Pontiac Grand Prix GTP
Nine Second Chevy S10 4WD Blazer


I was returning home from a business trip, having taken the wife’s new ’99 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP for some highway miles, when I decided to stop in and check on some parts for my ’90 Formula. I turned in at Lamar Salvage in Oloh, MS and parked. The Spring time heat in Mississippi is overpowering sometimes, especially if you are in a full business suit like I was. Walking up to the counter, I caught the attention of Danny, my contact at the salvage yard. He was on the phone dealing, so I propped up against the counter in the lobby and waited patiently to ask him if he had received in any 3rdGen F-body wrecks that I could pick over for parts. Danny and I do a lot of business, but I can swear that was the first time he’s ever seen me in a business suit! I think he was shocked!

Another guy behind the counter asked me what I needed, and I told him what I was looking for. He scratched his head, thought for a minute, and then said "Ask Danny."  OK, that is WHY I deal with Danny in the first place, he knows what I own and what I would be interested in.  I glance around.  Lots of 'typical' junk yard patrons sitting and standing around getting their orders filled or drinking the bitter coffee that Danny prefers (doubles as a carb cleaner, so one of his employees tells me).  Mostly older men, the overalls and John Deere hat wearing kind.  And then there was this kid sitting next to the counter, on a stool. And I do mean kid, like 15 at the most. He looks up at me and asks:

"Looking for some parts for your Trans-Am?"

I turn and shake my head.

"It’s a Formula." I tell him. "Firebird."

He goes back to reading a Field and Stream magazine.

"My sister’s uncle had a IROC. It wasn't that fast."

Uh-huh. I thought. Here it comes, the deluge of bullshit, and me wearing my best suit…

"She let me drive it sometimes…"

Visions of the movie "RAINMAN" coming to mind… "I'm an excellent driver.  Excellent driver.  Dad lets me drive around the circular drive", etc.

Danny put down the phone and we began to talk business. He had a few F-bodies in, but most were picked clean, he had a list of the parts that I needed, and unfortunately, nothing that I needed was on the cars he pulled in. The kid just kept talking, butting in at odd moments to add in pure bull…

"It was an IROC-Z, but it wasn’t as fast as what I drive …"

Uh huh.

"How fast is your car?" the kid asks me.

Thinking of the Lingenfelter instead of the TBI Formula, I tell him…

"I’ve got an IROC-Z that will run low 12s, maybe high 11s in the quarter. Its got a Lingenfelter in it."

The kid isn’t impressed, probably doesn't even know who John Lingenfelter is, but Danny nods his head and does this ‘phewww’ sound as his eyes get big. He knows who John Lingenfelter is and he's seen my car before.

"Mine does 9 seconds through the quarter." The kid states quite matter of factly, going back to reading the magazine.

So this kid drives a 9 second car?! Got to be a big block Chevelle or a ‘Cuda or a Nova. Has to be? I didn’t see anything like that when I pulled up, maybe I missed it. I turn and look out across the parking lot trying to find this 9 second car.

"Is it outside?" I ask.

"Its out in the parking lot…" the kid says proudly, looking back up.

I turn and look out in the parking lot. Not much out there, my GTP, a Dodge Omni K, a Escort station wagon, and this piece of shit Chevy Blazer over near the new wreck arrivals. The Blazer has no rear bumper, the tag is screwed into the tail gate, crooked, with some rusty screws, lines of rust around the side windows and rear window, fading paint, peeling down to the bare rusted metal, there are long dents running the full length of the passenger side…

"See it?" the kid asks.

I keep looking, hoping to see some kind of Nova or a Chevelle or a Cuda. I don’t see it.  NOTHING out in the parking lot looks like it will do 9 seconds in the quarter...

"That’s a fast Blazer!" the kid says.

Huh? WTF?!  My eyes dart back to the piece of shit Blazer sitting out there. I slowly look back at the kid. He can’t be serious. His look says that he is DEAD serious.  I thought that Blazer was one of the wrecks that Danny had received into his yard! You have got to be kidding me. NFW!  This kid is so full of it… amateur.

"Wow!" I say, getting an evil grin.

Danny rolls his eyes, he knows what’s coming and he starts to laugh a little, drinking his coffee.  I think he's the only one who can stomach that black acid.

"Nine seconds through the quarter mile?" I ask the kid, mocking incredible interest. "That’s pretty fast for a compact Blazer!"

Maybe, just maybe it DOES do 9 seconds through the quarter. Lots of V8 mini trucks out there today, and you can’t always judge a vehicle by how it looks on the outside! Maybe the kid has a hot 350 or 383 in it…? I ask him what he has under the hood before I go and make assumptions and put my foot in my mouth...

"What do you have in there? A 350?"

"Uh uh." the kid replies. "It’s got a 2.8 liter V6 in it. My friend and I did the exhaust work on it. Put some duals on it. Now it burns rubber in four wheel drive, all four all the way through the quarter mile…"

I refrain from laughing out loud. Danny sniggers but stifles it with a cough, drinking another long swallow of coffee.

"So, you did the exhaust work yourself?" I ask, a little bit of incredulousness creeping in.

"Well, me and my friend." The amateur kid says.

"And it runs 9 seconds through the quarter mile with a 2.8 liter V6 in it with dual exhaust?" I ask, interested in how the physics of the world that this kid lives in work.

"Yeah. I can burn all four wheels down in four wheel drive down the quarter mile. It’s fast as hell!"


I decided to totally ignore this retard from here on out. I shake Danny’s hand, he looks over at the kid, back to me, and rolls his eyes. I nod solemnly. There are amateurs everywhere these days. I leave the lobby, and get into the GTP. And wouldn’t you know…  The kid felt his ego was threatened because he walked out right behind me and went running for his ‘9 second Blazer’. I threw on my driving gloves and smiled, backing the GTP slowly out of the parking space in front of the salvage yard lobby, and dropping it into drive. I headed for the exit onto the highway, just as the kid got his piece of shit cranked and pulled in behind me.  Pulled in way too close for me not to realize what he was going to do next, pulling close trying to intimidate me with his '9 second Blazer'.

I knew what was going to happen next, so I clicked on the PERFORMANCE SHIFT on the shifter on the GTP. The little PERFORMANCE SHIFT icon lit up on the dash, indicating that the transmission was set for a better shift pattern and more performance. I waited for a few cars to pass and until I had a clear lane to turn onto the highway.  Behind me, the kid revved his Blazer. It sounded totally pathetic, there are some ricers out there with better sounding exhausts…  I eased the GTP out onto the highway, acting like an adult, and started to slowly accelerate up to the 65mph speed limit.

Then I heard it.

The kid in the Blazer got on it for all it was worth, nailing the accelerator right behind me in the parking lot. I mean the Taco Bell dog could have given up a bigger bark than this kid produced. His Blazer started to pull along beside me in the left lane, chugging and blowing for all it was worth, which isn’t much. Nine seconds my ass… That exhaust work he and his friend did must have put the tips coming right back up under the driver’s seat, coming into the passenger area, because this kid was brain damaged if he thought his 2.8 liter V6 with some exhaust work would do nine second quarter miles in four wheel low with all four tires spinning.

The 2.8 liter V6 was whining for all it was worth, and it sounded pathetic.   Sad.  I looked over, and the kid looked back at me like this was his moment of truth. He reached the end of first gear by the time he pulled along side of the GTP, and he tried to throw his stick with enough force to bark the tires. He didn’t, and all his bravado effort managed to achieve during the gear synchronization was a sound similar to someone using a 2x4 to stir a 50 gallon drum of old nuts and bolts.  The kid actually had a smile on his face, he had this stupid "See, I told you it was a 9 second Blazer! You’re about to get your lunch eaten, old man!"

Sadly, I decided to prove him wrong.

I dropped the hammer on the Pontiac GTP and instantly the L67 3.8 liter supercharged V6 roared to life. The GTP screamed and leapt forward and in short order, the Blazer next to me vanished into my rear view mirror. I kept my right foot nailed with enough force to put a dent in the firewall.  I ran away from that kid in the piece of shit Blazer so fast, it looked like I had a rocket strapped to the back of the car!  I held the GTP until 115mph (everything on the speedometer), then let off the gas, coasting back down to 65mph slowly and then setting my cruise control. I looked in the rear view mirror.  The kid in the Blazer was so far behind, he was a dot on the road. I smiled. Nine second Blazer my ass. Where do all of these amateurs come from these days? Why doesn’t anyone understand even the basic principles of performance? MTV needs to have a auto mechanics related show, teach these backwards baseball cap wearing fools something useful.

I’m tuning the radio to WXXR, Rock 104, and the Rolling Stones come on with Mick starting out singing "What a drag it is getting old…"

I smile, and tap the steering wheel to the beat.  The kid in the piece of shit Blazer blows past me doing everything that 2.8 liter will do. His stereo is louder than his exhaust system, making a ‘thump thump thump’ or maybe that is his engine about to give up the ghost. The kid flips me off, and continues to haul ass, quickly leaving me behind. The tornado of black sooty exhaust trailing behind me lets me know that his motor is pegged for all it is worth. I judge his ‘top end’ to be about 90 miles an hour, he’s walking away at a good pace, but he’s not doing triple digits.  Totally pathetic.  Later that night, I go to work at Autozone, and this story is the hit of the night. I have to repeat it about eight times for employees and customers alike.

And you know what?!

Three days later, I’m working at Autozone, and this kid and his friend come in!

Eric takes care of them, and the kid recognizes me. He says that his Blazer blew my piece of shit black car away on the highway. Eric has heard the story, and he just goes

"Oh, so you’re the kid with the 9 second Blazer!"

He says it kind of loud, loud enough that I hear it and instantly I know who the kid is.

"Nine seconds?!" I ask out loud, looking at the kid.

"More like NINE-teen seconds through the quarter mile. No, make that twenty-NINE seconds through the quarter mile. He says he boils all four wheels down in four low through the quarter, but he couldn’t even bark one of them when he tried to run me. I guess he was just holding back, saving his rubber for the track…" I say.

The kid is turning strawberry red with anger.

"That and the fact that he doesn’t know how to throw a stick, sounded like he had a crowbar stirring rocks in a drum…"

Eric busts out laughing, and so does my other assistant manager, who owns a modified 305 V8 powered S10 Blazer which I guaranty you is far faster than a 2.8 liter V6 Blazer.

"Who has a 9 second Blazer?" Buck asks, interested.

I point to the kid.  Buck gets this 'No frigging way...' look and shakes his head.

"What do you have under the hood?" Buck asks the kid.

"Two point eight liter V6." The kid says loudly.

Buck shakes his head, starts to laugh/smile and goes "Nooooohohoho." In that classical "You are a dumbass" attitude.

"But he and his friend put dual exhausts on it, and he says it will boil all four tires all the way down the track in four low…" I add.

Buck just hangs his head and does the "Nooooohohohoho. I’m afraid you don’t do the quarter mile in 9 seconds with a 2.8 liter V6… No matter how much exhaust work you did."

Kid starts getting mad. His friend pushes him a few times in a ‘calm down’ type of way.

"He says he beat your GTP…" Eric says.

I laugh out loud.  Buck looks over at me.

"He beat your GTP?" Buck asks incredulously.

"He wishes." I say. "I left him so far behind, it took him fifteen seconds to catch up… When I slowed down, he blew past me. His stereo was louder than his exhaust, and he had that little black soot tornado action going out his single exhaust pipe. I never did see a second exhaust tip…"

Buck laughs out this cartoon "Ahahahahahahahaha" laugh and looks right at the kid.

"You must be stupid." Buck tells the kid. "There is no way a 2.8 liter V6 Blazer is going to outrun a 3.8 liter supercharged GTP OR do 9 second quarter miles."

Kid starts to stammer and cuss us.

"Oh, that was my wife’s car!" I say. "My wife’s car ate his Blazer alive. If his Blazer runs 9 second quarter miles, then my GTP must run 6 second quarter miles. Hell, I bet my 406 Lingenfelter runs low twos!"

Buck threw his head back and laughed out loud.

"Low twos!" he shouted, turning and bending over laughing.

Eric jack stepped back from the counter and bent over he was laughing so hard.

"What do you think my Grand Prix runs?" Eric asks, trying to get a straight face. "I only have a 3.1 liter V6 in it…"

I think for a minute, put my hand to my chin in pensive thought.

"Well, if this kid’s Blazer does 9 seconds through the quarter. My GTP runs low sixes, and the Lingenfelter runs low twos, then I bet your 3.1 would run low eights, maybe high sevens. It would eat that 2.8 for lunch!"

Kid storms out of Autozone, slamming the door back hard as his friend nervously follows him outside.  Buck and Eric and I are laughing our asses off.

"And don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more …" Buck sings slowly.

"You think he’s in his 9 second Blazer?" Eric asks.

"Let’s see!" Buck says.

The three of us hurry from behind the parts counter to step outside to see this ‘awesome’ 9 second Blazer just as Cindy is pulling up in the GTP out front. She gets out as the kid and his friend throw the Blazer through a barely tire barking fast reverse, it rolls backwards a good car length before they can get it into a forward gear, then throw it into drive and gun it.

"That piece of shit runs nine seconds in the quarter mile!?" Buck asks.

"That’s the nine second Blazer." I tell Cindy.

She’s heard the story a few days ago.

"THAT’S a nine second Blazer?!" she asks.

"Yeah." I smile.

"I was expecting something a lot more... powerful looking.  Look at the driver!  He’s just a kid! Is he old enough to even be driving?" she asks.

We start laughing again.  Cindy teaches kids older than the kid behind the wheel.  The kid hauls ass out of the Autozone parking lot, trying to burn the tires, but not getting one bark. As he passes by us, I point to the GTP parked out front and shout:

"Hey, want to race for pinks?! We’ve got some witnesses now."

He flips me off.

"I bet my WIFE could beat you in a race!" I shout and we all start laughing.

The kid shouts something, continuing to flip me off and try to shift a manual transmission AND drive his piece of shit Blazer.  He is on it full throttle and slams the Blazer sideways turning out of the parking lot so hard, it looks like it will fall over on its side. We all stand there, waving bye to the two dumb asses, then we go inside the store.  Amateur.  I hate amateurs.  True story.  A 2.8 liter V6 Blazer with some home made exhaust work running 9 seconds in the quarter in four low with all four tires burning rubber down the track.  Yeah, right.

Crack does not smoke itself, folks. This kid was proof of that. Where DO these kids get their mechanical information these days?  MTV?  It's the whole ricerboy / stereo is a performance mod mentality and it's sad.