*Photography by Stephen Brooks
Every year, in a time honored tradition, the best turbo Buicks West of the Mississippi descend on sunny Southern California for the largest show of its kind on the Left Coast.
“The show has more than 20 years of history and after the original organizer, Steve Hurst unfortunately passed, myself and Mike Barnard from SpoolFool Productions decided to revive it,” co-organizer, Eric Brown said.
That was several years ago and now thanks to the hard work and dedication from these diehard Buick fans, the show has grown to nearly 75 cars with supporting vendors and an awesome raffle.
“The show has always been known for its killer raffle and we’ve continued that tradition. We’ve also made it possible to keep the show non-profit, the admission free, and we even manage to give complimentary T-shirts to owners thanks to the raffle-ticket sales,” co-organizer Mike Barnard said.
That’s right, nearly 200 people and 75 turbo Buicks descended on the beautiful Bates Nut Farm to kick tires, share stories and help one another. Over a dozen Buick fans even came from out of state to checkout the Buick bonanza.
If you think a Grand National or a T-Type is rare, well, the Buicks at Bates attracts even rarer turbo Buicks like the ever-elusive ’89 Turbo Trans Am and the ultra rare GNX. Of course there are concourse quality stockers and heavily modified examples knocking on 1000hp as well. There’s also a handful of cool turbo Buick swapped cars and even some classic Buick muscle from the ’60s.
As Barnard mentioned earlier, this isn’t a competition, but rather a gathering to celebrate these unique Buicks that continues to grow. “The vendor row continues to grow and we receive more and more support each year,” Barnard tells us.
Supporting vendors include Alkycontrol, Alrado, Arizona GN, GBody Parts, GNS performance, Highway Stars, Kirban Performance Products, SpoolFool Productions, TA Performance, HR PartsNstuff, RJC Racing, Turbobuick Jesse, Turbo Lou’s Auto Service as well as promotional support from Precision Turbo and Engine, Meguiars Car Care Products, and Mother’s Car Care Products.
This year, Alkycontrol sent a special Alky Tester that allowed show-goers to test the functionality of their water/methanol systems and it proved a great tech tool, as more than 50% of the cars had problems that owners weren’t aware of. Continuing in this vein, show organizers hope to include more tech seminars in the coming years and are even considering a cruise. Of course the raffle will continue to grow, as will the show, and the organizers vow to keep it a family-friendly, non-profit show–bravo!
Seriously, if you’re a modern GM fan, this is a must-see event since witnessing this many turbo Buicks in one place is something you won’t soon forget. For more information, check out http://www.buicksatbates.com/.
Raised in a house of hotrods, classics and motorcycles, it only made sense that he would blend his love for writing and photography with his love for all things automotive. Armed with a degree in journalism and graphic design, he embarked on a journey into motorsports journalism and has worked for many magazines and Websites chronicling his love for the industry.