Buick Regals have been gaining in popularity over the years, especially the Grand National, Turbo-T, T-Type, and GNX editions.
With three original generations of Regals to consider, there’s a wealth of models that need parts. Where to start? The best advice is to get hold of Classic Industries’ new Regal catalog to help you along. I’ll rely on it heavily to aid with this article.
First things first. I assume you’ll be doing a restomod instead of a restoration. A restoration relies on all original parts, sometimes called NOS (new, old stock). Restomod parts, by comparison, are commonly available and often better than the original, benefiting from today’s advances in metallurgy and tooling. Here’s my top ten restomod ideas for your Buick Regal.
10. Door hinges
Experts say Regals suffer from worn out door hinges. There’s little worse than a door that doesn’t close properly. You want to hear a solid “slam” when you shut that door and only a wobble free door will give you that. Replace that hinge with a new part instead of trying to get by with one pulled from a wrecking yard. That old part may rock just as much as the one you are replacing it with.
9. Door handles
Driver door handles wear poorly with Regals. Most cars were daily drivers and, of course, most models are now more than 25 years old. Get the right part to replace. Talk to an expert when ordering the part over the phone or online if you are unsure of the part number. A tip: as you do your disassembling, remember to take photographs. Document your restoration journey as best you can.
8. Ignition lock cylinder and key
Another heavily used part, one that can wear poorly. Replacements are readily available. If your Regal model is particularly rare, consider keeping all the “hard parts” that come off your ride. If you sell, you can offer to include the original parts as part of the deal. In the case of a key that came with the car, that small metal part might include identifying information vital to a collector. Don’t discard.
7. Emblems and badges
Too frequently these identifying symbols go missing or get damaged. Easy fix. Don’t forget hub cap emblems.
6. New carpet
Used hard, most vehicles of any kind can use new carpeting. This is an approachable job compared to doing something like seat upholstery. Classic Industries has cutpile carpet for 1978 to 1987 Regals.
5. Trim panels
Interior trim panels suffer a lot of wear and tear. While most of us try to restore their color with a product like Armor All, a colorant or restorer won’t take out scuff marks and other damage. Replace. And you may want to keep the used parts for the next owner. Bag all kept pieces in plastic bags and use a magic marker to identify them. You’re still taking pictures, aren’t you?
Molding, either rubber or metal, breaks down over time. Any rubber product exposed to city air pollution for a quarter of a century can get brittle and fall apart. Chrome or stainless-steel molding anodizes and gets speckled. Some molding is specific to a Regal, other molding is generic. Not sure how to install? Join an owner’s club to get good advice on how best to tackle your restoration.
3. Air and oil filter
Don’t overlook the easy fixes! A brand-new oil filter, along with an oil change, is simple to do and absolutely vital for an older car. Get a new air filter, too, and don’t go on the cheap by blowing out the old one with an air compressor. K&N makes great products if you want to upgrade.
Today’s shock absorbers are better engineered and safer than those made decades ago. Replacing those old shocks is a good investment that will pay off in safety and resale value.
Is there anything more important than a good set of tires? Make sure your ride is safe and period correct by consulting with a car restoration company that offers tires as part of their inventory. And unless you have the original tires on your classic, it’s safe to dispose of your old set. Consumables like batteries and tires are not expected to last the life of the vehicle and can be discarded.
I hope my top ten restomod ideas for your Buick Regal inspires you to start turning wrenches. Take it one job at a time, as your schedule patience, and budget allows. May your daily driver or trailer queen turn out well.
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Thomas Farley