GMHTP Project Power Trip 10-Second Turbo-T

rick j.

Jun 27, 2001
GMHTP Power Trip 10-Second Turbo-T

This 1987 Turbo-T is the GM High-Tech Performance project car called Power Trip. Some of the most respected names in the Buick world built it to do two things: run 10s on slicks, and handle long commutes in reliable, air-conditioned comfort.

It’s still comfortable, reliable, and crazy fast. However, since I have several other projects that need my attention now, it’s time for Power Trip to find a new owner.

This is a powerful street/strip machine that you can race and road trip, and I’ve spent lots of time and money in the last year to get it ready for you. I’m even throwing in some cool GMHTP items as part of the deal.

However, while the paint looks great the body has a few dings. And it had one minor front end accident with me driving in 1995, and a 1988 accident with the previous owner that the police no longer have records for. It feels and drives just fine though, so if you want a fast TR at a good price and don’t care about it being investment-grade perfect, this one is for you.

This post is ridiculously long because I now live in the sticks of Nebraska, four hours from the nearest major airport. Along with the pics, videos, and receipts in the link below, this ad should explain exactly what kind of shape this Buick is in. That way there will be no surprises when you take the stagecoach up from Denver to see it in person.

Nearly 100 photos, videos, invoices, time slips, and vehicle history reports can be found at:
GMHTP Power Trip Dropbox

GM High-Tech Performance project car from 2002-2008
$31,000+ in upgrades in last 15 years
Cal Hartline, Jack Cotton, Eric Schertz, and Ron Joseph built it
10.4 ET at 128 mph quarter mile in race tune with slicks/skinnies
Reliable 11-second street car w/current tune, ran a 300-mile road rally in 2016 with no issues
3,460-pound hardtop with low options, including aluminum drums/bumper brackets, and manual windows/seats
Fixed factory weaknesses with a GNX dash, vacuum brake system, body bushings/GNX bushings, and front and rear chassis bracing
8,000 miles on fully rebuilt engine/trans/rear end, 168,000 on chassis
11+ inch wide rear wheels will fit thanks to cut frame rails
Repainted in modern clearcoat in the mid-1990s, cut and polished in 2019
Cold A/C, converted to R134a
Multiple theft deterrents and locking wheel nuts
880-Watt Pioneer/Sony stereo, Bluetooth digital media receiver, 3.5-inch front, 6x9 rear speakers, 10-inch Bazooka sub, run off of a 5-channel amplifier
Owned for 25 years


10.45 ET at 128 mph (race tune, 28-30 psi boost, 5 psi launch, C16 race fuel, Englishtown, NJ)
559 rwhp, 550 lb-ft torque (race tune, 24 psi boost, C16 race fuel, SuperFlow dyno)
472 rwhp, 461 lb-ft torque (19 psi boost, pump/race fuel mix, Dynojet dyno)
150 feet, 60-0 braking


Mechanical: 9/10. Every part from engine to axles was professionally built and installed by Cal Hartline, Eric Schertz, Jack Cotton, and Ron Joseph. Around 30 quarter mile passes after build with no issues. 150+ compression in all cylinders. Maybe a drop or two of oil from the rear main. Rear of driveshaft has slight wear where it used to hit the now-removed GNX suspension’s brace.


Interior: 7/10. Cracked/glued upper dash trim panel, driver side mirror adjuster broken, door panels and buckets in good shape with no rips, headliner and carpet was replaced, carpet now has a couple small stains. B&M shifter sits in slightly modified console, back seat hasn’t been used since high school. Giggity.


Exterior: 8/10. Body has a few small dents, minor crack on B pillar from before I braced the car, one front amber lens is cracked. Base/clear repaint was just professionally polished to remove orange peel, new factory style front and rear bumper fillers just painted and installed. Front rims have slight chrome pitting in hub area, needs new drag radials.


Busted Stuff:
Power antenna
Third brake light won’t illuminate even after new housing/bulb and cleaned brake switch
Dash wideband O2 not connected (XFI wideband works)
Cruise control doesn’t work with GNX-style dash
XFI oil and fuel pressure connection is disconnected


Sale Includes:
GM High-Tech Performance magazines with “Power Trip” build, in rare GMHTP binder
Original 11/14/07 Englishtown timeslip printout of GMHTP track day with 10.45 run
GMHTP license plates, old style and new style
All-Buick “Buicks That Fly” special GMHTP issue
Extra Cometic head gasket kit
Big bag o’ Buick bolts
Locking wheel nut keys
Original owner’s manual
One set of keys


The Deal:
$17,000, no trades, wire transfer only

One lien, Buick used as collateral on my new car loan through a local bank. Titles in Nebraska are filed electronically, so once the bank gets the wire, it will take a week for the paper title to come to me so I can sign over to you. But once my bank gets the wire transfer, you can drive or ship the vehicle immediately if you like.

Due to my remote location in Nebraska, I’m happy to do a FaceTime session with serious buyers showing engine startup, vehicle condition, driving, etc.

We have two good mechanics in town. If you want to arrange for a pre-purchase inspection I can point you in the right direction.


Driving Characteristics:
This street/strip Turbo-T was built over 10 years ago, and was set up for max power at the strip. It pushed an estimated 600 rwhp and 600 rwtq at the 28-30 psi boost level during its 10.45 run.

The combo includes a roller cam, 3500-stall converter, 67GTQ turbo, headers, and a vacuum brake system. It’s not as responsive as a stock-combo TR, or as responsive as a modern-day 10-second combo using today’s quick spooling turbos and modern converters.

However with only a 5-psi launch, it spun the slicks hard at Englishtown’s sticky starting line. Even with low-boost launches the torque is immense; as it is only used for street duty now and I’m no spring chicken reflex-wise, a little lag before max boost is fine as it easily smokes the drag radials through two gears.

Drivability around town is smooth, and with the lockup converter it cruises at 70 mph at around 2,000 rpm. Due to me having to request another tune (thanks Cal) years after the build that Mr. Hartline fine tuned himself, the current “baseline” tune will occasionally stall during cold starts and idling at cold coolant temps; my laptop crashed soon after, so the next owner should update the XFI software, have the tune cleaned up by an XFI expert, and adjust the dual fan turn on temp.

1988: before I owned it, the Box Butte County (Alliance, NE) police department filed report #188024688 on 6/4/88. I contacted the Box Butte County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska State Patrol but could not get any accident info.

1995: Lancaster County (Lincoln, NE), minor front end damage when Powermaster failed on me and I hit the rear of a compact car with the nose. Police weren’t called. My ex-brother in law insurance agent approved a nose and grill replacement, plus a full repaint, proving that even douchebags can occasionally be helpful.

FYI I’ve done 60,000 miles since the 1995 accident, and the frame / alignment / tire wear / driving feel are all fine. And yes, that means that I spent over a decade driving through NYC and Jersey, and the Buick never got a scratch. Call the freakin Guinness Book.

Odometer: estimated 168,000 miles
1993: Bought with 70,000 miles on odometer
2004: Original dash replaced at 158,065 miles in GMHTP GNX-style dash story
2004-08: Garaged in Queens except for 1-2 tech stories and track days/month in E-Town, NJ.
2008-11: Shipped to and garaged in Clearwater, FL. Driven to car shows and 3-4 tech stories
2011-Present: Shipped to and garaged in Western Nebraska. Driven around town, went to local shows, one Tour Nebraska event and one 300-mile road rally in 2016. Got new speedo working through XFI system in 2012, current new speedo reading is around 2,300.

NOTE: on the Carfax report seen in my Dropbox folder, there’s a 5/11/06 date from the Florida DMV that says “vehicle purchase reported.” This is wrong as I didn’t move to Florida until late 2008, and had registered the Buick in East Elmhurst NY (Queens) 2 months before that 5/11/06 date.


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In early 1993, my dad took me car shopping in western Nebraska. I’d seen G bodies in Hot Rod and Car Craft for years, and was drawn to the black Monte SS and Turbo Regal. We looked at a Monte SS Aerocoupe and a GN first, both out of my price range. Then we found this black Turbo-T with 70k on it, and I wanted it bad, but the lot had closed.

Fast forward to March 1993, when I heard a rumble outside and went out to see the T pull into the driveway. Unbeknownst to me, dad had gone to test drive it. He’d cut his teeth on souped-up Chevys and a ’67 Corvette, and couldn’t believe how quick this V-6 Buick was, so he bought it on the spot. I was happy to pay back half of the purchase price for this sinister Regal, which wore an aftermarket exhaust and Centerline wheels.

I had plenty of fun with it my senior year, then took it to college in faraway Lincoln. By that time the T had an upgraded fuel system and air intake from Kenne Bell, and a 100-octane chip if I could afford race gas that weekend. 13- and 12-second cars were quick back then in Nebraska, and I outran plenty of challengers on desolate East O Street.
I enjoyed trying to set low ET on the frequent, 300-mile trips home. That backfired one day when I got pulled over by a speed team: the K-9 officer took one look at my “radar jammer,” said, “This junk doesn’t work,” and confiscated it while giving me a hefty speeding ticket. No race gas that month!

After graduation in 1998 I moved to Minneapolis, where I started a job, joined a cool car club, and spent time at the south St. Paul street race spots. The competition was much quicker but the T loved that cool air. I have no idea how many times I raced in the first 8 years I owned it, but it had more kills than Arya Stark. I’d started reading a cool new EFI GM mag called GM High-Tech Performance, and when editor John Hunkins put out a call for a new writer, I got the job and moved to Jersey in 2001.

Street racing on the east coast was serious business, both from a speed and legal perspective. So aside from a few spirited pulls on the Garden State Parkway and I-95, I instead focused on my writing. Working at GMHTP was this GM hot rodder’s dream job: someone actually paid me to install speed parts, test them at Englishtown’s Raceway Park, and write about it. We GM guys took plenty of good-natured ball busting from the Muscle Mustangs staff, so after I became GMHTP’s editor, I developed a plan to cut a couple of seconds off of the T’s ET while keeping it streetable. And the Power Trip project was born.


To have some of the best Turbo Buick builders in the country working on this jalopy was a real honor, and I’m still so grateful to Cal, Jack, Ron, and the legendary Eric Schertz for transforming my mild Regal.

As a quick side note, Eric was responsible for my worst boss ass-chewing ever: during a test day at E-Town, he flashed that huge smile, pointed to his 9-second TR, and said, “Wanna go for a ride?” Afterwards, Jim Campisano’s face got bright red and my ears burned, but it was totally worth it.


After the build culminated in a mid 10-second pass and begrudging respect from the Mustang crew, I enjoyed street driving the T in NYC, and later in Clearwater FL, where I worked for AutoTrader for a few years. After that I shipped it back to Nebraska where I’ve been enjoying it since.


I’m now in my 40s with a “responsible” sedan and different priorities. The problem is, when I drive the T I wanna crank the boost up and go sideways all day, not drive it like a responsible pud. So now, as much as it pains me, it’s time for someone else to go sideways all day.

Non-Power Trip Build Story Links:

Tech Info and Costs:

2006-2008 GMHTP Power Trip Build

Part I: Start Engine Build
Stock block N/A $0
Stock crank N/A $0
Stock rods N/A $0
Machine Work N/A $1,200
JE pistons, chrome bar stock wrist pins, rings, locks, pin-fit option 235223 $860
RJC Girdle w/studs RJC-231d $399
ARP Head studs 123-4203 $84
Champion iron heads GN1-4000A $1,195
Champion ported manifold GN1-25527221PM $275
COMP Cams roller cam 69-000-8 $363
Cometic head gaskets C5691-036 $140
Rollmaster timing chain Hartline Spec $135
Part I Costs: $4,651

Part II: Finish Engine Build
COMP Cams roller lifters 853-12 $423
COMP Cams 5/16 pushrods 7966-16 $170
T&D shaft-mount rockers 6000 $508
75-pound injectors 17113742 $375
RJC oil pan RJC-DSOP-20 $249
RJC pan gasket RJC-PG $20
RJC pulley 7-pc kit N/A $399
GM crank sensor N/A $60
Water pump N/A $60
Right Stuff N/A $30
Engine paint N/A $10
Valve covers N/A $140
Valve cover gaskets N/A $30
Valvoline 10-40 N/A $10
Oil filter N/A $5
Part II Costs: $2,738

Part III: Converter and Pump Kit
9.5-inch, 3500-stall, 5-disc Vigilante torque converter N/A $997
Pump Kit 2004RPTK $60
Part III Costs: $1,057

Part IV and V: Drivetrain and Engine Bay
Precision Turbo 67GTQ turbocharger PTB400-1575 $1,549
Precision Turbo stock-location intercooler PIN 053-2005 $849
Precision Turbo upper intake PEP022-1010 $149
Precision Turbo /Accufab 70mm throttle body PEP024-1009 $484
Casper’s custom wiring harness 109032 $629
TA Performance headersTA V2010CH-SS $955
Racetronix fuel systemN/A $350
Racetronix injector harnessRX-G7-INJ-A $75
RJC Racing Power PlateADPPp $59
Be Cool direct-fit radiator 66062 $730
HRPartsNStuff poly motor mounts 0101 $209
HRPartsNStuff poly trans mount 0600 $89
Classic Tube trans cooler lines (2)BUT1012 $79
Classic Tube fuel feed line BUF1024 $99
Classic Tube fuel return line BUR1012 $99
Classic Tube turbo feed line BUO1014 $30 power steering pump N/A $100
TR Custom Parts 4-inch Inlet system N/A $110
K&N 9-inch cone filter, 4-inch inlet RE-0870 $40
Kirban thermostat housing 6706 $25
Sandpaper, spray paint, etc. N/A $15
Port wastegate hole/TIG weld EGT N/A $40
Part IV and V Costs: $6,764

Part VI: XFI Installation/Tuning
XFI ECU with Wideband O2 30-1000 $1,649
Casper's Electronics ECU Adapter Module 108112 $249
Casper's Electronics MAP Adapter Plug-In 108119 $30
Hartline Performance XFI Fuel/Oil Logging Kit 105038 $245
Hartline Performance Flash Selector Switch Module 105083 $N/A
Hartline Performance Tuning $100/hr $500
Part VI Costs: $2,673

Part VII: Rear End & Framerail Mods
Strange C-clip eliminator axle kit, 1/2-20x3-inch studs P1011GOT $500
Eaton 8.5-inch, 30-spline posi19559-010 $546
Reider Racing 3.42 ring-and-pinion GM10/342 $156
HRPartsnstuff Super Sway Bar 0450 $489
Cotton’s framerail cut/bracing mods N/A $900
Setting up new gears in 10-bolt rear N/A $300
Part VII Costs: $2,891

Part VIII and IX:
Racegate External Wastegate 10307 $496
Cotton’s 3.5-inch Downpipe TA_V2008A $500
Cotton’s Deluxe Line Lock Kit BR107 $109
Part VIII and IX Costs: $1,105

Other Upgrades:
Performance Instruments 9-gauge GNX dash $3,380
Dynotech Hi-Pro transmission rebuild $1,495
Master Power vacuum brake system with pump, BM8743, $845
Cotton’s 3-inch dual exhaust system $N/A
American Racing Torq-Thrust IIs, 17x8/17x9.5 $2,000
Front Goodyears / Rear M/T drag radials, $800
Headliner, $200
Console riser with cup holders, $146
Other Upgrades Costs: $8,866

Subtotal: $30,745

Pre-Sale Upgrades in Last Year:
Group size 78 battery, $130
Copper header gaskets, $50
Hood shocks, $30
Coolant and washer fluid tanks, $60
Hood cowl seal, $30
Trunk weatherstrip, $38
Rear seat sound deadener, $37
Interior dash and console appliqués, $58
OEM-style front & rear bumper fillers, $300
New windshield*, $210
Pre-Sale Upgrades Costs: $943


*FYI, I would get a couple drops of water above the rear view mirror after a high pressure car wash, so in early 2019 I had a shop try to remove the windshield and re-seal it. It cracked during the removal process, so a new windshield was installed.

Data File:
Block: Stock GM, iron “109”, bored to 3.805, machined to Hartline specs, RJC girdle
Crank: Stock GM, 1260873, machined to Hartline specs
Rods: Stock GM, 25506520, machined to Hartline specs, Clevite 77 bearings
Pistons: JE forged, 3.805, 2618 aluminum, full floating pins, dual spiro locks, high-strength chrome bar wrist pins
Cam: Comp Cams billet roller, 210º/210º duration at .050, .317-inch lobe lift, .523-inch lift with 1.65-ratio rockers, 110 LSA, Rollmaster double-roller timing chain
Heads: Champion iron “8445”, CNC ported, 46cc chambers, 1.77-inch/1.50-inch Ferrea stainless valves, heat riser filled, hand-finished intake/exhaust ports, 140-lb springs, Cometic head gaskets
Pushrods: Comp Cams, 5/16
Rocker arms: T&D shaft mount, 1.65 ratio, roller tip
Manifold: Champion factory aluminum, CNC-ported and hand-polished
Doghouse: Precision Turbo/Accufab with 70mm throttle body and RJC Racing Power Plate
Intake: TR Custom Parts 4-inch with 9-inch K&N filter

Fuel system: Delphi 75-lb/hr flow-matched, low-impedance injectors, Racetronix in-tank double pumper, Classic Tube fuel feed/return lines
Engine management: FAST XFI 2.0, Caspers plug & play ECU adapter to new wiring harness
Ignition: Stock GM
Turbo: PTE GT67Q, 4-inch inlet/2.5-inch outlet T04S cover, .63 A/R turbine/.70 A/R compressor
Intercooler: PTE stock-location, 19-row bar & plate design, 3-inch inlet/3-inch outlet
Wastegate: Racegate external
Cooling: BeCool radiator, Spal dual-fan setup, 160º thermostat
Wiring: Casper’s Electronics engine wiring harness, Racetronix injector harness

Headers: TA Performance, 1.5-inch primaries, copper gaskets
Exhaust system: Cotton’s Performance Dual 3-inch, with Magnaflow mufflers
Mounts: HRPartsNStuff poly engine and trans mounts
Transmission: Dynotech Hi-Pro by Eric Schertz, 900-hp capable, pump kit for multi-disc converter, trans cooler, Classic Tube cooler lines
Torque converter: Vigilante 9.5-inch, 3500-stall, 5-Disc for WOT lockup
Front chassis: SC&C frame brace, Kirban body bushings
Rear chassis: Cotton’s Performance notched/reinforced frame, Kirban GNX brace, GNX bushings and body bushings
Front suspension: Moog 5660 springs, QA1 single-adjustable shocks
Rear suspension: Kirban variable-rate springs, QA1 single-adjustable shocks, BMR upper and lower control arms, HRPartsNStuff 1.25-inch Super Sway bar
Rear end: Precision Gear 3.42 ring & pinion, Eaton posi, Strange 30-spline C-clip eliminator axles with 1/2-inch 20x3-inch studs, TA Performance diff cover
Brakes: Master Power vacuum conversion with pump, stock size front discs, stock rear aluminum drums with larger cylinders and shoes
Wheels: Torq-Thrust II 17-inch, 9.5-inch/5-inch backspacing rear, 8-inch/4-inch backspacing front
Front tires: Goodyear Eagle GT, 245/45/ZR17
Rear tires: Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial, 275/40/17


RPO Codes:

085588 J47

AR9 Seats, reclining bucket
AU3 Power door locks
A01 Tinted glass
BS1 Acoustical insulation package
B94 Mouldings/exterior emblems
CD4 Windshield wiper 2-speed with low speed delay feature
C60 Air conditioning, manual
D35 Mirrors, outside rear view; left remote - right manual
D55 Console, full length, operating
D64 Visor vanity mirror, lighted; passenger side
D7I LC2 speedometer drive gear code
D85 Stripe, body side, lower accent
E5Z Believed to be a sub-assembly code for Pontiac assembled turbo cars
FE3 Sport Suspension Package
FFL Flint assembly
GMD General GM assembly code
GU6 3.42 Final Drive Ratio
G87 8.50-inch Diameter Ring Gear, non-posi
J42 Aluminum Drum Brake
J50 Power brakes, front disc
K09 120 Amp Alternator
K34 Electronic cruise control
LC2 3.8L (231cid) SFI turbocharged V6 with intercooler
MW9 Turbohydramatic 200-4R transmission
MX0 Automatic transmission with overdrive
NA5 Federal Emissions Equipment
NP5 Leather wrapped sport steering wheel
NQ5 Deluxe Horn Cap And Emblem
N33 Tilt steering wheel
N89 Aluminum Turbo Wheel
PON Pontiac assembly
QYZ Tires; P215/65R15 steel belted radials, blackwall
TT5 Headlamps, tungsten halogen high beam
T1Y Value package
T47 Turbo Hood
UM6 cassette tape+etr am/fm stereo with seek/scan, auto reverse/clock
UQ1 Provisions For Stereo Equipment
U23 Trip odometer
U66 Radio speakers, extended range, dual rear
U75 Power antenna, automatic
VD6 Bumper provisions, front, aluminum
VD7 Bumper provisions, rear, aluminum
VK3 Front license plate bracket
V73 Bumper Guards
YT9 Build up, DR + QTR custom (Fisher)
Y56 T package, includes FE2+gas shocks+alum. wheels+QYZ+NP5
11A White body-side stripes
19Q Moulding color, black
19U Black Exterior Paint
6YX Spring code
7YW Spring code
8PZ Spring code
82B Medium Gray Interior
82I Medium Gray Interior
829 Unknown Interior Code
9PZ Spring code

Bad to the bone on the radio is a nice touch! But yeah, I'm with're making it hard to get rid of my car. Nice car at a very nice price.
Appreciate it guys. I’ve been planning this for awhile so had lots of time to take pics, and took some notes while I was at it.
Cost wise I’d forgotten how different “good enough for me” and “good enough to sell” was...

Blue and Rafs, the way Turbo Buicks are getting love these days I wouldn’t sweat it, these beasts are mythical now so lots of folks want em!
Unless someone is absolutely stuck on having a GN, I can't see how someone would not buy this TR at that price. That's a lot of car for that money. Glws.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
Happy Fourth everybody. Here’s a throwback pic from around 1995.


I’ve gotten some questions about the Centerlines, man I loved those wheels. 15 inches of 80s glory.


Ten years later, a buddy tried to shame me into the 21st century with this note, and soon the 17 inch Torq Thrusts went on.

The diehard Ohio State fan paid for that over the course of a weekend at his place, where I hung Nebraska flags out of the windows, and planted Husker towels, glasses, bottle openers etc throughout the house. He didn’t find the big flag for days.

Don’t mess with the Champ 500s.
GLWS there Ricker! Love this car! Great car at a great price. I used to love watching this car at the track. It ran like a raped ape but with the manners of a Sunday school teacher.
Wow, I’m in love! And man with the whole story laid out like that, what’s not to love?? This is a smoking deal.
I remember this car! great car and price! Good luck!
Happy Fourth everybody. Here’s a throwback pic from around 1995.

View attachment 343152

I’ve gotten some questions about the Centerlines, man I loved those wheels. 15 inches of 80s glory.

View attachment 343153

Ten years later, a buddy tried to shame me into the 21st century with this note, and soon the 17 inch Torq Thrusts went on.

The diehard Ohio State fan paid for that over the course of a weekend at his place, where I hung Nebraska flags out of the windows, and planted Husker towels, glasses, bottle openers etc throughout the house. He didn’t find the big flag for days.

Don’t mess with the Champ 500s.
Whoa talk about a carbon copy! Yep that’s exactly what mine looked like before the repaint, my painter decided to leave the emblems off for some reason.
Sweet ride you had.