I bought my 1987 Turbo Regal in the summer of 1998 after getting married and buying a house. I was the third owner, the car was all stock with only 47,000 miles on it. When I bought the car, the wife and I agreed I would only drive it and not modify it.
Well, that didn't last long. Shortly after, I started reading magazines and looking at other modified cars. I decided I needed more power, so I removed the cat converter, installed a boost gauge, installed a K&N air filter, upgraded the fuel pump and installed a Red Armstrong 93 street chip. I had never raced the car before. The first pass at the track with an old set of 14-inch race slicks, the car went 13.25 at 103 mph. I started thinking, "I bet this car will go 12s." Before the night was over, the car went 12.89 at 106 mph. I was on cloud nine! I literally had a couple hundred dollars into this car and it was running 12s! I was hooked. Estimated cost: $300.
I continued reading and buying more parts; I bought a PT51 turbo, 42-pound 009 injectors, and a Charged Air Systems stock location intercooler. Next time at the track, the Regal went 12.24 at 109 mph. Things are really coming together! I continued tuning on this combo and added some more parts. I added a MAF Translator, an LS1 MAF and a set of 28x9 slicks. With the extra power the transmission started acting up. I bought a rebuilt transmission from a friend and was back in business. I eventually got the car down to 11.59 at 116 with this same combo. Estimated cost: $2,250.
In the summer of 2005, I decided to step it up some more. I bought a rebuilt TE62 turbo from a friend and sold my PT51 turbo. The next time at the track, the car went 11.31 at 118 with a bad 60-foot time. With some tuning and some better driving, I got it to go 11.20 at 119.5 mph. Total invested: $2,415. Add in the cost of the transmission rebuild, and I've got a total of about $3,000 in it.
I would like to thank my supportive wife for putting up with my hobby and all the car talk with the guys; my kids, who love going to the racetrack; and last, my buddies who have helped me along the way.