8-11-10 Inner Circle

8-11-10 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 08-11-10 -


Dave Roland, one of our customers who gets our weekly Inner Circle, emailed me the below information. He was there back in 1985 at Buick, so his firsthand knowledge clears up some of the information we talked about last week. I never realized that in 1985, production was split between Flint and Pontiac for the Turbo Regals. So some 1985 Turbo Regal owners will have the "H" code for Flint and others will have the "P" code for Pontiac.

The following is from Dave Roland:


I recently received your latest Inner Circle message. This is great information to share and I have some information to add to your knowledge.

As a new college graduate, I hired on at Buick Motor Division in the Service Department in 1985. I held many positions during my tenure at Buick including Technical Writer, District Service Manager and Service Engineer. I later worked for GM-Service Technology Group and then GM Service Operations at the GM Tech Center.

I am proud to say, my first NEW car was a 1985 Turbo Regal T-Type. It was a Sandstone color with the blackout trim, Tan 45/45 leather seat package, Concert Sound, UX1 radio, built in the Pontiac Assembly Center. I have owned many TR's and GN's since my first T-Type. I sold that first TR to buy my first house. I have attached a picture of the 1985 GN that I currently race and show.

Here is what I can add to your article about the Regal production:

During model year 1984, all Buick Regal production took place at the Buick City plant (plant code H). The bodies were built at the Fisher Body plant on Saginaw Street in Flint and shipped over to Buick City for final assembly. For model year 1984 all Turbo Regals and GN's were built utilizing the Hydroboost brake system.

Production for the model year 1985 Regals started out with the same arrangement. Bodies built at Fisher and final assembly at Buick City. Part way through the year, the Buick City final assembly line was taken off-line for retooling to build the new Model Year 1986 LeSabre (H body). The Regal final assembly was shifted down to the Pontiac Assembly Center (plant code P). The Regal bodies were still built at the Fisher Body plant and delivered by trucks to the Pontiac Assembly Center. All Flint built 1985 model year Turbo Regals and GN's received the carryover Hydroboost brake system (same as 1984). All Pontiac built 1985 model year Turbo Regals and GN's received the Powermaster brake system.

Production for the balance of model years 1986 and 1987 all took place at the Pontiac Assembly Center with the bodies being built at Fisher Body in Flint.

I vividly remember seeing open deck Semi trucks loaded with Regal bodies headed down I-75 to the Pontiac plant. The body was mostly complete but the front-end sheet metal was not assembled to the car at Fisher Body. The front-end sheet metal was painted and assembled to the body in Pontiac. This explains why many owners could see a difference in the paint color and quality (random metallics in the paint) between the front-end sheet metal and the main body of the car. A sharp observer could tell which bodies were destined to become TR's or GN's by looking at the brake booster.

The Normally Aspirated Regals received their vacuum powerbooster at the Fisher Body plant. The TR's and GN's had only the powermaster bracket bolted to the front of dash. Regardless of which type of brake system was used, the master cylinders and brake lines were assembled to the chassis at the final assembly centers on the "Chassis" line. The entire system was bled before it was "married" to the body of the car. The powermaster brake unit was added to the car during final assembly at the Pontiac Assembly Center.

The 1985 Regal powermaster unit is easily distinguished from the 1986-1987 unit. The 1985 unit has a smaller plastic reservoir when compared to the 1986-1987 units. The 1985 Pontiac built cars were included in the powermaster pressure switch campaign (recall).

I hope you enjoy this information. Do not hesitate to share it with others.

David Roland

Special thanks. We appreciate Dave taking the time to email us this information!

In the last paragraph he talks about the 1985 powermasters having a smaller plastic reservoir.

With all the cores we deal with, we have seen that smaller brake reservoir from time to time. We are familiar with 3 different styles of brake reservoir. I am told the stationwagons used a slanted brake reservoir and some of the cores we get in have that style brake reservoir. I assume that format was possibly to clear the hood?

PHOTO 1 - Shows all 3 possible types of brake reservoirs (mounted on a display board) that could be on your 1985-1987 Turbo Regal, if it is equipped with a powermaster brake unit. Remember, the one on your car may not be the original. It may have been replaced or rebuilt. You could have any one of three different brake reservoirs.

As Dave has pointed out, the smaller brake reservoir is for the 1985 Turbo Regals. That is the one on the far right in both photos. You can see it is narrower than the other two. The far left one is the most common and the correct one used for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals. The center one in both photos (which is slanted) was used in other powermaster applications, such as the stationwagons of that era.

The one on the far right is more narrow and measures 3 inches wide. The other two reservoirs measure about 4 inches wide. Depth is just under 3 inches while the other two are at 3 inches deep. This would be the 1985 version. The lower photo is looking down inside the three versions. The baffles in all of them are identical. You can see how the one in the far right of the photo is not as wide.


We are offering our Inner Circle members a contest.

There are several common threads that connect antique car owners. Of course, one is the fact that any restoration project will always cost more money than you initially expected. Another common thread is that most owners are always looking for ways to add a little more power to their pride and joy. Our mini-contest deals with just such an upgrade over a stock single carburetor. Read the few rules below and perhaps you can be the winner!

PHOTO 2 - Shows two intakes. The top one is an upgrade featuring dual carbs. The second one is the stock intake that the top one replaces. We have used a red line to mark out a name that appeared in the area, which would have been too big a clue.

Your job is to email me personally - [email protected] - the name of the car these intakes are for. No need to pin down the vintage year or specific model. Simply name the car this is made for.

NOTE - Those that own or work for any Turbo Buick related company are not eligible.

Your email should include your 2 guesses, your name, city and state.

Remember, you are limited to only TWO guesses.

The first correct guess wins a $50 Letter of Credit for any of our parts on our website.

Second email to me with the correct car name gets a Letter of Credit for $25 for our parts on our website.

The answer will appear in the next Inner Circle.

Good luck players.

NOTE - Only answers emailed to - [email protected] - will be considered.


We have one of our personal cars available for sale - a 1997 Buick Riviera. The car is nice enough to enter in any car show as it sits. If you run the car fax, it will show 40 different entries where the original owner had it routinely serviced. (Buyer will get a copy of this). I also have enough receipts to fill a one-inch thick 3-ring binder that shows this Riviera always received excellent service. New owner will get all the records.

Not only do I have the receipts, but also the original window sticker, and even a small black book showing gas fill ups and miles obtained.

In the last two years I have replaced the radiator with a new one, new AC Delco rear factory shocks, and 4 brand new tires on chrome factory Caddy rims. (a $1,000 value). Also I've had all new sway bar links installed front and rear, new pulleys, serpentine belt, valve cover gaskets and new spark plugs. Oil was changed every 3,000 miles and ZDDPlus™ was added. Engine compartment is almost as spotless as both the exterior and interior.

Car has I believe, every possible option including the optional bright white diamond paint, which was $395 option. The original owner had it completely repainted years ago because of flaking issues. Car was never ever hit. All the door jams and trunk jams are super nice bright white. Car is supercharged! Car has taupe leather interior. Garage kept. Car has no dents, no scratches. Car has not been smoked in. AC blows ice cold. Interior is 95% perfect with only the driver's side seats showing very minor wear. Rest of interior is near mint, no rips, stains, or gashes. Trunk looks like it was never used. Headlights and side marker lens both been replaced, so they are all bright. Front bumper was never drilled for a license plate. I even replaced the grille as it was showing its age.

Engine is as quiet on start up as it is when it is warmed up. All the fluids have been changed, including the supercharger. We bought the car in November of 2007 with 130,000 miles. It now reads 147,000. The car looks better than some cars with half that many miles. If it didn't, I would not have bought it back in 2007.

The new buyer will not be disappointed in any way. Car rides and drives 100%. I'm asking $5295 for it. Email me - [email protected] - and I can email you photos. The car is that nice. I have two sets of keys and remotes. I like to see one of our customers get this car.

PHOTO 3 - The top photo shows the car and the lower photo shows the actual Window Sticker to this 1997 Buick Riviera. Interesting enough, it's the 11th digit that tells what plant the car was built in. In the case of this 1997, this digit is a number 4 rather than a letter that was used back in the Turbo Regal years. It may not be readable, but at the bottom of the Window Sticker, just above the bold face VIN number, it states the final assembly plant as being Orion, MI USA. The 11th digit 4 checks out in my GM Production Options booklet as being correct. You can see this Riviera stickered out at $35,555 back in 1997. These later Rivieras ride better and quieter than say the 1995 and 1996 models.

In an earlier Inner Circle we mentioned because of computers and internet research now any GM dealer can run the VIN number of your car and get a print out of the entire list of options your car or truck came with from the factory. I am not sure how far back they can go in years, but GM calls it a GM Vehicle Inquiry System. They can pinpoint other things such as any warranty work or recalls that have been done. This form states it is for service reference only and for other information please refer to the original vehicle invoice or window sticker.

PHOTO 4 - Shows the 2-page form that I had O'Neil Buick do on the 1997 Buick Riviera that I am selling. It even shows the actual build date 12/12/1996. Unlike the Turbo Regal, the Trunk ID Label (SPI) is affixed to the cardboard spare tire cover in the trunk.

NOTE ABOUT PHOTOS ON THE WEBSITE - 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.

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 ones you want to see - Reference Inner Circle date and photo number 1, 2, 3 or 4 - [email protected]


The Obituary section sometimes catches my attention as it is near the comic section of our local newspaper. In a recent obituary, I saw an individual I thought I recognized although his name was not one I knew. However, after I read the obituary, in the comments it stated he loved drinking Yum Yums coffee. At that instant, I knew it was one of the guys I would see from time to time at Yum Yums years ago when a group of men met every morning for coffee and donuts. This is the same Yum Yums donut shop that was recently torn down.


We now carry the 1986-1987 Turbo Regal replacement chrome-plated radiator cover produced by DC Tech. This really looks nice compared to the original black steel radiator cover that usually has signs of rust on it. See below info:

1986-1987 Turbo Regal -

This new replacement chrome-plated radiator cover is made from steel and then triple chrome plated.

An excellent enhancement to replace the stock radiator cover, which is usually rusted or dull due to age. It will only fit 1986-1987 Turbo Regals or other Regals that are using a 1986-1987 Turbo Radiator and electric fan setup.

Cover comes with all new stainless hardware (4 polished stainless bolts with rubber neo washers.) It simply replaces the stock black metal radiator cover that currently sits over the stock radiator. The stock electric fan setup will bolt to this new cover.

NOTE - This will work with various larger radiators as long as you currently have the stock radiator cover now in use as this is a direct replacement.

Another great under-the-hood dress-up item any 1986-1987 Turbo Regal.

7275 - 1986-1987 Turbo Regal -
Replacement Chrome-plated Radiator Cover $219.95

Here is a link to this replacement chrome-plated radiator cover on the website –


We were able to obtain 3 of the correct original GM radiator overflow bottles. These have been extremely difficult to get. Price is $55 and $10 shipping. You must call our office (215-766-1611 x 0) to order, since we only have 3 to sell. It has taken us several weeks just to get these few in stock. At this point we may only have 1 left!


GREAT NEWS - The stock style 1986-1987 headers are now ready to ship. Mike at TA Performance has put a set on a stock car with no fit problems.

Kits will be dropped shipped from Arizona, so shipping/handling will range from $20 to $35.

Be sure to contact our office now to get one of these first sets - 215-766-1611 x 0.

We also have access to a limited number of just the driver's header for those of you that need to replace that header.

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.

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.


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 -
http://www.kirbanperformance.com/product/478/GNX - TRANS AM STYLE 16" x 8" WHEELS SET (4) #7219.html

Here's complete information about these impressive wheels.

1984-1987 Regal -

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 plus 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 -
http://www.kirbanperformance.com/product/43780/LINDA VAUGHN - MISS HURST - AUTOGRAPHED 24" STAND-UP REPLICA #7265.html


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 -
http://www.kirbanperformance.com/product/160/GM Factory Original BOOST LINE KIT #6644.html


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.

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]

EAST COAST BUICK REGIONALS AND FAST (factory appearing stock tire) EVENT
The car show is open to all Buick's from 1965 to 2003. Goodie bags, 50/50 and other prizes for show cars!
OCTOBER 1st and 2nd, 2010 - FRIDAY and SATURDAY Gates open 9AM
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


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 -
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.


Be sure to try the mini contest in this issue. Who knows, you may be the winner.

Remember, call our office if you want to purchase the new TA stock-appearing header set from this first shipment currently IN STOCK.