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

whtT

Member
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.

Those pictures sure to bring back memories. If that's late eighties/early nineties, I might have been about 12 then - but I sure do remember that. Almost positive the black GS is Rorabough's. The Centerlines give it away for me. The blue GSX in he second picture I think was Zach Hamilton's. I really can't tell if that's Chuck Streeter (Streeder??)'s GS in the first behind the GSX. He had a beautiful silver car with red stripes in the chrome at the bottom. The white Riviera GS in the top photo I should remember the name of too. There were two guys that always came down in that car. From the Chicago area if I remember correctly.

There was the year the car show was held in the K-Mart parking lot. The Ramada Inn was back behind the Holiday Inn, probably where these photos were taken from. If I remember correctly, there was a great doughnut place across the street.

In front of here was a Pizza Hut where the Alcohol Gang supposedly flipped over a table one night.

Of course, that was the time of Southside Machine, George Hall's wagon, Coin Operated....
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
1989GSCANationals0016.jpg

You can see the pizza hut there at the top right. This was taken from the balcony at the holidome. Along the back there was a two story out building of rooms.

1989GSCANationals0015.jpg

Looking at it again I'm pretty sure that is Gessler's as I believe Roughbaugh's car is a GS455 and I believe it is a 1970 and the car in the pic is a 72. Also there head in behind the GSX , I beleieve that is Chuck Strater's 72 Stage One. I think Tom Rix owns it now.

No one else has any pix?
 

jdpolzin

Well-Known Member
Wish it could be like that now. Do you think changing the Nats to a different, smaller location would help bring more people to the event? Seems like the thefts and other bad situations have scared a lot of people away from bringing their cars. It would be nice to get people to come out and be more comfortable to bring their cars and enjoy them for what they are. Obviously there arent as many people around that own them so thats going to hurt the numbers but there are still a LOT of Buick guys out there!
 

JayC

T6P.Com/TB.com Administrator/Webmaster
Staff member
Wish it could be like that now. Do you think changing the Nats to a different, smaller location would help bring more people to the event? Seems like the thefts and other bad situations have scared a lot of people away from bringing their cars. It would be nice to get people to come out and be more comfortable to bring their cars and enjoy them for what they are. Obviously there arent as many people around that own them so thats going to hurt the numbers but there are still a LOT of Buick guys out there!

Sadly I dont think an event like that will ever be possible. Again, if you guys knew about all that went on behind the scenes, youd have a better understanding of why the community became so divided. At this point, I hope people put their efforts behind the TB.Com Nats as thats the one of the only events being held that is about the cars and not about making a huge profit.
 

jdpolzin

Well-Known Member
Yeah problem with the TB.com nats is that it's on the other side of the country for most people. Something a little more centrally located may make for a better turn out.
 

Royal-T-Ltd

Well-Known Member
Yeah problem with the TB.com nats is that it's on the other side of the country for most people. Something a little more centrally located may make for a better turn out.

yep - totally agree with you on that JD.... something in the Center would be cool.... Whatever happened to the event in Indy?

I like BG - just seems that no cars drive around at night. i have been twice and it was hard to spot a GN or T in the crowd... i like how on HRPT all the hotels are like "Mini" car shows - the streets are packed with nice cars, people are out watching cars cruise by.

aaron
 

tb3

elbows & a$$holes
I gotta great story from the old days that involves the back seat of my T type on prom night, but its kinda not g-rated. and before anybody else says it...yes, I'd probably add a little extra bs to the story to make myself feel better:eek:
 

HighPSI

Moderator
Staff member
At this point, I hope people put their efforts behind the TB.Com Nats as thats the one of the only events being held that is about the cars and not about making a huge profit.

I wouldn't say it's the only one. Maybe the only one you've been to ;)
 

Cheeseburger

Active Member
My most memorable moments were seeing the Smith bros show up with a tracter trailer and the trailer had 2 GN's it it stacked on top of each other (like a top fuel team would have)
Also chatting with Jim D in the hotel parking lot where he had a cooler full of beer and everyone was welcome to one.
Back then it was unreal, GN's everywhere!
 

fastblackracing

Well-Known Member
I think the best time was in the later half of the 90's, and when all the buicks showed up it was like we owned that town. The night time action at the old greenwood where we stayed will probably never be equalled, hundereds of cars would come thru each night and there was modifications and repairs going on, new fuel pumps and valve springs being changed, one of the guys that used to race with us blew a head gasket and we pulled the motor to change it and when the weather turned we took engine stand and all thru the side door of the hotel down the hallway up the elevator and into his room! Wow, it was awesome and all of the friends and relationships that came out those days are great. I think that the Buick community stands head and shoulders above any other car club or group I have been involved with and I am proud to be a part of it. Buicks Rule! Mannie E
 

RUQWKNF

KEEPER OF SECRETS
Staff member
Some of my favorite memories were at the Greenwood. My favorite years were "95-"98.
Remember Red and Jane selling computer chips through their room window at the Greenwood?
Me and my buddy took a whole ton of old parts with us to sell, took them all into the room, put a sign on the back entrance door and kept our room door open. I think we sold almost everything in two nights. Pat's House of Parts was open for bidness! Seeing people doing motor and trans thrashes in the parking lots and the smell of burnt rubber and radiator fluid wafting in the night air. Talk about die hards. "98 was also the year that I did the photo shoot of my white "87 Limited with Johnny Hunkins. (editor at the time of GM High Tech Performance magazine) Little did I know that my boy Dave also got his white "69 Camaro photo shoot done earlier that same day by Johnny. Imagine my surprise when later that night catching up with Dave we both found out about each others magazine stuff. Talk about a coincidence.

I also remember the cruise scene. You could not stop at a red light without seeing a Turbo Buick or GS. In those years, the local PD had their hands full with all the action going on. It was crazy. People doing burnouts at redlights. The TB.com dinners and get togethers at Toots. Also remember Lance footing the bill for us all that one year. So awesome of him to do that for all of us. We had that place frickin packed with TB.com members. That was our first official TB.com meet & greet. I met a lot of people for the first time that year. I remember getting pulled over one year for taking off a little bit too briskly from a light. Hell, I didn't know the cop was right behind me when I did. I was just setting my boost after draining my tank and pouring in the C-16. My buddy told me he was freaking out when he saw me do what I did. Thankfully, the officer let me off with a warning. He even complimented me on the car too. It went something like this. The officer came up to the window and was sorta laughing at me. Taking my license he said, "Son, didn't you see me sitting behind you at that light back there?" No sir I was paying attention to my driving. "Well, it was impressive. You think you could tone it down for the rest of the week?" Yes sir, absolutely. "Alright then, drive safe and have a good week." Thank you sir. :oops:

My buddies were freaking out when I relayed the story later. They just knew I was going to jail.
Another awesome memory was when we all used to meet up with the locals at the Autozone. People were setting up races then heading out to the Corvette plant to make their runs, then come back to settle up. All that and a huge burnout contest that took place right in front of the Autozone. Those Autozone guys were really cool and did not say a word. Heck they even came outside to watch. Imagine that parking lot filled with street and race cars. Every spot filled and very few non street/strip cars in the lot. Maybe 200-300 people milling around. A basic mini car show that just happened each Friday and Saturday night for 4 years in a row. AWESOME.

But my all time favorite memory was cruising in race mode back in 2005. We all left the track and were driving back to the hotel for the night. It was Dave Fiscus in the right lane at the front. He was running consistent low 9's to high 8's. Beside him was Cal Hartline in his GN, also running low 9's high 8's. I was behind Dave and a sweet red "70 GS was beside me. I was giving Jason Cramer a ride back to the hotel before we all headed out for dinner. The light changed and they blasted across the intersection, both cars fighting for traction. I followed suit trying to be like the big dawgs, putting it on the GS beside me. :D
Jason was hanging on for dear life laughing hysterically. That was fun.

I have a picture somewhere around here of the back of Dave's GN on slicks with the chute on it, cruising down Scottsdale headed to the track the next morning. Gotta dig that one up.

I agree, those days will never be the same. There really is no other venue and or track that I can think of that has the persona and hospitality that Bowling Green had back then.
Ah, the good ole days.
Thanks for reading...

Patrick
 

VETKILR

Moderator
Staff member
Here is a link on v8buick showing a lot of old pictures, mainly before TRs came on scene: http://www.v8buick.com/showthread.php?96394-Does-Anyone-Remember

Lots of memories. First year for parents was 88 and mine was 90 when i was 8 years old. We didnt miss a show till 2003, and then back again this year for the first time since.

I have to post videos of the Autozone parking lot circa 2000 with it packed with locals and Mustangs and GNS and Buicks all over the area. I can remember BG police running around in 4 door lumina cop cars with 3100s and endless squealing rubber and burnouts all over town.

I can remember eating at Jerrys and seeing Lawrence Conley pull up with Tweaked and i thought it was Michael Jordan in the flesh. Still have his autograph on the t shirt from 93 or so, even though i cant wear it.

I can remember seeing tons of quick GNs with huge slicks on trailers while pulling into Beech Bend and trailered on the street. So intimidating to see those cars with huge rear slicks, i still get chills thinking about it today.

I can remember friend Shawn Stemple in his burgundy low 11sec T with slicks on it from the track leaving sidewise out of Autozone parking lot and looking like a deer in the headlights of an incoming telephone pole. Later that night we were next to his brother in law with his red 69 gs with a 455 running low 12s, this is in 98 with all the rain and some woman drunk plowed into him with an olds cierra. If you saw the pics it was totalled. Was scary sight to see that is for sure.

Numerous other fun blasts down there and before the day of texting and email the old man always would drive down in a Buick whether it was the GN or a TR we owned or a GS we had/have, was always something different and always fun. That was the fun part everyone drove their cars, trailers mainly were only used for Super 16 guys, for obvious reasons. I talk to majority of my GS buddies they had slicks in trunk bolted on at track then took back off and cruised on the street. Scottsdale road was always hoping with Mustangs from Nashville and strong mopar/chevy contingent locally from BG. The cops took a blind eye too. So many cars, where did they all go? A lot of the originals have passed or gone into other cars but the event is still fun and i hope we all can continue to support Buick events. Its partly the reason i volunteer as i have met so many great friends and had so much fun i dont want to lose this hobby.

Or else i dont know what i would have to do. Ill post some videos this week of the street racing and Autozone, and i got more footage im waiting for from people to create a self dedicated Buick channel for the old Buick events, footage/pics of past and present.
 

JayC

T6P.Com/TB.com Administrator/Webmaster
Staff member
My most memorable moments were seeing the Smith bros show up with a tracter trailer and the trailer had 2 GN's it it stacked on top of each other (like a top fuel team would have)
Also chatting with Jim D in the hotel parking lot where he had a cooler full of beer and everyone was welcome to one.
Back then it was unreal, GN's everywhere!

They had quite the setup, huh? It was a father and son. Bob Armstrong owns one of their cars now and I know at one point Clint Blackwell had the other. I dont know if he's still around or not.

They had a full time mechanic on staff and a whole fleet of cars. I sold them some parts and enjoyed talking to them. Seems like I remembered hearing their mechanic got killed. He had some neat stuff they had come up with.

I also sold some parts to one of the roadies for Lynyrd Skynyrd. I hoped to meet him when I moved out to Dallas but never got the chance.
 

JayC

T6P.Com/TB.com Administrator/Webmaster
Staff member
I wouldn't say it's the only one. Maybe the only one you've been to ;)

Let me rephrase because I do know there are others.

Its the closest thing to the Nats left and I dont think anyone else can duplicate Richard Clark's facility or hospitality.
 

Dusty Bradford

Well-Known Member
The mid-late 90's had to be tops for me. I remember exiting the interstate onto Scottsville Rd and it was like stepping off into another world. Everywhere you turned was nothing but GN's or GS's. Whether they were lined up around the drive thru at white castle or lined up 10 deep at each stop light. You could forget trying to sleep before 1-2am because everyone rode around with open dump pipe's.
 

bogies87

Active Member
Dusty Bradford said:
The mid-late 90's had to be tops for me. I remember exiting the interstate onto Scottsville Rd and it was like stepping off into another world. Everywhere you turned was nothing but GN's or GS's. Whether they were lined up around the drive thru at white castle or lined up 10 deep at each stop light. You could forget trying to sleep before 1-2am because everyone rode around with open dump pipe's.
See thats what i am talking about. Buicks as far as the eyes could see
 

GSX-PKV

Active Member
We always enjoyed cruising in the evenings. Back then the dates were better in my opinion because when the weather was nice... about 80% of the time (there were bad weather days also though) it was light out until 9 at night and on most nights we'd go cruising and the streets were filled with Buicks. We loved going to the go cart track that was down the side road from the Hampton. Those go carts were fast and the kids working at the track didn't care what we did with those go carts :)
 

BuickMike

Money pit
I'm enjoying reading this. I think the nats were so great back then is because of the car itself. There was so much energy and excitement surrounding turbo Buicks back then because it was the first production turbo car that was producing serious horsepower. There were other cool turbo cars in the 80's (turbo K cars, Supras, 300ZX, Conquest, SVO, etc) but none of them had the capability to reliably put down the power like TRs. I'm assuming that the age of the owners was pretty consistant back when the car was new. You have a bunch of guys that lived through the muscle car revolution only to be faced with the EPA and economy killing it. Now something comes along that has all the musclecar potential and can also be fairly fuel efficient and have all the modern conveniences.

Now the car is a classic with several different generations owning them. Technology has caught up and there is plenty of powerful modern muscle on the streets. I'm going to bet that we don't see that kind of excitement again until someone comes out with flying electric cars that last a month on a single charge and run 8's :D
 

VETKILR

Moderator
Staff member
How about some old pictures of TRs at BG? We have a link on v8buick.com of old GS guys racing and show cars.

How about it for old Turbo Regal footage? I need to go through boxes and post them up! and video footage too!
 
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