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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I'd ask this in the Turbo Regal forum but there are a lot of 'purists' there and I know how they'll answer. I think I might get more subjective answers here.

A couple of years ago my uncle came across an 'abandoned' 1987 Regal Turbo T. These are among the most rare of the Turbo Regals with 1,500 produced in 1987 (versus 20,000 Grand Nationals). It's a plain regal with the Grand National drivetrain. His "T" has options like bucket seats, a console, and the black-out trim around the windows, headlights, etc. You could get the Turbo in "Limited" trim which had a bench seat, column shifter, and all power options (and, of course, the Grand National engine, trans and rear).

My brother bought this car and rebuilt the engine with some minor and not-so-minor upgrades (at no small expense). It's a 12-second car, but not much to look at. It's a numbers-matching car with receipts for everything that's ever been done to it from the window sticker to oil changes. It's supposed to be Dark Red Metallic with burgundy interior (which is really a nice combination). It needs body work on every panel (rust and collision damage), headliner's gone, interior is pretty much spent, stock rims are toast. It's basically a Turbo drivetrain in a shell of a body. Now the trans is slipping......

Pics of the 1987 Turbo T:
http://www.turbojimmy.com/87t.html

Uncle called again a couple of weeks ago. He has a 1986 Regal Limited. 307 V8, dark red metallic with burgundy interior. 25,000 miles. A perfect low mileage example of the top-of-the-line Regal (though no turbo) except for the fact it's hit hard in the front and RH 1/4 panel (right on the corner, by the tail light). It's a high hit in the front - just sheet metal damage. Frame is fine and looks like the day it rolled off the assembly line. The car is CLEAN. Power everything, plush Limited interior and Landau roof.

Pics of the 1986 Limited:
http://www.muellersautorecycling.com/listman/listings/l0001.html


We could easily bolt the '87 T's nose to this car and have the 1/4 panel repaired. The Turbo 3.8 drivetrain would swap easily into it, too. Then we'd have the perfect sleeper. A 12-second grandma-mobile down to the wire-wheel-look hubcaps. This car has a much better interior (even if you were to restore the 'T' interior it wouldn't be as nice) and we'd be slightly ahead of the game bodywork-wise. We'd put the 'T' shell in storage (i.e., drag it behind the garage and cover it).

The original 1987 Turbo T could be restored. We'd have to find the correct interior parts (while the same color, the interior on the Limited is different) and have the bodywork done. We could take the trans out of the 25k-mile Limited and swap over the turbo-specific parts and essentially have a low-mileage turbo trans thus saving about $1,000 for a rebuild. We'd then junk this 25k-mile Limited which, while not really having any market value, just bugs me.

What would you do?

Jim
 

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What I would personally do, just to mess with people.... which is probably not what alot of people would do....

Keep the Turbo T, I hte rust, so fix the rust.... as simply as possible, even if it means just patching it up then sparying some primer on it. Once the rust is gone, it will no longer eat away at the body.

Keep the dents, fadded paint, primer, falling moulding.

You now have one hell of a cool sleeper, that Mustang Cobra boy won't realize why the hell an old POS Buick just kicked his ass :)

of course that is just me :) once you get the rust taken care of, the body wont relly get any worse, so you can always restore it in the future.

Otherwise, with the 307 car, even tough the paint is in great shape, you are still looking at a total repaint when the nose is switched and the 1/4 panel fixed.... if you just paint the areas that need to be done, it'll never match right and will fade differently in the future.... so how i see it is, both cars need a full paint job.

Why not fix up the turbo T with the body work, paint it, then swap the interior form the 307 car? since that is a mint interior, just swap the whole thing over, keep the origanal T stuff for the future, but that would be th best way to have a solid, nice looking, practically brand new interior.... then of course you could swap the wheels and other stuff from the Regal if you wanted to keep some kind of a sleeper look.

but I still vote for the beat down look.... most of these Regals you still see are kinda trashed looking usually running around in city's as "gangsta" cars.... so when someone sees it, they'll probably just laugh.... until you hit the go pedal :) huge + if the exhaust isn't that wild and you don't hear the turbo :)

Gosh, I really am starting to like these cars now... I always did, but I just really like the body styling.. personally I would want an Oldsmobile Cutlass.... since I have a thing for Olds.... they are just nice cars.
 

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It depends on the level of restoration you plan to do. If its going to be some half assed restoration like half the crap you see rolling down the street then just bring the 86' to usable condition again. However if youre going to go whole hog and do it all correctly, i.e. fix rust, new quality paint, new interior, any necessary engine and body work with panel replacements where necessary etc. then the one to keep is obviously the Turbo T if its as rare as you say. That car will very likely one day be worth the investment in time and money.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
DopeStar 156 said:
Hey Jimmy I saw your GN at Hoff's Auto! Don't you have an external fuel pressure gauge on your hood?
I don't have an external FP gauge. I have one inside the car that doesn't work because the isolators are junk. I should put one on the outside. But don't feel bad. When we go to GN events no one can tell their own cars apart. They all look exactly alike - even the Draglites are a very popular mod.

Anyway, my brother is still torn. He's all pissed at the car now so I can't talk to him about it. Frankly I don't think he has the patience to own one of these finicky cars. Swapping the interior makes sense, but he says if he's going to restore the T then he's gonna restore the T - interior too.

I'm not sure what a half-assed restoration is. I suppose my GN is pretty much a half-assed restoration. I got it looking good from 10 feet away and called it done. We won't be doing a concourse restoration on the T either, but we'd like to get decent paint on it and get the inside looking nice. It's a nice weather/weekend warrior and it will be raced during the warmer months.

The "T" does have a salvage title, but only because that's how a garage takes posession of cars whos owners have abandoned them in PA. There was no physical damage to the car. The turbo was bad and the owner couldn't afford to fix it. He just left it there (he is or was in jail too, so that might have something to do with it, but it's a long story). The Limited has a clean title despite the damage but even with a clean title it's worth less than the T with a salvage title.

Worst case is we'll take the burgundy stuff that is not 'Limited' specific and put it in the T. Take the trans and crush the rest. Anyone need a 25k-mile 307?

Thanks for the replies!

Jim
 

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Well, it certainly doesnt have to be a concourse restoration or anything too over the top, but it should basically respect the vehicle in its execution. Im talking like no panels left with primer on them, cheap enamel paint that flakes off or warps at the slightest bit of heat etc, no tears in the seats if possible, good dash components.

Something that doesnt just look good from far away, but that you approach and still looks as good.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Playdrv4me said:
Well, it certainly doesnt have to be a concourse restoration or anything too over the top, but it should basically respect the vehicle in its execution. Im talking like no panels left with primer on them, cheap enamel paint that flakes off or warps at the slightest bit of heat etc, no tears in the seats if possible, good dash components.

Something that doesnt just look good from far away, but that you approach and still looks as good.
Oh yeah, he'll definitely do the bodywork and paint right. Mine has a decent paint job on it. Not perfect by any means, but it's nice base/clear paint job the cleans up nice. It's had its share of dings over the past 6 years since I've owned it, but it still looks decent.

His car is "DRM" (dark red metallic) which is almost a chameleon like color because of the metallic in it. In certain lights it looks like a dark cherry - almost black - in others it looks red or maroon. I really like the color when it's applied properly and not worn out. It doesn't make sense to do that kind of color half-assed.

Right now it looks like he might set it on fire and push it down the driveway. But he's threatened to do that before....

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
davesdeville said:
Being a 500 man myself I say sell the Turbo T, swap a 500 and put a new quarter panel on the Limited and call it good. :p
It would be cool to put a healthy SBC in the Limited but there's no sense in doing that.

It turns out there are bigger implications to switching drivetrains. The brakes on the TRs are electric, so there's that difference. The suspension is different, rear is different, control arms are different, yadda yadda yadda. I talked to my brother and I think we're going to swap that Limited interior over to the T, take the trans and trash the rest of the Limited. We'll probably see if anyone wants a low-mileage 307 but it's a pretty small market.

Jim
 

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Why isn't there sense in doing a regular ass V8? Cause a n/a car isn't cool enough? :p

Oh, and a SBC swap in a G body where it's almost like a 500 was made to go? Pff.

Looks like your choice was made for you though, so good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
davesdeville said:
Why isn't there sense in doing a regular ass V8? Cause a n/a car isn't cool enough? :p

Oh, and a SBC swap in a G body where it's almost like a 500 was made to go? Pff.

Looks like your choice was made for you though, so good luck.
It has nothing to do with being cool. It has to do with which car to invest in. The Limited V8 has zero value, maybe a little more than with a 307 but still very little compared to the T-Type. It's just the way it is. If we were going to do a V8 we'd not have spent $3K on rebuilding the turbo V6. Like you 500 guys, the Turbo V6 thing is a religion. If you have to question it you wouldn't understand ;)

If there's real interest by anyone in this Limited as-is I'd sell it because as a car guy I'd rather see a 25k-mile body put to use. But the only market for it is for parts for people restoring Turbo cars.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
davesdeville said:
If you were looking for a car to INVEST in then why was there a question in the first place?
Because we're looking for the path of least resistance to get a semi-decent looking car put together between the 2 of them. There was never a question as to what the drivetrain would be. As I explained before, if we were to throw the V6 drivetrain in the Limited we'd put the T body in storage so that when funds allow we can put all the numbers matching components back together.

Jim
 

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I like Night Wolf's idea except I'd put a clean paint job on it. I think it makes sense to keep and restore the T. Most peolpe will have no idea what it is so you will still have a great sleeper if you keep the outside subtle. Just leave any Turbo T insignia off the outside of the car.

Sounds like it would be a fun project.
 

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hey im glad i found this post, i have an 85 regal limited, the engine blew on the guy i bought it from so he has a 4.1 v6 in it, the tranny went as soon as i bought it so i have one waiting to be put in

will a 700r4 fit that 307?

my driver front panel has a dent in it like jet li karate chopped it or somethin then he got mad and kicked in my driver side door near the front edge. since mine is a plain jane regal im goin the lowrider route with it. any extra suspension body and frame parts i can get in good condition will help

if you plan to junk it let me know i may be able to pick some stuff up and compensate you for it
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OffThaHorseCEO said:
hey im glad i found this post, i have an 85 regal limited, the engine blew on the guy i bought it from so he has a 4.1 v6 in it, the tranny went as soon as i bought it so i have one waiting to be put in

will a 700r4 fit that 307?

my driver front panel has a dent in it like jet li karate chopped it or somethin then he got mad and kicked in my driver side door near the front edge. since mine is a plain jane regal im goin the lowrider route with it. any extra suspension body and frame parts i can get in good condition will help

if you plan to junk it let me know i may be able to pick some stuff up and compensate you for it
It's in great shape other than what you can see in the pics. The hit was high enough in the front that the frame was not damaged. The car has a clean title. Everything from an '85 will interchange with an '86. I'm pretty sure a 7004R will bolt up to a 307, too. We're just going to take the trans and most of the interior out of the '86. We're going to crush the rest (including the 307 4BBL engine). I'm not sure what the geographic plan is yet - the car is in central PA. We may have it trucked to us in NJ or we may strip it out there.

I'll keep you posted.

Jim
 
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