Special guest Jim Wangers donned his Judge jacket to speak with owners during the show car
Arizona can be an intriguing and wondrous place. This year we decided to drive from Pennsylvania to Pontiac Heaven 11, which was held on April 4, 2009, at Speedworld Dragstrip just outside Phoenix. Once in the state of Arizona, within a 1-hour period, the weather on Interstate 40 changed from sunny and 70 degrees to dark with a sandstorm, and then to 30-degrees and snowy at Flagstaff. The effect that altitude has on weather is pretty amazing.
Worry not, as there was no snow at Speedworld when we arrived, just plenty of sunshine and temps in the low 70s. Steve Barcak, the event's promoter, was ready with a few surprises for 2009. After plenty of planning, he was finally given the green light to stage a fire burnout with his AA/Fuel Dragster. Of course we couldn't wait for the show coverage to tell you all about it, so the photo and description of this crowd pleaser were already published in the Oct. '09 issue of HPP.
Other highlights included blistering mid 6-second passes performed by Scott and Joe Robert's Dirty Bird Funny Car with Dave Wilcox at the helm and 8-second passes made by Robin Roberts' '76 T/A, which graced an HPP cover a few years back. We also did our annual Pavement Pounders Shootout, which you read about in the last issue.
Bill McCoy's gorgeous '65 GTO leads off this pack of Pontiac classics. Bill's '701/2 Formu
In the show area, Steve presented some of his own projects, as has become tradition. His Pontiac-powered boats and '65 Tempest altered-wheelbase Funny Car, and his late-brother Joe's '66 GTO were part of the display. For movie buffs, Steve invited one of the xXx movie cars.
Clean weekend drivers to pristine restos and modifieds lined the show area. As an added attraction, Steve arranged a show car parade for midday, and instead of simply having each one do a slow roll down the track, he and special guest Jim Wangers spoke with the participants and had them tell the crowd about their cars. This aspect made the show different from larger national events. Steve knows that this could never be done with a 200-plus show car field, as time simply would not allow it. He effectively took advantage of the lower car count so that spectators could learn more about each Pontiac, making it a more intimate gathering rather than a typical car show.
Strip action was smoky, loud, and quick as always with multiple bracket classes, the HPP Shootout, and the aforementioned exhibition runs. If one day of racing and showing wasn't enough, Sunday brought Steve's 7th Annual Nostalgic Show & Go! This event is open to other makes as well as Pontiacs, so there was plenty of Pontiac vs. the world-style strip action.
If two days of showin' and goin' near Phoenix in the springtime sounds like fun to you, check out the 12th Annual Pontiac Heaven on Saturday March 27, 2010,and the 8th Annual Nostalgic Show & Go on Sunday March 28, 2010. For further information, please log onto www.Pontiacheaven.org.
Ron Maroney heated up the slicks in the burnout box in Steve's AA/Fuel Dragster, prior to
Anxious racers await the opportunity to compete for bracket racing supremacy.
Big burnouts were the rule of the day, as Dennis Jewell illustrates in his '64 Goat.
There were a few unique F-bodies in attendance as well.
Robin Robert's nitrous-fed Pure-Pontiac 8-second '76 T/A of Hot Rod's Pump Gas Drags fame
Peter Horton's heavily modified '68 Goat features 428 power and a giant 8-71 blower.