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.
More '73 GTOs are showing...
More '73 GTOs are showing up at Pontiac events, as the hobbyist community is starting to embrace these unique vehicles. Ohio-residents Mark Sawyer and Dan McConnell brought out their white-on-red twins.
Mike and Becky Kaltenbach...
Mike and Becky Kaltenbach displayed their his-and-hers '67 Firebirds on the APPN show field. His is a white 326 coupe with a four-speed, while hers is a Mayfair Maize 400 automatic convertible. Both are beautiful examples of the early F-bodies.
Akron Arlen Vanke (left) stands...
Akron Arlen Vanke (left) stands with Merle Green in front of the original A/Stock '62 421 Super-Duty Catalina that was campaigned by Knafel Pontiac and driven by Mr. Vanke. Merle had set up a special Super-Duty display that also featured Kenny Colacino's '62 Grand Prix and John Riconda's '63 LeMans.
Rare and desirable Pontiac...
Rare and desirable Pontiac parts were everywhere in the swap-meet area, like these restorable Hurst wheels. The fact that there were two full sets offered by one vendor is amazing, to say the least.
The swap meet and car corral...
The swap meet and car corral areas were huge this year, with 170 vendors on 325 spaces. If you were looking for an impossibly rare Pontiac part, chances are it was here.
Wayne Peters' '86 Trans Am...
Wayne Peters' '86 Trans Am was on display...
...as a rolling memorial to...
...as a rolling memorial to his friend Trans Am Steve Reichow, who lost his battle with cancer on May 4, 2010. You may remember Steve's '84 15th Anniversary Trans Am, which was featured in our July '09 issue.
Pete and Andrea Woodruff (from...
Pete and Andrea Woodruff (from left) of Super Duty Promotions received the coveted John Z. DeLorean Award from Thom Trafford and Tom Melhouse of the Inland Empire GTO Club. The award is endorsed by the DeLorean family and is given out to those who contribute to the promotion and preservation of the products and inventions of Pontiac's most famous general manager.
With its black wheels and...
With its black wheels and dark red flames, Steve Kulakowsky's '06 GTO has a sinister appearance. With LS2 power, it can more than back up the boast.
Late-model GTOs have been...
Late-model GTOs have been a significant part of the Pontiac hobby since their release in the '04 model year. Marcus Hooley's black '04 coupe leads off a long line of the late-model musclecars on the Norwalk show field.
The Pro Touring movement is...
The Pro Touring movement is an exciting combination of late-model handling and braking with vintage styling. Bill Herder's '66 GTO convertible has the moves of a new performance car, while retaining traditional Pontiac power and its original character.
The Fiero end of the Pontiac...
The Fiero end of the Pontiac hobby is not the largest segment, but it's possibly the most loyal. A large number of the two-seaters always show up at Norwalk and their owners' enthusiasm is infectious. George Johnson's red '85 GT and Scott Swisher's black '85 SE lead a long line of Fieros on the show field.
When you have such clean lines...
When you have such clean lines from the factory like this '56 Chieftain displays, not much needs to be done to really set them off. Smooth black paint, subtle graphics, the right stance, and a set of American TorqThrust II wheels had Jim and Judy Philbeck's looking just right.
Code Red is a '72 Pro Touring...
Code Red is a '72 Pro Touring Trans Am that really delivers on all fronts. Bob Bertelsen built the car himself, and the workmanship is nothing short of amazing. Power comes from a 416ci Mast Motorsports L99 hooked to a paddle-shifted 4L80E.
Gary Zimmerman of Dundee,...
Gary Zimmerman of Dundee, Ohio, brought out his extremely rare '72 GTO pillared coupe, a one-year-only body style for the Second-Generation GTO, which reverted back to a LeMans option package. It is one of just 134 built.
Swap meet gems were in abundance...
Swap meet gems were in abundance in Norwalk, prompting some fairly humorous, albeit innovative, transporting methods. The new owner of this '64 GTO hood wasn't about to let a good deal pass him by!
Fourth-Gen Firebirds came...
Fourth-Gen Firebirds came from the factory just itching to be modified. All three of these Ram Air Trans Ams have felt the personalizing touch of their owners' hands. Robbie and Cecelia Lewis' '02 Sunset Orange Metallic WS6 features a host of mechanical modifications and an ostrich-skin interior. Bill and Brenda Downing's '02 WS6 features a host of engine upgrades, along with custom wheels and paint, while Terry Greenleaf's red '00 Trans Am is stock on the outside (except for the wheels), yet packs a big punch under the hood.
Arnie Beswick's '69 Righteous...
Arnie Beswick's '69 Righteous Judge Pro Stock GTO was seen at the APPN Manufacturer's Midway area and it still looks great.
|Ames Performance Best in Class
|Mark & Jen Seybold
||'63 Grand Prix
|Bill & Brenda Downing
||'02 WS6 Trans Am
||'85 Fiero 2M6 SE
||Calgary, Ontario, Canada
|High Performance Pontiac
||'63 LeMans 421 SD
|Ron & Betsy Thomas
||'29 Pontiac Big Six Cabriolet
||'51 Pontiac Sedan Delivery
|Class C-1A - Split Custom '09-'69 All A-Bodies||Class JD - Judge|
|1. Bill Herder||'66 GTO convertible||1. Darrell Davidson||'69 Judge|
|2. Jim Lauer||'64 LeMans||2. Brent Lehman||'69 Judge|
|3. Kathy & Chris Warfield||GTO convertible||3. Jack Scott||'69 Judge|
|Class C-1B - Split Custom '09-'69 All Other Models||Class P-0 - Pontiac & Oakland Pre-War|
|1. Jack Buck||'60 Pontiac pickup||1. Ron & Betsy Thomas||'29 Cabriolet|
|2. James Harrelson||'56 Star Chief||2. James Barnhart||'39 Quality six|
|3. Jim & Judy Philbeck||'56 Chieftain||3. Joe & Lisa Reitz||'36 Coupe|
|Class C-2 - Custom '70-End||Class P-1 - Pontiac Post-War '54|
|1. Bob Bertelsen||'72 Firebird||1. Robert Di Carlo||'51 Truck Sedan delivery|
|2. Robbie & Cecilia Lewis||'02 Trans Am||2. Mike & Connie Young||'51 Chieftain coupe|
|3. Steve Kulakowsky||'06 GTO||3. Ralph Hamilton||'51 Catalina|
|Class Pro - Pro Street Vehicles||Class P-2 - Pontiac '55-'60|
|1. Thomas Cole||'64 GTO||1. Mark Figurella||'60 Bonneville|
|2. Fred Kelly Jr||'67 GTO||2. Sherry O'Rourke||'58 Super Chief four-door sedan|
|3. Chris Collier||'67 Firebird||3. Bill Vance||'57 Chieftain|
|Class FB-1 - Firebird '67-'69||Class P-3 - Pontiac '61-'65|
|1. Steve Johns||'69 Firebird convertible||1. Jim Crawford||'63 Catalina|
|2. Tom Hanway||'68 Firebird convertible||2. John Misny||'64 Bonneville convertible|
|3. Becky Kaltenbach||'67 Firebird 400 convertible||3. Jack Anderson||'65 2+2|
|Class FB-2 - Firebird '70 1/2-'81||Class P-4 - Pontiac '66-'70|
|1. George Berg||'73 Formula||1. Richard Larabee||'67 2+2 convertible|
|2. Debby Manning||'77 Sky Bird||2.Marta Klotz||'66 Bonneville convertible|
|3. Wolf Feist||'74 Formula||3.Matt Schilkowski||'66 2+2|
|Class FB-3 - Firebird '82-'92||Class P-5 Pontiac '71-'86|
|1. Joe Tagliavia||'92 Formula||1. Jen & Jon Saulnier||'78 Bonneville Brougham|
|2. Keith Sergen||'86 Firebird||Class P-6 - Pontiac '87-End|
|3. Linda McConnell||'92 Firebird convertible||1. Mark Roget||'09 G8 GXP sedan|
|Class FB-4 - Firebird '93-End including Formula||2. Gene Scheer||'09 G8 GXP 4-door|
|1. Anthony Cerha||'95 Firebird Formula||3. Rick King||'08 G8 GT 4-door|
|2. Chuck Miller||'00 Firebird convertible||Class SOL - Solstice All|
|3. Nathan Call||'02 Firebird Formula||1. Mark Pfeiffer||'07 Solstice GXP convertible|
|Class F-1 Fiero Coupe/SE||2. Rod Boyer||'07 Solstice GXP convertible|
|1. Ken Miller||'84 Fiero SE||3. David Dowdell||'08 Solstice convertible|
|Class F-2 - Fiero GT||Class SP-A - Split Tempest/LeMans '61-'69|
|1. Randy Leiby||'87 Fiero GT||1. Bill Miller||'64 LeMans convertible|
|2. Ot Huster||'88 Fiero GT||2. Herman Ruple||'63 LeMans convertible|
|3. George Johnson||'85 Fiero GT||3. Jim & Norma Schafer||'68 LeMans|
|Class CTA - Comp T/A||Class SP-B - Split Tempest/ LeMans/Can Am '70-'81|
|1. Kevin Shar||'96 Comp TA||1. Pete Rust||'77 Can Am|
|2. Kevin & Sarah Day||'95 Comp TA||2. Fred Jernejec||'71 T-37|
|Class FH-A - Split Firehawk '93-'01||3. Matt Marinelli||'72 LeMans|
|1. Gene Lease||'93 Firehawk||Class ST-1 - Street Full-Size Pontiacs|
|2. Frank Ellias||Firehawk (year unknown)||1. John Collins||'56 Star Chief|
|3. Ray Hendricks||'00 Firehawk||2. Jack Notarianni||'62 Catalina|
|Class FH-B - Split Firehawk '02-'09||3. Charles Cordle||'08 G8 GT|
|1. Pete Trihas||'02 Firehawk||Class ST-2A - Split Street Tempest / LeMans / T-37 / GT-37 - '77|
|2. Bill & Carla Knotek||'09 G8 Firehawk||1. Mike Haynick||'71 T-37|
|3. Rick Keller||'02 Firehawk||2. Bill Twigger||'73 LeMans|
|Class FX - Factory Show or Experimental Cars||3. Mike & Donna Ireton||'71 T-37|
|1. John Riconda||'63 LeMans||Class ST-2B - Split Street GTO '64-'67|
|2. Tim Thorpe||'63 Catalina||1. Orvil Osche||'65 GTO|
|3. Don Edler||'64 GTO||2. Roger Mac Zura||'66 GTO|
|Class GA-1 - Grand Am '73-'80 RWD||3. Andrew Tajblik||'65 GTO|
|1. Jamey Gladden||'73 Grand Am||Class ST-2C - Split Street GTO '68-'74|
|Class GA-3 - Grand Am '93-End||1. John Moauro||'69 GTO convertible|
|1. Victoria Ray||'93 Grand Am||2. Stu Jackson||'69 GTO|
|Class GM-2 - GMC Truck Post-War-'72||3. John Riconda||'70 Judge|
|1. Jim Semon||'59 GMC 860 tractor||Class ST-2D - Split Street GTO '04-'06|
|Class GMV - GMC Vans||1. David Eyster||'06 GTO|
|1. Rex Caroll||'76 Palm Beach Camper||2. Rob Buckner||'06 GTO|
|Class GP-1 - Grand Prix '62-'68||3. Brian Dattilo||'06 GTO|
|1. Joe Santell||'65 Grand Prix||Class ST-3A - Split Street Firebird/Trans Am First- & Second-Gen|
|2. Richard & Judy Hetz||'65 Grand Prix||1. Jerry Brushaber||'76 Trans Am|
|3. Mike Guiliano||'63 Grand Prix||2. Jesse Frye||'67 Firebird|
|Class GP-2 - Grand Prix '69-'72||3. Ronald Hogle||'68 Firebird|
|1. David Risner||'69 Grand Prix SJ||Class ST-3B - Split Street Firebird / Trans Am Third- and Fourth-Gen|
|2. Mark Beyer||'72 Grand Prix Hurst SSJ||1. Terry Greenleaf||'00 Trans Am|
|3. Art Nardy||'72 Grand Prix||2. Jim & Linda Lucas||'01 Trans Am WS6|
|Class GP-3 - Grand Prix '73-'77||3. Rodney Beckhoff||'02 Trans Am WS6|
|1. Dave Rust||'76 Grand Prix SJ||Class ST-4 - Grand Prix|
|Class GP-4 - Grand Prix '78-'87 Incl. 2+2||1. Ray De Crescenzo||'62 Grand Prix|
|1. Eric Neal||'84 Grand Prix LE||2. Richard Goe||'68 Grand Prix|
|Class GP-6 - Grand Prix '97-End incl. STE, GTP, Pace Cars||3. Greg Call||'70 Grand Prix SJ|
|1. Adam Lester||'06 Grand Prix GXP||Class ST-5 - Street Pontiac Open|
|2. John Elliott||'06 Grand Prix GXP||1. Bobbie Hummel||'87 Fiero|
|3. Patrick Sutton||'03 Grand Prix||2. Rick Laney||'86 Fiero SE|
|Class GT-1 - GTO '64-'65||Class ST-6 - Street GMC|
|1. Bill & Jean Hash||'65 GTO||1. Rick Patrick||'68 GMC 2500 pickup|
|2. Keith Carter||'65 GTO||Class SU - Aztek, Transport, Montana, Vibe All Years|
|3. Ralph Marsai||'65 GTO||1. Joanne Nott||'01 Aztek|
|Class GT-2 - GTO '66-'67||2. Dorman Scott||'04 Montana van|
|1. Paul Bourbeau||'67 GTO||Class TA-1 - Trans Am '69-'74|
|2. Larry Crookshanks||'67 GTO||3. Pat Flaherty||'72 Trans Am|
|3. John Stearns Jr.||'67 GTO||2. Rick Iacoboni||'73 Trans Am|
|Class GT-3A - Split GTO '68-'69||1. Joe Corrado||'74 Trans Am|
|1. Paul Glasgo||'69 GTO Ram Air IV||Class TA-2 - Trans Am '75-'81|
|2. Joseph James||'69 GTO||1. Larry Reeb||'76 Trans Am|
|3. Scott Daniels||'68 GTO||2. Jack Paletta||'79 Trans Am|
|Class GT-3B - Split GTO '70||3. Stephen Lesko||'79 Trans Am|
|1. John Glasgo||'70 GTO||Class TA-3 - Trans Am '82-'92|
|2. Albert Kube||'70 GTO||1. Wayne Peters||'86 Trans Am|
|3. Jeff Toms||'70 GTO||2. Bob Figurella||'91 Trans Am convertible|
|Class GT-4 - GTO '71-'74||3. Carl Alger||'88 Trans Am|
|3. Alan & Barb Leiby||'71 GTO 455||Class TA-4 - Trans Am '93-End including GTA|
|2. Dan & Julie Mc Guire||'71 GTO||1. Jack & Debra Soulidis||'00 Trans Am WS6|
|1. Stephan Locker||'71 GTO||2. Robert Landrum||'00 Trans Am Ram Air WS6|
|Class GT-5 - GTO '04-End||3. Thomas Maher||'97 Trans Am WS6|
|1. Rob Lohr||'06 GTO||Class V-1 - Venture II/Phoenix RWD '71-'79, including all Acadian|
|2. Greg Hunt||'05 GTO||1. Steve Kovacs||'74 Ventura Sprint|
|3. Brian Little||'05 GTO|| |