippers. Covers are silk-screened in color and have the catch phrase, "T-TYPE - A BOOST OF BUICK PERFORMANCE." These are made in the U.S.A., fully GM licensed, and will be available from all the other turbo Buick vendors.

These should be available in early January.


These new hoses look identical to the factory GM ones only they are thicker making them superior to the original GM hoses. We used to offer these. They may not be on our website as of yet.

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.

This stock appearing hoses set is made from the identical fabric-style material and black color as the original. So, the outward appearance looks factory.

These hoses are twice as thick as the original GM equipment and slightly longer for a better fit.

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

7553 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal -
Stock Appearing Intercooler and Turbo Heavy-Duty Hoses (3) Set - $34.95 / set

Here is a link to these heavy-duty hoses on our website:


The “BUICK MOTORSPORTS” logo is silk screened in white, red and yellow on a 34" x 22" black fender cover. It is made from a non-slip cushioned material, so it won’t slide off the fender.

Because the surface is non-slip, it holds your tools in place. It is impervious to automotive fluids, such as motor oil, brake fluid, coolant, etc.

It is made in the U.S.A. by Fender Gripper®, a division of SSnake-Oyl™, and is licensed by GM.

This recognizable logo is sure to appeal to any Buick owner. We offer it individually Part #7647 or as a pair Part #7648.

These fender covers are a must-have addition to your garage items, and can also be stored in the trunk in case you need to protect the fenders while away from the garage.

Our photos show the fender cover flat, and as it appears folded in half.

This fender cover also makes a unique gift for any Buick enthusiast or mechanic.

7547 - GM Licensed -
“BUICK MOTORSPORTS” Fender Cover - $22.95

7548 - GM Licensed -

TWO “BUICK MOTORSPORTS” Fender Covers (2) - $40 / pair

Here is the link to this Fender Cover on our website


If you have any product ideas that would fit our Turbo Buick market that you would like to see available, email me direct - [email protected]


Got any Turbo Buick 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.


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]


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.


Hoping all of you had a great Christmas with your families and a Happy New Year. Since the holidays were in the middle of the week and several blasts of snow, we have been closed for much of the last two weeks.