3-24-10 Inner Circle

3-24-10 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 03-24-10


The model year is 1983 when Buick affixed the T-Type model name to 5 of their different Buick cars. The 5 models were - Skyhawk, Skylark, Century, Regal, and Riviera.

Only the Regal and the Riviera had a 3.8 litre engine. The Skyhawk had a 1.8 litre, the Skylark had a 2.8 litre, and the Century had a 3.0 litre engine.

The "T" in T-Type denotes touring.

Basically, Buick developed a tighter, flatter suspension for these models, which included larger diameter front and rear stabilizer bars. They also had specific springs and shock absorbing valving as well as quicker steering ratios.

There were steel belted radial tires on special aluminum wheels and a sport steering wheel. The front-wheel drive models had MacPherson strut front suspension, and rack and pinion steering. Both the Regal and Riviera featured a 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission.

That basically covers the unique features that came on the T-Type models if you opted for that option in any of the above Buick models for 1983.

Of the five different models, only the Century had Lear Siegler seats as an option.

Based on memory and what I have seen, I think most of us would be in agreement that seeing a 1983 T-Type Skyhawk, Skylark, or Century today would be quite rare.

In 1983, Buick had 7 different models. That means the LeSabre and Electra were the only 2 that first year that did not offer a T-Type option. What is unusual is from 1987 through 1989 they did produce a LeSabre T-Type. Beginning with the 1985 Buick Electra through the 1990 Buick Electra, they did have T-Type model as an option.

Interesting enough, in 1990 the T-Type was only offered on the Electra, and no other Buick model had that option available!

You can see how confusing the T-Type option was from its big start with 5 models in 1983 and then by the end 1990 only 1 model (the Electra) offered the T-Type option.

As far as the Turbo Regals are concerned, Buick seemed to make things more confusing in 1987 by calling the Turbo Regal a Turbo-T, thus dropping the T-Type nameplate. In 1987 that designation applied to the LeSabre T-Type.

In looking in my Guidebook covering the 1980 models, it appears that the rarest models that sported the T-Type option would be the 1985 Century two-door model and the Electra two-door with the T-Type option. You could also have the T-Type option on the four-door Century and the four-door Electra that year. Today, these would be quite rare, especially the two-door versions.

Photo 1 - Shows the front and back of one of the very rare brochures announcing the Buick T-Types 1983. This brochure measures 17" x 11", then folds to become a 4-page 8-1/2" x 11" advertising piece.

Here is some of the text from that back page -

"The 1983 BUICK T Philosophy

It is evident we have designed our new T Types to be outstandingly beautiful. Evident, too, is the balanced performance these cars offer as a result of all-around engineering excellence. Buick T Types are born to lead.

More than a new line of cars, the T Types are tangible evidence of our commitment to excellence. We, at Buick, intend to offer the public the optimum in automotive performance, appearance and value. With their release, Buick commits itself to lead the industry and these cars are our challenge to others: keep up if you can - or make way!

J.C. Perkins
General Sales Manager"

Photo 2 - Shows the inside 2-page spread of that same brochure featuring the 5 models we mentioned, and the specific specifications that could be had with each model related to the T-Type package.

Photo 3 - Shows the front page of another original 1983 Buick T-Type brochure with an interesting caption, "THE BUICK T TYPES (Slower vehicles please keep to the right.)" Back in 1983, nothing American made was pumping out much power to the streets! This brochure measures 16" x 10-3/4", then folds to become a 4-page 8" x 10-3/4" advertising piece. This one may have come out of a magazine, since there are staple holes at the fold.

Photo 4 - Shows the back of this same brochure explaining what makes up the T-Type features that we mentioned earlier.

Here is some of the text from that back page -

"T" denotes touring. So Buick engineers turned to the skid pad to develop a tighter, flatter suspension, with the quick reflexes enthusiasts demand.

This includes large diameter stabilizer bars, front and rear. Specific springs and shock absorber valving. Quick steering ratios. Steel-belted radial tires on special aluminum wheels. And a sport steering wheel that welcomes your input.

In addition to these suspension modifications, front-wheel-drive T TYPES have MacPherson strut front suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering.

Regal and Riviera T TYPES feature a 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission.

To learn more about why T TYPE drivers are smiling, we suggest a visit to your nearby Buick dealer. Because if this all sounds like what you've been waiting for, T TYPE's your type of car. Wouldn't you really rather have a Buick?"

Watch for BUICK T-TYPE MODELS PART 2 next week.

A GREAT TIME IN NORTH CAROLINA at the turbobuick.com Nationals

Pete Hoffman spent last week at Richard Clark's and attended the TurboBuick Nationals. Here's Pete's small report on some of the week's events -

TurboBuick.com Nationals and the Richard Clark Experience

What a week! A lot of fast Turbo Buicks, a spectacular crash at the track, meeting old friends, making new ones and a lot of exhausted Buick nuts by Saturday night.

By Sunday afternoon there were already some Buick people starting to arrive at Richard's shop. It's always fun to watch new people take a tour of Richard's two buildings. Nowhere else will you see over 20 complete Turbo Buick engines stacked on a shelf in a neat row. In his second building is his dyno and at least 5 GNXs.

Monday morning the Buick racers started to pull in along with more daily-driven Turbo Regals. By noon there was already a car on the dyno making a run.

Harry and Patrick were there from Precision Turbo. They provided 5 lucky people with their top-of-the-line Turbo to compare with what turbo they already had on the car. While the dyno pulls were going on, Richard was testing complete powermasters, powermaster parts, and mass airflow sensors along with other parts.

On Tuesday even more people arrived. Dyno pulls and parts testing continued along with a lot of wide-eyed Buick folks. At noon Richard was nice enough to provide everyone, almost 140 people, with a southern-style lunch consisting of pulled pork, beans and cole slaw.

After lunch the tech sessions started. This included Harry from Precision Turbo, Cal Hartline, Nick Micale, Richard Clark, John Spina and others. Each one gave a presentation followed by a question and answer session. It was very informative. These tech sessions were well worth the drive down from Pennsylvania.

Wednesday we started at Richard's shop with more Dyno testing. In the afternoon, about half the crowd went to Piedmont Dragway for the start of Test-n-Tune. After the Test-n-Tune at the track, Richard gave a group of about 50 people an interesting tour of his companies: AMI and the DNA lab.

On Thursday we were at the track most of the day. Many vendors were set up. This included Gbodyparts, Metco Motorsports, World of Motorworks and myself. Scott W. was also there selling his great LED kits. I am sure there were more vendors… sorry if I've missed mentioning their name. Vendors were located all around the track.

Test-n-Tune went on through the evening. At 6 pm local cars were also running with the Buicks. It was great to see and hear their amazement when our Turbo cars ran down the track. They couldn't believe how fast we were running.

Friday time trials started. A lot of well-engineered fast Turbo Buicks were present. Don Cruz's car was very impressive!

Late in the afternoon the ZDDPlus™ sponsored car, owned and driven by Bob Stanley, was making the last pass of the day. He had been running as quick as 146+mph in the 8th mile. Halfway down the track, something in the car put water down under his rear wheels and the car skidded, hit the left guard rail, flipped a couple times and slid another couple hundred feet down the track. The car slid on the roof so long that the right front roll bar was almost completely rubbed through. The body of the car came completely apart. There were doors and parts scattered down the track. Unbelievably, Bob walked away with only minor burns on his hands.

Saturday was the Car Show and Race Day. There were many competitive races and GREAT prize money. The weather was perfect, almost 80 degrees in the afternoon. There were about 70 cars and about 200 people.

There were people working on their cars at Richard's shop almost every night until at least midnight. I think on Thursday night a few of the racers were rebuilding a transmission until 3:30 in the morning! Also, I can tell you from firsthand experience, there are not many restaurants open in North Carolina after 10 pm. There was a group of about 6 car loads of people including Richard pulling into and out of every parking lot along a 5-mile stretch of highway trying to find an open place to eat without losing each other!

Hats off to Turbobuick.com and Shane Grimsley, Clint Atkins and his crew, Richard Clark and ZDDPlus™ for a great event!

It was a great week with a lot of memories. Next year should be even better!

All the race results are available on - www.turbobuick.com - under the TURBOBUICK.COM

To read more and see photos and video of the event, here is a link to their site -

Here is a link to the ZDDPlus&trade car crash -

Pete Hoffman

KIRBAN OPEN HOUSE - SATURDAY, APRIL 17th - 9 am - 3 p.m.

GREAT NEWS - We just received confirmation that some additional vendors. Jay's GN will be setting up as a vendor at our Open House. John Spina of Casper's Electronics will be set up as a vendor. And we just heard from Mr-Shine, Rich Warner who will be set up with Race Glaze, Purple Metal Polish, etc. Be SURE to contact any of the vendors now if you want them to bring something specific for you.

As part of welcoming spring, once again we will be having an Open House on Saturday, April 17th, 2010, Rain or Shine!

Pete will have a lot of used parts for sale, and I have many tagged and bagged items for sale as well. We will have a bake sale to raise money for the Walk for Cancer that Carrie is doing later this fall.

Paul Castle is coming from Illinois, and our good friend Jason Maxfield will be here from Canada. Also, Richard Clark hopes to be able to come as well. This is a great time to bring any used parts that you do not need to trade or cash in for items you want.

We will have available the new Linda Vaughn “Miss Hurst” project available as well as several other unique items.

Here is a link to the KIRBAN OPEN HOUSE information on our web site:


I have three very extremely rare items for sale. Of these two items, only 2 exist and that's all that will ever exist. The other item, only 4 exist and no others will ever exist. They are brand new. Don personally signed them and I have photos to go with them. They are not cheap.

They are off his 001 Challenger Drag Pak car, which is valued at over $75,000.

If you are interested, email me - direct [email protected] - for further details and prices. We may have one on display at our Open House.


Here is a link to the GNX Exhaust System on our web site -

NOTE - We currently stock the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal - PYPES PERFORMANCE (Non-Polished Stainless) DUAL EXHAUST SYSTEMS

Here is a link to the Pypes Dual Exhaust System on our web site -

We have several of the Pypes exhaust systems in stock for immediate delivery.


One of the parts in the works for late spring delivery is the factory-style HEADERS for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals. We expect to also have the driver’s side alone available as well. They will be made from 409 stainless. As delivery time draws closer, we will have a special introductory price to determine initial sales response. We have recently been informed that the mounting flange will be changed to accept the various style cylinder heads.

Watch for updates on this project.


Got any Turbo 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.


It appears that the GM supply of the factory 1986-1987 GM factory original molded boost line kits are dwindling and may already have disappeared from GM's warehouses inventory. We currently have a decent supply of them.

This is a very critical part, for any 1986-1987 Turbo Regal, since it is needed to control boost. They have 3 specially formed hoses with a special size diameter T in between two of the molded hoses. These also have the GM wording on them.

Over a period of time, heat can cause the hoses to swell and crack. While they last, we have them available for $44.95 plus shipping, Part #6644. Supplies are limited.

Here is a link to the Boost Line Kit on our web site -


We have the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal - GM Air Flow Duct (from turbo to MAF sensor), Part #6536 in stock for $61.95. Just a few left now.

We still have a few brand new GM right hand side marker lights with the blackout package. This is the marker light that attaches to the side of the headlight bezels. Price is $61.95 plus shipping.

If you are interested in any of these parts, you must call our office to purchase it. Some of these close out items are just about gone from the GM parts system.


I have a unique pen holder for my desk. We had a tear-drop style shifter knob made for another car model few years ago. Our supplier went out of business, so we got the left overs. They are incomplete knobs made from #6061 billet aluminum and polished to a very high luster. They are about 3 inches tall and will hold any standard size pen in the opening. These make a unique single pen holder for your desk.

We have about 20 of them. If you are looking for a unique item for your office desk, they are just $25 for 2. Shipping can be combined with any other purchase at the same time.

If you would like to see a photo, email your request to - [email protected]

If you would like to order these, just call our office - 215-766-1611.



NOTE - If you know of a GM or Buick Turbo event for this year, let us know and we can post it in our weekly Turbo Regal Inner Circle so our members are aware of the event.

The best way to stay informed with the show season is to check out the various Turbo Buick forums.


30th ANNUAL GS NATIONALS - May 11th thru 15th, 2010 - Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Confirmed, as a special guest is noted drag racer "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, voted NHRA Top Driver from 1951-2000 Don Garlits, courtesy of ZDDPlus™. He will be at our Kirban Performance space.

Don has informed me he is planning to bring his Challenger Drag Pak car. He received the very first one from Dodge. Currently in the quarter mile he has run in the ten-second range.

Also confirmed returning this year is the 6-second Turbo Buick of John Gallina. Kenny Duttweiler and his crew are expected.

I have just been informed the ZR1 Corvette group has their event that same week in Bowling Green. They will be participating at some point during that week as guests at the racetrack. Assuming the ZR1 group includes the latest potent example, this is a rare chance to see one of the unique ZR1s that GM produced last year in very limited numbers.

For up-to-date information and motels for the 2010 GS Nationals, go to their web site - http://www.gsnationals.com - or go to this thread - http://buickgsclubofamerica.yuku.com/forums/1

"Light Your Fire" - 2010 Buick Performance Group Nationals - July 30th - August 1st, 2010 at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron OH (near Columbus). They want to gather together the largest number of 1969-1974 factory Stage1 cars anyone has ever seen since the Buick muscle car days of Flint.

This is a special event that may never come to pass again, so don't miss the factory "Stage1 Convention" at the 2010 Buick Performance Group National Event.

For more info, go to - http://www.buickperformancegroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8754

NOTE - If you know of a GM or Buick Turbo event, let us know and we can post it in our weekly Turbo Regal Inner Circle so our members are aware of the event.


NOTE - THANKS to those who have already contributed or plan to contribute to this great cause. We've heard from readers who have had Breast Cancer affect their immediate family. Thanks so much.

Our daughter-in-law Carrie has committed to a 60-mile, 3-day walk in October to raise money for Cancer research. Many of you have met her at our events. She needs to have $2300 raised by July 1st. If you would like to help with this fundraiser for a good cause, here is the information and a message from Carrie.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ Walk - Carrie Kirban

I have taken on an incredible challenge. On October 15-17, 2010, I'll be walking 60 miles over the course of three days, camping out at night with thousands of other women and men taking this journey with me. I have committed to raise $2300 to be able to participate in the walk. The money I need to raise goes to cancer research and I pay for my expenses separately.

It's for an event called the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™. Net proceeds from the Komen 3-Day for the Cure are invested in community-based breast health programs and breast cancer research.

You never know who this disease will strike next. My prayers go out to all of my friends and family that have been affected with this disease. Let's find a Cure! To make a donation, go to - The3Day.org - Click on Donate and search for my personal fundraising page under Carrie Kirban.

Here is a link to their site:
Or you can call - 800-996-3DAY - to donate over the phone.

Any questions, please contact me - [email protected]

Thank you for your support.
Carrie Kirban


If you would like to see any Kirban Performance Products items listed on eBay, here is a link to our store and auctions -
http://stores.ebay.com/Kirban-Performance-Products-Inc_W0QQssPageNameZl2QQtZ km


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 not remember who requested the item.


An update on my father.

I appreciate all the kind emails we have received. Many of our readers have shared similar circumstances they have had to deal with their parents in their later years.

I think for a period of time I will write a short story about my Dad and me.

His name is Salem Kirban and he has written about 55 books on Christian prophecy and health. If you goggle his name, you'll find almost 54,000 references.

He is now enrolled in Hospice and that program offers him, our family and the caregivers much support. At this point, both Mom and Dad need 24-hour care.

My youngest sister has flown from Spokane, Washington. On Sunday 3 of us 5 kids were there to celebrate Mom's 84th birthday and visit with Dad.

I have been running out there every 5-6 days. When my brother and I visit with Dad, we talk about things in our past while we hold his hand. We try to make jokes and to keep his spirits up. He has been very emotional, sometimes can recognize the person, and sometimes makes sense.

Of course, most of my memories are related to whatever car I had at the time. My brother, on the other hand, has a photographic memory down to the month and year something happened.

Dear Dad... has no will, no burial plot, no life insurance policy, no pensions, no retirement, no real estate. I think he thought he was on a 100-year program, but will fall short. The hard decisions and details were never addressed since he just wouldn't discuss them.

When he and my Mom moved to the Lancaster area about 4-5 years ago, they bought a small modular home on a street called "Trails End Court." I can't imagine why anyone would name a street that way, but it is a dead end street in this larger complex of modular homes. When they moved there, we all knew this would be their last move and the street name just confirmed it.