The 2013 Turkey Run - Daytona Speedway - 11/28/13

Well, the overall turnout to "Park with the Pontiacs" was big, though our club participation was down. Even our partners from the Hurricane Chapter (Miami) had a lite attendance. But with over 70 cars on Friday the weekend was shaping up to be a blockbuster. Whether it was the early morning weather scare (that turned into a 100point day by 9am) or holiday shopping, we only had 30 cars on Saturday. It couldn't be the annual FSU - Florida football game, everyone knew that was going to be a bit lopsided. I'm still hoping some pictures will come in from Friday as yours truly could only attend Saturday. We had a good variety of cars though not as many old ones, and hey, two (2) mid 70s Venturas, go figure. Parts shopping abounded.  

The give-away car this year was a 78 TransAm, won by someone from St Augustine, nice to have a nearby winner... maybe we can find them and get them out to a show.  

We'll be discussing a possible move in locations, but with the space we need, don't get your hopes up. Except for the North Florida Street Rods, we're probably the next biggest group, and getting the RV pads location or Playground parking would mean probably 10 clubs would need to back out.  

Be sure to get us your email address if you want to get added to next year's communication so you can "Park with the Pontiacs". Matt
2013 Dixie Chapter Show
Well, if you missed the club's annual show, you missed a lot. We had a record 72 Pontiacs (including 4 GMCs) make it. Unfortunately, not much early stuff this year, some of our regulars couldn't make it, so our oldest was a '57 GMC to the newest being a 2009 G8. The weather was chamber of commerce perfect and the mall had tons of traffic coming through. Pretty much everyone was able to win a door prize and reports are all had a blast...but not without some hiccups...and now... for... "the rest of the story".

Our saga starts the Monday before the show, said show chairman calls the mall to confirm everything is all set and our special place between Lowe's and Walmart is blocked discover...aggast... the mall has changed management, the lady in the management office of the mall has no clue what I'm talking about, the mall is now run out of Atlanta, and the Atlanta contact is out of the country until Wednesday.

No stress, 3 days to go...possibly no show venue... pre-registrations have people driving in from 130 miles away... no stress, don't panic.

Wednesday our fearless hero gets through to the mall management. She also keeps the story consistent... never heard of us. Better yet, she says they don't manage that part of the lot, it belongs to either Walmart...or Lowe's... she doesn't know. But we have to take it up with them.

Okay, now I'm in sheer hysteria!

By chance, said hero contacts the local group that meets there every 3rd Saturday of the month. Yureka, they point me to a club rept who knows the management at both Walmart and Lowes. He'll speak to them. If I don't hear back from him, we're all clear to go.

Whew, huge sigh is heard. Final plans are put in place, club members all lined up to start set-up 8am sharp. Weather report is good. The planets have aligned.

We roll in the day of the show...and ....there....are... people.... setting up tents and tables, and one huge RV sitting in the middle of our lot. our show area, it can't be. Immediately thoughts race to if we might call some shady relatives and get them... I mean removed... quickly before they multiply, we could still save the day. Calmer heads prevail and murder 1 charges are avoided. They are some fall charity bizarre.

I go to Lowe's (don't really want to talk to Walmart as their new specialty stores that have opened in Jacksonville at closed Food Lion locations have been kicking out cruise-ins that have been in place for 20 years), and fall at the feet of the manager, groveling and looking as sad as I possibly can (and I can look pretty sad folks, that's my regular look). He shows mercy and says let's see what we can do. It is only 8am so few customers are over in the corner of the lot, actually just one black pickup...and it is his. He even helps put out shopping carts and supplies his own red tape to mark off about 50 spaces. Unbelievable, sorry Home Depot...I gotta change my allegiance (besides, I've tried to get a corner of the huge Home Depot lot for a show, but "corporate" wouldn't allow such a thing). Time to scramble and set the show up...but... life is good again, the birds are singing, unburnt gas smells are in the air from over-rich carbs.

What could possibly go wrong.

Well, don't ever say anything can't get worse, just don't say it, eat those words. Our record prior to this was last year at 53 cars. All of a sudden, by 10am we've already got 40, and more that one group states "hey, can you save some spots in our class? we've got 4 more friends coming"... It becomes a game of Frogger... move one class over here to the side, move another class into that spot, move the other class to the other spot... like 4 times to keep classes together.. for  you computer geeks that's called "load balancing". A mystery develops as it is reported the shopping carts and red tape keep moving farther, and farther into the Lowe's parking lot...however there are no witnesses to confirm it, none alive anyway. My apologies to the 3rd Gen Firebirds as they moved in their entirety...twice...after they'd unloaded and gotten comfortable. There were briefly cars blocking lanes, cars in completely the wrong place, cars out on the street waiting to get in. The shopping carts and red tape expanded again and again. At noon we had everyone situated and closed off the entrances with everyone parked with their classes. Um... 5 more cars showed up...I was spent...I just told them to park "wherever".

As the Chihuahua in the old Taco Bell commercial trying to catch Godzilla says... "I think I'm going to need a bigger lot (box)" (say it with a good Mexican accent, you'll remember it).

And so our tale comes to an end, at least it had a happy ending, and thanks to all the attendees, they were a lively, fun and a dedicated crowd (Mike Bruck of Deland blew a front tire on his 68 goat at highway speed...and still made it).... HiPerformance Pontiac came and took 2 cars off for a photo shoot... and that G8 crowd all with matching G8 t shirts...can't they shop at different stores? (just kidding, loved ribbing you guys)

Until next year.. remember... Drive 'em like you stole 'em

2013 Show Winners


Class A 67-69 FB/TA                                
1st C. Sauls 67 FB                                    
2nd M Clark 68 FB                                   
3rd M. Bosque 67 FB  
Class B 70-81FB /TA                       
1st G. Harrison 73 TA                              
2nd L. Ferreira 77 TA                               
3rd E. Decker 78 TA   
Class C 82-Current FB/TA                  
1st A. Sloan 99 TA                                             
2nd B. Langston 87 FB                            
3rd J. Sloan 02 FB  
Class D 64-67 GTO/LeMans/Tempest 2nd S. 
1st D. & N. Quinn 67 GTO                        
2nd K. Wales 65 GTO                               
3rd L. Wintrode 65 GTO   
Class E 68-77GTO/LeMans/Tempest  
1st M. Bruck 68 GTO                               
2nd M. Vazzo 68 GTO                             
3rd N. & D. Myers 70 Le Mans    

The 4th Saturday of the month has become the event to be at in Jacksonville since the city started up the idea of having a "cruise"...not a parking lot of cars, but a 10 block cruise. We've been cursed by rain the last 3 months, and 8/24 threatened to be the same for most of the day, but there were only a few sprinkles around 4:30 and then it actually started to clear. Attendance was down to maybe 200 cars due to the fear of the weather and the Jaguars had a home preseason game as well.  

But, for the 8 from the club who made it (and we had to get there really, really early to save some primo spots), we were at the head of the action and with a corner facing the main intersection, you could see us from multiple angles. Ken was also there with his son Matt, but they are trying to sell his Mustang so they brought that. And Mike Jole (same weather fear) had his custom pickup in the area.

We had some new folks in some pretty incredible cars join, John in his original owner Cappacino brown 69 GTO convertible, Ray and Nancy in the 66 yellow Bonneville convertible, and Dawson in the black 70 GTO (yes, another convertible). I'll make apologies here for forgetting the folks in the Blue 73-ish Formula (really embarrassing because he and I have compared notes a few times as we didn't originally know it, but we were both went the whole way on the 06 Hot Rod Power Tour.)

The Florida Times Union reporter has a shot of a few of us lounging behind the cars. See the attached link, we're picture 40. The link also gives you just a tiny sample of the cars that were there

               January 2013
 Main St. Jacksonville Cruise
Saturday 8/24 Pontiacs hit Main Street Jacksonville
Dixie Chapter swims to the 6/22/13 Springfield/Main Street Cruise.

To be honest, it is quite understandable that we had a light showing at the scheduled 6/22 club event, the city had taken probably 4 inches of rain earlier in the day... but this is Florida... and storms come and go by the minute.. and in this case, it finally "went".

5 brave souls feared not the monsoon ride to downtown at 3pm (Ron and I really couldn't hardly see coming in from the east until we were coming off the Hart Bridge and before even leaving home, he had to check that his wipers worked, car hasn't been wet in a long time), but...then downtown it was only sprinkling. Yours truly, Ron Brown, Gary Harrison and Richard Capon made the trip. Mike Jole gets honorable mention since he came, though go figure, none of his convertibles weren't going out in that mess.

We had a good plan, or so we thought... get there around 3 for a late lunch and thus the ability to park together... exit to "footnote" then come back to this spot. Walk to lunch and catch up with new info. Head back and do the cruise.  

By 4:30 even the sprinkles were tappering off but the damage had been done. Maybe 50 cars were huddled up around 9th and 10th streets. Even our planned restaurant experience was halted when we discovered they were closed, probably knew the weather wouldn't make it worth it. By 5:30 it was clearing, and by 6 the sun was back out and the even grew to maybe 75-100 cars. Though to the north and west we could see really dark clouds...but our little weather apps kept showing it was staying over there...great weather downtown.

With the overall event and club attendance understandably down, the small pPontiac group began to disband to go do chores and attend to neglected spouses. But shortly after, a small group of 5th Gen GMs came through, and upon closer inspection, there were 2 TransAms and are you ready... a 69 GTO in screaming orange with them... yes...a 5th Gen to resemble a 69 GTO Judge. Now, before you go all weird saying they're just some decals and paint, think about this. The early camaros and firebirds were all F Bodies. Then, the 4th Gen TransAms moved to the corporate LS engines and we still thought they were cool..and very fast. This is just the next logical progression. And before you think the changes are fully superficial, you need to look closer and in person. represented locally by our friend Mario Bosque and his family have made some major changes. The cars have been taken down basically to the frame, Then built back up with new body panels and interiors. And further, on the GTO, look closely at the shape of the fenderwell openings and the shape of the rear quarters. And to boot, it had a supercharger on it. Yes it is shorter than a 69 Judge, but hey, the 73-74 GTOs were based on the Ventura, so shorter was coming anyway. I asked Mario to hold onto them until our fall show as these cars would be way over the top...heck... we've got to invent a new class. He said he would, but you know Mario...he has a habit of showing up with different cars every year, and unique cars, like that SLP Firehawk, how about the GMC Cyclone. He did say he's keeping that incredible 67 firebird he brought last year.  
Though, on that note, why a fall show you might ask? because our April 2013 show was rained out, appropriately, by a monsoon...

note: If you haven't ever been to this cruise and you are anywhere near Jacksonville, you gotta come out. The city invented the cruise in 2012 to get folks to this part of town. It is 10 city blocks of parking, cruising, chirping the tires and a few un-named doing full-on burn-outs, and back to parking and hanging out, then cruising, then parking... At times it has around 500 cars. But parking together is near impossible by 4pm since this is downtown with on-the-street parking and small vacant lots, and you want to be on the west side of the street or you're looking directly into the sun, etc. It goes until around 9pm.