Words And Photography By Matthew Litwin

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The rolling hills of Bowling Green, Kentucky, are known for two things: drag racing at Beech Bend Raceway and the Corvette's assembly plant (and the Corvette Museum, too). But once a year, the home turf of America's sports car is invaded by the Tri-Shield faithful for the annual GS Nationals. They come from all corners of the world and set up camp at the sprawling Beech Bend facility in order to race, display, sell and share stories about their performance Buicks.

Originally scheduled for its traditional mid-May dates, the Buick GS Club of America scrambled to reschedule its 30th annual meet when flooding rains crippled the region. The new dates, October 20-23,

2010, were received favorably when comfortable temperatures and friendly skies greeted members. Admittedly, attendance was down slightly due to the sudden change (club president Richard Las-seter commented that many members arrange their vacations to coincide with the meet); however, the drag strip's paddock was brimming with activity, while the neighboring circle track's infield— where Friday's car show is held—was nothing short of spectacular. It was hoods/decklids up for each of the 14 classes, which was judged on a 100-point system; the exception to this was the concours class. First and second place awards were announced late in the afternoon.

Prior to the end of the weekend, there was already speculation about a possible change of dates in order to avoid potential spring weather threats. That speculation was later confirmed when it was officially announced that the 31st annual GS Nationals would be held on October 19-21, 2011, at Bowling Green's Beech Bend Raceway. Event specifics and registration can be found at www.buickgsca.com or www.gsnationals.com.

In spite of the change of date, there were still an ample number of vendors peddling their piles of Buick parts, including this assortment of Sixties sheetmetal and bumpers.

In spite of the change of date, there were still an ample number of vendors peddling their piles of Buick parts, including this assortment of Sixties sheetmetal and bumpers.

Having made the trek all the way from Dayton, Maine, Bryan Woodworth lights up the rear hides bolted to his 455-cu.in.-powered 1968 Skylark during time trials.

Having made the trek all the way from Dayton, Maine, Bryan Woodworth lights up the rear hides bolted to his 455-cu.in.-powered 1968 Skylark during time trials.

Tommy Riggs drove his rare 1982 Regal Grand National from Lebanon, Kentucky, to the meet and later left Bowling Green with a first in class trophy; only 205 examples of this car were produced, most of which were normally aspirated.

First in line in Class I (GN and Turbo Regals) was this original, unrestored 1987 edition, touting a build date just one month shy of the last GN ever built. Owned by David Parks from Jackson, Tennessee, the Grand National also showed just 24,000 miles on the odometer.

Tommy Riggs drove his rare 1982 Regal Grand National from Lebanon, Kentucky, to the meet and later left Bowling Green with a first in class trophy; only 205 examples of this car were produced, most of which were normally aspirated.

First in line in Class I (GN and Turbo Regals) was this original, unrestored 1987 edition, touting a build date just one month shy of the last GN ever built. Owned by David Parks from Jackson, Tennessee, the Grand National also showed just 24,000 miles on the odometer.

Marietta, Georgia's Don McIntosh was in attendance with his 1970 GS 455; he's the original owner of the car, which was restored several years ago.
Close to a dozen examples from the GS line filled the Original Owner Class, which was a special category added this year to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the meet.
One of the notable standouts was this home-built 1938 Chevy coupe owned by John Kledis from Asheville, North Carolina. Under the Chevy's steel skin was a 3.8L turbo V-6 and 200-R4 automatic transmission from a 1987 Buick Grand National, as well as a GN-inspired custom interior.

Just off Beech Bend's circle track back stretch was the Concours Class, where Buicks were subjected to a more stringent 400-point system. Among the entrants were Monroe, Connecticut's, Carl Rychlik and his 1970 GS Stage 1, which achieved gold status.

Beech Bend Pictures From 1970s

Tucked in among the Class A (GS hardtop 1965-'69) entrants was this 1967 Spotted in the paddock on Thursday was this NHRA record-setting Kenne GS 340 owned by Doug Davis from Traverse City, Michigan. A mid-year Bell 1977 Buick Skyhawk. Having raced undefeated in T/S from 1977-'78, release, it was available only in Arctic white or the Platinum Mist seen here. it's now under the care of John Schmidt.

Tucked in among the Class A (GS hardtop 1965-'69) entrants was this 1967 Spotted in the paddock on Thursday was this NHRA record-setting Kenne GS 340 owned by Doug Davis from Traverse City, Michigan. A mid-year Bell 1977 Buick Skyhawk. Having raced undefeated in T/S from 1977-'78, release, it was available only in Arctic white or the Platinum Mist seen here. it's now under the care of John Schmidt.

The real wow factor, aside from its stunning overall appearance, was the four-speed transmission inside of "Wild" Bill Burton's 1966 Wildcat GS. Bill returned to Kokomo, Indiana, with a first-in-class trophy.
Dubbo City Car Club

Lititz, Pennsylvania's, Mike Pesarchick and his 1976 Century head a lineup of potent Buicks in the staging lanes during Friday night's competition. Don't let that big mid-Seventies A-body fool you: It's powered by a warmed-up 455-cu.in. V-8, and Mike has recorded a 12.07 at 110.40 MPH pass.

Spectators needed a pair of heavily tinted sunglasses to observe this stunning GNX clone dubbed the GNX-Xray. Owned by John and Gina Dinger from Montgomery, Alabama, the nicely modified 1987 Turbo T Regal was deservedly bestowed with a first-in-class trophy.

Lititz, Pennsylvania's, Mike Pesarchick and his 1976 Century head a lineup of potent Buicks in the staging lanes during Friday night's competition. Don't let that big mid-Seventies A-body fool you: It's powered by a warmed-up 455-cu.in. V-8, and Mike has recorded a 12.07 at 110.40 MPH pass.

Spectators needed a pair of heavily tinted sunglasses to observe this stunning GNX clone dubbed the GNX-Xray. Owned by John and Gina Dinger from Montgomery, Alabama, the nicely modified 1987 Turbo T Regal was deservedly bestowed with a first-in-class trophy.

Ray Gnx Buick

At a quick glance, Marty Burke's 1970 GS Stage 1 looked stock from a short distance. However, the Hamilton, Ohio, resident entered his Buick into Class F: GS Street Machine.

Allen Liverman, from Ahoskie, North Carolina, sets sail during qualifying behind the wheel of his heavily modified 1986 Turbo Regal. His time on this run was a 9.880 at 105.00 MPH.

At a quick glance, Marty Burke's 1970 GS Stage 1 looked stock from a short distance. However, the Hamilton, Ohio, resident entered his Buick into Class F: GS Street Machine.

Allen Liverman, from Ahoskie, North Carolina, sets sail during qualifying behind the wheel of his heavily modified 1986 Turbo Regal. His time on this run was a 9.880 at 105.00 MPH.

There were opportunities to leave Beech Bend with a muscular Buick; several were available in the swap meet area, including this 1969 GS 350. According to the seller, a factory four-speed backed the four-barrel-topped V-8, and it also had air and Positive Traction. Since it needed a restoration, the asking price was dropped an even grand to $8,500.

Taking top honors in the Original Owners Class was Sid Meyer—from Largo, Florida—with his 1970 GS Stage 1. It was easy to understand why: His Buick showed just 7,093.4 miles on the show field, and was presented in its factory as-built unrestored state.

There were opportunities to leave Beech Bend with a muscular Buick; several were available in the swap meet area, including this 1969 GS 350. According to the seller, a factory four-speed backed the four-barrel-topped V-8, and it also had air and Positive Traction. Since it needed a restoration, the asking price was dropped an even grand to $8,500.

Taking top honors in the Original Owners Class was Sid Meyer—from Largo, Florida—with his 1970 GS Stage 1. It was easy to understand why: His Buick showed just 7,093.4 miles on the show field, and was presented in its factory as-built unrestored state.

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100 Bowling Tips

100 Bowling Tips

Playing bowling with your friends can help you decide if it is indeed the hobby that you want to invest your time on today. Aside from that, it can help you get a better feel of the sport. More importantly, when you play with your friends, it would become a more fun activity, which you can look forward to each week.

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