N/A regal with 87 turbo set-up


Oct 28, 2006
I had a T-type that was originally a Chicago car. Two years after bringing it to Florida, the body and floors rusted out so badly, it was beyond repair. I got the idea to take a non-rusted 84 regal that I bought in Ocala, and put the turbo parts in it. I found a nice, solid 84 regal and purchased it for $800. I then gutted both cars and put all the turbo parts in the non-rusted body. It doesn't sound hard because the bodies are the same. In fact, the bodies and the frame are the only thing that are same. I had to switch every mechanical part, the dash, wiring, even the electrical harness that runs to the rear of the car. The Turbo car has an electrical fuel pump and the regal had a carb. Once I accomplished this , I converted the car from a bench seat to buckets by stealing the floor brackets from my T-type. I then had the car painted with a Dupont base coat/clear coat paint job and had the car wet sanded and buffed. Since the car was original paint and had no rust, they took it down to bare metal first. I spent $3600 on the paint work.
It is now beautiful, as Brian from G bodyparts can attest to, since I emailed him some pictures. I am really proud of it because I did 90% of the work by myself, with ordinary hand tools. I don't even have a compressor. I finished the project in 4 months, start to finish.
Now, I have a problem. The car is vin as a regular N/A regal. I have about $17,000 into the project, counting the parts I took from my T-type. That is with me doing the work. I paid to have a appraisal done and it came in as being worth $22,000. I saved all my reciepts. A N/A regal is probably worth $2000 max. The only way any insurance company will insure it for anything close to the appraisal value I had done($22,000), is if I get collector car insurance. I wanted to drive the car to work. I already have a 87 GN that is strictly a show car. Now I have two show turbo regals. It looks like my only choice is to go out a buy a junker to run to work, and save the car I just finished, for the weekends. I know I can't change the world, but this really sucks. I can't publish what I think of insurance companies right now because it would probably get me thrown off this site. All that hard work..... There is something wrong with this world. :mad: Any advice would be appreciated.
My advice is to DRIVE IT! What's the odds of getting into a wreck or someone hitting it? You can't just sit around being worried about that when you can be out driving and enjoying what you have created. I appreciate people like you...you save vehicles for people like me that actually will drive them.:D
vin swap

I was told that it is highly illegal, and if caught, the state could sieze my car.
What the other guy doesn't know, is that I get half the day per month off, and therefore will still drive my car 50% of the time. You will never get my car, I'm going to be buried in it!:tongue:

picture of end result


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definately swap VIN numbers onto the new body. It isnt illegal because you are only utilizing the new metal.
Man thats a good looking car. I usualy never like the chrome trim but it actualy looks good on you car, must be the color.

I know your pain because I did the same swap about 7 years ago and am now in the process of swaping everything back into a GN roller I got for super cheap. I am only doing it so if something ever happens I dont get screwed by the insurance company because its only a regal. I actually have another T-type with rust issues witch is why I am interested in the tub you have but I am getting conflicting reports as to weather or not its illegal to swap the vin to a new body, some say its considered a restoration and others say its a big no no.

maybe if I can find a nice Cutlass it might just get the swap.
definately swap VIN numbers onto the new body. It isnt illegal because you are only utilizing the new metal.

Where did you get this info from :confused: Is it written in stone somewhere for reference because I have a T-type that could use a new body as stated above

First, thanks for the compliment on my red car. It means alot because of all the hours and hard work I put into it. I had it appraised and Hagerty insured it for $22,500. I don't drive it to work anymore, but I do drive it on my days off. Like I said, I only work 15 days a month. I bought a loaded 92 Regal Limited from some Canadian snowbirds a couple of weeks back. It is a nice car to get me to work, and I not having to constantly worry about someone screwing with my car. I paid $1200 for it, and everything works.
As far as the transfer of the vin tag, to the GN body tub that I have in storage, I did remove the vin from the rusty car. I plan on attaching it to the good body tub. I pulled the frame out as a rolling chassis, and I'm going to clean it up and but the body tub on the frame. That way, the vin tag will match the vin on the frame. I even save the doors, although they are rusty, in case the vin number is on them too. I have the good title for that vin. So there shouldn't be a problem I guess. I have not decided if I will sell the car once I put it together, or keep it for some future project. I guess if someone is willing to offer me what I have into it at that time, I will probably sell. My next thing I will need is new , or like new, complete body bushing kit with bolts to marry the body to the frame. I don't want to spend several hundred $ for 12 rubber hockey pucks and bolts.
body bushings

I am buying the Energy Suspension polyurethane kit for $124. That ought to work, if I can find some bolts that fit.
Hi, thanks for the info and that is a beautiful car.
I have been looking into some collector car insurance as well, lately.
Compare what Hagerty is offering to Grundy. I have heard many people get a better rate from Grundy and can still drive their cars and not just to shows.
I don't know if it matters as I definitely won't be driving mine to work or the mall again. I will get another beater. I have pretty good luck finding running/driving cars for $500. I should have kept the last one.
It is now beautiful, as Brian from G bodyparts can attest to, since I emailed him some pictures. .

The pics are hanging on the wall but to give you a realistic value I sold my moon roof 87 Limited last spring for $13,500. Manual windows no rust radio delete power anteen & no rera defrost,new paint etc..
I've never liked red on Regals, even the factory rosewood color, but that color looks killer with the chrome trim! Very nice looking car you have there. :cool:
thanks to all

It's nice to get praise from fellow turbo regal people, especially since alot of people don't appreciate these cars anymore. My buddies at work all drive mustangs and import tuner cars. They make me feel old fashioned. They say "why do you like these cars so much?" It's not practical to take them all for a ride. It's good to be different, anyways. Thanks again.
Great work,and your car looks just fabulous! I did the switch years ago, so I can appreciate what it took to complete this project.My 83 TType is getting a little long in the tooth,has original paint and interior. If I can scrape up the bucks, I will do a similar restoration.If not, hey it's sort of original,anyway....A fresh motor is on the stand, just need to get it in. Soon...
mirrors/chrome trim

Thanks, it's interesting that you say you like the fact that I kept the chrome mirrors. My Turbo regal friends all tried to convince me to ditch them in favor for the GN mirrors before the paint was applied. I like the fact that it is a little different than my 87 GN.