A crowd pleaser was the long-awaited partial pass of Steve Barcak's AA/F Dragster running
There are few places on earth that are finer than Phoenix in March. Throw in a bunch of quick, rare, and pristine Pontiacs and you have the makings of auto-motive Nirvana. Well that's just what Steve Barcak and his Pontiac Heaven crew have been doing for the last nine years. On March 31, 2007, the latest edition of Pontiac Heaven Drags & More was held at Speedworld Motorplex just outside of Phoenix, where anything Pontiac powered up to 1981 was invited to share in the festivities.
Though this event doesn't draw 300 or 400 show cars like GTOAA or POCI, those that do come out to play represent many aspects of the hobby, such as a restored '69 Trans Am, a heavily modified '67 GTO, and some great Big-Cars. In fact, there were more '61 Pontiacs than we have ever seen in one place at one time at an event of this size. We also saw some Pontiacs that you don't see often, like a 301 Turbo Second-Gen Stocker that runs 12s, a Packer Pontiac repli-racer, and one of the xXx movie cars.
With all that to choose from in the show area, you can bet that deciding upon the winners was not an easy task. For this year, the awards system changed to Platinum, Gold and Silver categories. The Platinum entries were judged and the Gold and Silver cars were determined by popular vote. While the show participants sweated it out on the show side awaiting the decisions of the judges or their fellow showgoers, the racers were deep into bracket competition on the track.
Final round action certainly turned out to be a family affair at Pontiac Heaven. In the Alpha Omega Quick 16, it was father against son as Alex and his boy, Tibor, squared off with their '67 and '64 GTOs. At the traps, it was youth over experience. Twin brothers Darryl and Jeff Moreland pitted GTO against Firebird for family bragging rights in Bracket 1. When the smoke cleared, it was Darryl's wheel-pulling '66 Goat that took home the gold. Bracket 2 competition saw Bruce Meyers' '67 GTO victorious over Lucas Flanscha's '76 T/A. Flanscha shouldn't feel too bad, however, since he participated in the HPP Pavement Pounders Shootout on the same day. Raul Meza's '70 GTO edged out Mike Ciraolo's '66 GP in Bracket 3, and then Raul Meza's '70 GTO also won Bracket 4 with girlfriend ZeeZee Floyd beating Dave Campell in his '69 Judge. All in all, it was a good racing day for families and couples.
This Packer Pontiac repli-racer was one of many '61 Cats and Venturas on the strip and in
Another highlight of the event on the dragstrip was a big smoky burnout and partial pass made by Steve Barcak's AA/F Dragster. Steve has been working on it for many years and has actually run the engine in the pits at past Pontiac Heaven events, but this is the first time that attendees got to see this powerful piece of Pontiac nostalgia wail down the strip. It definitely was a show stopper.
In other race news, the aforementioned HPP shootout that took place during the race included the '72 LeMans of Tony Valdois, the '78 Trans Am of Ray Baumgardner and, of course, Lucas' '76 T/A. Look for it in a future issue.
Sunday's Musclecar Heaven Drags & More 5 picked up where the Pontiac event left off with more racing and showing, except this time all musclecars were invited to compete.
You may be wondering at this point how you can join in on the fun. Check out www.pontiacheaven.org. The dates for next year's shows are April 5 and April 6.
Remember the xXx movie of a few years ago? Here is Thom Sherwood's '67 GTO convertible tha
Bill McCoy's '70 Formula 400 took HPP's Editor's Choice Trophy. This Bird is representativ
Check out the '72 Luxury LeMans replete with fender skirts! Eva Cochren is the second owne
There were plenty of Pontiacs to gawk at in the show area.
Diversity was present in the staging lanes with a wide variety of Pontiac racers, from str
Darryl Moreland won Bracket 1 in his 9-second '66 GTO.
Rick Unterseh's '79 T/A is raced as an '81 301 Turbo Formula in NHRA N/Stock Automatic and
This four-barrel equipped 195ci Pontiac four-cylinder engine belongs to Keith Collier, a m
The incredibly rare Mickey Thompson Hemi Pontiac was on display. According to Steve Barcak