8-25-10 Inner Circle

8-25-10 Inner Circle

Greetings Turbo Regal Inner Circle Members - 08-25-10 -


I am using this heading this week in a broader sense because I am going to refer to companies that hit the scene back when our Turbo Buicks were brand new.

One major company back then that made the jump from the older GS models to the Turbo Regal models was Kenne Bell. They had already been well established into making parts for Buick when the Turbo Regals were introduced.

PHOTO 1 - Photo on the left shows a Kenne Bell 1988 catalog from my private collection. This catalog featured mostly Buick V8 parts and just a handful of Turbo V6 parts. Unfortunately it only showed their product line and part number, no pricing. The photo on the right shows page 45 from this same catalog. That page featured their ram air kit for the 1986-1987 Turbo Regals. Various ram air kits were one of the leading products back when these cars were still fairly new. At that time Kenne Bell offered two versions - one under the bumper and one with the scoop in the front air dam. One of the other instant sellers back then was the heavy-duty turbo hose kit. This kit included the three basic intercooler hoses that were thicker than stock and also a little bit longer as well. These two products would become a main stay with most of the early companies that catered to the 1984-1987 Turbo Regals. Today, Kenne Bell is also known for a brand of Superchargers popular in the Mustang and new Camaro market.

PHOTO 2 - Shows a pair of used Kenne Bell V6 Turbo valve covers. We recently acquired them with a bunch of used Turbo Regal parts. I think these valve covers are made from aluminum and then polished. Each one took two breathers. (See our used parts listing in this Inner Circle as they are for sale).

Another company to burst on the scene back then was Applied Technologies and Research Inc also known simply as ATR. ATR originated in California and later moved to South Carolina. This company closed just a few years ago.

PHOTO 3 - The photo on the left shows ATR's 1990 catalog when they were located in Roseville, California. In addition to their catalog, ATR also published a Buick Grand National newsletter. The photo on the right shows their 1995 catalog, when they were in their later location, Fair Play, South Carolina. A few years back they closed their doors for good.

Both Kenne Bell and ATR were at their zenith in the early 1990s with Turbo Regals, as the cars were still fairly new, and interest was quite high. Owners were eager to make not only cosmetic upgrades but performance upgrades as well.

What I believe to be one of the best upgrades back then came from a little unknown company called Quality Engineering Performance Products. They were located in Fenton, Michigan. Their slogan was "BUILD A GNX... For a Fraction of the Cost!" Keep in mind, in 1987 new GNXs were selling for double or more over a standard Grand National.

Perhaps their biggest seller, and the one that most Turbo owners wanted, was the GNX-style instrument cluster they offered. They also offered GNX style wheels, fender flares, and a GNX suspension kit. Of these mentioned items, the suspension kit was the one item that did not come close to looking like the real GNX suspension.

The dash featured all VDO cockpit style gauges already installed on a fixture. A new clear plastic instrument face was included as well as proper sending units and detailed directions. Two different kits were available, depending on whether you had the standard analog dash or the optional digital dash.

When we bought our new 1987 Grand National in September of 1987, before we had driven it 1,000 miles, we spent the money to have the Quality Engineering GNX-style dash installed. I drove down to a shop in Delaware and they installed it for around $150 to $200.

In looking in our old Kirban Performance catalogs, it appears we first offered the Quality Engineering GNX dash in 1989-1990. The price was $539.95. By 1995 the price was $679.95 and it was noted that supplies were limited. By 1998 we had become the biggest distributor of their GNX-style dashes. At that point, they claimed to have sold over 1,000. We last offered them in that 1998 catalog. In looking through our old newsletters, we discontinued the GNX-style dash in August of 1998. During those years they were the most popular mass produced GNX-style dash available. They can be seen today in some of the show cars. Since they used all VDO gauges, it is one way to recognize their dash cluster. In addition to having individual lenses over each gauge, it also had the dash lens over everything. This made the red line needle on the tachometer non adjustable. The dash cluster lens had their logo in the lower right-hand corner.

Long-time customers may remember several Reunion events we put on at the Johnsville Airbase in Warminster, PA over the years. At one of those events, we actually had two employees of Quality Engineering come out. They installed 6 or 8 GNX dash installs at that show.

PHOTO 4 - Shows one of the early original flyers from Quality Engineering Performance Products Inc. It featured GNX HEADS & PORT MATCHED INTAKE, E-PROM & AIR MODIFICATION PKG., GNX SUSPENSION, FENDER FLARES & LOUVERS, GNX INSTRUMENT CLUSTER, and GNX WHEELS & TIRES. The flyer gives very little details on the products and no pricing is shown. I can't recall if they printed a more detailed catalog or not.


Rick, one of our customers in the midwest, emailed me an ad from Craig's List. It was a 1968-1/2 Buick Special with 29,000 original miles for $11,995. In the ad copy it says the car has a unique history. It's half 1968 and half 1969 and comes with two original Window Stickers - one for 1968 and one for 1969. The same VIN number appears on both as do the options. However, the prices for the options only appear on the 1969 Window Sticker. Personally, I have never heard of such a thing where a car would have two Window Stickers.

I was always under the assumption back in the 1960s car companies shut down during the late summer to switch over for the new year. Most new models back then came out in the fall.

If these facts are indeed true, some potential buyer will end up with a unique paper trail!


We now carry a rubberized magnetic Grand National and Intercooler emblem set. These are identical in size, color, and font style to the ones that appear on the fenders and trunk lid. Ideal for a toolbox or simply place on your car at a car show.

These decals are GM licensed.

The best deal is to buy the full set of 3 Grand National emblems and two Intercooler emblems for just $19.95. We have them in stock

See below for more information.

1984-1987 Grand National - GM LICENSED

These magnetic "GRAND NATIONAL" (5-1/4" x 1-7/8") and "INTERCOOLED" (3-1/2" x 1/4") decals are both fully licensed by GM.

These are made from .032 rubberized magnetic material and are identical in size and type style as the original emblems.

Since these are magnetic, you can choose to put them on your Grand National and remove them when you do not want any emblems on your car. They are also a cheaper alternative to the expensive original metal GM ones! They are also a nice addition to any metal car show display board or metal toolboxes in your garage.

NOTE - Because of the metallic finish, these decals are difficult to photograph. Photo to the right shows them on a Grand National.

An excellent finishing touch for any Grand National.

7277 - 1984-1987 Grand National - GM Licensed
"GRAND NATIONAL" Magnetic Decal $7

7278 - 1984-1987 Grand National - GM Licensed
"INTERCOOLED" Magnetic Decal $3

7279 - 1984-1987 Grand National - GM Licensed
SET OF 5 MAGNETIC DECALS $19.95 (Save $7.05)
Includes 3 "GRAND NATIONAL" and 2 "INTERCOOLED" Magnetic Decals

Here is a link to these decals on our website -


We still have our 1997 Riviera for sale. It has every possible option and is supercharged. We really would like to see it go to someone into Buicks. The price is now $4995. The garage that does all our work says I can put it down there for sale anytime I want and it should sell.

Every record, window sticker, and receipt goes with this car. This car is clean enough inside and out and underneath to enter in any car show. It's been garage kept and never smoked in.

You can email me personally for photos - [email protected]


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]


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.


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 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.

SEPTEMBER 4th & 5th, 2010 - Gates Open 11 am 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. I may only be there Saturday. Remember the gates do not open Saturday until around 11 am!

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
OCTOBER 1st and 2nd, 2010 - FRIDAY and SATURDAY Gates open 9AM
Cecil County Dragway, Maryland
The car show is open to all Buick's from 1965 to 2003. Goodie bags, 50/50 and other prizes for show cars!
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 -

Our Fall Open House Date -
Saturday OCTOBER 9th, 2010 - 9 am - 3 pm
6201 Kellers Church Road, Plumsteadville, PA
Save on shipping! Pete and I will have an array of bargains on used parts.
This event happens rain, shine, or snow.
Free Yum Yum donuts and coffee.
Watch for more information in weeks to come.

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.


Our Fall Open House Date - Saturday October 9th, 2010 - 9 am - 3 pm
6201 Kellers Church Road, Plumsteadville, PA
Save on shipping! Pete and I will have an array of bargains on used parts.
This event happens rain, shine, or snow.
Free Yum Yum donuts and coffee.
Watch for more information in weeks to come.