7-28-10 Inner Circle

7-28-10 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 07-28-10 -


Last week we covered the basic differences in Window Stickers related to the Grand National and how it can vary for the 1987 Grand National.

From the 17-digit VIN number located in the upper left corner of the dash. Each of the digits has a special meaning. Of major concern for turbo owners would be the 8th digit, which refers to the engine type. None of the 17 digits is going to tell if it's a Grand National, a T-Type, or a Turbo-T. The 8th digit for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals is the number 7. The number 7 stands for 3.8 fuel injected engine, in a Buick only for those 2 years.

To know for sure if the car is a real Grand National you need to examine the Service Parts Identification Label located on the inside trunk lid. I usually have referred to this as the "Trunk ID label."

That label is probably the most important label associated with the car, at least to me and most collectors. To put it another way, it's the "DNA" information for the car.

I never bought a car for resale that lacked that label. I do recall buying at least one car that the owner had replaced the trunk lid, and saved the original trunk lid. I had him cut out that label so I had it to go with the car.

Without the WE2 code listed on the Service Parts Identification label, it is doubtful the car in question is a "real" Grand National. What is interesting is, GM assigned the same WE2 code in 1987 through 1989 on their LeSabre T-Type models! Why they did this I have no idea. Especially assigning the same code (WE2) on the Regal 2-door coupe and also the LeSabre 2-door coupe T-Type) the same year 1987!

GNX owners, of course, have several methods to prove the car is a real GNX that can be found on the internet. One method of proof related to a real GNX is on the Service Parts Identification label. The code every GNX owner wants to see is "T2L."

What is somewhat confusing related to that is the fact that code did not show up in the GM Productions Options Booklet until 5-10 years later!

This is why so many things related to the Turbo Regals can be confusing, even to people like myself that you depend on for related facts. Truth is, it's tough to know everything related to the various codes on the Service Parts Label.

Based on the information I have, I do know that GM used at least 18 different locations where they would put that Service Parts Identification label. Placement depended on the various GM car and truck models!

For example - I remember having owned several Eldorados and the Service Identification label was on the cardboard spare tire cover! Fortunately Buick didn't do that on our Turbo Regals. If they had, many of the cars would be missing that small cardboard piece that was held in place by the spare tire nut and the ID label would be gone!

The Service Parts Identification label for our 2000 Corvette is in the glove box.

Course, today you can go to any dealer with your VIN number and they can do a print out showing all the codes and what they mean.

PHOTO 1 - Shows a March 2001 copy of the GM Production Option Passenger Car Light and Medium Truck booklet, which measures 3-3/4" x 7". This particular booklet covers all the GM vehicles from 1986 through 2001. The second photo shows the page from this booklet covering the breakdown of a typical 17 digit VIN number for 1987 cars. The rest of the booklet contains all the various possible codes during the years 1986-2001, the explanation of the codes, and the years each codes refers to. Since access is available on the internet as noted earlier, I believe they no longer print these handy booklets.

PHOTO 2 - Shows a "GM Customer Sales & Service - GM VEHICLE OPTION CONTENT" card, something you may have never seen before. We are showing both the front side and the back side and it measures 3-1/2" x 7". (Almost the same size as the GM Production Option booklet.) Basically, it is like a cheat sheet explaining the various options by family.

Example - Many of you are familiar with the code "G80." This, of course, refers to the posi-traction limited slip option. While that code is an option, you will always have several other codes that start with a G. Example - "G87," which means the car is equipped with the 8.5 ring gear. The code "GU6" means 3.42 gears are in the rear. Another G code is "GMD." Although this code is not found in any of the GM Option booklets I have, I have been told it is some sort of designation for being made at a GM plant. So, you can see the "G" code belongs to the axle rear related family.

Related to your Window Sticker - the only code associated with the rear that would be listed would be the option for limited slip, which is "G80." All the other related axle codes noted above, since they are "standard" on the Turbo Regals, would not be listed on your Window Sticker.

Naturally, if you are looking at a Turbo Regal to buy the rear assembly is something you also need to actually look at to make sure it is a 8.5 rear versus the 7.5 rear that other G body cars and regular V6 cars had. (They all interchange.)

Another important digit in the 17 digit VIN number is the 10th digit. That digit will be a letter and it corresponds to the year. Example - all 1986s will have a letter "G." All 1987 models will have the letter "H." The 11th digit will always be "P," which stands for the plant for the final assembly point of the Regal. "P" stands for Pontiac even though the assembly started originally in Flint.

PHOTO 3 - The top shows an original 1986 Service Parts Identification label (6" x 3") and the lower shows an original 1987 Service Parts Identification label (5-1/4" x 2-7/8"). Both are from Turbo Regals. As you can see, for the 1987 model year they came out with a slightly smaller Service Identification label.

Prior to the 1987 models, the label had a clear laminate over it. The 1987 models (at least the ones I have seen) were just a plain label with no lamination over it to protect it. (We have deleted the last 6 digits of the VIN number in both labels).

If you look closely under the "W" codes, you can see the 1986 is a Grand National WE2 and the 1987 shown has a "WE4" code, which was that special black Turbo-T model.

Again, everything I am stating is from my literature and relates mostly to the 1986-1987 models.

Watch for Part 4 next week!


Back on July 7, 2010 Inner Circle, under the heading "A Trip Down Memory Lane," we featured our 1947 Studebaker pickup truck and our 1949 Olds 76 Business coupe. We remarked that in all these years, even though both vehicles where sold locally, I have never seen either of them again.

Out of the clear blue this week, we heard from the gentleman that bought our 1949 Olds 76 business coupe 28 years ago! He happen to read the obituary in Hot Rod about Molly that we submitted and since he noticed our names, it reminded him that he bought that Oldsmobile business coupe from us.

He still has the car, it now has a 383 Chevy small block in it and the suspension has been all upgraded. It's best time at the track is 12:23 @ 112 mph. He has had most of the paint redone and has added flames graphics to it.

PHOTO 4 - Shows the current way our 1949 Oldsmobile 76 Business Coupe looks today. The owner gets the same comments we used to get as many people think it's a Chevy business coupe since it shares the same basic body lines as the Chevy. Of course, the Oldsmobile 76 Business Coupe would be more rare! Hard to believe he still owns the car 28 years later. For us that is about 50 cars ago!


We just got great news this past week from TA Performance - they expect these new headers to be in stock in the next two weeks.

Here is the link to these headers on the web site -

1986-1987 Turbo Regal -

These stock replacement headers are made in the USA and come 100% complete with hardware and special carbon graphic steel core high-temperature gaskets. Headers are made from 409 stainless steel and Tig welded.

The ports are laser cut and will fit all stock, TA heads, and Champion heads. The turbo flange is also the same precision cut 3/8" thick piece currently on TA headers with elongated hole for precise turbo/downpipe alignment.

All fabrication, materials and production are 100% made in the USA.

TA Performance has long been a well-respected source for Buick hard core parts for both V8 and also V6 Turbo Regals for over 25 years.

The complete kit includes the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal 409 stainless driver's side and passenger's side header setup with crossover pipe, hardware, and gaskets.

We are also offering the stock replacement driver's side header alone, similar in design to the now defunct Poston-style header.

An excellent upgrade to replace the original or Poston-style headers on any 1986-1987 Turbo Regal.

7273 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal -
Stock Replacement Driver's Side 409 Stainless Steel Header Kit $325 / kit
NOTE - Includes hardware and gasket

7274 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal -
Stock Replacement Driver's Side and Passenger's Side Complete 409 Stainless Steel Headers Kit $699.95 / kit
NOTE - Includes driver's side and passenger's side headers with a 2-piece crossover pipe, hardware and gaskets.


Supplies are limited for this first shipment. So, if you want one of these first sets, call our office now - 215-766-1611. We will not charge your credit card until we can ship the order. We fully expect to be shipping parts before the first week of August.

Remember, these are made from 409 stainless, which cost a little more for material over steel. TA Performance has a long history for making quality parts and that is why we went with their program.


Over the last several months, we have had problems getting the popular Bilstein Shocks that fit all the 1984-1987 Turbo Regals.

Bilsteins were the very first company to make gas shocks and has long been a favorite brand for many import and American muscle cars, even from the factory. I personally have them on my Turbo-T and also on 2 of my trucks.

It's best to call when ordering a set, since supplies are limited. Part number is #6678 Price is $305 plus shipping.

Here is the link to these shocks on the web site -


We just received news that the GNX-style wheels are now in stock! We have only been able to get a few sets for over a year. If you are interested, call our office - 215-766-1611.

Here's a link to these wheels on our website -

Here's complete information about these impressive wheels.

1984-1987 Regal -

Because of requests, we now offer another option for the popular GNX-style wheels.

These GNX - TRANS AM style wheels have the black mesh center and are 16" x 8" with the proper offset to fit the 1984-1987 Regals. These resemble the popular original GNX wheels. Do not confuse this with the version we have sold in the past, known as "Kirban-Style" GNX wheels.

These wheels are manufactured with brand new tooling and are clearcoated. Wheels have the proper offset to fit under your fenders. We sell these as a complete set of 4 wheels, 20 correct lug nuts, 20 lug nut black caps, 4 chrome-plated valve stems, 4 black center caps, and 4 "TURBOCHARGED" center cap decals.

The original center caps on the original GNX were actually the existing Trans Am caps. GM simply affixed the "GNX" paper decal over the Trans Am medallion. This set includes the "TURBOCHARGED" Decals (4) Set, Part #7113.

If you own a 1984, 1985, or 1986 Turbo Regal the GM front springs on these years were a different spring rate. You will need to change the front springs to avoid having the tires rub when you go over bumps. We recommend our front springs, Part #6566. If you plan on carrying heavy items in the trunk or four friends, we recommend you upgrade the rear springs to our variable rate rear springs, Part #1520 on any 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 Regal.

For shocks the best ones you can buy are the Bilsteins to further improve the ride quality of your Turbo Regal. The overall height is actually slightly less than what is currently on the car. The speedometer is not affected.

Originally the GNX used 245/50s by 16s up front and 255/50s by 16 in the rear. For best results, we recommend going with 245/50s on the fronts and the backs. Depending on the year Turbo Regal and what suspension upgrades you have made, we do not recommend the larger 255/50s for the rear. However, if you want to go with 255/50s in the rear, trial fit these wheels first to be sure you have enough clearance.

The good news is these wheels will look pretty much dead on with the mesh black center that matches the original GNX mesh center. They are 100% brand new and weigh about 18 lbs each. Of all the available optional wheels, these are the most desirable and can really enhance your pride and joy.

Keep in mind, we will take good used original Grand National wheels in partial trade. This can help save you some money, since you also need to buy new tires.

Wheels are dropped shipped from California. We would send your receipt, 20 lug nuts, 4 center caps, 4 wheel decals, and 4 valve stems direct from our Pennsylvania location. Shipping is calculated from California, generally costs about $65-$125.


7219 - 1984-1987 Regal - GNX - TRANS AM STYLE 16" x 8" Wheels Set $955 + shipping

NOTE - Set includes 4 wheels, 20 correct lug nuts, 20 lug nut black caps, 4 chrome-plated valve stems, 4 black center caps, and 4 "TURBOCHARGED" center cap decals.

NOTE - Shipping costs generally run $65 to $125, depending on your location.



We need stock 1986-1987 Turbo Regal turbos for cores.

For each complete turbo you send us, you will received either a check for $75 for or a Letter of Credit for $100 for any parts listed on our website. Just specify which you want for your turbo.

By sending us complete cores, it enables us to supply other owners with rebuilt units and also our TA 49 versions. The TA 49 turbos we sell require the use of the stock exhaust housing. By using that section, no low-end torque is lost in regular street driving.

THANK YOU for helping to keep the parts available for other Turbo Regal owners.


We now have the Linda Vaughn "Miss Hurst" autographed 24" stand-up replica available. Each comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, Part #7265, $52.95. Miss Hurst, as everyone knows, is one of the best-known icons from the muscle car era. This is reminiscent of the popular original 57" stand-up display, famous from the mid-1960s.

Here is the full description -


First time ever offered! The most recognized icon stand-up display from the muscle car era - Miss Hurst - Linda Vaughn

Car enthusiasts will be thrilled to have this stand-up replica of one of the most highly collectible and most recognized printed display - MISS HURST. This is reminiscent of the popular original 57" stand-up display, famous from the mid-1960s.

This gorgeous replica is now available in a limited production (only 7,500 will be available) 24" tall stand-up personally autographed by Linda Vaughn. Each stand-up is printed in the U.S.A., is diecut around Linda (no black background), and comes with a foldout stand affixed to the back so it will stand alone.

Autograph reads, "Linda Vaughn - Miss Hurst."

My wife actually worked with Linda at Hurst back in their PR department in the late 1960s. Fortunately, we've kept in touch over the years. We are known for our very rare collection of Hurst memorabilia items and original Hurst artwork. Hurst Performance was the most recognized shifter company during the 1960s and 1970s.

Linda Vaughn has always been recognized as "Miss Hurst" and "Miss Hurst Golden Shifter." Even today, her public appearances always draw a crowd.

Now you can own your own collectible stand-up. Each comes with a color Certificate of Authenticity complete with a photo of her signing the stand-up.

An excellent collectible for any car enthusiast, sure to bring back fond memories of the muscle car era! This is a perfect addition for a desk, car display or for your garage or den. It also makes a great gift for any car nut or mechanic.

PART #7265 - Linda Vaughn - Miss Hurst -
Autographed 24" Stand-up Replica and Certificate of Authenticity $52.95

Here is a link to this Linda Vaughn Stand-up on the website -


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.


I am referring to the 1999 Silver Arrow located near our shop. With less than 75,000 original miles this is number 008 out of just 200 built. A one local owner car. If you are interested, email me - [email protected] - for photos and more information. The car has now been for sale for over 45 days. The asking price is just $6,000, but I am fairly confident the owner will take a close reasonable offer. These cars when new were close to $40,000. This model I believe, has every available option Buick offered that year in the Riviera.


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.



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.

JULY 30th - AUGUST 1st, 2010
National Trail Raceway in Hebron, OH (near Columbus).
They want to gather together the largest number of 1969-1974 factory Stage 1 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 "Stage 1 Convention" at the 2010 Buick Performance Group National Event.

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

AUGUST 17, 18, 19, 20 & 21 - 2010
Downtown - Flint, Michigan
We received an email asking us to let you know about a special invitation to visit Doc Watson's (CEO and President of the Hurst Performance Vehicles) party at his office. The "First Lady of Racing," Linda Vaughn and George Barris (custom car builders) will be there.
Here is a link to information about this event -

AUGUST 20, 21 & 22, 2010 - Osceola, Indiana
Osceola Dragway, 56328 Ash Road, Osceola, IN
For more information, go to their website -

SEPTEMBER 4th & 5th, 2010 - Gates Open Noon Saturday - 8 am Sunday, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ.
For more information, call - 732-446-7800 or 845-528-GSGN (ask for John).
I plan to attend this event on Saturday September 4th setting up in the Buick portion of the car show as a vendor. We would have ZDDPlus™ there as well as used Turbo Regal parts.

Sunday - SEPTEMBER 19th, 2010 - 10 am - 3 pm - Rain or Shine.
Star Pontiac, Buick GMC - 260 Country Club Road, Easton, PA 18045
Music, food and drinks, dash plaques, awards, door prizes.
For more information, go to their website -
or email - [email protected]

OCTOBER 1st and 2nd, 2010 - FRIDAY and SATURDAY
Cecil County Dragway, Maryland
This is their 14th annual event! - Free vending.
For more information, contact Doug Dougherty at 302-653-2201 or
John Csordas at 845-528-GSGN.
NOTE - Dates are Friday and Saturday!
or email - [email protected] - or - [email protected] - or - [email protected]

OCTOBER 2nd, 2010.
Silver Springs, Ocala, Florida
For more information, go to their website -

30th ANNUAL GS NATIONALS - Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky
OCTOBER 20th-23rd, 2010
This has been rescheduled from the cancelled May dates. Unfortunately, Don Garlits will not be able to attend as the dates conflict with an event he does at his Museum in Ocala. Florida. For more information, including registration and vendor details, go to their website and then click on GS Nationals - http://www.gsnationals.com


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 August 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 of the Kirban Performance Products items listed on eBay, here is a link to our store and auctions -


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.


The annual Hatboro car show is this Saturday, July 31st in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.

If you recall, we generally attend this event every year. They shut down the main street of Hatboro that Saturday afternoon and position about 500 cars on the main street.

I always wondered if the exterior temperature gauge in our Tahoe would read triple digits. Well, I found out this past weekend while driving through Richmond, Virginia on the way to Richard Clark's shop. At one point, it read 109 degrees!