Summertime, and the showing is easy. From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, five national events invite you to join them in celebrating Pontiac history, style, performance, and passion. We only have one page to tell you about all of them, so let's get right to it.
Pontiac-Oakland Club International (POCI) Convention
June 17-21, 2014 • Wichita, KS
From its rather modest 1973 beginnings in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, the annual POCI convention has become one of the top destinations for Pontiac fans worldwide. Convention-goers from as far away as Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have made the trip to attend, and the Canadian presence is always significant.
POCI conventions bring the hobby together with amazing Pontiacs, fantastic presentations, and legendary personalities. Luminaries who have presented seminars include John Z. DeLorean, Smokey Yunick, Hal Needham, Bill Collins, and John Sawruk.
This year, the POCI Convention is mostly indoors, at the Century II Convention Center, which provides enough air-conditioned space to house all the Pontiac show cars under one roof. Drag racing will be held at nearby Kansas International Dragway. Guest speakers include Jim Wangers, Roger Berry (a Pontiac Motor Division dealership designer), and Darryl Starbird (the King of Bubbletops). Don't miss the action.
June 20-22, 2014 • Carlisle, PA
This year the Carlisle GM Nationals celebrates 50 years of the iconic GTO. An entire building (The Goat Pen) will be devoted to the GTO, as well as offering GTO-themed seminars and guests.
Scheduled to appear are three very special GTOs: the '64 Cheater car used in Car and Driver's "GTO vs. GTO" article; an original Monkeemobile that was on tour with the rock group; and an experimental '69 Ram Air V GTO. In conjunction with the celebration, Pontiac luminaries Milt Schornack, Bill Collins, Russ Gee, and Ben Harrison, plus Pontiac historian Tim Dye, will present seminars and meet with fans all weekend.
This event will also be (for the first time) the official launch point for the 2014 Bandit Run, with tons of Bandit Trans Ams onsite, along with a plethora of other Pontiac vehicles, and even a reproduction of the Snowman's rig. There will be a special screening of Smokey and the Bandit Saturday evening.
Visit the website for info on how to register your Pontiac for the show.
GTOAA International Meet
July 2-5, 2014 • Pittsburgh, PA
Help the GTO Association of America (GTOAA) celebrate the 50th birthday of Pontiac's The Great Onein Pittsburgh this July, where the Little GTOs are still looking fine! The indoor portion of the show includes all the concours-judged cars, and a display of original-owner GTOs whose owners receive special recognition for keeping their vehicles for many years. Concours judging is for GTOs and GT-37s only; all Pontiacs are welcome to enter the popular-vote show, which is outside.
Guest speakers this year include the Godfather of the GTO, Jim Wangers; Jim Mattison of PHS Historic Services; Dennis Kirban on Hurst history; Pontiac-Oakland Museum curator Tim Dye; Royal Pontiac's Milt Schornack; author [and HPP senior contributor] Don Keefe; and plenty of other seminars on restoration, maintenance, and topics related to the Pontiac hobby. Displays will include famous GTOs: the Monkeemobile, the Tin Indian, and the Tameless Tiger.
As always, there will be drag racing. Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick will share the track at Pittsburgh Raceway Park with Pontiac racers from across the country. Among the many planned tours and trips is an excursion to the [9-11 attack] United Airlines Flight 93 Memorial Chapel in nearby Shanksville.
Registration is available online.
Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals
August 1-3, 2014 • Norwalk, OH
Held at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, about an hour's drive east of Cleveland, the Pontiac Nationals boasts the largest gathering of Pontiac drag racers and swap-meet vendors of any Pontiac event all year.
This year, the event celebrates its 23rd anniversary, and over 10,000 spectators are expected to attend. High Performance Pontiac sponsors Pontiac on Parade for driver-quality Pontiacs; a judged car show offers awards in dozens of classes; and the drag-racing program pays out the biggest purse in the Pontiac hobby. This is an all-outdoor event, so bring your sneakers, your sunglasses, and your Pontiac excitement.
Trans Am Nationals
August 22-24, 2014 • Fairborn, OH
The inaugural Trans Am Nationals was held 30 years ago at the Dayton International Airport in Vandalia, Ohio. It has since grown to become one of the country's greatest annual Pontiac events. Hundreds of Firebirds visit the Dayton area in August to celebrate the proud history and heritage of the Pontiac Firebird and all of the models built upon it. The 400, H.O., Sprint, Formula, Esprit, Trans Am, S/E, GTA, Fire-Am, Macho T/A, and Firehawk have all been represented and are always welcome.
This year promises to be a landmark event in celebration of the T/A Nationals' 30th Anniversary. All anniversary-edition Trans Ams are specially invited, with an anniversary cruise planned Friday night. The new location in Fairborn, Ohio, offers plenty of hotel and parking space, as well as nearby shopping, dining, and the U.S. Air Force Museum.
Registration is available online.