For the 13th annual event, show promoter Steve Barcak put on a four-day Pontiac extravaganza with three shows, two races, a test and tune, two cruise-ins, a party, and tons of other activities.
Ray Baumgardner brought out his dad Mike’s freshly restored 428 H.O.-powered ’69 GP Model
Beginning on Thursday, March 31, early arrivals had a choice of three junkyard tours: Steve’s Pontiac Heaven and Hidden Valley Auto Parts in Maricopa, and Desert Valley Auto Parts in Phoenix. They were spaced out through the day with lunch in between so it was possible to see all three. If that wasn’t enough, there was also a tour of the Mel Martin auto museum. That evening there was a cruise-in to the 5 & Diner in Peoria. A few dozen Pontiacs made the trip and there were hoods popping and spirited conversation well into the night.
Friday was a day of seminars inside and a show-and-shine outside in the host hotel parking lot, the Hampton Inn in Surprise. Luminaries from many areas of the hobby shared their knowledge with eager attendees. Steve did a seminar on the Mickey Thompson Pontiac Hemis, Smoke Signals editor and HPP contributor Don Keefe covered his favorite subject—Department X Pontiacs, Jim Wangers delved into Wide-Track advertising, Dennis Mecham regaled the audience with the lives and times of the Macho T/As, and Paul Delfeld of Ram Air Restoration Enterprises spoke on factory high-performance exhaust manifolds. As an added treat, Craig Hendrickson and Kern Osterstock, the founders of H-O Racing, reunited to discuss the heyday of Pontiac performance and H-O’s role in it. If you made it to any or all of these seminars, you came out considerably more Pontiac savvy.
At Speedworld Dragstrip in Wittmann, Arizona, the cruise-in and test-and-tune kicked off Friday evening at the track. It offered a chance to dial in your drag car before the next day’s event, show off your show car once more, or simply hang out with participants in a relaxed atmosphere.
Glenn Gibbons points the nose of his injected altered-wheelbase Pouncin’ Poncho toward the
Saturday was the main event for showgoers and drag racers. The staging lanes were full of potential winners, all going for trophies or class payouts. We even ran a multi-car HPP shootout, which you have already read about in past issues. There was also a swap meet area for parts seekers.
Competition was fierce on the track and on the show field. Pristine restorations vied against hot modifieds and clean street cars, and even partially built projects in various classes. Ray Baumgardner’s ’69 Grand Prix Model J won the HPP Editor’s Choice award and then took Best of Show as well. We have the show winners’ list for Saturday posted in this story. Unfortunately, the race winners’ list is not available. This event coverage is running so late in the year because we held off in the hope that it could be found.
The good news is that this story can serve to get you excited for the 14th Annual Pontiac Heaven, which will take place just about a month and a half after this issue of HPP goes on sale. Pontiac Heaven for 2012 will be held Friday through Sunday, March 30 to April 1, outside of Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, contact Steve Barcak at (480) 899-7873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There was a dedicated group at the 5 & Diner restaurant on Thursday night perusing Pontiac
Robin Roberts made a few exhibition runs in his 8-second, pump-gas, nitroused T/A. A Glend
Mike Jewell’s ’70 GTO leads off this row that includes Pat Fykes ’69 GTO, which took Best
Gary Campbell is the proud owner of ’78 Macho T/A No. 135. This one has a transplanted 455
Mark Leischer’s tilt-nose ’63 Cat is a project-in-process, but that didn’t stop what looks
If you would like to own a piece of Pontiac history, Thom Sherwood’s ’78 Grand Am CA was u