2017 Turkey Run & "Parking with the Pontiacs"

Thanksgiving week and the 2017 Turkey Rod began with an ominous start. Massive rain leading up to both. Thanksgiving Day in northeast florida didn't fare very well, raining all day. By Friday it started to clear, but folks still held back (and those who attended the Turkey Run Friday said you had to be careful where you walked and parked). Saturday burst out with full sun and 75 degrees making for a great day. 

Still, our attendance was down from prior years, Saturday maxing out at about 20 cars. Pre-registrations were down as well, so not a shocking result. Some still recovering from Irma, others family events, etc. Still for the merry band that made it, it was a blast. I did see lots of Pontiacs out in the general area, so probably time to create flyers and walk that area early upon arrival.

Make sure you buy something, even it is something you don't need, have a sandwich that gives you heartburn but is soooooo good (mine is a Kolbassa loaded with onions and peppers). And as usual, the real event starts as dark approaches over on A1A. Find yourself an outdoor restaurant (there aren't many over on A1A, we chose Hog Heaven BBQ), or park and put your chair out front of one of the hotels near a traffic lilght, that has a crowd, and look for water having been thrown across the street... hint hint. Again this year, there was a good number of cars with ....um...questionable shall we say, registration and plates? (often identified by having parachutes and scuffed wheelie bars). Some truly radical stuff...and you get to find out where all the 6-71 GMC Blowers have gone to, though oddly while these are the loudest, they often don't put on any shows, its that next group right below them that get nuts you can hear them coming a mile away. The variety of extremely modified cars is outstanding, old Vegas, lots of Camaros of course, a radical C6 corvette, a current challenger converted to be a 'cuda (think Camaro converted to TA) out looking for bear. The variety is outstanding.

The LaPlaya was closed, I'm assuming still recovering from Irma, and while the BelAir plaza was still a frenetic frenzy, the traffic was down a bit there as there was no show underneath the LaPlaya so not as many folks crossing the street all night.

Check the pictures (click HERE) a big time.
Well, for those of you reading this up north in the chill (maybe not frigid or snow yet, but...still jacket weather), we, well, how to put it, got sunburned in gorgeous 80-degree sunshine.
We ventured to the Avenues Mall this year, having most of the southeast section of their lot. And while we had a similar-to-prior-years 50+ car preregistration, we just didn't pull as many "day of show" cars, which is usually almost another 50. So we topped out near 80 this year. Still, pretty respectable when they're only Pontiacs. No Oaklands or GMC trucks this year, we need to work on that.
And we had a wide variety of distance, from way south in Brandenton Florida, to way north from Augusta Georgia. That's some serious travel for a local show. (remember, we're in the northeast corner of Florida).
Thanks to the tireless efforts of many, lots of great comments from the guests about the show. Okay, I'm heading off to take a nap.
Best of Show: Debby Brown - 1970 GTO
Class A: 67-69 Firebird-TA
1st - Matt Clarke - 1968 Firebird 400 HO
2nd - Kevin Requet - 1969 TransAm Tribute
3rd - Rick Bohler - 67 Firebird custom
Class B: 70-81 Firebird - TA
1st - Doug Cooley - 74 TransAm
2nd - Gary Harrison - 73 TransAm SuperDuty
3rd - Jac Kirkpatrick - 70 Formula RamAir
Class C: 82-02 Firebird - TA
1st - Ryan Hilsgen - 02 TransAm
2nd - Gene Bridgman - 99 Firebird - magazine car
3rd - David & Stephanie Dunnmon - 01 Firebird
Class D: 61-67 GTO/Lemans/Tempest
1st - David Quinn - 1967 GTO
2nd - Tim Perry - 1966 GTO
3rd - Pat Murphy - 1967 GTO
Class E: 68 - 77 GTO/Lemans/Tempest
1st - John & Pam Smith - 1968 GTO
2nd - Andy Musil - 1968 GTO
3rd - Rick Klimeck - 1970 GTO
Class F: Pre 60s Fullsize
1st - Sandy Konigsberg - 1958 Bonneville
2nd - Bob Coppola - 1948 Silver Streak
3rd - Pete & Dawn Mazzocchi - 1932 Sport Coupe
Class G: 60 and up Fullsize
1st - Mike Bruck - 1964 Catalina
2nd - Mike Jole - 1961 Bonneville
3rd - Marianne Michel - 1970 Executive
Class H: Late Model/Other thru 2003
1st - 1972 Ventura
2nd - Paul Corvey - 1988 Fiero
3rd - Steven Schneider - 1988 Fiero GT
Class J: Survivor
1st - John Fischer - 1978 TransAm
2nd - David Bonaskiewich - 1976 Grand Safari Wagon
3rd - Jim Musco - 1987 Fiero
Class K: Modified/Race
1st - Mark Wyant - 1961 Ventura
2nd - Larry Bart - 1964 GTO
Class L: Modern 04-10
1st - Ed Casacia - 08 G8
2nd - Thomas Barzyk - 09 Solstice GXP Coupe
3rd - Patrice Baker - 09 G8
Saturday morning July 8 Cars n Coffee

The club made a group showing at the second Saturday Cars n Coffee at the Avenues Mall. What started years ago at the Times Union building as a semi small import cruise in, has grown to 200 cars of which 60% are American muscle. But the European attendees were stellar (ferraris, Audis, turbo'd rice rockets, etc). We had about 10 member cars there and found another 10 mixed in with the masses. Made sure we got them club info as we can never grow the throng by too much. Take a look at our pictures HERE.
Pontiacs at the Avenues Mall, 2nd Saturday Cars n Coffee Click HERE for pictures

Another huge turnout of cars at the Cars n Coffee at the Avenues Mall August 12 and the Pontiacs were no exception.

Probably 10 members, made some new friends, a bunch of others and saw a few cars we'd never seen before. Really hot again, so walking the entire event to browse the cars (there was a whole row of Lamborghini's) and look for more Pontiac was a chore. Last month arriving at 8am was way, way too late, so I moved it up to 7:30 this month...nope, still too late... looks like the sweet spot is 7am. Some folks start rolling out early though, around 8:30 a few of the masses left, then at 9. By 9:30 probably only 100 cars remained. And unfortunately the police were doing their due diligence sitting at the side of the road out at the entrance as folks left, limiting the desired "spirited" exiting to the large audience that hangs out there waiting for a show.

The shot of the lambo next to the VW bug told the tale of the two extremes present.

We also did our first pass at getting the new Dixie Chapter Club t-shirts out... they just arrived this week. Don't miss out, reserve one from Matt.

And finally, a reminder, our annual show this year is right here at the Avenues Mall, at the lot down between Belks and the Boca restaurant at the corner of Southside and Phillips. Did you sign up yet? "Well did ya? did ya" (Dori from Nemo)

Remember, drive 'em like you stole 'em.
Pontiacs in The Great Race 6-24-17

This year's Great Race (a time rallye race) started off in Jacksonville on its way to Michigan over the next week. I thought starting in Jax was a nice honor (you might recall it came through the Main Street/Springfield Cruise in 2014 at the end of its journey). There were 4 Pontiacs in it this year. Appropriately, the start was down on Main Street at the Krystals...and a huge crowd turned out. Per member Richard Capon and I, the 2 neatest cars were a limited production datson...2000? a rare car brought over from japan for this race...value...$500k or more? And something on sort of an auburn dove tailed concept, with a 900 cubic inch 6 cylinder. The exhaust manifolds were over 2 inches in diameter feeding into a 5 inch straight exhaust...really loud, really cool. For full details, go to GreatRace.com check out the few pictures we took HERE.
Pontiacs at the 6/24 Main Street/Springfield Cruise.

Well, summer has returned to northeast Florida, the thermometer was siting around 90 with really high humidity. But a beautiful day regardless. Likely this scared away the usually large crowd jamming the streets. Some cars never moved from the morning's Great Race start (I remember where some were parked in the am...and still exactly there in the pm...wonder what they did all day?). A band was still playing (for their heat safety, hoping it wasn't the same band from the morning's festivities) in the lot next to Krystals on the semi-truck platform's band stand. Apologies to Gary, the judge picture was way blurry. Of note, member Lou Ferreira was circling, and sent a few aerial shots down. The bigger shot is Krystal's in the forefront, looking south down main street. We had a somewhat small but merry group...and some new Pontiacs were flagged down to park with us, note the 62 421 Catalina, the white Lemans, and the white convertible 99 'bird. 
  Click HERE for pictures.
Saturday May 6 saw our 3rd annual Club Picnic, and again at the Musil's "ranch". If you've got horses...its a ranch. And, it coincided with the Kentucky Derby...again...horses...how coincidental.  

Weather changed and it "cooled off", high of 80, cooling to probably low 60s after the sun went down. And a big break, Andy lives far enough south of Jacksonville to be below the "smoke line". Look up the fire in the okeenfenokee swamp that burned for weeks in south Georgia...the wind for a few weeks was southeast, it created its own cloud layer and even the ash was in Jacksonville.

But, I digress. The picnic. No surprise, we may have eaten a tad too much. okay more than a tad, maybe a smidgen, okay okay, a stinkin truck load too much.

And the cars, 20 cars and 40 folks makes for a great time. Most of us hadn't seen Pat Murphy's 67 GTO since he got the frame off completed (it was red when it went in, I believe the gold is its original color). Dennis Harrison just got his 65 convertible GTO back as well, same incredibly bright red, but now it glows even more. Kevin almost made it in his just completed 69 TA clone, big motor car (?? almost 500 cubes?), but the new serpentine belt wouldn't cooperate. Preston and Mike with their families drove all the way down from Georgia, and Bill up from...."San Mateo" Florida (somewhere way southwest). Faye Shute stopped by, great to see her, time for her to become a regular again.  

We had a fun pool for the Derby, conspiracy theories abounded when the Musil family scored twice. But it was hilarious when mostly horse-illiterate on-watchers were screaming for their horses. 

Again, the Musil's put up the 12 foot screen, stereo and DVD, this year the choice was CannonBall Run. Did you ever remember that many old stars being in one movie?. I should count them...gotta be 20+. I believe there were no academy awards given for it, unbelievable...a movie with that much cinematic charisma? (...not).

Yes, it was a great time, and again, thanks for the Musils for letting us...um...mess up their grounds. sorry.

Next up, the Avenues Mall 5/13 8am for the Cars n Coffee cruise-in.

Take care, and remember... "drive em like you stole em".​ Click HERE for pictures.

4/8/2017 - Pontiacs at the Fruit Cove Baptist show

This is why we live in Florida... a tad chilly in April at 7am (55) but warms to 70 and completely blue sky. Just incredible.

The event, a concerted effort to get the Pontiacs to the Fruit Cove Baptist show. They sell out every year (~300) cars, so pre-registration is a must. Then, there is the challenge of parking together. So, not surprisingly we all meet prior the show across the street at the Publix... at 7am in the morning. (sorry, many folks had to be up at 5 to put some clothes on and make the trek).  

This year, the Publix seemed about full to capacity when I pulled in at 6:50. The show opens at 7, and clearly a huge contingent wanted primo parking. The largest group we were competing with for parking was probably the Mopars, they probably had 14-15 cars. We, again, dwarfed everyone with 19, and we picked up a stranger for an even 20. The publix crowd about 6:55 all pulled out and completely blocked up San Jose blvd. Luckily the police moved a car up San Jose to the far end of Publix, so they could also control the cars coming out of Publix, as well as the usual tie up getting directed into the show.
Sorry, forgot who, but someone said "why don't we go south on San Jose, do a U-Turn and come in from that end, doesn't seem to be any concerted efforts from that direction". And it worked like a champ. While U-Turning 19 cars is a bit entertaining, we were far enough south that the procession could pull to the slow lane, inching up towards the show, as everyone got back in line.
The big stroke of luck was as I turned into the show, the standard model is to go all the way down the road and turn into the church at the main parking entrance. While I was sitting, I noticed a canopy way up near the San Jose end of the parking lot, just to my right, just 1 cone and 1 person guarding it. I pleaded with them we were going to park right there, and had no intentions of cutting any lines. They were gracious enough to concede and we pulled in that entrance just in time to get all parked together. More shade this year as well. It filled quickly. I'd say by 8am 90% of the cars were already there.

As mentioned, the weather was perfect and the hosts terrific. We did well this year with door prizes, and Eric Decker and Mike Mahan scored ribbons for honorable mention, (big blue ribbons...though...as Mike had his (chocolate lab?) dog there, we inquired if the ribbon was for the dog or the car), and George Jacobs scored a plaque as part of the overall awards (that's the screaming tangerine orange 70 GTO in the pictures).

Great time, great stories, great fun.

Check out all the pictures, click HERE

Next up. Picnic at Musils 5/6, followed immediately 5/13 by hitting the Cars n Coffee at the Avenues Mall for breakfast.

March 10th. 2017 

Cars & Coffee at the Concours Click HERE for pictures

January 21, 2017

Dixie Chapter POCI Meeting Click HERE for pictures

Meet & Greet: Some new members, lots old ones, what a crowd. If you’re reading this from out of town, yes, unfortunately on very rare occasions, it does rain in Florida. And this Saturday a huge red band of weather was on the way, so you’ll see by the member car pictures… more than half were daily drivers. Still a few braved it since it wasn’t coming in until later…and then there is me, who had no clue it was even coming since it was gorgeous all day.

Dinner: Did I mention we ate too much, way too much, sickening too much? Okay, you get the point…oh, and the variety.

Gary Harrison, President, called the meeting to order at 6:15 pm
He opened the meeting covering the growth of our club and thanking the 40+ members for coming to this gathering. He discussed the successful car show at Fernandina last year and had Eric Decker (Treasurer) explain the financials from the show. Eric also gave the club’s financial report and that he purchased all the remaining Pontiac trophies, since they are no longer being made, for the next 2 annual car shows. Next Gary talked about a new Pontiac magazine edited by Don Keefe, who attended our Fernandina car show and had several show pictures in last month’s magazine. The name is “Poncho Perfection” and the web site is: http://ponchoperfection.com/ .

Gary then held the new club officer nominations for the 2017. Officer & positions were discussed, nominated, seconded and voice voted into office as follows:
President – Matt Clarke(904) 613-2214
V-President – Lou Ferreira (904) 262-2774
Secretary – Lloyd Hoffman(904) 599-2218
Treasurer – Eric Decker(904) 745-1234
Webmaster-Rick Bohler(note: Rick is in search of Webmaster support or even transition of duties)

Gary turned the floor over to Matt Clarke, our new club president (again..ha ha ha). Our upcoming regular events were discussed:
•Fruit Cove Baptist Church Car Show on April 8, 2017
•Monthly Main Street Cruise on 4th Saturdays
•Fernandina Car Show in the fall
•Dinner cruises
•Andy’s annual picnic & “Drive In” movie (date TBD)).

The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 pm and Gary then gave a “Garage Tour” of his toys. See tour pictures HERE