The TR Slippery Slope


Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2001
That's the thing right there.

Fifteen years ago, it was still possible to be king of the streets in your area with a Turbo Regal and a few modest bolt-ons.

Those days are OVER. When you can walk down to the dealer and buy 700+HP turnkey with a warranty, well, you just can't keep up with that. Those cars cost $60,000+ because that's what it costs to make that kind of power and have the car be reliable. The HellCrate engine is $19K list, and I've found it for $15K out the door.

To make 707hp reliably on a Buick V6, you're probably going to spend at least that much on the engine, and then you have to fortify the entire drivetrain back to the rear tires to not shatter. Plus you'll have to cage it to keep the car from twisting like a Twizzler, which severely compromises the usefulness and comfort of the interior.

The days of putting a set of bluetops on with a chip and a threaded wastegate rod and kicking all ass at the street races are gone. If you really want to keep up with modern hardware, it's going to be expensive, frustrating, and painful.

Or, come to grips with it and either spend the metric boatload of money and effort with your eyes wide open, or move on to a newer platform. I was recenly offered a Second Gen CTS-V modified by WeaponX in Cincinatti. The car made 920hp at the wheels on nitrous and E85 on a safe tune. Full interior. Hop in it with three friends and drive to California with the heated/cooled/massaging seats, ice cold A/C, and a booming stereo.

I could have had it for $35K.

You're not going to build something like that with a V6 Regal for that kind of money. Fast, cheap, good, pick two.

I agree with you on the evolution of technology, you can't beat it. HellCats, Demons, CTS-V's are some bad ass cars, but not everything that glitters is gold. I have seen lots of them at the track run in the 11's and high 10's, and it wouldn't cost you your left nut to beat that. Project Silver Bullet on here ran in the 10's with bolt ons (long block completely stock). A lot of people don't have the knowledge to match the right parts together and tune it properly. Bison ran high 9's with his. Yes we are dealing with 1980's technology, but it is doable if done right, and reliable. Where I will shut my mouth is on the refinement, fit and finish of these new cars. The interiors are gorgeous with all creature comforts and state of the art stereos, suspension etc. The one advantage we do have is weight. A 920hp CTS-V is still a low 10- high 9 sec car because it's a heavy car without a solid rear end. 4225lb by itself without a driver makes a 660hp Buick comparable. The THS class we run on the board is some of the best examples of reliable full weight street cars we have out there running mid 9's, and you don't need a cage in our cars to stop it from twisting. Neither one of my cars has that and the lines on them are straight and clean with no waves or ripples with complete full factory interior. A HR bar is all you need. At the end of the day, it's all about the pursuit of happiness. If it's in a Hell Cat or CTS-V.....then bless you, if it's in a Buick it's all good. There is always 2 ways to skin a cat. What ever puts that smile on your face is all that matters.


Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2014
Southern NJ
On a related interesting note, you should see the vids on the Tube of Demons blowing out diffs. Apparently, Dodge warranties this on the Demon but not on Hellcats.

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NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
Dec 10, 2014
Westchester NY
Another little rant.:)

Back in the day..................

When our cars were new and prowling the streets looking for and eating unsuspecting victims, did ALL the losers sell their shit boxes, run out and buy Turbo Buicks? No. Some did. But most did not.

Most remained loyal to their V8's and upgraded competitively and met us head to head at stoplights and racetracks alike. And they are still out there doing what they do. I have respect for those guys. Because they didn't cry and run off into oblivion just because they had their asses handed to them by a little V6.

Now today, I'm hearing a bunch of 50+ year old cry babies complain that they can't compete with the new i-phone or designer shoes that their girlfriends have. Are you afraid the Queen Bee and her band of girly thugs are going to make you cry by calling you bad names?

Come on guys. If you are sick of TR's, get out. If your sick of hot-rodding, stop doing it. If you think your are going to keep up with thousands of professional engineers working for the wealthiest companies on earth to develop engines based on millions of hours of testing, good luck.

Seems like every other thread is about selling and getting out. I hope you all sell your shit. That will bring the value down on these cars. Then maybe I can finally afford to buy another one.

chris kirk

Active Member
Jun 1, 2013
"Now today, I'm hearing a bunch of 50+ year old cry babies complain....." That's because most of them are a bunch of pussy's....


Staff member
May 26, 2001
A lot of very wise and sage advice has been given in this thread. Here's a few things that come to my mind after living the Turbo Buick lifestyle since "87.

I believe it was Mr. Eastwood that said in a famous movie, "Man's got to know his limitations."

This one really rings true when you start seriously pushing these cars to their limits, no matter what the combo is. If you're not comfortable launching the car hard, or turning the boost up high enough to make the power needed for 10's from the beginning, it's gonna be a tough meeting your goal without over building the combo.

Let me explain...

With the limited power and torque we have with a simple bolt on combo, (sans built engine) the phrase "Drive it like you stole it" becomes, "Launch it like it owes you money." That is the only way to hit high 10's with those limitations, without putting a 150+ shot of engine coke on it.

spray all.jpeg


Now, when you broaden the combo's shoulders with these parts: 9 second capable engine built by a reputable Turbo Buick v6 engine builder, built trans, built rearend, quality suspension, correct converter for the combo, correct turbo for the combo, electronic boost controller, complete front to back fuel system and engine management system, the leather whip you've used in the past to launch the car with, can be retired. Meaning, you go from high boost launches with high boost through out the run, to low boost launches with insta-spool tune and moderate boost through out the run to run in the 10's. An excellent example of this would be comparing my combo, to others with 9 second capable builds that turn them down to run the same numbers I do. Because mine is hp and torque limited and at full weight with a heavy driver, (me) I've got to literally whip mine to run a high 10. This will eventually lead to failure of one part or another. So I've kept my goal a realistic one this 4th time around.

You've got to ask yourself, are you prepared to turn a wrench or three when it breaks? And trust me, it's gonna break. Do you have the disposable income to maintain the pace? IE: Keep it reliable at the power level needed for your goal. This is why you hear guys say, "Build it for 9's and de-tune it for reliable 10's." Those guys know what it takes and have more times that not, BTDT and bought the t-shirt at the Nats. These cars can be a lot of fun in the mid to high 10's, tuned for zero KR, well maintained and not gutted of creature comforts. But that level comes at a price. On the flip side, they become money sucking pigs when you start chasing an un-realistic number or competing in a Heads Up Class with limited funds, while steadily turning it into a racecar. That's just sheer insanity and straight up blood, sweat and tears work. If you got the cheddar, more power to ya and have at it. IMO, at this point in the game, I say keep it fun. Comfortable and enjoy the rarity of ownership, vs robbing Peter to pay Paul just to keep fixing it and hoping it makes it down the track next time.

One last thing and I'll get off the turbo box.
Reliability with a 30+ year old platform and 21st century technology, while making 600-650 rear wheel hp and 700+ ft lbs of torque, requires extreme levels of tuning and monitoring capabilities and zero KR. With attention to detail preventative maintenance as well as diagnosing and trouble shooting skills. If you don't have any of those in spades, you better have a really good friend who does and works cheap. Otherwise you'll go broke paying for that hard earned expertise and keyboard clicking knowledge. As was previously said, the days of slapping some bolt ons on a stock car and dominating everything on the streets, died in the early 2000's. And anyone who's just bought their first one last week and thinks they can, is delusional. If you can't hard launch and hook the power that you make with your current combo, the learning curve will take a lot of patience and time to figure out. Sorry to get so long winded. I've just seen this happen so many times, to so many owners over the years. Only to see them get frustrated and sell the car and seriously regret it later in life. Hell it happened to me! And I got very lucky this time. Sometimes life gets in the way and you're lucky enough to get back into one later down the road. One things for sure, each year there are fewer and fewer of us still racing and having fun with these cars. Owning and playing with one, is a disease. Those of us who are addicted to the Buick turbo v6 and Turbo Regals, have a huge mission. And that is to keep these Legends alive and well. And if you're just now getting into racing one hard, vs taking it to the track and making a few "street tune" passes on the street tires, it's a huge wake up call. But if you've been at it for a long time, I say good deal, you're my fam. Stick with it. Never give up on your goals with the car. We're all in this together.

And my biggest life lesson I've learned with these cars since day one, has and will continue to be, "Plan your work. Work your plan."
Hope some of it helps and carry on.


dank GN

BlackArts Automotive (661)993-8277
Jan 11, 2009
SoCal the high desert
These cars definitely take a certain type of person to own and operate. I have heard to many guys getting into these cars and expecting them to be some kinda rocket ship but then are sadly disappointed when it’s not . Most ppl don’t really know what it takes to get these cars going fast and it’s a slippery slope as we all have been talking about . If you have the patience and the pocket book you can make anything fast but it definitely takes the right guys working on them that have been there and done that . These cars are definitely not the cheapest to own and modify but they are unique and different which makes it worth it to me . So if you are building your car and can’t afford something then save up and wait so you can build it once and hopefully right . If you think you can get away with a couple bolt on’s and will be running low 10s because acouple ppl have done it you are sadly mistaken. To run in the 10s for the normal guy they should build the bottom end that is if they want it to last . Anyway I hope everyone gets to there goals with their turbo buick And has a fun time doing it .
Keep on spoolin guys :)


Apr 14, 2012
Why's that?
Because it is the truth.....
I was just laughing at the comments...nothing more nothing less.
The facts that are presented are real as I am finding out in my new ness to these vehicles.
I was just cracking up at the "50 year old cry babies" comment.
Wasn't challenging all....


Hangin' and Bangin'
May 27, 2001
Another portion of this discussion....from the beginning, the TR/GN crowd were DIY'ers to a large degree. These cars were magnets for the tech geeks of the world during the dark ages of early FI performance. That also helped build the mystique of the car....especially a black car. The running joke in the Houston street race scene way back when was the average hustler didn't know if it was a "fast" car or not even with the hood open.....all black cars looked the same, does it run 12s or 10s??? Pay the man and find out!

Now what I see is a new group of buyers coming in and picking up a car that they have wanted since they were a teen...not understanding that they are not just a fuel pump and a chip away from being a fast car. Not only can you not just throw parts at one and expect power in spades....these cars are 30 years old and need other repairs, wiring...suspension...brakes...etc. They likely need weatherstripping, carpet, headliners, seat covers and more just to be remotely comfortable. So its not only a performance project but a restoration candidate.

This new crowd will buy a car and then try to milk the forums for information, talk to those that really know and then do exactly the opposite as they were told by those that have experience. After they push a head gasket or drop the crank out trying to make a pass on the street....the car goes to the back of the garage or driveway....or gets a for sale sign and they can't understand why their dream became a nightmare. LOL

Simple....don't be an ASKHOLE. Talk to those in the brotherhood that know their shit and yes, you might have to actually pay for the guidance in some cases. Follow what the OGs tell you and DON'T SHORTCUT...set a realistic goal and just like you don't hesitate to buy the parts, don't hesitate to pay the man when you can't do the work yourself.
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