It's always difficult to follow one big hit with another. VH1's One Hit Wonders is proof of that. Given the hoopla surrounding last year's GTOAA International Meet, with the 25th anniversary of the club coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the GTO, we'd have to say the deck was pretty heavily stacked in the Woodward GTO Tiger's favor for producing a great event. And they did.
In 2005, it was the 26th year of the GTOAA and the 41st year of the GTO--there are no celebrations for those anniversaries. So how was the Gateway GTO Association ever going to follow the '04 act? If you're the Gateway chapter, you put on a great event anyway. Co-chairs Tom Oxler and Steve Hedrick, along with John Johnson and a dedicated Gateway chapter, with aid from the parent GTOAA, hosted an action-packed meet for 2005 from June 28 through July 3 at the Westport Holiday Inn in St. Louis to follow up the '04 Detroit extravaganza.
This year's event drew 315 registrants and 201 GTOs from all over the country. It was a Goat-spotter's paradise of the rare and the wild. Even Steve Ames told HPP he saw things at this event that he never saw before.
On the show field, it turned out to be the year of the '69 GTO with many standout examples in attendance, from six-figure restos to over-the-top modifieds. Milt Robson's '69 Ram Air IV triple-black convertible GTO represents the rarest of the rare. Fresh out of restoration, it was an amazing sight, and it took home Concours Gold. Dave Foglton's painstakingly restored Ram Air IV '69 GTO earned Concours Gold and Best Restored. Edward Ball's '69 Goat garnered the big prize, Best of Show, and earned Concours Gold. Kyle Krause's '69 Judge was preserved well enough to take Best Original and Concours Bronze honors. See what we mean about the '69s? But there's more. There were no less than 13 Carousel Red '69 Judges on the show field.
Representing '69s on the mod side was Greg Teeters' Gold GTO decked out with a Royal Bobcat paint scheme and a Ram Air V-headed 421 with dual quads under the hood. And there was Steven Brazile's '69 Judge stuffed with a big engine, a six-speed trans, and enough suspension and rolling stock upgrades to make a Porsche whimper.
But Woodstock-era A-bodies weren't the only GTOs drawing a crowd. Colin Comer brought a pair of '65 GTOs that are each one-of-a-kind--the Riverside 500 pace car that Hurst built and gave away and the Tiger Gold Hurst hardtop giveaway car.
On the late-model front, Pontiac arrived with its tractor-trailer full of goodies, including the '05 GTO and the V-8 Grand Prix GXP as well as the '64 GTO from the historical collection. There was also a strong showing of '04 and '05 GTOs at the event--some even sported Monaro parts.
If you just couldn't stand the pain of not having your GTO there to drive, Classic Car Rental had the cure. The company would rent you a yellow '69 GTO so you could get in on the action. These were just the happenings on the show field; we haven't event discussed the racing yet.
The Jim Wangers' All Pontiac Drag Race and Autocross Extravaganza at Gateway International Raceway provided almost as many activities as the show itself. You could drag race in one of five bracket classes, toast the tires in a burnout contest, or even punt some cones on an autocross course. If you wanted to, you could do all three!
Steve Lucas smoked out everybody to win the burnout contest.
This documented Tri-Power four-speed '65 GTO was purchased by Motor Trend magazine (Peters
The Hurst GeeTo Tiger was another contest car that was conceived by Jim Wangers, George Hu
Milt Robson's incredibly rare, fresh-out-of-restoration, triple-black '69 Ram Air IV Judge
If you think new GTOs bug the purists, wait 'til they see new GTOs with Monaro parts on th
It's not often you see a set of Ram Air V heads on a running engine.
We know drag racing is a mainstay of the event and the hobby, and there's always tire-torturing action on the 1,320, but the autocross was a change of pace and lot of fun to watch. Why? It could be argued that any Pontiac is certainly in its element on a dragstrip. They are expected to go fast and they usually do, even by today's standards of performance.
This is not the case with the handling prowess of the A-bodies. While they were in the hunt with their contemporaries when new, unless they are at least moderately modified, pushing a vintage GTO to its limits on a road course with stock suspension results in plenty of understeer, body roll, and sidewall rollover. But it's fun to do and to watch. The late-model GTOs made a great showing with the advantage of decades of technology over their vintage namesakes and low-profile tires. Hopefully, future host chapters will take notice and keep an autocross program as part of the track festivities. Best All Around GTO honors for his performance on the dragstrip and the Autocross went to Rich Kruger and his silver '04 GTO. He posted a 34.194 lap time and a 14.443 e.t.
But what if you broke something on the Autocross or dragstrip? Back at the Westport Holiday Inn, the modestly sized but densely populated swap meet area housed 22 vendors offering various Pontiac products and services to meet the needs of the restorer and racer alike.
As you can see, there was plenty to do at the event this year. But you haven't heard it all yet. There were seminars stacked on top of seminars. Scheduled on the tech side, was Paul Delfeld of RARE speaking on exhaust, and Jon Hardgrove did a seminar each on the Tri-Power and four-barrel carburetors. Pete Serio handled Hurst shifters, Keith Prociuc from HP Tuners helped out the late-model guys, and Jim Butler took care of pure Pontiac engine tech.
For history buffs, a round table with John Sawruk, Jim Wangers, Arnie Beswick, and Milt Schornack was scheduled, with Paul Zazarine moderating. Beswick also did his own seminar, as did Sawruk, and Schornack and Zazarine signed their respective new books. Merle Green discussed the Tin Indian, and Art Fitzpatrick tackled the Wide Track image.
As has always been a GTOAA practice, fun was not reserved for Pontiac nuts alone. Scheduled and classified "for the ladies" by the GTOAA were a Longaberger basket presentation, a Pampered Chef presentation, a Chic Pursenality presentation, and a scrapbooking class.
A Concours judge's job is never done.
The GXP promises spirited front-drive performance from its 303-horse, tranverse-mounted V-
Perennial Pontiac fan favorite Arnie Beswick makes another young Pontiac lover's day. He a
Kids and parents alike could enjoy a trip to a local waterpark, the model car show, the Ames Performance reception, the St. Louis Zoo, the ice cream social, the valve cover races, and the kids' pizza party. Grownups could partake of the Anheuser Busch tour and a winery/Daniel Boone cruise. Speaking of cruises, there were plenty--to Hooters, Historic Route 66, and to dinner at Culpeppers.
All this buildup, of course, culminates with the Saturday Concours judging and popular vote balloting, which are certainly the main events. Concours judges risked heat stroke working their way through a sea of some of the most perfectly restored, perfectly modified, and perfectly preserved GTOs you'll see anywhere. Popular vote participants hustled in a last minute effort to get their Goats as detailed as possible, hoping to catch the passing eye of their piers. Owners waited with bated breath for the results that would follow at the awards banquet and ceremony that evening. Then it was time to think about next year.
Here is Dave Foglton's "Best Restored" Liberty Blue '69 Ram Air IV GTO. There are no power
There were deals to be made in the swap meet area on just about any prized part.
So many GTOs were equipped with the A.I.R. system that you might think they were actually
The '06 GTOAA International Meet will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 11-15. For further info, log onto www.gtoaanationals.com.
- Gateway Area Pontiac Dealers
- Jim Wangers
- Arrowhead Performance
- Performance Years
- Ames Performance Engineering
- Quality Pontiac
- Homestead Financial
- Ram Air Restorations Enterprises
- Classic Car Rental
Best of Show
- Edward Ball, Blue '69 Hardtop
- Kyle Krause, Red '69 Judge
- Dave Foglton, Blue '69 Hardtop
- Rick Last, Burgundy '67 Convertible
WINNERS' CIRLCE (Previous Year First-Place Winners)
- Paul Weinstein
- John Delore
- John Campbell
- Jim Stern
- Ron Cozzo
Local Pontiac dealers provided examples of the division's current offerings.
Now you can play count-the-Carousel-Red-Judges.
Les Schwenk made a parade pass in his backward '65 "Burgundy Baron" GTO. Featured in Car C
|POPULAR VOTE RESULTS |
|CLASS ||1ST PLACE ||2ND PLACE ||3RD PLACE |
|'64 HT Stock ||Dick Koss, Red '64 || || |
|'64 HT Mod ||Ron Berhorst, Red '64 ||Doug Bronson, Red '64 ||Bruce Fane, Black '64 |
|'65 HT Stock ||Doug Reno, Turq. '65 ||John Novelli, Black '65 ||Ralph Marsai, Yellow '65 |
|'65 HT Mod ||Brian Ray, Blue '65 ||Cap Proffitt, Black '65 ||Steven Brazile, Maple '65 |
|'66 HT Stock ||Brad Smith, Yellow '66 ||Mark Obukowicz, White '66 || |
|'66 HT Mod ||Joe Stenglein, Blue '66 ||G. Thomas Oxler, Red '66 ||William Bracken, Burgundy '66 |
|'67 HT Stock ||Phil Johnson, Blue '67 ||Jim Kiburz, Blue '67 ||Terry Schott, Red '67 |
| ||John Weiss, Red '67 || || |
|'67 HT Mod ||Steve Lucas, Gold '67 ||Earl Lewis, Red '67 ||Bill Lewis, Iris '67 |
|'68-'69 HT Stock ||Ed Raden, Blue '68 ||Larry Wise, Black 68 ||Richard Spence, Gold '69 |
|'68-'69 HT Mod ||Greg Teeters, Gold '69 ||Michael Hobbs, Red '69 ||Mark Melrose, Red '68 |
|'70-'72 HT Stock ||Harry Smelcer, Lime '71 ||Roger Letson, Red '70 ||Jim Evans, Blue '71 |
|'70-'72 HT Mod ||Danny Schmidt, Gold '70 ||Mike Chell, Gold '71 ||Vic Nettle, Black '70 |
|'73-'74 HT Stock ||Jim Fautsch, Red '74 || || |
|'73-'74 HT Mod ||Dan Roy, Bronze '74 ||Shantel Roll, Green '74 || |
|'64-'65 Conv Stock ||Larry Serres, White '65 || || |
|'64-'65 Conv Mod ||Terrel Furman, Burgundy '65 ||Will Bowers, Aqua '64 || |
|'66-'67 Conv Stock ||Gary Minnick, Turquoise '67 ||John Drilling, Black '66 ||Ron Schmid, Silver '66 |
|'66-'67 Conv Mod ||Wayne Kitchen, Blue '66 ||Raymond Beno, Blue '66 || |
|'68-'71 Conv Stock ||Wayne McKee, Black '69 ||Alvin Weintraub, Red '69 ||Mike Martin, Black '69 |
|'68-'71 Conv Mod ||Cecil Morton, Red '68 ||Charles McAdnell, Red '68 ||Marty Howard, Red '69 |
|'69-'71 Judge Stock ||Randy Pribyl, Red '69 ||Frank Chapman, Black '70 ||Bob Spencer, Red '69 |
|'69-'71 Judge Mod ||Ron Zeiger, Burgundy '70 ||Steven Brazile, Red '69 || |
|'64-'74 A/X Stock ||John Novelli, Aqua '67 LeM. ||Marty Howard, Beige '67 LeM. ||Tom Mitchell, Gold '69 LeMans |
|'64-'74 A/X Mod ||Robert Ellis, Orange '67 LeM. ||Christine Walls, Champagne'63 LeM. ||Jim Sneed, White '71 GT37 |
|'04-'05 Stock ||Keygan Spencer, Blue '04 ||Donald Fitch, Blue '05 ||Daniel Baer, '04 |
| ||Chris Winslow, Red '04 || || |
|'04-'05 Mod ||Donald Sherry, Red '04 ||Peter Decoste, Red '04 ||Robert Hale, Black '05 |
| ||Roger Lachele, Purple '04 || || |
The Trophy GTO A/X class saw Mike Chell's '71 GTO take the win over Dave Bonnell's '04 GTO
Andy Hartline in his 10-second '68 Firebird beat Rick Tyree and his '66 LeMans in the Pro
In the Sportsman GTO A/X class, Ron Beach Sr. came out on top in his '65 GTO with Roy Hess
- Brandon Goodwin, Red '66
- Tim Smith, White '68
- Charles Tull, Black '66
- Stephen Locker, Parchment '66
- Rick Last, Burgundy '67 conv
- Jim Early, Black '73
- Mike McKinney, Gold '72
- Jim Mott, Orange '69 Judge
- Dave Foglton, Blue '69
- William Conn, White '70 Judge
- John Kryta, Orange '69 Judge
- Tim Burton, Red '69
- Milton Robson, Black '69 Judge conv
- Fred Mazzoni, Plum '67
- Edward Ball, Blue '69
- Doug Fiechtner, Orange '71
- Craig Lewin, Blue '69 conv
- David Debono, Orange '70 Judge
- Mike Hill, Gold '69 conv
- Angelo Baccon, Green '67 conv
- Mark Grimmenga, Red '69 Judge
- John Campbell, Blue '70 conv
- Tom Cooper, Black '68
- Vern & Lisa Bennett, Silver '65
- John Kehrein, Red '67
- John Becker, Black '65
- Keith Carter, Red '65
- Bill Kirk, Plum '67 conv
- Mike Craig, Red '64 conv
- Steve Hedrick, Red '67
- John Caulkins Yellow '69
- Jay Robinson, Gold '69
- Mike Higgins, Red '65
- Bill Hash, Blue '65
- Terry & Kathryn Becker, Black '65
- Tom Reddy, Blue '66 conv
- Sheldon Hamilton, Green '68
- Ken Braun, Red '65
- Joe Lech, Blue '69 conv
- Jerry Echerle, Blue '70 conv
- Tony Mildice, Black '64
- Bill Brunker, Red '69 Judge
- Bruce Nieslon, Turquoise '66 conv
- Robert Wilford, Red '67
- John Langkau, Orange '70 Judge
- Nick Parker, Gold '68
- Kyle Krause, Red '69 Judge
The autocross separated the late from early GTOs in terms of handling performance.
Even convertibles, heavier and more flexible than a coupe, got into the act.
This Judge owner was having a great time on the autocross circuit.
|DRAG RACE RESULTS |
|BRACKET ||DRIVER ||VEHICLE ||ET/MPH |
|Trophy GTO A/X 1st ||Mike Chell ||Gold '71 GTO ||13.151/102.13 |
|Trophy GTO A/X 2nd ||Dave Bonnell ||Silver '04 GTO ||13.779/102.83 |
|Trophy GTO A/X 3rd ||Steve Lucas ||Gold '67 GTO ||13.550/99.38 |
|Trophy Pontiac 1st ||Mark Isaac ||White '64 Temp Wag ||13.143/102.75 |
|Trophy Pontiac 2nd ||Tom Szymczyk ||Orange '05 G6 ||16.576/81.33 |
|Sportsman GTO A/X 1st ||Ron Beach Sr. ||Red '65 GTO ||11.990/110.70 |
|Sportsman GTO A/X 2nd ||Roy Hess ||Beige '66 GTO ||12.296/105.64 |
|Sportsman GTO A/X 3rd ||Al Rolondo ||Silver '65 GTO ||10.935/123.20 |
|Sportsman Pontiac 1st ||Greg Harris ||Black '95 Formula ||15.00/78.99 |
|Pro Pontiac 1st ||Andy Hartline ||Green '68 Firebird ||10.193/130.44 |
|Pro Pontiac 2nd ||Rick Tyree ||Black '66 LeMans ||10.393/127.02 |
|Pro Pontiac 3rd ||Tony Becker ||Blue '67 Firebird ||10.362/127.71 |
|Best Elapsed Time ||Jim Hartline ||Black '69 GTO ||9.46/143 mph |
|Best Reaction Time ||Scott Barton ||Silver '65 Tempest ||0.003 |
|Best Burnout ||Steve Lucas ||Gold '67 GTO ||Lots of smoke |
|CLASS||DRIVER||VEHICLE||LAP TIME (sec)|
|04/05 GTO Stock 1st||Mike Maginnes||Red '05 GTO||36.326|
|04/05 GTO Stock 2nd||Tim Groleau||N/A||36.435|
|04/05 GTO Stock 3rd||Brian O'Sullivan||Blue '04 GTO||36.713|
|04/05 GTO Prepared 1st||Bob Ploof||Blue '04 GTO||34.059|
|04/05 GTO Prepared 2nd||Rich Kruger||Silver '04 GTO||34.194|
|04/05 GTO Prepared 3rd||Andrew Pilla||N/A||37.946|
|GTO A/X 64-74 All 1st||Brian Ray||Dark Blue '65 GTO ||38.862|
|GTO A/X 64-74 All 2nd||Chris Knight||Carousel Red '69 Judge||41.096|
|GTO A/X 64-74 All 3rd||Jim Knight||Carousel Red '69 Judge||43.963|
|All Other Pontiac 1st||Andy Friedman||'04 GTP||37.343|
|All Other Pontiac 2nd||Ryan Friedman||'04 GTP||38.056|
|All Other Pontiac 3rd||Dave Cobb||Red R/A '97 Trans Am||38.761|
|Most Cones Hit (John Deere)||Ryan Friedman||Red '69 GTO||Only 1|
|Quickest Lap||Bob Ploof||Blue '04 GTO||34.059|
|DRAG RACE AND AUTOCROSS COMBINED|
|Best All Around GTO||Rich Kruger||Silver '04 GTO||34.194/14.443|