Bob Krewson and Michael Gettys helped represent the last of Pontiac’s great V-8 rear-drive
Though HPP has mainly covered Pontiac-only events in past years, we decided to attend the All GM Nationals the weekend of June 24-26, 2011, to check out the participating Pontiacs and we were glad we did, as there was a large Poncho presence on the National Parts Depot-sponsored showfield. A fantastic variety of models from the 1950s through 2009 provided a colorful history of the division’s greats.
Credit for getting the word out to Pontiac owners to make a respectable showing, at an event that is normally loaded with Chevys, goes to three Pontiac clubs. The Susquehanna Valley GTO club (svgto.com), which is the GTOAA chapter for central Pennsylvania; Capitol City GTOs (www.ccgto.com), a late-model club from the Washington, D.C. area; and the Maryland–based Mid Atlantic Fiero Owners Association (www.mafoa.com) each actively promote the All GM Nats in an effort to draw as many Pontiacs as possible, and the results of their efforts were revealed on the showfield. Susquehanna Valley GTO Club president Vic Schreck told HPP that his club had between 25 and 30 club cars in attendance. The Capitol City GTOs actually won the Club Challenge with 60 Pontiacs (63 registrations), and the Mid Atlantic Fiero Owners Association took Third place with 37 Fieros (46 registrations)! The club efforts combined with the rest of the Pontiac turnout had Ponchos far outnumbering the Buicks and Oldsmobiles on the showfield.
Ken Gosbeth discusses the fine points of his class-winning ’72 T/A. (We love the t-shirt!)
Though Chevys were dominant in attendance and there were some guests and activities that cater to those fans, like legendary racers Bill Grumpy Jenkins and Bruce Larson, there was still plenty for a Pontiac hobbyist to do. As is true with any Carlisle event, there was a large swap meet, manufacturers’ midway, and car coral. Art displays by Kenny Youngblood and David Snyder also drew attention, and David’s Pontiac works have been shown in HPP before. Keith Vrabec’s ’69 GP stockcar was on special display as well. Roy Tyner raced it in NASCAR during the ’70s. It was in poor shape when Keith found it in the early ’90s, but you would never know it after seeing the restoration that Glenn Sedig of Vintage Mechanical Works in Sterling, Illinois, completed.
Drag racing was offered on Friday afternoon at the nearby eighth-mile track, Quarter Aces Drag-O-Way. Seminars were conducted Friday and Saturday. Those of interest to Pontiac owners included Car Care by Meguiar’s; GM Diagnostics & Troubleshooting Tips; Judging, Guidelines for Participants; Fuels & Ethanol —Do’s & Don’ts—What every old-car owner needs to know; and Drag Racing 101.
Don’t let the lack of people in the photo fool you. I had to wait 10 minutes for a break i
For those who like to make lots of smoke in front of a crowd, there was a burnout contest. If you wanted to find out how much power your Pontiac puts to the rear wheels, there was even an onsite Dynojet 248 chassis dyno provided by Axcelerated Motorsports. The showfield was judged Saturday and awards were announced Sunday morning with a presentation in the afternoon.
All-in-all, the GM Nationals provided lots of Pontiac eye candy, a large amount of parts and cars for sale, drag racing, live music, a Ms. Carlisle contest, and enough seminars to make you dizzy, but also wiser. You could even check out the cars from GM’s sister divisions.
If all that sounds like a great way to spend a weekend in June, plan to attend the 2012 event on June 22-24. For more information, log on to www.carlisleevents.com/events/gm-nationals.
With perfect paint, a custom interior, and a meticulously detailed 400 engine, David Flink
Here’s Keith Vrabec’s ’69 Grand Prix NASCAR stockcar on display at an earlier event. (The
It was a banner turnout for late-model GTOs due in large part to club support. This isn’t
Wilson Wolfe’s ’69 Ram Air IV GTO with a factory white bumper was a showstopper and graced
Scott Mann’s ’67 black Bird features a Pro-Touring motif with big brakes and wheels and ti
The TZ Motorsports Fiero racecar features a full road-race chassis and LS power.