11-09-2016 Inner Circle

11-09-2016 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members 11-09-2016 -


With Veterans Day this coming Friday, I wanted to pause and reflect. I would like to share short memories about several men in my life who all served in the military.

I want to tell the story of my father, Salem Kirban who served in the Navy and later flew to Vietnam as a private citizen. He would stay with me in Nha Trang for a week.

Next, a story about my father-in-law, Nick Tinari who witnessed firsthand the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Next a little about Bob Held, who was an artist and friend. While in the service he did various illustrations for the military and later would become the Art Director for Hurst.

Lastly, a little about Bob Conner, who was a long-time personal friend of my family. He and I would travel around the U.S. with my Dad for over 10 years. He was a tail gunner in a B29 aircraft.

I feel I owe it to these four men to tell their story this week. Like most that served in WW II, you had to pry war stories out of them. My Dad did not enter the war until near the end, since he was just out of Girard College.


My Dad served in the Navy as a dental assistant on Navy ship. Throughout this life he saved all those letters and poems that he wrote my Mom and letters my Mom wrote him while he was in the Navy. I now have those letters.

After his time in the Navy he went on to start his own Advertising Agency. One of his early clients was another Navy veteran who developed the “SLINKY” Toy. I remember my Mom telling me they used to package Slinkys on the kitchen table almost every night. I have original artwork for the Slinky Dog ads from 1952.

Jump forward to 1966 and my Dad puts his next big idea into operation. He plans to take a worldwide fact-finding trip that included stopping in Nha Trang Vietnam and staying with me for a week. This was all ground work for his first book entitled, “Goodbye Mr. President.”

He would later write over 50 books, all self-published. Two of his books would see sales of over half million copies in the 1970s. The two biggest sellers were “666” and “Guide to Survival.” All the books I have written combined won’t ever come even close to those numbers.

My Dad was always against the Vietnam War. He certainly was not alone in that thinking. It was cool having my Dad follow me around that week in Vietnam. At the time I was the photographer and editor for the 17th Combat Aviation Group newsletter. The week he was there, we went on several assignments together up the coast of Vietnam.

PHOTO 1 - Photo on the left shows the first page of an article in the Philadelphia Bulletin from Sunday, October 29th 1967 after my Dad made his historic trip to Vietnam. The top photo on the right shows some original artwork and an ad for the SLINKY toy dog. The lower middle photo shows one edition of the book he wrote about Vietnam, “Goodbye Mr. President.” The lower right is a photo of my Mom and my Dad in his Navy uniform. If I had to guess this was probably taken around 1944-1945. Mom was very stylish and had a great smile.


I know I have covered his story in the past around December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, but it’s still worth telling again. I doubt any of us can even come close to imagining what it must have been like to look up in the skies that fateful morning and see the Japanese insignia on the planes as they flew over Hawaii. It’s equally hard to visualize the horror he would be exposed to over the next several weeks as they attended to the dead and wounded Americans from that surprise attack. I consider it an honor that my mother-in-law has passed a piece of one of the Japanese planes that Nick had saved all these years down to me.

PHOTO 2 - Top left photo shows Nick Tinari in his Army uniform. The top middle photo shows the huge tattoo my father-in-law got on his chest the day before Pearl Harbor was bombed. He got it done in one sitting. One can say this tattoo protected him the next day and for the rest of the way. The top right photo shows the one piece from one of the downed Japanese planes that Nick recovered and kept as a keepsake. The lower photo shows him working on military vehicles after the bombing.


Bob Held, attended art school in the late 1930s before entering the military. His skills at illustrations and cartoons came in very handy in the military. He did numerous promotional ads for the military, cartoons, and even had his artwork appear as a cover on the popular Colliers magazine. Colliers Magazine was like Look and Life magazines, back in the day. I remember him showing me photos of when he was part of the detail that came upon one of the Nazi concentration camps. Photos that would make most of us Americans sick in our stomachs.

After his time in the service, Bob would free lance for major companies. Then one day in the early 1960s he landed a job he would have until he retired in the mid-1980s. He became the Art Director for Hurst and did all the ads and decals that many of you have seen at one time or another in magazines. In some cases, if you look real close, you can see his last name in the decal!

Ironically, Bob was not a car guy and thought the job at Hurst would only last a few years. Instead it lasted over 25 years until he retired. When his wife moved out of their house, I was able to get all his original artwork, both on Hurst and from when he was in the service. I even have artwork he submitted when he was in art school in the late 1930s.

PHOTO 3 - The top and lower left photos show just a few of the illustrations Bob did during World War II. I probably have over 20 different drawings. The top and lower right photos show 4 of the popular decals he did for Hurst. Besides doing all the various decals, he also did all the full-page ads for Hurst for the car magazines such as Car Craft and Hot Rod. Hurst did a tremendous amount of advertising during the 1960s and 1970s. I am sure Bob was kept busy.


Bob Conner was a longtime personal friend of my Dad. During the 1970s he teamed up with my Dad and I. My Dad would line up speaking engagements for 7-10 days at a stretch every month. Over that 10-year span we covered almost every state. Bob and I handled the sale of my Dad’s books after his nightly talks. Usually, during my Dad’s talks, Bob and I would look for a pool hall and go shoot pool for an hour rather than hear my Dad’s same speech every night.

It was a good time. I got to see a good bit of the U.S.A. On some of these trips I would haul an open car trailer around and usually buy a car to bring home and resell.

In the 1990s Bob would suffer several strokes and be confined to a nursing home in eastern Tennessee. Fortunately, during this time, I was picking up Turbo Regals all around the east coast area and I would stop and visit him. Although he could no longer talk, his face would light up when I would stop by to see him. When it was time for his wife to sell their house and move into a nursing home herself, I was able to salvage several war mementos that Bob had saved. Bob had even kept all the letters he had written his Mom during the war. His Mom even numbered them. I even found a small note book where Bob had penciled various illustrations of aircraft so he knew what to shoot at.

PHOTO 4 - Shows Bob Conner with his 52nd Squadron. Bob is the first guy in the first row on the left. To the right of the photo is a complete list of all the missions he was on, showing the dates and targets. The dates are 1945 and most of the combat missions are cities in Japan including Tokyo. The color photo is from one of the Kirban Reunion events held at the airbase we did in 1991 or 1992. The other photo shows Bob Conner in front of my 1964 GTO. We had some great times together when we traveled. He was a good pool player!


I went to see the movie “Hacksaw Ridge,” which was based on the heroic deeds of Desmond Doss. The movie is very accurate in depicting the heroic efforts that Desmond did by himself over a 12-hour period, getting approximately 75 wounded fellow soldiers to safety during the last days of World War II.

It’s just a shame the real Desmond Doss passed away a few years earlier and never got to see this great work based on his heroic deeds. Prior to this movie, I had never heard of Desmond Doss and his accomplishments. It is nothing short of amazing what he did single handed in battle, without ever carrying a rifle or firing a single shot based on his religious beliefs. It is a must-see movie for any veteran but be forewarned, it does show a lot of blood and death.


A 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 Coupe is available for sale. Car is Venom red with black interior. The car has air conditioning, power locks, power windows, and CD player. Viper has just 17,000 original miles by one single owner. Car is priced at $50,000. John Tubbs. For more info, his email is - [email protected]


As you read this, I have several more of these refurbished lower steering shafts, part #7574, in route to me. They are getting increasingly tougher to find and refurbish. The price is $109.95 and $10 UPS ground shipping to the basic 48 states. You must email me direct - [email protected] - if you want one from this next shipment.


In case you missed this last week, our long time friend Trey Crease is back in the hospital. He needs your prayers. The last time he was hospitalized earlier this year, it was for over 70 days as he had contacted MRSA in his blood. The MRSA has now returned with a vengeance in his lower spine and surrounding tissue. He has to make some tough decisions on what approach to take. The one option is a risky 12-hour operation with a heavy dosage of antibiotics. He would love to hear from you. His email is [email protected]

We need to keep his spirits up. Prayers can work wonders.

For several years in the mid-1990s Trey operated Zero-to-Sixty Performance and he would set up at the GS Nationals in Bowling Green next to our vendor spot. He had an extensive used parts business that many of you long-time owners will remember. Prior to starting his own business, he began working for my company around 1987.


Remember, in order to see the Rare Parts selection each week you need to be an Inner Circle member and it’s free. If you get the Inner Circle every Wednesday direct to your email account, you are already a subscriber. The Rare Parts are always listed at the end of the email version.

If you view it just on the website, that version does NOT include the Rare Parts section.

To subscribe to the Inner Circle and receive it directly to your personal email, email [email protected] and simply request it. It’s free!


This book, “POWER PAC BUICK PERFORMANCE AND RESTORATION TIPS” by Steven L. Dove is now out of print and is no longer on our website. It was part #6791. See the Rare Parts section for new pricing on the few remaining copies we still have.


As I write this issue, I have received my grey pallex material.

We just received various lengths of original grey pallex material. This is the original material for any 1986-1987 Grand National seats and upper door panels.

We have various lengths available from as little as 24 inches, which would do the upper portion of both door panels - to as much as 3 yards, which would do both inserts on both front bucket seats as well as the top half of both door panels.

Email me direct - [email protected] - for exact details and prices.

To my knowledge, no one has recreated or reproduced the original grey pallex material for these cars. While several reproductions exist and are worthy reproductions, they are no exact match to the originals.

I think I can also get the black pallex. Email me if you are interested in the black pallex material. It appears that in the Turbo Regals only the Grand Nationals received the pallex type of material. All the other colors were based on another material.


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]


Here is a tip to help you get a better seal between the door window and the new reproduction weather strip.

One of the toughest projects to do is to replace the door seal weatherstrips. It’s even more of a challenge if you have T-Tops. Water always runs downhill, and when you have a Turbo Regal that means the carpets can get wet and the ECM in the passenger’s side kick panel can have corrosion issues. The goal is to be able to insert a single dollar bill and have it be snug around the entire window in the up position where it meets the door opening weather stripping.

This is a goal that can be very challenging no matter what brand of reproduction weatherstripping you are using.

First and foremost, you should have the rear seat braces and front braces installed to keep the body from flexing.

Next, purchase several feet of the various small sizes of black vacuum hose.

The object is to get a snug fit with the dollar bill against the weather stripping you installed around the entire window. It’s almost impossible to do with your 30-year-old car. It’s even tougher if you have T-Tops.

So, you need to cheat a bit. This is where the small diameter vacuum hose is used. Once you are satisfied you have the weatherstrip the best it can be, use small amounts of the vacuum hose behind the weak areas, so the weatherstrip pushes out against the door glass. When done correctly, the vacuum hose can’t be seen and wind noise and water leaks will be at a minimum or a thing of the past. Relying on profanity is not going to cure the problem.


We have our new Slip-on Grey & Black Front Seat Covers (2) and Seat Belt Covers (2) Set in stock, part #7750.
Here is a link to these seat covers on the website:

We now have part #7748 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal - 4 Connector Plugs & Hardware Kit with Buick Manual Holder in stock.
Here is a link to this kit on our website:

We now have stock of the Cam Shaft Sensor, part #7749.
Here is a link to this sensor on the website:

The new Powder-coated Glossy Black Front Rotors (2) Set, Part #7734 is now in stock. Here is the link on our website:

The TR-6 High Tech Ignition System, Part #7442 and the TR-6 High Tech Ignition System and Custom Cut High-Performance Grey Plug Wires Set #7443 are now available. Here is a link on our website:

The new Reproduction Belt Tensioner with New Pulley is now in stock, Part #7733.
Here is the link on our website:

The Reproduction Windshield Washer Bottle is now in stock. Part #7237.
Here is a link to this windshield washer bottle on our website:

Once again we have more of the popular PYPES PERFORMANCE (Non-Polished Stainless Steel) Dual Exhaust System, part #6996, in stock.
Here is a link to this Pypes dual exhaust system on our website:


Here is the information on our credits for cores.

We currently need original good 1986-1987 AC Delco mass air flow sensors. We allow $40 Letter of Credit for each correct AC Delco core. See photo 2 in 7-13-2016 Inner Circle to determine if you have the proper mass air flow sensor we need.

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

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

UPS - Ship to Address -
6201 Kellers Church Road


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. Keep in mind, I have very little knowledge of the mechanical workings of the engine.


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


1984-1987 Grand National / GNX and 1984-1987 T-Type -

With the price and limited availability of original grey and black pallex material for Grand Nationals and GNXs, it is important to protect your original seats from any dirt, wear, everyday mishaps and UV rays.

After much research, we found a high-quality set of grey and black slip-over seat covers for the bucket seat format. The bucket seat covers (2) are a one-piece design for each bucket seat.

Included with the set of covers are two small covers for the seat belts, if you want to use them.

The set does NOT include covers for the headrests.

These have been tested for fit by one of our long-time customers. After trying out two different brands of seat covers, this is brand he picked for quality and fitment.

Installation is quite simple and requires no tools or mechanical skills! You don't even have to remove the headrest to install the seat cover.
The seat covers are secured by elastic straps and velcro.

The center of each seat cover is a dark shade of grey with black on the sides of the cover, which is a very similar design to the original Grand National seats. These also look good in a Turbo Regal with a grey interior.

The material is 65% polyester and 35% synthetic rubber, and are machine washable.

The seat covers are plain - no logos or printing. They provide superior protection against wear, spills, moisture, and UV rays. These seat covers are also water resistant.

Our other photos show the cover on a Grand National seat right after they were put on. Any wrinkles clear once the covers are on for a while.

NOTE - The colors in our photos on our website may not represent these covers exactly due to computer monitor differences.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7516 GM Plastic Front Seat Belt Cap Covers (2) Set and #7479 GM Licensed Reproduction Front Bucket Grey Seat Belts (4 pieces) Set.

NOTE - This set includes 2 seat covers and 2 seat belt covers.

Another excellent protective item for your car.

7750 - 1984-1987 Grand National / GNX -
Slip-on Grey & Black Front Seat Covers (2) and Seat Belt Covers (2) Set - $69.95 / set

Here is a link to these seat covers on the website:

1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am -

Over time, the cam shaft sensor (cam sensor) can develop wear issues, which can affect the signal it sends to the ignition module and then to the ECM. Its purpose is to provide a reference point for the cam shaft. The ECM must see a signal from the cam shaft sensor for the engine to start.

This is one of the components related to the ignition circuit that is unique to only the 1984-1987 Turbo Regals and 1989 Turbo Trans Ams. It is not a stock auto store part and can cost over $300 or more.

This cam shaft sensor is brand new. It is 100% exactly like the GM sensor, and it even has the GM part number stamped on the shaft. One of the few parts that is aftermarket, yet has the GM part number on the shaft. This may be an instance where one supplier may be the actual manufacturer and they get packaged under various company names.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7723 CCCI (Computer Controlled Coil Ignition) Sensor Check Module, #7043 Cam Sensor Cap with LED Indicator, #7083 Rebuilt ECM Control Module, 7637 AC DELCO Coil Pack, and #7639 Aftermarket Ignition Module.

Another excellent replacement sensor.

7749 - 1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal and 1989 Turbo Trans Am -
Cam Shaft Sensor - $249.95

Here is a link to this sensor on the website:

1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
4 CONNECTOR PLUGS & Hardware KIT with Buick Manual Holder

Because of the age of these cars, we are seeing more of the factory plastic wire connector tabs getting broken off on sensors as owners replace them over the years. Owners then revert to a plastic wire tie strap to secure the plug to the sensor.

Working with Casper’s Electronics, we had them make up a kit that includes the main connector ends which are subject to breakage. These connector plugs include one for the wastegate solenoid, the TPS sensor, the mass air flow sensor, and the special long narrow one that plugs into the coil pack module.

We also added 3 powder-coated black C-clips that GM used to secure the throttle cables to the throttle body and the waste gate actuator rod to the turbo. There is also additional internal hardware to secure the wire ends to the plugs included in the kit.

These are all items that are not easily found in any auto store.

As a bonus, we include a nice used original Buick blue vinyl manual holder for your glove box.

A great buy, and something you’ll appreciate the first time you need to use any item from this "emergency kit."

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7161 TPS Sensor, #7045 Rebuilt Original AC DELCO Mass Air Flow Sensor, #7637 AC DELCO Coil Pack, and #7639 Aftermarket Ignition Module.
This is another great restoration kit.

7748 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal - 4 Connector Plugs & Hardware Kit with Buick Manual Holder - $39.95 / kit

Here is a link to this kit on our website:

1982-1988 G-Body (Including Buick Turbo Regal)
and 1982-1987 FIREBIRD/CAMARO -

Because of the hub design on the stock front brake rotors it’s difficult to find powder-coated front rotors for your Turbo Regal.

Bare metal rotors quickly turn to rust. You spend the money for nice wheels only to have rust appear on the front brake rotors. Even if the rotors have a zinc coating, it quickly wears off.

Our source custom made a template to protect certain areas from the powder coating, so the coating does not go into the center bearing area or the exposed brake pad area. They also powder coat the entire edge (lip), which is usually the first area to rust. A high-heat glossy black powder coating is used.

The end result is a good looking rotor that stays good looking.

You pay anywhere from $60 to $75 a pair for bare metal rotors. For just a few dollars more you can buy these brand new powder-coated glossy black front rotors.

NOTE - If you are interested in another color, contact us. We may be able to do a custom color set of rotors for you.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7716 Reproduction of the GM Aluminum Brake Drums (2) Set - 10-BOLT, #7717 Reproduction of the GM Aluminum Brake Drums (2) Set - 12-BOLT, #7218 Stainless Braided Brake Hoses (3) Kit.

Another nice finishing touch that also prevents rust!

7734 - 1982-1988 G-Body (Including Buick Turbo Regal) and 1982-1988 Firebird/Camaro -
Powder-coated Glossy Black Front Rotors (2) Set - $109.95 / 2-piece set
1982-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) -

Here is a link to these Rotors on our website:

1982-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) -

Because of the age of these cars, the original windshield washer bottle has probably turned yellow or is dirty.

Now you can make the engine compartment look new by replacing it with a reproduction windshield washer bottle.

First photo shows this bottle, and second photo shows it under the hood.

If you are replacing this bottle, it’s the perfect time to replace the old bottle with a new GM radiator overflow bottle, part #7600.

Our lower photo shows both bottles under the hood.
NOTE - This washer bottle does NOT come with the cap. The Reproduction Windshield Washer Cap, part #7632, can be purchased separately.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7632 Windshield Washer Bottle Reproduction Cap, #7600 GM Radiator Overflow Bottle, and #7706 Factory Inner Fender Bolts Powder-coated Glossy Black (10) Set.

This is another great engine restoration item.

7237 - 1982-1987 Buick Regal (Including Turbo Regal) -
Reproduction Windshield Washer Bottle - $29.95

Here is a link to this windshield washer bottle on our website:

1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

The wastegate solenoid, turbocharger and wastegate actuator are connected by three vacuum hoses and a grey plastic “Y” fitting.

This replacement Y connector is similar in size with the correct orifice in the one outlet which match the original vacuum T. When you install this new Y, you will need to insert the same hose into the metal orifice opening as the original T.

Inside the one side of the connector “Y” fitting there is a metal orifice, which allows only a small amount of vacuum to pass through. If the “Y” or surrounding vacuum hoses are damaged or cracked, you can have an over boost condition.

You should also check the three hoses for possible cracks due to heat or swelling at the ends. This could cause engine damage from leaning out the air/fuel mixture.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #6696 Adjustable Wastegate Actuator, #6952 High-Pressure Adjustable Wastegate Actuator, and #7495 RJC Racing Boost Controller.
Another excellent replace item for the engine.

7704 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal - Replacement Boost Line Vacuum T - $28.95

Here is the link to this replacement boost line vacuum T 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.


Coming soon - Our annual Christmas Specials list. We almost have this ready to print.