This '65 GTO and '70 GTO go...
This '65 GTO and '70 GTO go heads-up in time trials at Lebanon Dragway as part of the GTOAA Jim Wangers Invitational.
Once a year, Pontiac fans from across the country gather at the GTOAA International Meet to immerse themselves in all things GTO. Whether concours-judged, popular vote, autocross, or drag-racing GTOs are your thing, this year's event offered something for everybody.
The convention was held July 15-19 in Saratoga Springs, New York, at the Saratoga Hilton Hotel and the adjacent Saratoga Springs City Center. Hosted by the Electric City GTOs club, with assistance from the Pioneer Valley GTO club, the event featured more than 200 registered GTOs and approximately 1,000 attendees. The GTOAA meet began on Tuesday, July 15, with registration, tech, and car photography. The Saratoga Auto Museum opened its five-day GTO exhibit to coincide with the meet and two special events: a Saratoga Battlefield Tour and a Dinner Car Cruise to Olde Saratoga Brewery.
On Wednesday, Meguiar's and Scott Tiemann of Supercar Specialties offered informative seminars, letting club members brush up on their detailing and restoration knowledge, while the Ames Performance Reception Buffet that followed let GTO owners get reacquainted. Afterwards, author Paul Zazarine hosted a round-table Q&A, and club members were able to pick up some pointers to use on their projects.
Neal Sullivan of Mahopac,...
Neal Sullivan of Mahopac, New York, carved the corners through the autocross in his '04 GTO "Judge." It features an LS1 engine with a Magnuson polished 122HH supercharger, a six-speed Tremec trans, a 3.46 gear, a Pedders full suspension kit, and AP Racing 14.25-inch brakes with six-piston calipers up front and 13.75-inch rotors with four-piston calipers in the rear.
Drag racing started the action on Thursday when a caravan of vintage and modern GTOs travelled to the historic Lebanon Valley Dragway for the Jim Wangers Invitational, presented by Electric City GTOs. Special guests included Milt Schornack and a Royal GTO, Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick, and Dave Anderson and the GeeTo Tiger. Four racing classes-GTO 11.00 or Slower, GTO 10.99 or Faster, Other Pontiacs 11.00 or Slower, Other Pontiacs 10.99 or Faster-allowed participants to compete for trophies as long as they ran traditional Pontiac or corporate engines as originally equipped in their models.
Meanwhile, owners of concours GTOs carefully began positioning their pristine Pontiacs in the climate-controlled Saratoga Springs City Center for public display and points-judging the next day. Approximately 65 concours GTOs participated at a combined value of more than $3 million. The inside venue was ideal for the judges, participants, and spectators, as it allowed everybody to enjoy the GTOs without the 90-plus-degree summer heat.
Friday featured the Pedders USA autocross, where all-year GTOs were invited to participate in the SCCA-sanctioned event. Those who returned from the autocross were surprised to see the parking lot of the Saratoga Hilton filled with 145 GTOs ready to compete for Saturday's popular-vote car show. Seminars for the day included speakers John Sawruk, Jim Wangers/Paul Zazarine, Dennis Kirban/Pete Serio on Hurst history, shifters, and ZDDP oil issues; and Pete Basica on the New-Gen GTO. As the sun went down, club members enjoyed a hotel parking-lot party.
Saturday was sizzling hot, but the crowds braved the heat to get great views of the popular-vote GTOs. The seminars included Merle Greene on the Knafel '66 GTO and Jim Mattison of PHS Automotive. "My presentation on 'The State of the Hobby' was well attended in spite of it being a last-minute addition to the convention schedule," Jim said. "Those who attended were hanging on every word. During the question and answer portion, there were plenty of well-thought-out questions from those who wanted to hear more on this important topic."
The Saratoga Springs City...
The Saratoga Springs City Center was lined up wall to wall with concours GTOs from 1964 to 1973. According to judge Scott Tiemann, "Judging was tough on the cars, but that's what to expect at the GTOAA."
An awards banquet and dinner stretched into the late hours of Saturday night. GTOAA club members seemed pleased at the organization and professionalism at this year's event. So was drag racer Arnie Beswick, who told HPP, "The red carpet was laid out everywhere we turned. They went the extra mile to make sure we were taken care of. The quality of the cars was equal to or better than any GTOAA show I've ever been to. The people were so friendly, and the event was very professional. The amount of people who came up to me and thanked me personally for coming to the event was overwhelming. I was surprised at how many people cared enough to thank me for being there. I even received thank-you letters from people in the mail, for autographing their items at the show."
Jim Mattison agreed, saying, "I thought the GTOAA Convention in Saratoga Springs was a huge success. The downtown and surrounding area was spectacular and a very pleasant surprise for all who attended."
This '66 Tempest amazed the...
This '66 Tempest amazed the crowd at Lebanon Valley Dragway with its billowing-smoke burnout.
The 30th Annual GTOAA International Meet will be held July 7-11, 2009, in Dayton, Ohio, as part of the POCI/GTOAA Co-vention. For further details, visit www.gtoaapocinationals.com.
Want to see more great drag racing action from the GTOAA International Meet? Be sure to visit www.highperformancepontiac.com for more photos.
Olde Saratoga Brewery
Saratoga Autobody Supply
|2008 GTOAA Nationals Awards|
|Best of Show Overall|
|Rick Mahoney||'70 Judge conv. Cardinal Red|
|Best of Show Concours Restored|
|Craig Gibney||'64 Grenadier Red|
|Best Of Show Concours Original Unrestored|
|Joe Guerra||'66 Starlight Black|
|Best of Show Concours Modified|
|Charles Seybert||'68 conv. Starlight Black|
|Tom Foster Award|
|Don Chamberlain Dual Gate Award|
|Charles Seybert||'68 conv. Black|
|Electric City GTO Founding|
|Jim and Alena Eyer||'66 Gold|
|Longest Distance Driven|
|Glen Yudman||Tampa, FL|
|Tom Oxler||St. Charles, MO|
Louis Adreani displayed his...
Louis Adreani displayed his modified '69 GTO. It features a YH-code 428, a T-10 four-speed trans, and 3.55 gears. It was awarded Popular Vote Best of Show. Note that the Judge decals are owner-added.
This '67 GTO owned by Joe...
This '67 GTO owned by Joe Barber features custom "Tiger" pinstriping from the front fenders to the back of the quarter-panels. In front is the tiger; in back (not shown) is its tail.
The Pedders USA-sponsored...
The Pedders USA-sponsored autocross allowed GTOs to test their skills at an SCCA-sanctioned event. Although most of the entrants were '04-'06 GTOs, this '64 GTO convertible came to teach the new Goats some old tricks.
Saturday's popular-vote car...
Saturday's popular-vote car show included GTOs from every year including this triplet of '65s in Iris Mist, Nocturne Blue, and Starlight Black.
|Stock '64-'65 GTO|
|First||Paul Menin||'65 Mayfair Maize|
|Second||Ralph Marsai||'65 Mayfair Maize|
|Third||Stephen Freitas||'65 S/C Burgundy|
|Stock '66 GTO|
|First||Jack Horrigan||'66 Black|
|Second||Jim Eyer||'66 Tiger Gold|
|Third||Russ Catalano||'66 Candlelight Cream|
|Stock '67 GTO|
|First||Bill Gallagher||'67 Gold|
|Second||Mark Kelly||'67 Mariner Turquoise|
|Third||Paul Bourbeau||'67 Signet Gold|
|Third||Steve Busalacchi||'67 Montreux Blue|
|Stock '68-'69 GTO|
|First||Don Simione||'68 Meridian Turquoise|
|Second||Russ Catalano||'69 Windward Blue|
|Third||Robert Corazzini||'68 Red/Black|
|Stock '70-'72 GTO|
|First||Jim Napoletano||'70 Gold|
|Second||Ed Korejko||'70 Silver/Black|
|Third||James Warrell||'70 Black|
|Stock '73-'74 GTO|
|First||Steve Laughlin||'73 White|
|Second||Bill Markowski||'73 Cameo White|
|Stock '04 GTO|
|First||Gary Brodock||'04 Barbados Blue|
|Stock '05 GTO|
|First||Jeff Kipe||'05 Torrid Red|
|Second||Harry Santa||'05 Red|
|Stock '06 GTO|
|First||Bill Brunker||'06 Black|
|Second||Mike Gallagher||'06 Cyclone Gray|
|Third||Ralph Reynolds||'06 Red|
|Stock GTO Convertible '64-'67|
|First||Frank Balsama||'66 Black|
|Second||Larry Wyker||'66 Palmetto Green|
|Third||Ralph Moyer||'64 Dark Blue|
|Stock GTO Convertible '68-'71|
|First||Arthur Kelly||'68 Green|
|Second||Mike Spizziri||'69 Mayfair Maize|
|Third||Bob Mollinary||'70 Red|
|Stock Judge '69-'71|
|First||Joe Bartha||'69 Carousel Red|
|Second||Rick Jamieson||'69 Black|
|Third||John Greco||'69 Midnight Green|
|Stock A-Body '64-'74|
|First||Tom Szymczyk||'72 LeMans conv. Red|
|Second||Dan Schulte||'66 LeMans conv. Blue|
|Third||Mike Daugherty||'71 LeMans conv. Gold|
|Mild Mod GTO '64-'65|
|First||Paul Menin||'65 Iris Mist|
|Second||Cap Proffitt||'65 Black|
|Third||Al Gierut||'65 Blue Mist Slate|
|Third||Don Edler||'64 Nocturne Blue|
This LS2-powered GTO proved...
This LS2-powered GTO proved that New-Gen Goats can burn rubber as well as the original breed.
The GeeTo Tiger and the Pedders...
The GeeTo Tiger and the Pedders USA GTO posed at the Lebanon Valley Dragway. Shown (left to right) are Rob Anderson, Wretched Motorsports; Dave Anderson, GeeTo Tiger driver; Pete Basica, Pedders USA LLC; Jim Wangers; Rich Johnson, Backstreet Performance; Frank Beck, Rocksand Racing; and Eric Johnson, Backstreet Performance.
Rick Mahoney's stunning Tiemann-restored...
Rick Mahoney's stunning Tiemann-restored '70 Ram Air IV Judge convertible took Best of Show Overall.
|Popular Vote continued|
|Mild Mod GTO '66|
|First||Jerry Plante||'66 Maroon|
|Second||Randy Varney||'66 Burgundy|
|Mild Mod GTO '67|
|First||Robert Cheney||'67 Black|
|Second||Robert Heim||'67 Blue|
|Mild Mod GTO '68-'69|
|First||Andy Roberts||'68 April Gold|
|Second||Kerry Friedman||'69 Red|
|Third||Mike Contarino||'68 Solar Red|
|Mild Mod GTO '70-'74|
|First||Joe Dean||'70 Blue|
|Second||Bob Harmon||'70 Burgundy|
|Third||John Lawton||'72 Cardinal Red|
|Mild Mod GTO '04|
|First||John Delore||'04 Impulse Blue|
|Second||Keygan Spencer||'04 Barbados Blue|
|Third||Kirk McFarland||'04 Cosmos Purple|
|Mild Mod GTO '05|
|First||Judy Proctor||'05 Impulse Blue|
|Second||Tom Razzagone||'05 Blue|
|Third||Steve Hedrick||'05 Yellow|
|Mild Mod GTO '06|
|First||Todd Smith||'06 Brazen Orange|
|Second||Mark Melrose||'06 Black|
|Third||Bobby Dirion||'06 Torrid Red|
|Mild Mod GTO Convertible '64-'67|
|First||Joe Barber||'67 Infernal Red Pearl|
|Second||Rich Simberg||'65 Burgundy|
|Third||Tyrell Furman||'65 Burgundy|
|Mild Mod GTO Convertible '68-'71|
|First||John Owoc||'70 Atoll Blue|
|Second||Alex Ipiotis||'69 Matador Red|
|Third||Joe Suhrada||'69 Red|
|Mild Mod A-Body '64-' 74|
|First||James McDonald||'67 LeMans Red|
|Second||Joe Liquori||'68 LeMans conv. Blue|
|Third||Mark Mastelli||'67 LeMans Blue|
|Super Mod GTO and A-body '64-'74|
|First||Mark Nowak||'64 Maroon|
|Second||Serge Collerette||'67 Conv. Burgundy|
|Third||Jay Bovarnick||'66 LeMans Copper|
|Super Mod GTO '04-'06|
|First||Neal Sullivan||'04 Red|
|Second||Bill Sandusky||'06 Brazen Orange|
|Third||Richard Iannazzi||'04 Quicksilver|
Personalized GTO license plates...
Personalized GTO license plates were all over the event, including this example of an '06 GTO owned by Tom and Terrie Oxler from St. Louis, Missouri. Tom won First Place in his class at the Jim Wangers Invitational with a 13.97 e.t., as well as the Long Distance Award.
The '74 is the only year GTO...
The '74 is the only year GTO with a T/A-style Shaker scoop. This example was on display among the popular-vote cars.
GTO owners caravaned to the...
GTO owners caravaned to the dragstrip on Thursday morning for the Jim Wangers Invitational at the historic Lebanon Valley Dragway.
|Ken Braun||'65 Red|
|Imran Chaudary||'73 Ascot Silver|
|Ed Hill||'69 Judge Carousel Red|
|Rick Last||'67 Conv. Burgundy|
|Orvil Osche||'65 Teal Turquoise|
|Frank Platt||'65 Conv. Nightwatch Blue|
|Lou Rendano||'65 Conv. Nightwatch Blue|
|Tom Savage||'71 Red|
|Charles Seybert||'68 Conv. Black|
|Joe Guerra||'66 Starlight Black|
|Frank Pelly||'67 Turquoise|
|Jack Alongi||'67 Tyrol Blue|
|Michael Bailey||'67 Maroon|
|Brian Bengen||'70 Judge R/A-IV White|
|Wayne Brown||'70 Judge Orbit Orange|
|Lindsay Carte||'69 Judge Carousel Red|
|Stewart Davis||'69 Liberty Blue|
|Ray DeCrescenzo||'70 Granada Gold|
|Ray DeCrescenzo||'70 Granada Gold|
|Craig Gibney||'64 Red/White|
|Brandon Goodwin||'66 Montero Red|
|Joe Guerra||'73 Brown|
|Chuck Henley||'71 Judge Red|
|Joe James||'69 Antique Gold|
|Stephen Kiellar||'65 Burgundy|
|Paul Lesiczka||'70 Granada Gold|
|Rick Mahoney||'70 Judge conv. Red|
|Nick Massaro||'67 Gold|
|Ken Rahe||'69 Red|
|Jack Scott||'69 Carousel Red|
|Mark Simiele||'69 Warwick Blue|
|Steve Stewart||'65 Conv. Green|
|Terry Weiner||'67 Gold|
|Dave Wickles||'69 Judge Carousel Red|
|Edwin Wolf||'70 Conv. Green|
|George Disque||'66 Starlight Black/Cream|
|Harold Murray||'68 Blue|
|Larry Bart||'70 White|
|Robert Bugbee||'68 Conv. Black|
|Marc Komorsky||'68 April Gold|
|Bob Adams||'68 Meridian Turquoise|
|Thomas Barrett||'69 Midnite Green|
|Bob Desio||'70 Conv. Mint Turquoise|
|Albert Golden||'70 Mint Turquoise|
|Al Minervino||'66 Conv. Blue|
|John Nicastro||'66 Cameo Ivory|
|Lloyd Paro||'66 Silver|
|William Prizer||'69 Conv. Expresso Brown|
|Ed Rowe||'67 Conv. Blue|
|Bob Serrao||'69 Conv. Gray|
|Michael Sloan||'66 Conv. Red|
|Keith Willnauer||'68 Conv. Verdoro Green|
|Mark Mastin||'64 Sunfire Red|
|Doug Hoffman||'67 Red|
|Barry Buchinski||'69 Warwick Blue|
|Greg Dubrule||'72 Sundance Orange|
|Amy Perciballi||'68 Alpine Blue|
|Alan Simard||'73 Ascot Silver|
|(Returning First-Place Cars from 2007)|
|Stephen Morton||'06 Quicksilver|
|Keith Moore||'70 White|
|Donald Dixon||'05 Cyclone Gray Metallic|
|Doug Reno||'65 Reef Turquoise|
|Michael Coyle||'70 Silver|
|GTO '04-'06 Stock|
|GTO '04-'06 Prepared|
|Most Cones Hit||Stephen "Morty" Morton|| |
|Quickest Lap||Rob Anderson || |
|Drag Race Results|
|GTO 11.00 and over|
|Second||James Gammache||12.11/109.68 redlight|
|GTO 10.99 and under|
|First||Donald Dixon||11.03/126.75 bye run|
|Other Pontiacs 11.00 and over|
|Other Pontiacs 10.99 and under|