Scott Lorenzen won both the Quick 16 and AFX E in his '67 Gunslinger GTO.
For 2007, the GR-RRR8'R Wichita GTO club returned to its previous home for the Pontiac Uprising. This year's race moved back to Mid America Dragway near Arkansas City, Kansas, after 3 years in Wichita, but the early October Pontiac racing was just as fierce as in years past. The event drew over 170 show cars and drag racers.
Billed as "The Central Region's Premier Pontiac Enthusiast Event" by the host club, it drew participants and spectators from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Colorado.
On Friday night, the tech session included guest speakers Jim Hand, Paul Delfeld of Ram Air Restoration Enterprises (RARE), and Jim Sammons of Roland Racing. There was food and lots of talk regarding Pontiac engines, RARE's oval exhaust systems, and Roland's new canted valve heads.
Saturday opened with a bang as participants prepared their Pontiac racers and/or show cars for heavy competition. Here are a few personal stories straight from the pits and the show field.
Bill Harris from Raytown, Missouri, made his third appearance at the Uprising, racing in the Super-Duty class. "My '64 GTO is my dream car," he said. "It's relatively easy to work on and draws a lot of attention." Bill first fell in love with the GTO back in the '60s. "When I was in high school, I worked at a Western Auto and a guy brought one of these in for a brake job and I got to work on it and take it for a testdrive, and it sold me," he said. "That was in '66." He purchased his in 1974.
Kerry Nickel's '67 Firebird convertible won Best of Show.
The GTOAA Rep Pick went to John Gladden's '70 Judge.
President's Pick was bestowed upon Lance Barker's '69 Firebird.
"It started out as a show car and now it's a race car," he said. "It's got a '66 389 in it. The fastest it's gone with this combination is 12.52. We used to tour all over the Midwest," Bill said. "This is our third year for racing here, but we've been attending this event for 10 years."
Jim And Jared Mitchell
Another unique Pontiac at the Uprising was the father-and-son team of Jim and Jared Mitchell from Lincoln, Nebraska. They were racing a panel wagon for which they had paid $75. "It was a four-door station wagon," Jim said. "We converted it into a two-door panel. It's got quite a few fiberglass body parts that we built ourselves." They include the bumpers, tailgate, doors, and hood. "They lighten it up," he said.
The A-body also has a 474 stroker motor and cast-iron heads. "I like it because of the uniqueness of it," Jared said. "You don't see too many station wagon drag cars. If you do see one, it's not a panel wagon."
Larry Turner from Dumas, Texas, showed his body-off restored '66 GTO hardtop. "I always liked them when I was younger, so when I found one, I restored it," he said. "Anybody can like a Chevy, but Pontiacs are just different enough; that's what I like."
Larry has owned the Goat for 3 years and it took him about 21/2 years to restore it. "This GTO is totally correct for the year, with the exception of the wheels," he said. "Everything on it was available as an option." He had someone rebuild the motor and a body shop did the paint, but other than that, he and his partner did the rest of the work. Larry said restoring the GTO was stress relief for him. "You go in the garage, shut the door, turn off the cell phone, and shut the world out."
Steve Nichols of Mulvane, Kansas brought his father-and-son project '65 GTO. "We bought it back in '95," he said. "It took about 3 years to restore it." The car was in good condition, but was incomplete when they got it. It now belongs to Steve's youngest son. "I promised each son a classic car," he said. He also has a '55 Chevy to restore that will go to his middle child, and he restored a '65 GTO for his oldest son.
Gary Carnivale piloted his '77 Grand Prix to the win in the Ram Air class.
Alan Reed's '63 421-SD Catalina sedan is very rare and very cool.
Mike Cooper continued his winning ways by taking it all in the Quick 4 Pro-Mod Class.