12-07-2016 Inner Circle

12-07-2016 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members 12-07-2016 -

GNX COUNT 200 / 500 / 547 -

The GNX project started out as a proposal with ASC based on building 200 special edition Grand Nationals. I have a copy of the letter stating this from ASC dated July 28th, 1986. I believe the GNX name tag was not discussed at this point in time.

The 200 number was then bumped to 500. This number - 500 - was widely promoted in various ads and is shown as the number on the large ASC GNX poster. In an April 22nd, 1987 letter to various Buick dealers, Buick stated that there would be 500 identically equipped Grand Nationals that would become GNX’s. Again, I have proof of this figure.

In all these years since 1987 I have never seen it anywhere officially, in print how the count would reach 547 from GM or Buick. Finding something explaining the 547 number has always eluded me. I do have a copy of a letter from Molly Design to actual GNX owners about the hardbound GNX book. In that letter it states the reader of this letter is one of the fortunate 547 people that own a Buick / ASC GNX automobile.

About two months ago I got a call from the current owner of GNX #547 who resides in New Jersey. This highly-collectible car has been shown at two of our Reunion events. He told me he was thinking of selling GNX #547. As most of you now know, it will be a featured car in a few short weeks at the Mecum auction in Florida.

When he was talking to me he said he had a letter from the previous owner explaining the additional 47 GNXs that Buick/ASC produced. I told him I would love to have a copy of that letter.

PHOTO 1 - Here we show a copy of the letter from the North Side Buick Company. They are located in Pittsburgh, PA. The letter explains that this GNX 547 was the last one of the 47 made for the Select Sixty Buick Dealers in 1987. This is how Buick arrived at 547 being produced.

I have no idea what the Select Sixty Buick Dealers are, or what they had to do to achieve that honor. It appears whatever they had to do, they were awarded a GNX and it increased production to 547.

The letter says,

“April 26, 1988

This 1987 Buick GNX, Serial No 1G4GJ1171HP453619 was one of 47 made for the Select Sixty Buick Dealers in 1987 by Buick Motor Division.

This vehicle #547 carries the last number labeled by Buick Motor Division.”

Ron, the original GNX owner, happen to be at the right time at the Buick dealer that owned the last of the 47 extras produced and he made a smart move. An even smarter move was turning down Buick’s offer for him to trade that GNX #547 for GNX #500 and a brand new Reatta.

Now you have the facts on how the GNX project jumped from 200 to 500 to finally 547 produced.


As many of you know, GNX #547 with just 68 actual miles will be one of the featured vehicles next month at the Mecum Auction in Florida. It is listed as Lot F-155, which is going to be auctioned off Friday, January 13th.

We will be having a contest for our readers prior to this auction to see who can guess the closest to the actual stated selling price without going over.

Watch for this contest after Christmas!

This GNX should bring the most money of all other GNXs, not only because it is documented as the last one - #547, but the fact both owners have been very good caretakers of this car for almost 30 years.

This Mecum auction has at least three other 1987 Grand Nationals and one 1986 Grand National featured.

In looking at those examples on the Mecum website, most appear very nice on the outside, but under the hoods of some of them show they need some major attention. I can see our parts on some of them.

The one Grand National that will perk interest is Lot T-126, which will be auctioned Thursday, January 12th. It is listed at no reserve, and it’s a hardtop Grand National with 15,000 actual miles.

A vehicle that you need a sense of humor to own is Lot F-132, a custom Morris Minor Tow Truck. I’m not sure how functional it is, but it would make a nice advertising sign for a tow truck company. If I was still in the towing business, it would be neat to own. Or, perhaps it would be useful for towing vehicles with a curb weight of less than 2,000 pounds!


I have gone through some of my boxes of literature to weed out some of the ones I have in duplicate. These would be original Buick literature. All are reasonably priced and listed in the Rare Parts section of this Inner Circle. Most of them you can’t find today anywhere.

PHOTO 2 - We show a group of the rare original Turbo Buick booklets, etc. that we have in duplicate that are listed in the Rare Parts section of this Inner Circle for sale. These items are some of the hardest items to find related to our now 30-year-old cars! The top left in the photo shows November 1994, January 1996, and April 1998 original GM Production Option Booklets. The top right in the photo shows the 1985 and 1986 Buick Salesman vinyl pocket holders. Across the bottom we show the 1984, 1985 and 1986 original Buick Price Directories. These list every Buick Option for that year, the SPID code for that option, and the original GM list price for that option. You can clearly see how many of each I have for sale.

Ed Lipman, a customer of ours, sent me a May 1999 GM Production Option booklet. This was an issue I did not have. It lists the T2L code showing the GNX package. This would be the earliest month and year I am aware of that lists the GNX package with the T2L code.

I never saw it before it appears in my March 2001 issue. I now have a total of six different original GM Production Option code booklets. If you recall, we pictured them as Photo 2 in the 11-23-2016 Inner Circle.


In last week’s Inner Circle we featured Bowling Green’s Custom Catalog among three other companies. As I said, the original owner of Bowling Green Customs was Lloyd Tarter.

I first met Lloyd at the 1988 GS Nationals. Lloyd had a 1987 Grand National at the time. (Years later I would buy this car from a person that bought it from him). Back in 1988, you could count the Buick vendors at the GS Nationals on one hand. Lloyd worked at the Corvette plant. One year he gave us a private tour on a Sunday when the plant was closed. It’s safe to assume he held a fairly high up position at the Plant. He retired years ago and started to do the embroidered trunk kits that we sold for a number of years. He did a lot of various Corvette trunk kits as well. He recently quit doing them as he and his wife have now retired and moved to sunny Florida.

Speaking of trunk kits, the source that makes our plain 9-piece GREY trunk kit, part #6510, now makes a BLACK 9-piece trunk kit, part #7764 for the Turbo Regals. This gives you two options for a nice full cover trunk kit to eliminate the ill-fitting flimsy factory black carpet. This 9-piece set does not include one for the trunk lid, since Buick never offered one for the trunk lid as it would hide the SPID label. We should have some of both colors of these kits available in the next 5-7 days.


In my travels to various junkyards, among my discoveries I have found that Cadillac had an accessory trunk mat. This appears to have been an option since I don’t see many of them in trunks. What is nice about this trunk mat, is either side can be used depending on the situation. If your car leaks oil, use the rubber side of the mat. The other side is a grey material that matches almost every car trunk carpet. It measures 34 inches by 36 inches, almost a perfect square. Although a little too big for the Turbo Regals, it’s the perfect size for the floor under the front end or can be used in various other car trunks. I use two of them in two of our daily cars. I use others in my pole barn, including one under my Turbo-T.

I think certain Buick models may have offered a trunk accessory mat as well, but I have not found any in the last 2-3 years. In the last several years, I have found about 10 of the Cadillac accessory mats. They are almost always in near mint condition since most Cadillac owners generally did not haul junk in their trunks!

PHOTO 3 - We show both sides of the 34 inch by 36 inch Cadillac accessory trunk mat. The carpet side is shown on the left and the rubber side is shown on the right. Some mats have the Caddy Crest emblem on it and some have the Cadillac script logo on it. Both are very nice heavy-duty mats. See the Rare Parts section as we would be willing to sell a few of them.


Many of you may have read that Tom Shaw, past editor of Muscle Car Review, author, contributor and photographer for many other car magazines, passed away due to a car accident.

I have known him for several years and recently he emailed me about the aluminum drums that we had made through A1 Cardone. He will be sorely missed as he had a great love for the muscle cars of old.


I always called them the suit and tie guys, but their real names are Randy Fox and Irv Heller. Both worked at the Seventh Day Adventist headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland, and of course wore a suit and tie to work. Both Randy and Irv owned Grand Nationals. We became very good friends. I ended up buying Irv’s Grand National as well as his S10 truck. During the mid-to-late 1990s they would find for me over 60 cars that I would buy. Some they delivered and some I would meet them with my truck and trailer just off I-95 at an Olive Garden restaurant.

Of the over 60-plus cars the suit and tie guys found and I bought, 37 were 1986-1987 Turbo Regals. They also found a Syclone and a Turbo Trans Am that I bought and sold. Besides buying the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals, I had them also find me the Fox Body Mustangs all 5-speed notch backs, 1987-1991 BMW 325 models, and 525/535 BMW models. I would mostly buy the manual shift ones.

I would advertise these cars locally. My one friend had a local BMW repair shop and he found customers for many of the BMWs that I would buy. The suit and tie guys (Randy Fox and Irv Heller) are pictured several times in the book, “Kirban’s Guide to Buying a Used 1986 & 1987 Buick Turbo Regal.”

They also found for me the 1998 Dodge Dakota V8 truck in Virginia that I would use for trailering Turbo Regals until I wrecked it in Ohio few years later. These guys were terrific to work with and really knew the quality of cars I was seeking.

PHOTO 4 - The top photo shows the 1989 white 525 five-speed BMW that Pete Serio (the Window Rattle Guy) in Ohio found that I bought and drove number of years. The middle BMW is one of the rare 1995 BMW M3 models with the luxury package. I would use this car to go pick up several Turbo Regals with Trey Crease who used to work for me at the time. The BMW Z3 roadster on the far right was my wife’s Z3 M roadster. The lower photo shows a line-up of 5 of the desirable 1987-1991 3 series BMWs. The first one is the red BMW 1987 325is that was my personal car for many years. It was from this car we made the very first cold air kits for that we sold to Bavarian Autosport, a major mail-order BMW supplier. There was a huge gap in the car’s quality from the 1987 BMW 325is when compared to our 1987 Grand National!


See the New Products section as we have added three new products. We will be adding several more in the next several weeks. It’s amazing how many products are available for our cars.


For Sale - 2005 GTO Midnite Blue Metallic, a one year only color. It has M6 black interior, full SAP Package, and has been under car cover in a garage with only 915 actual miles. Still has Australian air in the tires! Only the battery has been changed. Price is $29,999. (See Impala SS ad below for more info).

For Sale - 1996 Impala SS BBB Black with grey interior, ATR exhaust, Hotchkis anti-sway bars, has complete Police car body mounts with GNX bushing over the rear end. Wheels look brand new, never curbed. Car is very clean underneath. Garage kept under cover. Price is $17,000. Car has 73,XXX actual miles.

Both cars located in South Carolina.

If you are interested, email Ed [email protected] for pictures on both cars and more information.


I already have counted the M&Ms and they’re in the Christmas container for our Annual Christmas Contest. The plan is to have the contest next week, so the winner can have the container with the M&Ms before Christmas.


If you bought one of the refurbished upgrade steering shafts, part #7574, sometime in the past, we want to hear from you. We would also like a photo showing it installed in your Turbo Regal and would also like to have your input on what difference you felt over the original lower steering shaft.

Please email me direct [email protected]


As you read this I should have the black pallex I ordered finally in my hands. I can’t price it yet as I don’t know if it’s one 3 yard section or a bunch of smaller pieces. I am almost sold out of the various size grey pallex I have. I also have been told I bought the last grey pallex material he has in his shop. That is also coming with the black I ordered 3-4 weeks ago.

So, if you want black pallex you must email me now [email protected] and in your email state how many feet you are seeking. I plan to order more once I visibly check what I got coming to make sure it is 100% correct original as described to me. There is no substitute for the original pallex material. What you as a Grand National or GNX owner have to decide is if your car is worth doing it correctly.

On a similar note, I may have located some of the 1987 Turbo Regal grey material. This would be the correct material that came in every WE4 seat and upper door panels and also any 1987 Turbo-T that had grey interior. I will post this info once I see it is correct.

The grey limited material I had last week in the Inner Circle was supposed to be this grey material and it wasn’t. I sold it to someone that had a Turbo-T Limited. It can be very confusing when you are looking for original material from almost 30 years ago, since GM used a lot of different colors.


Here is a link to the Christmas Specials on our website:


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]


The longer you put off installing the missing body bushings or replacing all the body bushings, the tougher it may be to remove the bolts. If the bolt snaps, it can be very costly and time consuming to repair.


We now have the new replacement EGR Vacuum Solenoid, part #7762, in stock.
Here is the link to this replacement EGR Vacuum Solenoid on our website:

We have our new Slip-on Grey & Black Front Seat Covers (2) and Seat Belt Covers (2) Set are 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.


1984-1987 Buick Regal -

One of the very desirable options that GM offered in the Buick Regal was a fully carpeted trunk kit that also covered the spare tire and the side panels in your Regal. Besides the nice appearance, it also helps to protect the inner fender walls from being dented from any objects you would carry in the trunk.

The discontinued GM kit consisted of seven different grey pieces. We used the original pieces to develop an improved trunk kit.

We offer this trunk kit in two colors - BLACK (part #7764) or GREY (part #6510.)

NOTE - Our photo shows the GREY material trunk kit. If you are ordering from this page on the website, you would receive the BLACK trunk kit, part #7764.

Our kit consists of nine different pieces (two more pieces than GM and some have a diecut backing like factory), all of which are clearly marked, and kit comes with placement instructions.

Once installed there are no unfinished edges in your trunk, even the hinge brackets are covered.

NOTE - We are now including a special Trunk Kit Installation DVD, Part #7056 at no charge when you purchase our trunk kit.

NOTE - You may also be interested in this related grey trunk kit - #6510 Factory-style GREY Trunk Kit, 9 pieces.

Another nice finishing touch to any trunk interior or restoration.

7764 - 1984-1987 Buick Regal -
Factory-Style BLACK Trunk Kit, 9 pieces - $179.95

NOTE - Trunk Kit includes a FREE Trunk Kit Installation DVD, Part #70561984-1987 Buick Regal Factory Style

Here is the link to this black trunk kit on our website:

1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

If you plan to go racing and want to remove your AC/heater this is the delete panel that replaces it and bolts to your firewall.

This machine aluminum AC/Heater delete panel actually fits all the 1978 through 1988 G-body cars. No drilling is required, since it uses all the factory holes and hardware.

Removing the AC unit and heater box eliminates 30 lbs.

Panel measures approximately 23" x 14" and is powder-coated semi glossy black for a lasting finish. This machined aluminum panel is the part you need to replace the heater box on the firewall.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7521 Reproduction Heater Core and #KE003 Used Original AC Delco “MADE IN ENGLAND” Radiator Cap.

Another great engine dress up item.

7765 - 1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
Machined Aluminum AC/Heater Delete Panel - $112

Here is the link to this delete panel on our website:

1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

Here is another option that provides even more strength to keep the front end nice and tight and helps to eliminate rattles.

The bars in this kit are 1-1/4" diameter. The bars in the other kits we offer, #6756 and #6564 are 1" tube construction.

This brace is powder-coated glossy black powder coating for a lasting look.

This welded triangle brace will only fit if you retain the stock intercooler on your 1986 or 1987 Turbo Regal. It will NOT clear other modified intercoolers.

All the necessary grade 8 hardware are included. Like our other braces, this requires no holes to be drilled. It uses existing holes. The mounting pads are laser cut.

The total weight of this triangle bar is just under 10 lbs.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #1586 Powder-coated Black Rear Seat Frame Brace Kit®, #6756 Powder-coated Black Connecting Front Brace, #6564 Powder-coated Black Front Frame Braces (2), #7169 Reproduction GNX Rear Seat Brace Kit, #6744 Powder-coated Black Under-the-hood Brace Kit, #7305 Reproduction Body Mount Bushings/Cushions (22) Kit, #7306 Aftermarket 4-Piece LOWER Body Bushings/Cushions (4) Kit, #7307 Aftermarket 6-Piece LOWER Body Bushings/Cushions (6) Kit.

A nice suspension upgrade to eliminate rattles.

7766 - 1984-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -
Powder-coated Glossy Black Welded Triangle Front Brace & Hardware - $234.95

Here is a link to this front brace on our website:

1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal -

Over time, the EGR vacuum solenoid can fail, and trigger a code "32”.

The EGR is disabled at wide open throttle for maximum performance. The purpose of the EGR system is to lower nitrogen levels that are released into the atmosphere from the engine's exhaust. This is accomplished by decreasing the combustion temperature.

The EGR vacuum solenoid pulses the EGR valve many times a second to send the precise amount of exhaust gas back into the intake manifold.

If the EGR vacuum solenoid fails, the diagnostic switch in the EGR solenoid will trigger a code 32.

In states that have emission inspections, if this solenoid fails, it can cause your car to fail the emission test.

The EGR vacuum solenoid is located on the driver’s side of the engine, by the side of the valve cover. It sits behind the EGR valve.

It’s also best to check all the related vacuum lines to EGR vacuum solenoid for any cracks due to age or heat.

This replacement part is exactly like the GM original, there is no difference.

NOTE - You may also be interested in these related parts - #7749 Cam Shaft Sensor or #7161 TPS Sensor.

An excellent replacement part.

7762 - 1986-1987 Buick Turbo Regal - Replacement EGR Vacuum Solenoid - $59.95

Here is a link to this EGR Vacuum Solenoid on our website:

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 is 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) SensorCheck 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:


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.


We are working with another company on a project that is not related to the automotive market, but involves pets, which many of us have. Watch for updates.

Next week we will have the details for our Annual Christmas contest!