08-19-2015 Inner Circle

08-19-2015 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members 08-19-2015


I figured I would start with a little information from the 1950s, since that is the time frame of my first recollection of car audio, better known as the “AM radio.”

My Mom always had Cadillacs and they had a neat AM radio that was known as the “Wonder Bar Radio.” You would press the bar and the tuner needle would move and seek out the first strong radio signal, and then stop. I am told Chrysler also had a similar format and may have called it the same thing.

To my knowledge, Chrysler offered a 16 rpm record player option for a period of I believe two years (1956-1957). The songs for the record choices were not the greatest because it had to be a Columbia recording artist. The 16 rpm record size was probably another deciding factor that kept the other companies from getting into the 16 rpm record business.

The only other unique radio option I am familiar with from the 1950s was available around 1958-1959 in certain GM cars such as Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac. It was called a “Trans Portable.” The unusual thing with this radio was it was removable from the dash and was self contained, so it could also play outside of the car. This option was short lived.

PHOTO 1 - The photo to the left shows a factory installed 16 rpm record player in a fully-optioned 1956 Imperial. This Imperial also has the wonder bar radio, air conditioning and power windows. The photo to the right shows a Trans Portable factory radio from my personal collection. It still works. You can sometimes find these on ebay priced around $100.

The 1960s brought several new audio options for cars. Since my knowledge centers on the GTO, the information here is based on the Pontiac models.

In 1963 FM became available in the Pontiacs. This option is highly sought after among GTO collectors. Depending on the year and condition of a factory GTO AM/FM radio, they can run $750 to over a grand! It was during these years they also offered a reverb unit. This was basically a metal box that changed the sound of the radio.

The next big change came in the 1967 models with the 8-track option. Around 1970 the 8-track was replaced with the optional cassette player. In the case of the Pontiac models, both the 8-track and cassette player was a separate part and was not incorporated into the radio housing like it was with some of the other car models.

FM stereo became available in 1968. This early version was another separate part that was wired to the radio. These dates are approximate.

By the time our cars (1984-1987 Turbo Regals) were being produced, GM was able to cut costs and inventory by simply making most of their radios (1982-2004) all the same shape and size, no matter what vehicle they were installed in. This was called a J-2000 panel style radio.

Not only did this cover most of the GM cars, but it also included the trucks and vans. They accomplished this by using a wide variety of brackets to attach the radio to the various dashes in the cars during those years. Some had side-mounted brackets of various formats and others attached at the top and bottom of the radio unit. While the faceplate may be grey, glossy black, or satin black and the knobs may be plain black or have aluminum inserts, the physical dimensions of the radio were all the same. It did not matter if it was a 12-pin plug (such as the ones in our cars) or the later 21-pin plug, all those style radios will interchange.

It’s a shame that the factory CD players did not make it as an option in our cars but would appear soon after. Some cars up through at least 2005 had a CD slot and a slot for a cassette. My 2004 Impala has both. So, cassettes had a fairly long run in GM vehicles compared to the 8-track format.

PHOTO 2 - The top left shows an Instruction booklet produced by Metra Electronics Corporation. It covers all the 1982-2004 GM cars equipped with the J-2000 panel style radio. This booklet explains how to change over to an aftermarket radio. The top right photo shows a portion of the page for 1984-1987 Buick Regals. I found this pamphlet in one of the junk cars. The lower photo shows two original GM information cassettes at the top. One came in a Pontiac Grand AM that is still factory sealed. The other one is for a 1992 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. The bottom of the photo shows a factory GM 2002 Impala information CD and a 2003 Impala information CD that came in the glove box of the Impalas. The 2003 version includes details on the factory XM Satellite radio, which was becoming a popular option by the year 2003.

Going by memory, I think Buick had an information cassette for the Regal models but I am not sure what year or years they did this. I think it was around 1981-1982. Perhaps one of my readers can verify this for me.

PHOTO 3 - The photo to the left shows the standard AM radio that was the same for 1984 through 1987 Buick Regal models. As you can see, it was very plain looking and had a flat black faceplate. The buttons were painted silver. This radio is quite difficult to find today. The photo to the right shows two radios that at a quick glance may appear to be the same. They are not. While both have a glossy black face and are AM/FM with no cassette feature, the difference is the top one is correct for our Turbo Regals and the bottom one is correct for the Olds Cutlass models. Buicks have a separate power button. The Oldsmobile radio is powered on by turning the top round knob. I have a 1984 Oldsmobile booklet that also shows that style radio.

It’s important to remember that it was entirely possible that a different radio got installed at GM if the correct radio was in short supply. Also keep in mind, the booklets I use for a reference were all printed before actual production of any particular year, so changes could have happened. My point being, I can only assume my information is correct.

The radios shown in photo 3 can be confusing. The radios looked alike - the difference is it either had the clock option or it did not have the clock option. In either case, it did not have a cassette option. The trunk ID code in 1984 was “UU9” for this radio without the clock feature, and listed for $238. With the clock feature, the trunk ID code was “UL1” and the price jumped to $277.

In 1985 the trunk ID codes remained the same, but the price dropped to $138 and $177 if it had the clock option.

In 1986 the trunk ID code was “UK4” without the clock option and the price was $168. The trunk ID code was “UP2” with the clock option and the price was $232.

In 1987 the trunk ID code was “UK4” without the clock option and the price was $168. The trunk ID code was “UM7” with the clock option and the price tag was $232.

You can see how confusing it can be. Some trunk ID codes stayed the same for several years and others changed.

From what I have seen personally over the years in the Turbo Regals, most original buyers did not go with the cheaper radio options. You find these cheaper radios mostly in the Buick Century, LeSabre, or other Buick models.

The most popular radio in the Turbo Regals would be the AM/FM Cassette with Seek and Scan Auto Reverse and the Clock option. On the list of possible radios, this would be one down from the top-of-the-line radio.

PHOTO 4 - We show the popular radio that would be found in most of the Turbo Regals. The AM/FM Cassette with Seek and Scan Auto Reverse and the Clock option. This is radio in the 1987 Grand National that we are selling with just 28,000 original miles.



We have a new project in the works that will be a nice detail item for any 1986-1987 Turbo Regal owner that wants to freshen up some of the smaller details under the hood.

Let’s face it, the crowning point of our cars lies under the hood. The 3.8 SFI Turbo engine is what makes our G-body model rise above the other G-body car lines. We can complain about some of the other aspects on the car (there are a few), but the sound of the turbo making low-end torque puts our cars at the head of the class in the G-Body line up.

I do a good bit of thinking on the weekends when I walk by rows and rows of “dead cars.” I’m learning more and more. I need to find a company that deals in one of the popular foreign car models, since there is a huge number of these cars at my disposal.

The plan is to put together some factory correct bolt kits for various areas under the hood using original hardware. You can’t just run down to the neighborhood hardware store and find the proper bolts, in most cases. If you use the wrong bolts, someone with sharp eyes may notice it and know something has been replaced or perhaps the car was hit at one point.

As Richard Clark pointed out to me years ago, he avoided using mechanics to work on his cars that had trays and trays of extra bolts. He knew that, in most cases, it’s because that mechanic at times must have left them off the cars he was working on. After all, who would know? That reminds me of a story.

Maybe 20 years ago I bought a Regal Grand Sport from the original owner. It was mint, a typical Kirban quality car. It had one annoying issue that the owner could never figure out. This issue only happened when he drove over railroad tracks. The steering wheel made a clunk sound. I still bought the car.

I had it checked out. This was a one-owner car. The two main bolts that secure the bracket to the steering column under the dash were not there. They were nowhere to be found in the car. The column virtually was not bolted under the dash. It was only secured under the hood! A true story.

I am not a bolt expert by any means. So, in simple terms, most of the bolts under the hood of our cars have either a 10mm head or a 13mm head. The differences are thread pitch, size of a floating washer or size of a fixed washer on the bolt. All have a tapered or pointed end. That is my generic description of 90% of the GM hardware under the hood of our cars.

Now that are cars are 25-plus years old, whatever that coating GM used on the bolts has worn off in most cases. Some of the bolts have turned to rust and others have probably been replaced with the wrong bolts.

The kits we plan to make will be dipped in an expensive solution that will etch the bolts so the powder coating will adhere better. This process is done after they are dipped in a cleaning solution. They will then be done in a glossy black powder coating.

One of the first kits we are going to be packaging will be the 5 bolts that secure the plate that holds the radiator in place. If that top plate has not been repainted, it can be polished. These bolts will compliment that top radiator plate.

In one of the kits we will be packaging, I plan to also give as a bonus item a set of three of the c-clips. I call them c-clips, as I have no idea what the real name is. This is the clip that secures the one cable to the throttle body, the cable to the cruise control, and last but not least the rod from the wastegate actuator to the turbo. This is not a common part to at any hardware store. These c-clips usually turn to rust, least the ones I have seen. Fortunately this clip is used on several later GM cars that I have found in the yards. These three c-clips will be a bonus item with one of the kits we are doing.

That is what we have in the works. Some of the hardware in the kits will be new and some will be used. The end result is that the hardware will all look the same, and better yet be the correct-looking pieces for the applications. They will be powder-coated glossy black like we did for the secondary hood latch and hood spring, part #P-2155 (in our Rare Parts section in this Inner Circle.)


This 1987 Grand National is one we sold back in 2003. At that time, the Grand National had 24,000 miles on it. I now have the car back at our location and selling it for the current owner. It now has 28,000 miles on it, and it is one of the cars signed by Molly on the trunk ID label. The car is a hardtop. Options include, tilt, cruise, delay wipers, AM/FM cassette, power antenna, power locks, posi rear, analog dash, body side molding, and power trunk release. This is quite unique - it has crank windows!

This car is extremely tight and with no rattles. The doors shut like they did in 1987. The car was garage kept all these years and is dry underneath. The car was never smoked in. The AC blows cold, the power antenna works, and the headliner has been redone.

Car comes with all the glove box booklets, including the Owner’s Manual. A car cover is also included. The car has brand new Bilstein shocks on it.

The car has several old school upgrades, which include a finned aluminum transmission pan, a finned rear end cover, the complete Kodiak West dress-up kit under the hood, a transmission cooler, embroidered head rests, and a complete embroidered trunk kit. The Kodiak West kit is comprised of a polished aluminum turbo shield, special caps for the power steering, oil cap, radiator overflow cap, transmission cover, and oil dip stick cover. This engine dress-up kit was over $350 back in 1989.

The car also has a set of the rare Buick Motorsport valve covers. It also has our Kirban upgraded headlight kit installed and our embroidered floor mats.

The interior is near perfect. The car has no dents and all the bumper fillers are good. The car has been repainted sometime prior to 2003 and does have blemishes, notably around the chip guard portion of both sides.

The stock wheels are like new and the tires are also like new. The car has what appears to be a Hooker dual exhaust system.

This is the first time this car has been for sale since I sold it in 2003.

The new owner will also get the original flyer from when the car was advertised in 2003 by us.

Since this was one of our cars originally, all the missing body bushings have been done and both the front frame braces and connecting brace have been installed. All the weatherstripping is perfect.

This is a true original 28,000-mile 1987 Grand National hardtop. The price is $22,900.

For more photos email me direct [email protected]

Here is a link to this Grand National for sale on our website:


I have a long-time customer that believes he has the lowest VIN number for the 1987 Turbo production run. This recently came up when we wrote about the 1987 Turbo-Ts that were black with a WO2 exterior Sport Package.

Production of the 1987 Turbo Regals, along with regular Regals, began at some point in August of 1986. Our local customer bought his 1987 Turbo-T brand new and the VIN reads 403505. His car also has an August built date.

Jeff Nicola’s 1987 Turbo-T that we wrote about last week with an August built date has VIN 403951. According to the Steven Dove book, “Guide to Buick GN, T-Type, & GNX,” the last Grand National built had the VIN number is 465288.

It would have been nice if the Turbo Regals had a separate VIN number sequence like GMC did with the 1991-1992 Syclones. If I remember correctly, the Syclone we owned back in 1992 was either number 6 or number 9 and was one of two that GMC used for magazine testing.

So, if you own a 1987 Turbo Regal or Grand National and the production date on the doorjamb is August of 1986, email me the last six digits of the VIN.

One of our local customers has an August 1986 buiIt date, VIN number 403505. If you have a lower VIN, email me [email protected] with proof. It is the last 6 digits of the 17 digit VIN that determines production sequence.

CAR FOR SALE - 1970 BUICK GS455 - CFS029

Sloan documented 1970 Buick GS455, one of 5589 Hardtops produced that year. This is a Carolina car, never any northern rust.

Car was fully restored in 2012 and is in high #2 condition, one of the nicest examples in the country. Show winner first-time out.

Color is Fire Red, paint code 75, with black vinyl top.

Engine is original to the car and was rebuilt to Stage1 specs, has maybe 3000 miles on it since the rebuild.

All upholstery was redone including seats, headliner, carpeting and door panels. Has factory 8 track tape player.

Upgraded suspension, runs and drives like new, very strong like a GS455 should be, and has that great muscle car sound.

If you are looking for a beautiful 1970 GS455, the best year ever, look no further.

Lots of receipts and documentation.

There are more photos available to interested buyers upon request. Contact Ken directly for additional photos or more information.

Ken Seamon
Strongsville, Ohio
Cell # - 440-655-8731
[email protected]

PRICE - $35,000


A blem1986-1987 Redone grey leather-wrapped steering wheel. The brushed spokes on the back side of this steering wheel are pitted. The front side of the 3 brushed spokes looks fairly nice. I can provide photos. Simply email me - [email protected]

The normal price of our redone steering wheel is $190 and $75 core charge. This blem steering wheel, as described, is $155 and a $75 core charge for an acceptable core, plus $10 shipping.

We still have several reproduction state inspections stickers left. The price is $6 each with free USPS mailing or any 2 for $10 with free USPS mailing. See the below listing.

2 New Jersey 1986 stickers
1 New Jersey 1987 sticker
1 Massachusetts 1986 inspection sticker
1 New York 1986 inspection sticker
2 Ohio 1986 inspection stickers

On any of these close-out items, you must call the office during normal business hours to purchase what you want - 215-766-1611 x 0


We have an urgent need for powermaster cores, steering wheel cores, and turbo cores.

Here is the information on our credits for cores.

POWERMASTER CORES must be complete with brake bowl and brake switch. You get $100 Letter of Credit or we will trade our complete headlight kit #7530 a $129.95 value for each acceptable core. Powermaster units must be nice and not look like they been in a river for the last 10 years.

TURBO CORES must be the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal stock ones. They must be complete. We will issue you a $100 Letter of Credit for each acceptable core. WE HAVE AN URGENT NEED FOR THESE.

If you ship to us, the post office is the cheapest method. Pack the item(s) with a note with your name, address and phone number
MAIL - Ship to Address -

PO BOX 1199


Because our busy season is starting, if you need technical information, it’s best to email - [email protected] rather than call us.

We will do our best to answer any technical questions within 24 hours.


Our supplier was able to locate a few more of these original brand new AC Delco heater water valves. You must call our office to order one - 215-766-1611 x 0. The price is $60 plus shipping. It appears this AC Delco heater water valve will be discontinued from GM and AC Delco. It doesn’t appear that we will be getting any more of theses. We were able to get a few more and now have 5 of them!


From time to time, whenever we spot an unusual or an exceptional car or truck for sale, or one we have for sale, we will put a blurb in our weekly Inner Circle. Also, any cars that our customers have for sale will be featured here and you can see their car with photos on our website. In this category, we will run the descriptions for two-to-three weeks and, if there is no interest in that particular vehicle, it will be deleted the following week. Any new vehicles that we add will appear first, so the oldest listing would be at the end of this section.

If any of these vehicles perk your interest, email me personally - [email protected] - for more information and photos.


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]


1984-1987 All G-Body Models (Including Buick Turbo Regal)

If you have the optional factory Delco am/fm radio with cassette, as pictured, you may be missing one of the ID inserts on one or more of the 3 buttons that control the cassette operation.

The original inserts can be totally missing or, in some cases, the words “STOP-EJECT” may be worn off.

We have reproduced the set of 3 button ID inserts in aluminum (like the originals,) each with a self-adhesive backing.

Inserts are easy to install. You simply clean and dry the button, peal back the protective paper, and affix the insert onto the button.

An excellent finishing touch for any interior restoration.

SHIPPING NOTE - If this is the only item you are purchasing, we can ship it by U.S. Mail FREE. If you are purchasing this set with other items in your cart, there will be no additional shipping for this item.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related items - #7113 Reproduction Outer Radio Knobs (2) Set or #7156 Reproduction Heater / Radio Applique.

7684 - 1984-1987 All G-Body Models (Including Buick Turbo Regal) -
Radio/Cassette Buttons Reproduction Aluminum ID Inserts (3) Set - $8.95

7685 - 1984-1987 All G-Body Models (Including Buick Turbo Regal) -
TWO - Radio/Cassette Buttons Reproduction Aluminum ID Inserts (3) Sets $14.95 / 2 Sets (Save $2.95)

Here is a link to these Inserts on our website:

1978-1987 Buick V6 (including Turbo Regal) -

This is the complete timing chain gasket kit for the original timing chain cover.

The original front seal from GM was a rope seal, which is subject to leakage.

This front seal included in this kit is a one-piece neoprene seal. Turbo applications need this better designed front seal because of the tremendous pressures the turbo engine builds up internally under boost.

This Timing Chain Gasket Kit consists of these 7 parts:
Front Oil Pan Gasket
Oil Pump Cover Gasket
Timing Cover Gasket
Timing Cover Seal
Fuel Pump Mounting Support Gasket
Water Pump Mounting Support Gasket

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #6548 Neoprene Rear Main Seal, #6771 Cork Oil Pan Gasket, #7437 Reproduction Timing Chain Cover with New Timing Tab, #7500 Molded Rubber Oil Pan Gasket, #7683 CLOYES Street True Roller Timing Chain/Gear Set.

NOTE - We recommend these gaskets be installed by a qualified mechanic.

Another great under-the-hood restoration kit.

7683 - 1978-1987 Buick V6 (including Turbo Regal Models) - Timing Cover Gaskets and Seals (7) Kit - $13.95

Here is a link to this Timing Cover Gaskets and Seals Kit on our website:

1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

By using this custom harness, it allows you to plug your existing 1984-1987 Turbo Regal radio harness and antenna lead into this harness, which plugs into the later radios.

This eliminates cutting any of the factory wires. It allows the 12-pin harness to adapt to the 21-pin harness in the later AC Delco radios.

If you have a power antenna option, it will still work.

The harness and antenna lead can be seen in the photo. The big plug to the left is what the stock 3-part harness plugs into.

This is the same harness we have put with every late-model AC Delco CD player we have sold over the years.

7065 - 1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal - Late-Model Radio Plug-in Harness Kit - $19.95 / kit
21-Pin to 12-Pin Harness with Antenna Lead and Antenna Lead Adapter

Here is a link to this Radio Harness on our website:

and Guide to 1978-1987 Buick Grand National, T-Type and GNX “THE FACTS & FIGURES BOOK - SERIES #II” Book

“The Power Pac Buick Performance and Restoration Tips” book by Steven L. Dove covers the popular Buick Turbo Regals; Grand Nationals, T-Types, Turbo-Ts, and GNXs. It was published in 1998.

The book measures 6" x 9", has 230 pages and includes eight chapters of information. One chapter highlights all the major players with fast Turbo Regals from Marka Gallina to Kenny Duttweiler. Another chapter covers transmission upgrades by Art Carr. That same chapter includes tidbits on getting your turbo car to run in the 11’s and 12’s.

A later chapter covers restoration and care of your Turbo Regal. There is a tech talk section with John Craig on turbo upgrades and a chapter on suspension and brake upgrades. Another chapter deals with all the specifications with quick data information covering all Turbo Regals from 1982 through 1987, including the GNX.

The “Guide to 1978-1987 Buick Grand National, T-Type and GNX - FACTS & FIGURES BOOK - SERIES #II” covers the history of the Buick Regal from 1978 through 1987. It has many pictures and shows actual Service Bulletins covering the Turbo Regals from GM. Very informative with many pictures and illustrations. It measures 6" x 9" and has 260+ pages, and was published in 1992.

These are great additions to your Buick library of information.

NOTE - We recently acquired a limited supply of these two books from the 1990s. Once our stock is sold, there are no more. Order now, while supplies last.

Here are the 3 options for these books.


6618 - “Guide to 1978-1987 Buick Grand National, T-Type and GNX - FACTS & FIGURES - SERIES #II” Book by Steven L. Dove - $18.95

AND Guide to 1978-1987 Buick Grand National, T-Type and GNX - “THE FACTS & FIGURES BOOK - SERIES #II” Book - $30 / 2 book set (Save $7.90)

Here is a link to these books 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 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, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc.) If it doesn't link in one browser, it may work in another.

Most people having problems are using Internet Explorer… If you are having issues with links, try another browser to see if it works.

You may need to "UPDATE" your browser to be use you are using the current version.


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.


September 18th and 19th, 2015
Cecil County Dragway, Maryland - Interstate 95 and MD Route 272 (Exit 100)
I plan to be there Saturday only.
Host Hotel - Comfort Inn, phone 410-287-7100
Free Vending
For more information, contact Doug Dougherty 302-653-2201 or John Csordas 914-447-6068 or email - [email protected]

35th Annual GS NATIONALS 2015
October 14-17, 2015
Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Here is a link to the event on their website:


We drove by our old house the other night. Before we moved from 1482 Sugarbottom Road, my granddaughter Devyn and I carved our names on a fence post by the side of the road next to our neighbor’s house. The carving is still visible. Devyn was probably 7 or 8 years old at the time!