The day I drove a Stage 2 - briefly :o)

Discussion in 'Kill Stories (Where Hemis Never Win)' started by 71Dartman440, Dec 19, 2021.

  1. 71Dartman440

    71Dartman440 Active Member

    The year was probably around 1977 and I was working at a local car wash (Ridely Car Wash) on MacDade Blvd. in Ridley Township PA. People did not remain in their cars back then; you had to get out and the attendants vacuumed, pulled the car in and placed on conveyor. I was on the out-coming end where we hopped in and pulled the car to the front lot, cleaned windows and collected the receipt/tip from the owner.

    I knew the owner of the Stage 2 and knew of the car since he went to our high school and although he was not primary owner (older brother as I recall) he periodically drove it. Although we couldn't fathom the thought of taking a Stage 2 nor any GS for that matter through a car wash today, it wasn't uncommon in the 70's for muscle cars to go through them back in the day.

    The guy working the back would put the parking lights on when a customer wanted "Hot Wax" applied which the owner did. The GS looked nice coming through with the parking lights on. As it was rolling out I hopped in and drove it out front (thus the title of the thread). Did the windows, saw it was the kid from school driving so like I'd done with so many other customers coming through, smiled, said thank you and asked if he'd kindly "Light Em Up!!" when he left.

    The GS Stage 2 rolled out onto MacDade Blvd and proceeded to do the longest burnout I'd ever seen. The owner burned them clear through L1, L2 and most of Drive before lifting. Simply awesome!!

    That single event later led to my first muscle car purchase while stationed at Altus AFB in Altus Ok. A red 71 GS 455 with white vinyl top, N-25 exhaust, and 3-spoke steering. Spotted the car on the lot as a trade in! It was then I learned to appreciate the torque of the 455 and proceeded to make waste of many a street contender in those days. Car had 3.42 posi out back and I had upgraded the exhaust with Hooker Headers (one tube over-frame), Hush Thrush mufflers, KB Stage 1 blue printed cam, offy intake and 3,000 stall converter. Later sold the car around 1990 in Great Falls Montana while based there. Picts of the 71 attached.

    Thought you'd enjoy the story... P.S. I have no idea what came of that Stage 2 way back in the 70's.

    Attached Files:

    NotRyan, johnriv67, Dwayne B and 13 others like this.
  2. hwprouty

    hwprouty Platinum Level Contributor

    Love it!!
  3. Redmanf1

    Redmanf1 Gold Level Contributor

  4. GSX 554

    GSX 554 Gold Level Contributor

    Area is Very close to Duane and myself
    Matt Knutson likes this.
  5. Michael_G

    Michael_G Living the Dream... Fast with Class...

  6. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    Cool story. Post more info on the car- it may still exist..
  7. Thumper (aka greatscat)

    Thumper (aka greatscat) Well-Known Member

    Love reading these old stories.Are the attached pics the stage2 you talked about? Appears to have stage1 heads.
  8. 71Dartman440

    71Dartman440 Active Member

    No the attached picts are of the 71 I owned for about 8 years (82-90). No picts of the Stage 2 - only the memory!
  9. 71Dartman440

    71Dartman440 Active Member

    Another fond moment from that time. While based in Altus Oklahoma I stopped in a Buick Dealership in Lawton Oklahoma - mid 80's. The dealership owner had 3 or 4 brand new Stage 1 crate motors for sale at $1,000 each. I was but a poor Airman 1st Class at the time (2 stripes) and simply didn't have the cash. As I understood it the Dealership owner raced Buicks thus the reason for the motors. Those were great times....
    patwhac and Michael_G like this.
  10. Thumper (aka greatscat)

    Thumper (aka greatscat) Well-Known Member

    Too bad, seeing pics would have been great.
  11. gs66

    gs66 Silver Level contributor

    Too bad we didn’t all have these phones back then. There would be more great pictures for sure! Great story, thanks for sharing!
  12. PGSS

    PGSS Gold Level Contributor

    I worked the same type of car wash when I was 18.
    Drove some really big money cars, for 15 to 20 feet.:( I wanted to keep going so so bad:D
  13. 71Dartman440

    71Dartman440 Active Member

    LOL - Yes then you can definitely relate! Caddies, Grand Prix’s, Lincoln’s etc. we had them all. It was fun when the muscle cars came through. That old chain conveyor with rollers would sometimes rip out the exhaust of people who had long generic U-Bolt clamps installed with the threads hanging straight down.
    PGSS likes this.
  14. rkammer

    rkammer Gold Level Contributor

    Please forgive the correction but, I too was an Airman 1st Class (during the Viet Nam era) and that rank wore 3 stripes, not 2. Thanks for your service.
    PGSS and Michael_G like this.
  15. 71Dartman440

    71Dartman440 Active Member

    And thank you for your service as well. Was your time in service pre-67? The rank of A-1C (Airman First Class (two stripes)) was instated in 1967. I served in the Air Force from 1982 to 2006 (24 years) and during that time the rank structure continued to evolve and change over time. The below link provides a timeline for reference.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2021
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  16. 71Dartman440

    71Dartman440 Active Member

    Have a bunch of picts of the 71 Gs 455 that I toyed with back in the 80’s. I’ll scan them over Christmas, post them here and share a few stories about the car from back in the day.
    mbryson likes this.
  17. rkammer

    rkammer Gold Level Contributor

    Well, I learned something this morning. Yes, I served from '62-'66 so, before the change to two stars. Thanks for the clarification.
  18. PGSS

    PGSS Gold Level Contributor

    I drove out a 70 Eldo on good occasion from the same owner and other beauty's from repeat customers. A few Rolls Royce's and some Mercedes but the Mercedes didn't do much for me.
    I would of traded a few Muscles car for all the others though at that time.
  19. Michael_G

    Michael_G Living the Dream... Fast with Class...

    Cool chronology... Thanks! I've been continuous active duty since Jan 1987 and officially retire 1 Jan 22. My Bride put together one hell of a shadow box and and I had to help her find the appropriate rank where the star was not colored in for SrA and A1C.... Buck Sgt was easy though... Heh!

    I actually got my love for Buicks while stationed at Malmstrom AFB in Montana where I became the 3rd owner of a very original 1971 Skylark... to which is still in the family today (gave to my uncle).
    chiefsb30, PGSS and mbryson like this.
  20. 71Dartman440

    71Dartman440 Active Member

    Wow!! When were you at Malmstrom? We were there 89-93 when the KC-135's were based there. Small world! That's where I sold the 71 GS 455 to a small lot on 10th Ave South.

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