01-15-2014 Inner Circle

01-15-2014 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members 01-15-2014


"Carlisle Events" is one of the largest automotive swap meets in the country. It occupies approximately 99 acres in the town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Carlisle was created because owners of 1950s and 1960s cars had very few options for swap meets to attend. Originally, Carlisle featured just one Spring and one Fall event and in later years expanded to 14 events held annually.

I can’t recall if I went to the very first one in 1974, but I do remember going there at some point in the late 1970s. Back then you could actually park in the area around the grandstand on the actual fairgrounds.

In the late 1970s we started our GTO business and going to Carlisle was an excellent source for buying used GTO parts for our company. I was never a vendor at Carlisle.

Fast forward to the late 1980s when I would see several vendors selling take offs from the GNX project. Some of these items were the analog 85 speedometer units and sets of brand new Grand National wheels with GT Goodyear tires on them. They were selling a set of tires and wheels for $500. The only miles on the Grand National wheels and tires were from the distance of Flint to ASC’s location in Southgate.

I have to admit, I never bought any of the wheels and tires back then, mostly because I didn't want the chore of carrying them all the way back to my truck.

With the convenience of ordering things through the internet today, it has hurt some of these big swap meet events.

I still attend every Spring and Fall event, as well as most of the other events held at Carlisle. It’s mostly a tradition and a chance to see the changes and trends happening over the years.


Hemmings Motor News magazine is celebrating their 60 years in business this year. Hemmings Motor News is the World's Largest Collector-Car marketplace and is considered to be the “Bible” for the car collector.

What started out in Vermont 60 years ago has grown tremendously, even in the age and convenience of ordering parts online. It started in January 1954 with just 4 pages with a circulation of about 550 subscribers. By the fall of 1969 they had almost 50,000 subscribers. By the mid-1980s they had over 210,000 subscribers.

In recent years they have added several pages in full color and the number of different categories has grown. My first recollection with Hemmings Motor News was in the mid-1970s. The cover during the 1970s was often referred to as the "brown paper cover" with the green lettering.

By the late 1970s, I was placing the cars we had for sale in the magazine. Back then I dealt mostly with GTOs and a variety of Mopars, with a few oddball cars as well. Oddball examples would include a 1964 Sunbeam Alpine, 1961 Hillman Minx convertible, 1967 Fairlane GT 390, and an early 1950s Jeep truck.

The results were always the same ads in Hemmings Motor News worked and worked quite well. I always sold the various vehicles I offered. Hemmings Motor News was the only source I used to sell the vehicles during the mid 1970s through the mid 1980s.

PHOTO 1 - The photo shows a February 1969 issue of Hemmings Motor News when it was the 5-½" by 8-½" size. In this issue there is an original 1906 Buick advertised for $3,000. The magazine is chucked full of what would be tremendous bargains today. How about a 1948 Caddy convertible 48,000 original miles mint condition, Blue exterior, red leather interior, power windows and seats. It has a new top, perfect chrome, tool kit all for just $2,250. Today you would be lucky to get the front bumper re-chromed for that price! How about a 1956 Chevrolet Nomad with 51,000 original miles for just $595. Or how about a 1931 Cord in excellent condition for just $7,500.

PHOTO 2 - Shows the new January 2014 issue celebrating 60 years. Quite an achievement as so many other magazines have come and gone.

PHOTO 3 - Shows a page from the 60th Anniversary issue and what the magazine covers looked like during the 1970s.

One point of interest… I just found out that the artist Russ Von Sauers, who in the early 1980s did the 1955-1956-1957 Chevrolet artwork for my Dad, also did the cover design for Hemmings Motor News. His lineart of the three Hemmings Motor News panel trucks was used during the 1970s and 1980s by Hemmings Motor News. He also did some of their promotional material.


In recent past Inner Circle emails we talked about the old-time salvage yard near me where I got several Turbo Regal parts. They have large collection of 1950s Packards, including the rear clip that we now have in our shrubbery bed.

PHOTO 4 - The photo on the left shows the only Packard we owned, taken around 1971-1972. It was a 1940 model. I can be seen hold our very young son Darrell at the time. The photo on the right shows the cars and trucks we had around 1970-1971. The red Ford was my second tow truck. It was a 1950s one-ton version. The Studebaker was a 1947 pickup that I would later restore and show at various car shows. The Oldsmobile was a 1949 Club Coupe model 76 powered by a 1957 Olds V8, backed up by a worked 4-speed hydramatic transmission. Last, but certainly not least, was our 1963 Corvette coupe. The most unusual feature about our 1963 Corvette coupe was it never had a radio and the dash was never cut out for a radio! As the heading suggests, these are all memories now.


We have heard from a couple people that have had problems with the links in our Inner Circle.

When we check the links, they work fine. However, if you are not able to be directed to the exact website page or internet site, you can "copy" and "paste" the link into the URL in your browser (such as Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.) If it doesn't link in one browser, it may work in another.


I got the below email from a good customer of ours. As you can see from his notes below, he was surprised to learn that his engine mounts were shot on his Turbo Regal, which has had a very easy life.

"Hello Dennis,

I was off work for the holidays and got to do some much needed work on my 87 Turbo-T while our Southern California weather was unusually dry and warm (an odd feeling since I was raised on the East Coast and have lived all over the US). I discovered something interesting that might be good to pass on in the Inner Circle.

I completely rebuilt the front and rear suspensions on this car about a year ago. At that time, I had a really difficult time installing your #6852 Control Arm Bushing Heat Shield. There was insufficient clearance between the stock down pipe and control arm to allow the shield to fit without bending it. I also had what felt like an engine grounding vibration at idle, so I suspected that the 27 year old engine mounts might be the problem. Having been a Buick technician during the GN era and later a GM service engineering guy and instructor, I knew that 3.8 engines were tough on mounts. Due to time constraints, it took a while to get to this repair.

To prove the motor mount theory, I measured from the bottom of the crankshaft pulley straight down to the top of the front frame crossmember extension (where your #6564 Front Frame Braces attach) before disassembly.

The initial reading was 4.5 inches. Once I got the mounts out, I found that the left one was totally collapsed and had actually separated (this is a non-posi car that was never raced. I am the second owner since new, so the mounts had a relatively easy life). The passenger side was also partially collapsed to the point that I had to cut away some of the sagging mount rubber just to get my 5/8" socket on the two mount-to-block bolts.

Loosening the rear transmission mount (I had replaced this previously) way up makes raising the engine to do the front mounts much easier and prevents rear mount damage.

Once the new mounts were installed and "bedded-in" (several passes through drive and reverse while the mount to frame bolts are still loose prevents putting the powertrain in a bind that will cause vibrations). After torqueing everything down, I made the same measurement as before and got 5.25 inches. The engine was sitting a full 3/4" higher in the frame and there is now plenty of clearance between the turbo down pipe and control arm for the heat shield. There is no official Buick spec for this measurement, but obviously the difference in the two measurements indicates a problem.

Long story short: If you're having trouble installing one of these Kirban heat shields, check the engine height in the frame and consider a new set of engine mounts if the measurement seems low.

PS: Just looked at Barrett-Jackson's car list for the upcoming Scottsdale auction. They have 1 GNX, 3 GNs. and 1 Turbo-T (white) currently listed, which I think is a record amount of turbo Buicks going across their block.

Happy New Year and I hope you find this information useful,

Chris Tobie
Diagnostic Developer - Collision Re-Think Project
Parts & Service Communications Department
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
1919 Torrance Blvd, Torrance CA 90501"

His story reminds me of some other issues. When customers upgrade to any of the larger wheel sizes, they sometimes find very little clearance between the outer frame rail in the rear and the tire on one side, and on the other side the distance between the outer rear frame rail and the tire can almost be twice as much.

Thanks to Chris for taking the time to send us this email detailing his findings. Now if he could just send us some of that southern California weather our way, it would be great.


If you have a tip or a discovery that you found that works on your Turbo Regal, drop us an email giving us the details so we can pass the info on to our readers. Remember, even with my knowledge, I don’t know it all. Simply email me at - [email protected]


Once I know the results of what that GNX sold for, it will be posted on my thread in the Turbo Buick forum. The winners will also be listed in an upcoming Inner Circle as well is in my thread in Turbo Buick.

This year's event has 5 cars of major interest to our Turbo Regal enthusiasts not 4 as I originally thought. This is perhaps the most Turbo Regals that have been featured at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale at one time. Be interesting to see the auction results.


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.


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]


We have had to discontinue all our Buick banners until I can locate another source to produce them for us under a GM license agreement. Watch for updates.


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., are fully GM licensed, and will be available from all the other turbo Buick vendors.

These should be available later this month.


We are able to reduce the price of our Pypes dual exhaust system, Part #6996, to just $399.95, which includes ground shipping by UPS to any of the 48 states. This is a tremendous bargain and partially made possible because Pypes headquarters is only about 25 minutes from our warehouse.

In recent years Pypes has emerged as one of the major manufacturers of exhaust systems. We have been offering them for the last several years. This is one easy way to gain some extra horsepower while retaining a near factory appearance.

Here is the link to our website:


VDO VISION SERIES 30 inHg and 25 psi 2-1/16" GAUGE -

After much searching, we found a VDO gauge that not only shows 25 psi boost, but also shows 30 inHg of vacuum.

This gauge is similar to the VDO Cockpit Series with the difference being the black bezel on this is flat and is not raised like the cockpit series. VDO does not make this version in the Cockpit Series, which is why we offer this version.

30 inHg VACUUM and 25 psi BOOST 2-1/16" GAUGE & INSTALLATION KIT

This attractive VDO vision series gauge measures both vacuum and boost. It has a 2-1/16" diameter face, which fits any of the single or twin gauge A-Pillar holders we offer. It reads up to 30 inHg vacuum and up to 25 psi boost.

The quality is excellent and features a black flat bezel face, red needle, and white numbers. This is a VDO Vision gauge. It has a black bezel, like the Cockpit Series, but this bezel is flat, not rounded like the Cockpit Series. VDO does not make a Cockpit Series gauge that show s30 inHg and 25 psi.

Gauge comes with an installation kit for any 1986-1987 Turbo Regal. It will also fit older applications. The kit will allow your current gauge and this gauge to function at the same time. It comes with two different color inserts - red and green - in case you want to change the color of the light in the gauge.

NOTE - We also offer the VDO Cockpit Series 2-1/16″ 30 lb. Boost Gauge (includes installation kit), Part #6627.

NOTE - When purchasing this item you may also want to consider the Grey Plastic Single A-Pillar Windshield Gauge Holder #1530, the Grey Plastic Windshield A-Pillar Twin Gauge Holder #6712 or the Grey Plastic Console Twin Gauge Holder #1529.

7552 - VDO Vision Series 30 inHg Vacuum and 25 psi Boost 2-1/16" Gauge & Installation Kit $54.95 / kit

Here is a link to this VDO Vision Series Gauge on our website:

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.


So far, it’s been an up and down winter weather mix in our area of the country.

We expect to announce the date for our annual Spring Open House next week. Watch for it. We are trying to roll the dice to see what Saturday in April when it won’t rain or, for that matter, snow.