GS Nats and the old days, who has a story?

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
LOL.. I was wondering if anyone else was going to know about the post cards. Ive gotten quite a few of those.

Here's a good one for you if you werent there and man, I wish I knew who was behind this and I wish I had a copy of one to show off. I HAD one I saved but it was many years ago.

Im thinking it was the 97 Nats.. the event had been going on for a few days and for a long time, the prices just kept going up and up and up to the point it was ridiculous. The 90s were the heyday at the Nats. People were hiding in trailers to avoid the huge spectator fees. So Richard Lassiter is there with his new wife (And Id like to say for the record, she seemed like a nice woman from when I spoke with her and this story isnt a dig at her at all) and lets say his new wife had had some work done up top. Im only including this because you need to know in the payoff.

So we drive into the track either Friday or Saturday morning and you know how that drive into Beech Bend is.. trees, light poles every 10 feet, etc. Well, someone had drawn a characterture of Richard and his wife with just beyond ridiculous boobs. There was a talk bubble coming out of his mouth saying something like "Dont worry honey. After the Nationals we can get you new implants and fix up Old Blue" which was what he called his GS and at the bottom of the page with musical notes adorning it, it said "Its all about the money at the GS Nationals". These were posted on every light pole and tree for about a mile when you were driving into the track. I stopped and grabbed one and held on to it. I wish I could find it because it was classic.

To whoever pulled this off, if youre reading this, I tip my hat to you. Please email me a copy :)

IMO when the Nats started the downslide is when The Park Inn burned down. It was the host hotel and man, back in those days, it was nuts. The first year I went I didnt stay there, I stayed at the Holiday Inn by the interstate but you spent all your time at the Park Inn. The vendors were set up there in a banquet room.. Don Kizer (Anyone remember him?) was selling chips there and had all these lame books like "Understanding binary code", etc to try to make people think he knew what he was talking about. Years later it came out Don was a front for some guy that worked at GM that was doing his chips.. I have no idea who. But yea, you'd hang out at the Park Inn, people would walk around with pitchers on Long Island Ice Teas and it was a great time. I stayed there every year afterwards until it burned down and they never could capture the magic of that place anywhere else. Probably because it was laid out weird with a huge inside area you could congregate in and the rooms kind of surrounded it. If you ever saw the place, you'd understand what Im talking about.

I got a million of them.... like I said, the car is only half the story :)

For those wondering the Park Inn was an old Holiday Inn Holidome. For those who a bit younger the Holidome concept included a giant central atrium area that the interior rooms all opened up to(2nd floor too was a big wrap around balcony), there was an indoor pool, video games, mini golf, pool tables and such. This or course made for a giant indoor gathering, Buick swap meet/vendor area. It was incredible to an early twenties guy like I was back then. Just flat out BUICK overload. And then there was the parking outside with wall to wall Buicks as far as the eye could see One year they pulled a Regal up in the entry and put it on stands and swapped out a transmission right there. Lots of crazy stuff happening out on the lot with all the newest greatest parts being bought and installed.
 

MeanBuicks

Scaring the neighbors!
I too recall those hotel parking lot thrash sessions that also included pulling cylinder heads. I can recall thinking, "Man, I dread having to do this in the garage." The streets were absolutely crawling with GSs and TRs.

Here's another reality that dawned on me a couple years ago at the Nats. I recall strolling the swap meet area in the early-90s looking at the derelict, rusty, banged-up GS parts cars and tarps full of V8 stuff. It really contrasted with the myriad of shiny new TRs roaming around. Also, back then nearly everyone was driving the TRs and many were still driving the GS cars. As time went on it seems like 90% of the GS cars are trailered in and out of town and today it seems as though at least 75% of TRs are now trailered. And so it was a couple years ago when a derelict, rusty, banged up Grand National got trailered into the swap area to be picked apart, I flashed back to the early 90s & realized that I had witnessed another generation of musclecars pass through their cycle of life.
 

sams86gn

Member
I sure wish it was like that now. Me and a friend went Down for the first time this year and we stayed Friday night and we didn't see 1 single TR driving around but saw several parked at hotels. We figured everyone would be out cruising. Is everyone too old to see at night now or what? lol
 

bogies87

Active Member
I too have many stories, all good. Thrashing at the track, thrashing at the hotel, cruising Scottsville Rd. a week of drinking and drag racing.. Ahhhh so relaxing
I won't give up on the Nats. It's the one thing my wife and I look forward to every year.
I would like to see some Tech sessions come back, some vendors doing various sessions at the track or hotel. (Maybe tranny rebuild, or turbo rebuild....)
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
1989GSCANationals0015.jpg

I believe that is Greg Gessler's 72 front and center not sure, could be Jim Rorabough. To the right there is my WE4, Stan Davis' 70 GS455 convertible, and then Terry Bunton's 72 GS 350 turned Stage One Clone. To the far right is Basketball Sam Davis's Gulfstream Blue with painted white top, bench seat four speed, Stage One. One rare unit thought to be one of 50 with the bench and four speed. His mother took it for a spin down the track there. Really cool.

1989GSCANationals0016.jpg

The uhaul trailer there was pulled to the nationals by Terry Imagine that today. To the right is Pat Neil's GNX. All of these driven to the Nats.
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
I too have many stories, all good. Thrashing at the track, thrashing at the hotel, cruising Scottsville Rd. a week of drinking and drag racing.. Ahhhh so relaxing
I won't give up on the Nats. It's the one thing my wife and I look forward to every year.
I would like to see some Tech sessions come back, some vendors doing various sessions at the track or hotel. (Maybe tranny rebuild, or turbo rebuild....)
Let's hear a few. You were there, and we want to hear how it was.
 

GNVenom

Well-Known Member
Years back, I was vending at the Nat's when Jay C came up and told me about one of my CCCI coilpack testers that he was using. Apparently, he removed the coil module assembly and put it in the trunk of the car, where the battery was. Then he went on to tell me about how he had it hooked up, turned it on and it started firing away. But, he noticed it was crooked on the coil, so without really thinking, grabbed it to set it back on straight.

POW!

Blown several feet away from the car in a state of semi-consciousness. Without thinking again, got up and attempted to straighten it out one more time.

POW AGAIN!

I wet my pants laughing at that story. To this day, I *still* pee in my pants laughing, imagining the visual....

That was a good one, Jay! Note: Stay away from high-output coils.
 

BobbyBuick

Well-Known Member
My first year was 97 before TB.com Back then only the GNtype.org and the mailing list dinner.Remember Lance bought everyone drinks and dinner at Toots one year .I remember meeting Scott Keller,Ken Moser,John Spina ,Scott Simpson ,And D-Day invited up to the famous Daves Back yard party after the dinner.The gateway chapter wqas huge and we were trying to get Sickler into the 12s with the 225 pulling all the weight we could out of it

F,n roads wore nothing but Black cars everywhere.It was like meeting all my heroes in one night
Years later I remember Jason Cramer getting into the 9s for the frist time First in TSM in the 9s really exiting
My car ran in the low 13s and i was buying parts and asking 1000 questions ,came back in 98 running 11.80s
 

JayC

T6P.Com/TB.com Administrator/Webmaster
Staff member
Years back, I was vending at the Nat's when Jay C came up and told me about one of my CCCI coilpack testers that he was using. Apparently, he removed the coil module assembly and put it in the trunk of the car, where the battery was. Then he went on to tell me about how he had it hooked up, turned it on and it started firing away. But, he noticed it was crooked on the coil, so without really thinking, grabbed it to set it back on straight.

POW!

Blown several feet away from the car in a state of semi-consciousness. Without thinking again, got up and attempted to straighten it out one more time.

POW AGAIN!

I wet my pants laughing at that story. To this day, I *still* pee in my pants laughing, imagining the visual....

That was a good one, Jay! Note: Stay away from high-output coils.

Did I do that there too? Wow.. I did that one other time and it sucked. LOL

Damn you and that coil tester ;)
 

JayC

T6P.Com/TB.com Administrator/Webmaster
Staff member
Man.. me and Nelson did our share of hotel parking lot tear downs up there in BG... I had forgotten about them until someone mentioned it above.

I remember back like 90 or 91, I was up there and Brady Perry had his Duttweiler powered Stage 1 car at the track and was running low 10s with it and blew a headgasket. When he tore it down, in the parking lot, there was a big groove down one cylinder wall. Kenny looked at it, looked at Brady and said "Put it back together and pretend you didnt see it." So thats what he did and he was back racing the next day.
 

GNVenom

Well-Known Member
Did I do that there too? Wow.. I did that one other time and it sucked. LOL

Damn you and that coil tester ;)

No it was just the one time. You told me that story at the Nat's and I passed a coffee right thru my nose when you were telling it.

There's a lot of history there in Bowling Green. Not only in the pits, but throughout the hotel zone, the "tech sessions" they used to organize, and two hundred people would attend, parking lot trans and engine tear-downs, the pools of green anti-freeze rolling out to the sewers in front of those hotels. Memorable times...
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
Man.. me and Nelson did our share of hotel parking lot tear downs up there in BG... I had forgotten about them until someone mentioned it above.

I remember back like 90 or 91, I was up there and Brady Perry had his Duttweiler powered Stage 1 car at the track and was running low 10s with it and blew a headgasket. When he tore it down, in the parking lot, there was a big groove down one cylinder wall. Kenny looked at it, looked at Brady and said "Put it back together and pretend you didnt see it." So thats what he did and he was back racing the next day.
If that is the guy I'm thinking of he had a child seat in the back and complained of the cage being a pain as it was hard to buckle his child in. I believe he drove it there too. He was from Wyoming or Idaho or Montana, super nice guy.
 

JayC

T6P.Com/TB.com Administrator/Webmaster
Staff member
If that is the guy I'm thinking of he had a child seat in the back and complained of the cage being a pain as it was had to buckle his child in. I believe he drove it there too. He was from Wyoming or Idaho or Montana, super nice guy.

Thats him.. little known fact about Brady.. he used to be I believe in the Air Force and at one point worked in an ICM silo and was in charge of launching the missle should the order ever be given. He reappeared for a while years back and disappeared again. He was a nice dude.
 

bogies87

Active Member
TexasT said:
Let's hear a few. You were there, and we want to hear how it was.

It is easier to sum it up as a very relaxing. No one time stands out as a story for people to enjoy.
Back in the early 90's cars in the 11's and high 10's was radical. Popping a head gasket and replacing it at the hotel or even the track was the "thrashing".
All the locals would come out to Scottsville Rd to try a turbo buick on for size. Corvettes, mustangs....
Hanging out in the hotel parking lot sippin on cocktails til late night.
Stopping at Judy's Castle for breakfast on the way to the track (still do this).
I don't have any "one time at band camp" stories just was the happiest times I can remember.
 

Nick Micale

Tech Advisor
Staff member
The racing, the cars, the Buick owners, the vendors, the tech sessions were all great, but very different and very memorable to me was how the entire city of Bowling Green opened their doors and hearts to us. :)

Business's put up large "Welcome Buicks" signs, and the people in the entire town made you feel like family where ever you went. Returning every year was like a big family reunion!

Even the cops were very tolerant of burnouts and drinking in the hotel parking lots, and even some "stupidity" driving around the streets. :eek:

But certainly the most important thing that I have from those experiences in BG, is the life-long friendships of the many extraordinary people that I was fortunate to meet.

The 3 years that I was Race Director there, it was very full-filling, as being the only RD that was a racer, I was able to bring the program to a level that was never exceeded in excitement and payout to racers at the 25 year Silver Anniversary event.

Many are still people/friends here on the board from those days, some are gone forever, and others I am very grateful to see, or at least still talk with over the years.

Since I am able to continue to "play" with cars and associate with other brands and groups, there is none better, or closer bunch than the Turbo Buick Community! :D
 

garyk1970

Electronics Moderator
Staff member
I remember my first time going to BG in 92......the town was packed with buicks and thinking; im at the right place!!!!!!
 

bogies87

Active Member
Nick Micale said:
The racing, the cars, the Buick owners, the vendors, the tech sessions were all great, but very different and very memorable to me was how the entire city of Bowling Green opened their doors and hearts to us. :)

Business's put up large "Welcome Buicks" signs, and the people in the entire town made you feel like family where ever you went. Returning every year was like a big family reunion!

Even the cops were very tolerant of burnouts and drinking in the hotel parking lots, and even some "stupidity" driving around the streets. :eek:

Nick summed it up very well. It would be nice to bring all that back..... Ahhh living in the past.... Damn starting to sound like my parents...
 
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