08-01-2018 Inner Circle

08-01-2018 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members 08-01-2018 -


A line you probably have heard before. Just some stories are more interesting than others. With over 325 Turbo Regals bought and sold you can imagine how many stories I have. Here is one of the early stories.

In the beginning, I was only buying lower end Turbo Regals not going after the high dollar low mileage examples. One such car was a 1987 burgundy Turbo-T. It was located on the outskirts of Buick City which was actually Flint, Michigan. I was always leery of going to Michigan to buy a used Turbo Regal because of the high risk of rust issues in Michigan.

I contacted Pete Serio who later would become the “window rattle guy”. He drove up from Columbus, Ohio to meet me. Anytime a free meal is offered Pete would meet up with me on various trips near his home town. At the time Buick City as it was known was still in the business of making Buicks. The Regal back then was now a front wheel drive model powered by a 3800 motor.

I knew quite well one of the Buick suit and tie guys and when I was in Flint I contacted him. He arranged for Pete and myself to get a private tour of the Buick engine assembly plant. My friend gave us a personal tour as the plant was between shifts at the time. We got to see how the engines came down the assembly line. This plant ran the 3800 engines. Each station along the way had boxes of parts so the block could be completely assembled as it would come down the assembly line.

At the end of the assembly of the engine it was put on a hoist in another room where each engine was powered up to make sure it ran properly for a few minutes. Engines that had an issue were immediately marked and pulled out of the main hub to be examined.

It was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I could not take any photos nor was I allowed to “pocket” any samples! Pete and I then drove about one hour south of Flint to spend the night.

The next morning was Saturday and I went to a local notary to get a transit plate. This was before I would eventually get a salesman license with O Neil Buick, which provided me with a Pennsylvania dealer plate.

After I did this I was on my way back to the motel to meet Pete. Due to a detour I had to drive through a residential neighborhood. I spotted a huge garage sale at this large home. I figured I would stop since I knew Pete is not an early riser.

So I was looking through the various items at this garage sale and spotted a stack of books. What caught my eye was a paperback book entitled “Guide to Survival.” The price was 25 cents. The book “Guide to Survival” was written by my Dad and actually sold over a ¼ million copies back in the day. I picked up the book and take it up to the lady running the garage sale.

I tell her I know the author personally of this book. She gives me a funny look and then I said I can call him on my cell phone and ask him if 25 cents is a good deal. By then the lady is wondering if all this is true. I then show her my driver’s license, which shows my last name being the same as the author of the book “Guide to Survival”.

I get my Dad on the phone and explain to him where I am etc. Now the lady is quite curious so I then put her on the phone with my Dad. She is besides herself can’t believe she is talking to the actual author of the book “Guide to Survival”. What a small world. After the conversation ended she decided not to sell the book. On this same road trip Pete and I would get a private tour by Rick Hunt of ASC and we also toured the huge Henry Ford Museum.

True story…

PHOTO 1 – A few years back I discovered in our basement the original artwork for the updated cover of the book “Guide to Survival” that my Dad had changed when he hit ¼ million in sales. I had it framed and it now hangs in my office at home. This was one of two books that my Dad wrote that surpassed ¼ million in sales. The other book was entitled “666”. My Dad has written over 50 books to his credit. I on the other hand am way behind that total in numbers!


With Helsinki, Finland in the news recently ironically the one original overseas brochure I have is for a car dealership in Helsinki, Finland. The car models they offer are Nissan, Subaru, GM and Chrysler. The original full color brochure I acquired years ago covers the 1987 car models.

The GM brochure for the Helsinki dealership is a 4-page brochure. Three pages alone cover the 1987 Grand National. It’s only the back page that shows the 1987 Corvette, Chevrolet Caprice and Chevrolet van. Based on the coverage you can clearly see the main focus was on the 1987 Grand National! I wonder how many got sold in Finland?

PHOTO 2 – The top left photo shows the front page of the GM brochure which features the 1987 Grand National. The wording on the cover is in English. The top lower photos show pages 2 and 4 of this 4-page brochure and all the copy is in the Finnish language. The bottom left photo again shows more features of the Grand National and it’s all in the Finland language. The top right photo spotlights the three Chevrolet entries for 1987 that the dealer offers. I have no idea if this dealership is still in operation or how many Grand Nationals did they sell?


Many of you have seen photos of the six-door Ford F-650 truck our son built by combining two older 4 door Ford trucks and creating one 6-door truck and having it look like a 2017 Ford model. His next project will be taking a 1967 Lemans body shell and mating it to a later GM muscle car frame, interior and engine. We won’t tell just yet, which later GM muscle car will be the candidate for the frame, engine, and interior.

PHOTO 3 – Here are 4 photos of Darrell and his helper John lifting the 1967 Lemans body shell off the original frame and drivetrain. As you can see the body will need some major attention. Nothing seems too difficult or much of a challenge for Darrell. While most people that view this would see a major challenge that would take years to complete Darrell views it in a different light. He must get all this talent from his mother since I can’t even perform a tune up on a car!
Watch for updates as the project progresses over the next 10-12 months. It could be turn-key by this time next year!


I attended a local cruise event the other week and saw this 1965 GTO coupe. In talking to the owner, he says the car was on Craig’s list just before Christmas last year. He bought it. Rebuilt the carburetor did the timing chain and replaced the brake lines. The car was last on the road around 1978 when the owner hit a deer with the driver’s fender. The owner pointed out to me how original the car was down the all the small brackets in the engine compartment and even the radiator cap.

He paid ten grand for the car. Had it been around 25 years earlier a car like would have been a parts car. Today, that is not the case as barn finds are becoming the new Gold standard among car collectors. In many cases owners don’t restore them, but simply make them dependable to drive.

PHOTO 4 - Shows this original 1965 GTO. Car is a four speed, which makes it very desirable. Car has a blue interior which is the same interior I had in the 1964 GTO I restored many years ago. Photo on the right shows the engine compartment.


Last week Christina got an order for a pair of door VIN decals for a 1986 Firebird Formula. The owner lives in Moscow.

I reached out to him to get more information about US cars in Russia. He says Corvettes and Mustangs are sold new. He says Russian made cars and trucks are more geared for off the road use, not built for performance. He says you can get 100 octane gas at the pumps and fuel cost about the same as it does in the USA. He has seen some Grand Nationals, and other G-Body cars, but never a GNX. He says the big expense is shipping parts to Russia unless you buy in bulk. He does old muscle car restorations. Currently he is doing three older Mustangs and one Cadillac Eldorado. Also does a lot of LS builds on new and older cars. He says in the summer there are many car shows and races.

My take on this is, while governments may have disagreements, the people in various countries share a similar passion.


One sign was on a Jeep on the canvas spare tire cover. It read “No Problem” under it upside down was the word “Problem.”

The other sign I saw said “Prayer is a fast way to Meet the Lord” “Messing with this car is faster!


We currently submitted four more Turbo Regal banners to our source that holds a GM license for Buick-Olds-Pontiac cars. I expect they will all be approved in the next several weeks. Watch for updates possibly later this month. We are also working with this same source developing various banners for Olds 442, Buick GS models and the popular Pontiac GTO. My wife probably has about 15 or more she will be working on. All this takes time to get the original artwork cleaned up and properly done prior to getting a sample banner made and then having our supplier submit a finished sample for GM’s approval.

So far the most popular Turbo Regal banner has been the GNX/ASC advertisement banner. The second biggest seller is the Grand National with the wall of hubcaps in the background. This is a 2 ft by 4 ft banner. This GNX banner is based on probably the only advertisement ASC did concerning the GNX. I can’t recall ever seeing another GNX ad by ASC.

This same supplier can get the same designs on coffee mugs. We ordered a few to see how they look. Watch for updates, prices and photos shortly.


It was May of 1968 when the first Hot Wheels hit the stores. Here is one trivial fact many of you may not know. Mattel’s co-founder Elliot Handler whose wife created the Barbie Doll came up with the idea for Hot wheels. Prior to this most small metal diecast cars he thought was lackluster and not very agile.

This was pretty cool where both the husband and wife hit a home run with a toy that is still popular 50 plus years later. That very first year 1968 sales totaled 16 million Hot Wheels Cars. Today it is considered the number one selling toy in the world!

Another bit of Hot Wheels trivia. A fact hardly any product can claim is the fact the Hot wheels sold 50 years ago for $1. That price remains $1 today as it has not increased in 50 years. As to what Hot wheels is the rarest and therefore worth big money that title goes to s prototype 1969 VW bus called the Rear Loaded Beach Bomb.

In the year 2000 one of these sold for a cool $72,000. If I paid that kind of money my wife would question my sanity buying a diecast toy no bigger than my finger! Heck today for $100 grand you could buy a fill size restore 1969 VW bus.

I missed that Hot Wheel era as I was already in the Army and actually in Vietnam that year. My diecast HO scale cars pre-dates Hot Wheels as I have an extensive Matchbox collection. My Dad and I had HO trains and matchbox was the cars of choice in the 1950s and 1960s. I have them in a display case in my office at home. I have about 150 of them many with the early style grey wheels which predates the later black wheels. All are in mint condition since they simply where brought out at Christmas time and used on a train platform.


The GM licensed company we deal with made 2 banners that they don’t currently plan to continue to make and they sent them to me. JUST ONE LEFT OF EACH.

We have two different Buick Motorsports banners. Both are on a white background. These are 6 ft wide by 2 ft high. Both banner designs feature the turbo-six logo with the grey Buick Motorsports logo. On one banner the turbo-six logo is all red, and on the other it’s red and orange. These large banners are ideal for a side of a race trailer or display. These are the same high quality as the other GM licensed banners.

The price is $39.95 each. See photo 4 in 07-18-2018 Inner Circle. Total shipping is just $10 even if you buy one or both. You must call our office 215-766-1611 x 0 since we only have 1 of each.


During my search last month for a GNX, I did hear from one-long-time customer of ours that still has his GNX from brand new. It has not been advertised as of yet, that I am aware of. They don’t want to really advertise it and be bombarded with low ball offers.

If you have $127,500 to spend and you want what may be the best GNX, this could be the one. The actual miles are under 600. It still has the New Jersey new car inspection on it. This car is absolutely like it came from the showroom.

Besides the usual items, such as the Window Sticker, jacket, and book, the seller also has the complete numbered #171 series of the Epitome Exclusives Ted Hirsch did many years ago. Besides this, he has all the original related paperwork, various posters, and all the magazines from back in the day related to the GNX project.

If this perks your interest and you got the available funds, email me [email protected] and I can provide more specific details. There are less expensive GNXs available, but when you add up the extras and actual miles, this deal may be tough to beat.


September 14th and 15th, 2018 - Cecil County Dragway, Cecil, Maryland
The MAGNA Group has their annual event September 14th and 15th at Cecil County Dragway in Cecil County, Maryland. This event grows bigger each year and is open to all Buick muscle cars not just the Turbo Regals. We expect to be attending this event. (It falls on my birthday). For more details, go to turbobuick.com - or - their website - magnabuick.com


Good news - We now accept Classified Ads in our weekly Inner Circle emails. Over the years several customers have asked about placing an ad in our weekly Inner Circle.

Here are the options and the costs.

Ads can be from any individual or company. It needs to be automotive related, meaning it does not need be specifically Turbo Regal related. It can be for something for sale or something wanted.

Maximum number of words is 125 words, which is about 7 to 9 lines of copy. No photos. You can list a website. We recommend you state your name, phone number or email, a price, and your location in your ad.

The cost for 2 consecutive weeks is $25. The cost for 4 consecutive weeks is $40. You save $10 with the 4-week plan. No changes can be made to your existing running ad. You can only run one ad at any given time. We will have a code system at the end of your ad, so we will know what week number your ad is to run - 2 or 4 weeks.

It can be an ad for something for sale or an ad for something you are looking for.

We have never missed a single week since we started the Inner Circle email format in 2009. It’s something I enjoy doing and I just always seem to have enough material to write about.

Our weekly Inner Circle reaches over 3,200 members every Wednesday direct to their inbox. The Inner Circle also appears every Wednesday on our website with the related photos. Your ad would be visible to both groups of readers. So, the exposure to your ad is well over 3,200 potential buyers.

My Rare Parts section is only viewed by those that subscribe. Subscription is free, so complaints on what I write are nonexistent!

Ads submitted properly by the previous Sunday would appear that next Wednesday in the weekly Inner Circle. Ads must be submitted by email to - [email protected] 

Payment by credit card must be done by phone to our office 215-766-1611 x 0.


If you are not able to see the Rare Parts section at the end of this Inner Circle, it is because you are not an Inner Circle member, but instead are reading this on the website. You must subscribe to see the Rare Parts section each week. It would go directly to your inbox every Wednesday afternoon. It is FREE, probably one reason why nobody complains about what I write about. Simply email - [email protected] - to get on our weekly Inner Circle email.


NOTE- If you email us and do NOT get a timely reply, be sure to check your “SPAM” folder. Some emails do not go thru.

If you need to email us, use - [email protected]


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]


It’s best to combine several items in your order from us, since it saves on shipping costs.


Here is the information on our credits for cores.

URGENT NEED - Powermaster brake units. The must be complete. We will now issue you a Letter of Credit for $150 for each acceptable core. We currently will not buy any powermaster units outright, only Letter of Credit towards parts.

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. These are the only 2 items we are currently accepting as cores.

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. Please remember I have very little knowledge of the mechanical workings of the engine.


1984-1985-1986 Buick Regal (All Models) -
and 1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
GM Licensed - Reproduction “SPID - RPO” CODES TRUNK LABEL

We offer GM Licensed reproduction SPID-RPO Labels, made by ECS Automotive Concepts. ECS also makes the GM Licensed VIN Door Decals we offer.

If you are having the exterior restored or if your label is damaged or faded, this is the time to replace it.

We need to have a copy of an original label in order to make either label.

NOTE - GM started to use the 1987 format partially through the 1986 model year. The reproduction you order will match whichever is on your car.

The 1984-1985-1986 labels have GM part #14065987. This label will be available at a later date.

The 1987 label has GM part #14085266 and is currently available.

IMPORTANT - They can only do it if you have an existing original label that you can scan or clearly photograph and email to us - [email protected]

They can NOT create a new label from scratch.

However, at some point GM did use the 1987 format on the late production Regals in 1986. So, it is important you see what GM part number is on your trunk label in the lower right hand corner of the gray bar.

The 1984 model was the very first year GM started to use the Regular Production Order (aka RPO) SPID label. In all cases, this label was put on the inside of the trunk lid. Generally, the 1984-1985-1986 was on the left side of the trunk lid and the 1987 label was on the right side of the trunk lid.

This label lists all the codes in alphabetical order, both options and features that came in your Regal. It also has your car’s 17-digit VIN number and the paint code.

Since it is VIN related, this is a critical label for any restoration. If your car’s label is faded or torn, we can get a exact reproduction through ECS Automotive Concepts.

Currently, we can only get the 1987 SPID label - GM #14085266. They are still working on creating the format for the 1984-1985-1986 label - GM #14065987.

Canadian delivered cars had a different SPID RPO label that is not available at this time.

NOTE - Allow 5-7 days for delivery. Label is sent Priority Mail from ECS Automotive Concepts

Another excellent replacement for any exterior restoration.

7835 - 1984-1985-1986 Buick Regal (All Models) - COMING SOON
GM Licensed - Reproduction “SPID - RPO” Codes Trunk Label $60 + $7 Priority Mail shipping

7836 - 1987 Buick Regal (All Models) -
GM Licensed - Reproduction “SPID - RPO” Codes Trunk Label $60 + $7 Priority Mail shipping

Buick Regal Trunk Label SPID RPO Codes - Buick trunk label - BACKGROUND INFO –

The Regular Production Order (aka RPO) codes can be found on the Service Parts Identification (aka SPID) label on the trunk of your Buick Regal.

Starting with the 1984 model year GM began implementing the SPID label program which entailed using an information label listing all of the options and equipment to help technicians service GM vehicles.

They not only included the RPO codes but also Buick paint and trim codes along with such information as spring and sometimes sub assembly codes.

There were several different labels used throughout the four years that the (most common & favored) Buick Turbo Regal was built.

The labels used for 1984, 1985 and partially through 1986 was a white label identified by the part #14065987 in the lower right corner of the label.

These labels also have a protective clear tape over them.

Cars built for the Canadian market utilized this same basic label but with a French language description on the lower half with the part #14065989 in the lower right corner.

Part way through 1986 and for the model year 1987 GM changed the label and it now has the part #14085266 in the lower right corner. The protective clear tape was also not used anymore.

Information on 1987 Canadian market cars is not available at this time.

By ordering a certain option on the vehicle, or ordering a special package, the codes for these options/packages generate many additional codes that are all part of that specific package. These codes are then automatically forced onto the specific build order, and also listed on the SPID label.

Here is a link to this label on our website.

***Here is a link to all our GM Licensed banners on our website.

GM Licensed - “GNX - AD from ASC” 2'W x 3'H VINYL BANNER

This high-quality vinyl banner is GM licensed and measures approximately 2' wide x 3' high. The banner has metal grommets on four corners.

This distinctive GNX design features the extremely rare GNX ad that ASC did back in 1988.

8601 - GM Licensed - “GNX - AD from ASC” 2'W x 3'H Vinyl Banner - $38.95

GM Licensed - “1987 GRAND NATIONAL” With Hub Caps Background 4'W x 2'H VINYL BANNER

This high-quality vinyl banner is GM licensed and measures approximately 4' wide x 2' high. The banner has metal grommets on four corners.

This distinctive 1987 GRAND NATONAL design with an awesome hub caps background features a color photo from the actual 1987 Buick Dealer Album.

8602 - GM Licensed - “1987 GRAND NATIONAL” with Hub Caps Background - 4'W x 2'H Vinyl Banner - $42.95

GM Licensed - “WE4” with Racing Checkered Flags Background - 3'W x 2'H VINYL BANNER

This high-quality vinyl banner is GM licensed and measures approximately 3'W wide x 2H' tall. The banner has metal grommets on four corners.

This distinctive ultra-rare WE4 design features an extremely rare color original flyer that Buick produced.

8603 - GM Licensed - “WE4” with Racing Checkered Flags Background - 3'W x 2'H Vinyl Banner - $38.95


This high-quality vinyl banner is GM licensed and measures approximately 4' wide x 2' high. The banner has metal grommets on four corners.

This distinctive T-TYPE design features the logo and the quote “A BOOST OF BUICK PERFORMANCE,” a tag line we came up with years ago for the Turbo Regals.

8604 - GM Licensed - “T-TYPE - A BOOST OF BUICK PERFORMANCE” 4'W x 2'H Vinyl Banner - $42.95


This high-quality vinyl banner is GM licensed and measures approximately 2' tall x 4' wide. The banner has metal grommets on four corners.

This distinctive GNX design features the “GNX” logo in red and white and the quote “A HIGH-PERFORMANCE INVESTMENT FOR THE FORTUNATE 547” in white. The design is on 13 oz vinyl with nylon scrim (mesh) reinforced with hems and grommets.

It’s just one of several distinctive banners we offer.

These banners make an excellent gift for any Buick enthusiast or mechanic. Ideal to hang in any garage, workshop, office or to display at a car show.

8600 - GM Licensed - “GNX” A HIGH-PERFORMANCE INVESTMENT FOR THE FORTUNATE 547” 2' x 4' Vinyl Banner - $42.95

Here is a link to this new GNX banner 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. We also may buy your new or used parts. 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 must 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.


That sad day came last Saturday around 1 pm in the afternoon as my one oldest cat passed away. I was surprised he made it through all last week. I had done some errands Saturday morning and when I returned around noon I could tell his time was quickly coming to an end. Still it’s tough even when you expect it.