My new 81 Regal


Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2002
So, a friend of mine who is a GS guy tells me about this 81 Regal. It belonged to a relative of his neighbor who had passed away recently. Long story short, my friend Don goes over to check the car out for me (he's about an hour away from me). He gives me an accurate description over the phone, and I end up making a deal with a member of the family, sight unseen.

This car is by far the oddest option Regal I've layed eyes on to date, and I've been around these cars for 30+ years.

The car has no power options, bucket seats, console shift, clock delete, f41 suspension, chrome mirrors, and no a/c. Has a Pontiac 301 and a posi rear. 29k original miles. Hasn't seen daylight since mid 2000s, and has never been in bad weather. All original paint that I can see.

The relative told me he was nuts about this car. He had bungy cords taped to the garage wall where the door opened. I have the chassis manual with the car, and most if not all the original owners manuals, as he ordered the car new. He had the car ziebarted, and it's still black underneath.


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Plans were to do an 87 intercooled conversion on it, but it's such a nice original, I'm not sure I wanna mess with it. Car needs exhaust, and an alternator. I haven't had it running yet, but the oil looks ok, so I might throw a battery in it and see how it sounds.
Nice find! I've really enjoyed driving my 82 that was bought under similar circumstances. Like you, I had big plans to change a bunch of things but its so original I hate to touch it.

Believe it or not the original 34 year old water pump was on it until was an exercise in patience to gently move the bolts back and forth to avoid breaking them off (also a little heat).

Got more pictures of yours?
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Nice find.

But i would have to agree that it deserves to have a complete drivetrain from 86/87 v6 turbo intercooled car transplant.
This was in the link that Charlie provided. If it's correct you may have a turbo Pontiac block.

I choose to use a Turbo block because I had read that the Turbo blocks have a little more meat in the main bearing webbing area and have larger main cap bolts. I have noticed that every '80 and '81 301 motor I have seen is a Turbo block. A Turbo block has a "301T" cast on the side by the motor mount pads. I have even found that some non-Turbo cars have Turbo heads. A Turbo head has a "T" cast on the exhaust runner, number 1 and 7 cylinders, although I don't believe that there is any difference between a Turbo and non-Turbo head. For '80 and '81
Nice find.

But i would have to agree that it deserves to have a complete drivetrain from 86/87 v6 turbo intercooled car transplant.

I totally agree that the conversion is the way to go, but I'm knee deep in a bunch of other stuff right now, and it's hard to mess with an original car, as long as there's no current drivetrain issues.

After diving into it a little further last night, I discovered the motor is actually a 265 Pontiac motor. Should have put my glasses on before I read the emissions label the first time.

Mike, I'll get more pics today. Gonna put an alternator on it and rob the battery out of the wh1 and see if it'll start
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Nice car for sure. If it were mine, I'd have to swap drivetrain though. With what is essentially a 301 with less bore and 2:41 gears, that thing will probably lose a drag race against a kid on a bike. I don't think I would turbo swap it though. I'd get a reasonably cheap Chevy V8 swapped in and some 3:42 gears for a fun cruiser.
That would be a cool conversion. Just cruise it until you have the time to convert it. Clean cars are hard to come by, especially with a bucket interior.
Always liked the 81 taillights.
and those got to be the oldest living bumper fillers lol
Thank you.
For now, I'm gonna leave it alone. If I do a drivetrain swap, it would be V6 turbo powered. No way on earth I'd put a Chevy in it.

I like that idea. It would be awesome to surprise some people with the turbo setup in that!
Saw this car in person, it is legit super clean! And those who know Tim know that it would be abnormal if he did not have multiple Buick projects all at once!