sys-boot/grub-0.97-r16 fails to build, because the 17.0 profile defaults to pie executables. This is taken care of in 860_all_grub-0.97-pie.patch, but there the command line switch is -nopie, instead of -no-pie. Changing 860_all_grub-0.97-pie.patch allowd me to build sys-boot/grub-0.97-r16.
peregrin ~ # diff patch/860_all_grub-0.97-pie.patch patch/860_all_grub-0.97-pie.patch.new
< + STAGE1_CFLAGS="$STAGE1_CFLAGS -nopie"
< + STAGE2_CFLAGS="$STAGE2_CFLAGS -nopie"
> + STAGE1_CFLAGS="$STAGE1_CFLAGS -no-pie"
> + STAGE2_CFLAGS="$STAGE2_CFLAGS -no-pie"
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 608460 ***