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GMP 1:18 Turbo Buick Series – Overview

118 scale GMP turbo buicks

To all of us who are already familiar with the “Turbo Buick Series” made by GMP, we know these scale cars are the best of the best, as far as what was made representing them.

 

Here’s an overview of the 1:18 sized diecast cars, some of these facts you may know, some not…

 

◘  GMP = Georgia Marketing and Promotions Co., Inc.
◘  The box on the first car in the Turbo Regal series (the 1987 GN) said it was for their “Peachstate MuscleCar Collectors Club.”  (this slogan was only used on the first 6 car boxes).
◘  That same box also stated this was a line in their “GMP Performance Series.”  (this slogan was only used on the first 3 car boxes).

◘  As the series progressed, there were slight changes to the boxes as far as the GMP logo went. The logo design itself, plus the way it was actually imprinted on the box.  They started off just being printed (albeit colorfully) then moved to being hot-stamped or embossed in silver or red foil, etc. Then by the end of the series run, they were back to being just printed on the boxes. (The model numbers {G1800221} as well were not even being printed on the box anymore {except for on the UPC} they were just applying stickers with the number & production quantity to the sides).

 

The term “Turbo Buick Series” or “Turbo Regal Series” was not actually what this model line is named, it’s a name we fellow collectors just started calling them! (but appropriate enough!)

 

◘  GMP had manufactured ALL of the cars (regardless of who sold them; like EE or The Danbury Mint) through their China supplier(s).
◘  There was at least 2 or 3 different manufacturing companies in China that made these Buick cars for GMP. (you could definitely tell they switched manufacturers when the numbering system they were using {#8104B} suddenly changed formats {#G1800211}).

◘  Epitome Exclusives {“EE”} – (out of NY, now defunct) started up an exclusive Buick 300 Gold Club, whereas the first cars numbered 001-300 from each model were available exclusively thru them. Those who joined the club received the same numbered car (numbered gold colored license plates) throughout the entire series of models produced.

◘  The rest of the cars from EE (or sold via GMP) came standard with silver colored license plates.

 

The gold & silver colored license plate numbering system (used for identifying what car # you had from the total production run ) started with the 1986 Grand National (#8005; the 5th car in the series), and continued on thru the entire series.
Before this, the license plates just read what the vehicle was (“87 GNX”).
If you wanted to know what number car you purchased, you had to look at the included reproduction window sticker (the production # is on the top right).
The replica window stickers were a nice touch in addition to the models.
They kept this tradition going until #8008 (the Buick WH1).
{a total of 8 cars came with a replica window sticker}

 

When Epitome Exclusives got involved, instead of just placing the Buick window stickers inside of the car box, they put them inside an envelope for safe keeping. (that was right from the get go of their involvement with the GNX version {GMP #8003} and that method lasted until the Buick T-type WH1, #8008).
{a total of 6 cars came with a replica window sticker INSIDE an envelope}

 

Epitome (even though they did say GMP on them) started issuing a numbered “Certificate of Authenticity”  (verifying this was 1 of 300 cars) starting with the 1985 Buick Grand National (GMP #8007) and ending with the Drag car set (2 cars; #8104A & #8014B; the yellow flamed car & black drag GN).
All the cars that were done through Epitome received them (the first 300 of each issue) during this period.
{a total of 8 cars came with a COA}

 

Some of the cars that Epitome produced came with number matched limited edition lithographs.
EE had them created by various artists, and these were part of what you got when you were a member of their 300 club.
(or in some cases, like the {#8003} GNX, it received 547 lithos instead of the normal 300).
{a total of 11 cars came with a lithograph}

 

Hmmm… I’ve often seen cars numbered less than 300 (with the gold license plates) for sale without the matching litho. But there’s only been 1 or 2 occasions in the last 10 years where I have actually seen a lithograph offered for sale without the car! Makes me wonder: where or what happened to the litho? Did the seller decide to ONLY keep that, and JUST sell the car? Or was it destroyed somehow?

 

Even though all of these scale models were produced in relatively limited quantities, “EE” would go on to produce several truly limited edition cars.
Examples like the flamed GN (drag car; 480 made; #8104B) and the Sage Green BR (1 of 199 – the most limited run of ALL the Turbo Regals made; #G1800214), amongst a few others.

 

Epitome Exclusives ended their run of these g-bodies with their “Ultra Rare” set (four D84 two tone designer paint cars, 1 of 500 each, #G1800216-219), with the icing on the top being a solid Rosewood colored Regal (1 of only 200 made, #G1800220).

 

Just FYI: EE had stashed some cars away as future investments. These were ALL sold in 2013 to someone who is now selling them on ebay!

 

GMP eventually closed it’s door as well sometime after 2011.
(but ended up reopening again later under the name “Acme”).

 

This Buick Regal  series started in 1999 with the 1987 Grand National (#8001) & ended with the black “Streetfighter” Buick Grand National {#G1800226} – (what collectors are calling the “fast & furious” car, which it resembles from the Fast 4 movie).

 

Conley Performance Plus (TX) had Epitome thru GMP produce a scaled version of their “Tweaked” Buick Regal race car. (#8010).

 

DieCastMuscle.com (sellers of diecast cars) had a blue Turbo Regal created (1 of 1000, #8102), then added onto that by producing a special edition (1 of 100, #8102CA) as a Christmas present to their customers! The smaller limited edition vehicle is known as “the Christmas Car” but really only differs from the normal version by the company only changing the license plate on the front & back of the model (as well as it being indicated on the box that it’s a “special edition”).

{Because of the license plate being the only difference, most collectors don’t bother with this particular version}

 

The benefit to the above blue cars being created, was that a REAL special version (1 of just 200) was manufactured along side these! This Buicks exterior would be chrome blue in color! (GMP #8102CB)

 

“Most” of the color schemes, and the real popular versions, were covered during the run of this series. (but go figure with the 85 maroon {officially called Autumn Maple, #8004} t-type, lots of people agree it’s the ugliest car in the entire series. The rims didn’t help much. No one really cares for these rims in real life either!).

 

Some other facts about this line of models:

◘  Some of the cars did NOT have an exterior (white) box. (including the very first two made in this series!)

◘  Some of the cars featured an analog dash, others had a simulated digital dash, and then the GNX had an accurate representation as well.

◘  There was never a 1984 Buick GN made.
◘ Nor was their a copy of the 82 GN.
◘ Ditto for an 81 pace car replica (but there should have been one!)

◘  There actually was a gold Grand National created (by Epitome) but they felt that it was just too overwhelming to look at to have produced!

◘ The only color that never appeared in this series anywhere, that was a real “actual” car color, was cream beige! Every other GM/Buick paint color that was available on a real Gbody, had been implemented somewhere on the diecast versions!
(The “Ultra Rare” D84 cars took care of a few that weren’t available up until this point).

 

Only 6 interior schemes total were used in all of these cars:
1. black/grey (Grand National).
2. all gray (t-types, turbo T’s & limiteds).
3. the race car style (drag type cars; mostly gray with black race seats).
4. blue (only in the diecastmuscle blue cars).
5. green (only in the sage car).
6. red (only in the very last 2 t-types produced; black, white exterior vehicles).

 

  one car that I would have liked to be created (aside from the above 4!) – {in fact, I was in contact with GMP to have this one made, but they told me there was something similar coming down the pipeline; which I can now only speculate it as being part of the D84 series} was a (solid color) light brown metallic Regal (so called “chestnut” – “gold” etc.).  I felt that this model would actually be quite popular & sell well! (at the time, about half way thru the entire run, is when I inquired. GMP was pretty adamant about not having any duplicates of any sort {even though in my opinion a solid color car wasn’t really the same as what was given in the D84; especially considering they let a solid rosewood be produced!} so at least GMP had some sort of standards (at the time, anyrate). I later learned that GMP was having production issues as well at this point in time. I should have figured that out when they told me “IF” they were able to produce a car for me, the lead time was over a year out! Not to mention the ridiculous amount of upfront cash they wanted! {and of course, it kind of steams me now about their morals considering all of the same type cars that they came out with near the end of this series (fact or fiction GN, black & white t-types, F&F car, etc.) which we all know ARE “duplicates” and were produced simply because people were buying them!}.

 

The cars that I will feature in upcoming posts, do not cover the ones a company called Backyard Conversions “converted.”
Most GMP/Turbo Buick diecast car collectors do not really consider these cars to be on the same level of collectibility as the other GMP vehicles in this series.
What they basically did, was take “parts” from a few different TR models & meshed them into one “new” car. (like the dragster GNX, a gold dipped GN, etc.).
These WERE limited editions in their own rights however, and “renumbered” to indicate that (on the license plates and the outer boxes). Some of their cars were 1 of 100, others 1 of 6!
I WILL give them credit when they made the “Convertible GN.”
That’s actually a pretty cool looking model.
(Especially since GMP never produced any t-top versions, they were all hardtop units.)
BYC chopped the top off & even gave it a wrap around folded-down top that sat on the backside of the rear seat (mimicking the way that the real GN convertible looked).
{and no doubt scavenged from some other model car for use on this, but it fits good}.
I WILL show some of these conversions from BYC in future posts however!

{if we owe anything to this company, it’s for the fact that since they “used” some actual GMP cars to build their own, then this depletes the supply of actual GMP cars, which should make the value of the ones still existing even greater! right? oh boy! I just know I’m gonna get a fortune when I sell these!! 🙂 }

 

GMP produced some 1:18 scale accessories as well. Great diorama units! Car displays taken to the next level! Mechanics tools & machines of all types in several different packages. Some of the other articles I have on this site feature those types of items: LOOK HERE

 

More details about every specific Buick Regal vehicle that GMP produced will be presented in additional posts ALL this month! Be SURE to Check back to see ALL 33 cars (34 if you count #8102CA as a separate one) that were created by GMP (although not all sold directly BY GMP!). LOTS of additional information about each individual model will be covered in their own specific post!

 

The way that the manufacturing of these cars work, is that there were approximately 6 (depending on the specific model, etc., sometimes less) “pre-production” models created that were sent to GMP (or Epitome) for EACH of the specific vehicles that were to be produced.
{I will be showing you some of these types as well sometime in the future! Stay Tuned!}
These prototype units may differ vary slightly from the regular production runs.
That was the purpose of these “test” cars, to be able to actually see and physically check that the turbo regals “looked” the way that they were suppose to (like they look in real life!) before they started to make the entire run of them.

 

Every now and then you will find these cars pop up on Ebay!
As a matter of fact, in the last few years, Tom Long ( GMP owner ) has been selling off these “pre-pro” vehicles to whoever is the highest bidder!
So, if you’re into “rare” and the actual best of the best, well, these are them!
(and they come with an actual signed letter of authenticity from Tom, stating that this is “1 of 6” {etc.}, but sometimes they only come in the inner styrofoam container, without a box! The cars themselves usually have hand-written numbers or codes on them, further indicating it’s a prototype sample!)

 

Tomorrow we begin with the first Turbo Regal in this series: the 1987 Buick Grand National!

 

{ you can jump forward and see any car in the series, listed by GMP part number here:
8001 ~ 8001b ~ 8002 ~ 8003 ~ 8004 ~ 8005 ~ 8006 ~ 8007 ~ 8008 ~ 8009 ~ 8010 ~ 8101 ~ 8102 ~ 8102ca ~ 8102cb ~ 8103 ~ 8104a ~ 8104b ~ G1800211 ~ G1800212 ~ G1800213 ~ G1800214 ~ G1800215 ~ G1800216 ~ G1800217 ~ G1800218 ~ G1800219 ~ G1800220 ~ G1800221 ~ G1800222 ~ G1800223 ~ G1800224 ~ G1800225 ~ G1800226 }

 

Want to see a list of ALL the Buick Regal diecast cars ever produced? (including GMP & many more). >>> Turbo Regal Scale Cars <<<

 

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