After the Saturday rainout at the 2009 edition of the Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals, it seemed that the Pontiac faithful had a score to settle. With the loss of a full day of race action and it being too wet to really enjoy the show, participants came back to the Summit Motorsports Raceway Park in record numbers in order to fulfill their pent-up desire and make up for what they missed the previous year.
The numbers shook out very well, with 1,019 cars and trucks participating in total. Racecar count stood at 444 and the car show saw an astounding 575 entries, the most ever. Not only that, the quality of the show cars was better than ever. Additionally, over 11,500 spectators passed the gates during the course of the weekend. The swap meet set new records as well, with 170 vendors set-up on 325 spaces, and the manufacturer's midway count was a new high with 34 vendors displaying products or services.
"Even though we saw the demise of our favorite automotive brand and in spite of the economic situation, we just had the largest car show in the history of the event," Pete Woodruff, President of Super Duty Promotions said. "I believe that speaks volumes about the loyalty and dedication of Pontiac fans everywhere."
Robert Davis of Akron, Ohio,...
Robert Davis of Akron, Ohio, showed off his '61 Bonneville bubbletop coupe in the non-judged Pontiacs on Parade area. It was one of several pristine full-sized cars in that section.
That level of loyalty was clearly evident, with Pontiacs from 1926 to 2009 on the show field, with special areas for Firehawks, Comp T/As, Fieros, and Solstices. A special area for Super-Duty and other factory racecars was organized by Merle Green, owner of the Tin Indian '66 GTO formerly campaigned by Knafel Pontiac in Akron, Ohio.
That area also served as home base to Akron Arlen Vanke and Norm "Sonny" Tanner, both of whom drove for Knafel back in the day. Kenny Colacino showed his barn find '62 421 SD Grand Prix and John Riconda displayed the '63 eBay LeMans there-the Stan Long Pontiac-sponsored '63 421 SD LeMans, fresh from a restoration at Scott Tiemann's Supercar Specialties in Portland, Michigan.
As in the past, the event's paid participants were treated to catered meals during the weekend, courtesy of Ames Performance Engineering. Many even won their admission money back in a special drawing during dinner, and door prizes from the Ames catalog were handed out later. Free coffee, doughnuts, beverages, and even shuttle service each day made sure that showgoers were being given the royal treatment all weekend.
Check out the photos and captions to learn of the fascinating Pontiacs we saw on the show side. Next month, we will go in depth on the race side, providing you with more race action than you have ever seen for this event in HPP.
The 20th Anniversary event will be August 5, 6, and 7, 2011, at the Summit Motorsports Raceway Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Keep up to date on developments by logging onto www.pontiacnationals.com.
John Riconda and Scott Tiemann...
John Riconda and Scott Tiemann revealed the freshly restored eBay LeMans, the famed '63 421 Super-Duty LeMans campaigned by Stan Long Pontiac and driven by Stan Antlocer. We featured this ultra-rare factory racecar and its amazing story in our Feb. '11 issue. It also won the HPP Editor's Choice award at the event.
The late Second-Generation...
The late Second-Generation Trans Ams are really picking up in collector interest and value. This '79 WS6 is a gorgeous example in a fairly unusual color combination.
With low production numbers...
With low production numbers and high performance, it's a safe bet the '09 G8 GXP-the last of the great Pontiacs-will be a treasured collectible in years to come. This one is owned by Mark Roget and has the parts-counter stripe package, which adds an aggressive appearance.