It was HPP's first time hosting a shootout at Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Virginia. The track personnel, along with Jim Zeek who helped plan this shootout and was running the PY Pontiacs in the Park event that weekend, couldn't have made us feel more at home.
Contributor Don Keefe and I had the pleasure of photographing a bunch of quick Pontiacs and meeting their dedicated owners, and you will meet them, too, over the next few issues to learn all about their combinations for low e.t.'s. Since A-bodies and F-bodies are the most often built Pontiacs for racing, we began with a group of them whose owners were ready to punish the VMP dragstrip. So let's get to it.
Westminster, Maryland's Jeff Raff brought out his blindingly yellow, wheel-pulling '64 GTO. Packing an R/A-IV-headed, 0.030-over 455, a Turbo 400, and 4.33s out back, this Goat is usually in the 9s. But how will it fair in our shootout?
Marc Silva made the trip from Willington, Connecticut, to compete in his '67 GTO. Like Jeff, Marc also has an overbored 455 under the hood, a Turbo 400 trans, and a 4.33 rear. But as you will see, his and Jeff's combinations are still different yet both perform well.
Doug Chell of Fallston, Maryland, came to play with his '67 Firebird. Another 455 variant, Doug's Turbo 400-shifted, 3.90-geared, and lightweight F-body is generally a solid, low-10-second performer. Will it be today?
Jeff Allen traveled all the way from Winchester, Indiana, to make the shootout. Representing the Second-Gen F-bodies, his '73 Bird is equipped with a 455 backed by a Turbo 400 with a set of 4.11 gears in a Ford 9-inch. This low-11-second ride is sure to raise some eyebrows.
John Muntean arrived from Mechanicsville, Virginia, in his '72 GTO. His street machine features a warmed-over 455, a Turbo 350, and 3.73 gears in a 12-bolt. Low 12s are the goal. Will he get there?
How was the racing? Was the weather good? Was the track sticky? Did anybody break? Find out in the following pages.