Dixie Chapter Annual Meeting - 2/3/18
Well, as everyone was getting ready for the SuperBowl on 2/4, we crammed in our annual club meeting Saturday 2/3 at Beth and Gary Harrison's again (big thanks for putting up with this...um...motley group?. And again, to say we ate too much is an incredible understatement. Italian the theme this year with Lasagna, Meatballs & Sausage, Spaghetti, Chicken Parmesan, and more. Then deserts to blow your belt off.
An odd turnout this year for cars...all Firebirds...hmmmm thought I heard the GTO and others clucking their chicken feathers?
Officers juggled just a tad this year, Pres is Matt Clarke, VP is Gary Harrison, Secretary Lloyd Hoffman, Treasurer - Eric Decker and Rick Bohler continues to help us with his stellar work on the website and facebook.
2018 events discussion was varied and lots of notes were taken. One thing we'll do right away is move our regular monthly get together around. First up is February, we'll do the 4th Saturday MainStreet/Springfield, but March we'll go south to the PDQ 3rd Saturday cruise. Discussion of a dinner cruise and other items were included. Keep checking the website or facebook for updates and events.
The tour of the garage was again topped off by Gary firing up his 500+ cubic inch Nostalgia Super Stock tempest...in the garage...huh? can you speak up? I can't hear you...or anything else either...for a few more hours.
On a humbling note. You'll see above we discussed a dinner cruise, Pelican Point up across the Georgia border was offered up. I made a wisecrack that someone always breaks on that cruise, pointing at Gary in his black 70? GTO years ago. It brought a good laugh (someone often breaks on trips, its just our thing). Well guess who was eating his shoe later that night. On the way home I found out my timing cover had rotted out and blew all the water out going down 95. Limped into a gas station...and guess who I called who was gracious enough to come take a look. Yeap, Gary. It was in a hard to find spot, but when we filled it and started it, it gave itself away with a stream shooting out. We decided to fill it and cut across Hecksher to 295 where there is another gas station. He followed. It took about a gallon there. He followed me to the Merrill exit, then he headed back home, and I stopped one more time to top it off before making it the rest of the way. Thanks Gary... my daughter calls that "karma". Can I take my foot out of my mouth yet?
Amelia Cars and Coffee - March 2018
Some of us were lucky enough to be able to go to the Amelia Concours de Elegance - Cars n Coffee. A Saturday morning event that is more casual and allows more local groups to attend with there cars. Not surprisingly, most of these cars are Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Morgans... Ferrari's, Lambos, etc.. then a bunch of Corvettes, and a smattering of everything else, and I mean everything else. Clearly the American Muscle car is the minority (after all, it is a more european/exotic type event, with auctions that would boggle your mind.
We were able to get 15 cars in this year. As usual, we started out at a horribly early hour to be able to get in. Those from the south meeting us at 295 and Hecksher had to leave their homes by 5:30am. No clue what time Bill Bass got on the road from Citrus FL. We decided to try again for coming in with like models grouped together (firebirds/TAs, then GTOs, then others) and within this, in year order. If it works, we hope to show the patrons the progression of models through the years. It worked about 4 years ago with us all in a long single row on the golf course, since then, not so much.
This year again proved to have weather play a factor, with rains scheduled for Sunday, the organization moved the Sunday Concours event up to Saturday, so guess what...our parking area on the main grounds had to be used for the Concours show...and we got bumped two fairways over, past the MotoXP section and out by A1A, This section had a large contingent of Mercedes, a good grouping of BMWs, and then 100 of miscellaneous cars...and us. And, we had a bit of a parking snaffu. We streamed in all together as planned, but the workers then stated they "had to" fill both sides of the fairway as they go...next thing you know, we've got all the Firebird/TAs on one side of the fairway double deep, and the GTOs and others on the other side of the fairway, and not even together. Andy and I both pleaded with the attendants, but it fell on deaf ears.
The show started out slowly, we sort of felt like the odd group out, and it was a real hike just to get to a port-a-pottie, much less water or food. But then, around 11am, I guess the folks had wandered through the Concours and through the MotoXP section enough, as we ended up with very large gallery milling about the cars.
Same as every year, while the crowd may have heavy european tendencies, most are from the US, so they were continually speaking of that when they were younger that had this firebird, or that GTO... and Mike Davis' Grand Prix in all its massive copper color(sorry, I don't the know the real color) really stood out (color and size). Jim Musco's Fiero is something seldom seen. And it is a knowledgeable audience, many know what they are looking at (example, they know how tell the difference between Charlie's 67 bird and my 68), So, they're often pointing to items with their friends and describing them to each other, they often need little help from us. And, a very appreciative group, every person stated kudos to the owners of all the cars as they inspected.
Great weather, cool cars, neat crowd...I needn't say more.
PDQ Cruise-In March 17, 2018
Ten Dixie Chapter Pontiac Club members attended the PDQ Cruise-In near the corner of Race Track Road and SR 13 at the PDQ Restaurant parking lot area along with about 200 other cars on Saturday March 17th. This is a monthly event that is gaining cars every month. There are old and new cars and many classic cars in attendance for everyone to look at and enjoy as they walk around the lake.
The cars started taking the premium spots around the shade trees about 3 pm and most of the spots were taken by 4:15 pm. It was a beautiful day and several hundred visitors stopped and toured the cars on display. This free cruise-in is a great place to see these cars, enjoy food from PDQ and great oldies tunes presented by Chris Conover. Mark your calendars for this 3rd Saturday event and come on out from around 3:30 pm until dark.
Jeff Marr drove his “new” 1966 gold GTO there to show off as he had just gotten it the week before. It is a great car for him to refurbish and enjoy for many years to come. We are glad he brought it out and hope he becomes a club member. We enjoy seeing all the Pontiacs that come out and we try to park in a group near the bank, if possible, and have a great time socializing and looking at the other cars in attendance.
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Andy’s annual event at his home on May 5th for another wonderful afternoon and evening at the “Movies”. Get your vote in for your favorite movie.
April 14, 2018 - Pontiacs at the Fruit Cove Baptist Show CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES
Mother nature again smiled on us at 6am as we assembled in the dark to join the Fruit Cove Baptist show en-mass. This means most of us were up at 5am or before to make the trek. A gorgeous 65 degrees, going up to 80 and sunny. To be able to park together, you must arrive together. In general, that's not a shocker or that complicated, but when you're trying to get 20 cars to enter together and park together, along with the other 200 cars coming, that's a whole new ballgame. We had a new plan this year... instead of assembling across the street at the Publix and having to somehow get 20 cars to cross the street all together... one of the members observed there was a church about a mile south on the show side of the road. It was a great idea... though in the dark with only a single white lite sign marking the church, a few of us were on the binders to see it and make the entry (thanks Lloyd for taking your life in your hands with that little red flashlight waiving at us).
Oddly this year, right at 7am as we approached the show...there was no mass of humanity and metal lined up to get in, not even police out on the road. It seemed something had gone horribly wrong? but, at 6 on the way to our rendezvous I saw cars over at the Publix, so I'm only partially nuts. We were able to easily all come in together. Our speculation is that quietly they dropped the strict 7am open time (due to prior year's mass congestion out on the SR13) and just let folks come in probably around 6:30 as they came by as evidenced by how many cars were already in there when we pulled in. We were able to get our favorite spot along the side all together again as most folks want to be right in front of the stage and DJ (we like the shade and trees a bit more, and there is still 1 speaker aiming in our direction).
So, to the show. We may need to rename the club to "Dixie Firebird Club... that has a few token GTOs". The GTO crew better start doing some recruiting. Most of us parked together as evidenced by the photos. We also have some members with buddies with non-Pontiacs so they parked scattered throughout the rest of the show. A car we had never seen before was there, a 1969 TransAm ( when acquired had no drive train so don't yell about not restoring it to original when you see it) that is basically a ProMod or ProTour car, with 428 cubic inches of LS engine and customization that makes you simply go "WOW". They took 2nd place in Best of Show awards.
This show really takes care of its attendees with a t-shirt, door prizes, free lunch and all the water you can drink. Their awards are astounding with many many cash awards, and this year, we did incredibly well for a change. To avoid uncle sam descending on them, we'll just use first names... Gary and Larry (who had left so no door prize for you) to Sean and Ron... and the biggy went to Mike M. (did I miss anyone?). New member Deb Willis made it in her recently completed 68 deep blue firebird convertible. I make special mention of this, and probably not a surprise, as we're heavily slanted towards a bunch of guy grease monkeys, so having a lady member is refreshing. (that makes a whopping 2 now... lol).
Keep monitoring our website and facebook for the next events. Remember, classic restorations are cool...but you still need to "drive em like you stole em".
May 2018 - Club Picnic at Musil's Ranch Click HERE to see pictures.
Yes, yes, if you have horses it can be categorized as a Ranch. Well, this year mother nature finally caught up with us, though she wasn't entirely successful at messing up the event. We had a pretty good little blast of the wet stuff, but it cleared out before dark and the movie started. Not some big screen inside mind you, but 12 feet of good ole fashion Drive-In movie screen with stereo sound under the stars.
We started with a bunch of that car talk stuff...why this won't work, why that needs replaced, I think I'll buy a... which led into dinner. This year a combination of Italian and since it was 5/5, some Cinco de Mayo featured items. It goes without saying we ate too much, again, and again.
And, it was also Kentucky Derby day, so we gathered to watch and scream at our chosen horses (note, 99% of us only understand horses under hoods...this running around in the mud isn't quite in our knowledge universe). Once again, yours truly picked a horse with good odds, only to be 2nd from the back at the 1st turn...though making a respectable come back to 5th by the end.. no joy here.
A good sized group of 15 cars and over 30 folks...and some new friends. Note the Chevy with ....um...a lot of ...um... "dealer installed options", especially the blower sticking out of the hood.
Thanks again to Andy, Diane and the family for laying out a great event and putting up with us.
July 28 - Pontiacs at the Main Street/Springfield Cruise
Well, the weather finally broke. I mean there have been more events of all kinds washed out for the last two months than I can remember. While there was weather nearby, it held off and a small but enthusiastic group was able to make it the KFC in Springfield for the 4th Saturday cruise.
We had a special visit by the Night Rider in the form of a custom 85 Firebird, take a look. Also, new member Jeff in his just received 67 dark blue Firebird made it. (He's come over to the side of the Force after having a Ford Falcon for years).
Click HERE to see pictures.
Saturday August 25, 2018.
Hey, hey, we braved it 2 months in a row...and yeap, the rains we have been having almost daily for 3 months held off. This was proven out when Andy and Lloyd called from the "far" south (St. Augustine and St Johns) and kept saying it was pouring there...and we were sitting at KFC in the sun...and we kept saying "c'mon up". They finally succumbed to our pressure and made the trek.
Another small crew but always good to catch up on what's been going on.
Click HERE to see pictures
Dixie Chapter – Progressive Dinner….with cars
Long, long ago, in a galaxy far far away… wait, that’s a different story.
The Dixie Chapter tried and failed once prior, but under the guise of never giving up (or, being too slow on the uptake to realize the size of the undertaking), in October we forged ahead with plans for a progressive dinner…with cars.
Lots of folks have done progressive dinners, 3 houses; a leisurely stroll, one for appetizers, a second for the main course, and the third for desserts. However the logistics of getting 20+ cars in, parked, and then out of a venue is a bit more…interesting? Ever heard the term “herding cats”. Not that my dear compadres are a tad hard to organize but…um… well… yes they are (bless their hearts). When they call me the taskmaster, I’m sure their inflection is a kind one (sarcasm).
We started at a regular 3rd Saturday cruise venue, the PDQ just up the road. A great meeting place. It sort of became a meet and greet for those that haven’t seen each other in a while. With all the planning done, we thought it would be a walk in the park, alas, we had a complexity built into the plan; we wanted to build the schedule around that the trip to the last house occurred starting at 6:30pm, so as to take advantage of the gorgeous sunset going down over the St John’s river to our west as we traveled south along it, a spectacular view to cruise with. The time table had to work backwards from here.
The victims, er, volunteer hosts each had a great setup. Again, walk off how much space 20+ cars need to park at your house, but somehow we actually fit nicely into all the venues. Just as much fun was that caravans this long really stop traffic and onlookers. All the participants had specific instructions to tailgate each other or the videos would look pretty lame with cars 30 yards separating them. Burnouts were optional for the videos but I’m mum as to any names.
The first stop at the Willis’ was a front yard event with a great assortment of appetizers. With that many big umbrellas and tables, I’m wondering how many neighbors are still looking for theirs.
Next on to Lloyds with his detached garage that also holds a family heirloom, an unrestored 24 Model-T runabout that he still drives (did folks actually survive those things?). Plus, the man cave in the garage has a sofa, table and chairs, Fridge, A/C…and a bathroom. Some great heavier food including Charol’s “ugly dip” (her words) that was incredible.
Finally, on to Andy’s “ranch” for dessert. (if you have two horses, you qualify as a ranch). And for the icing on the cake (and there was a lot of pie and cake), our last stop at Andy’s included a 12 foot screen with the cars circling it in the back yard…. You might recall something called a “Drive-In movie”? We’d previously done American Graffiti, Smokey and the Bandit, and Cannonball Run, so we opted for something one-off – Young Frankenstein. As a plus, we overfilled a Toys-for-Tots gift box to help out some needy kids.
All reports indicate a big time was had by all, I highly recommend you doing one of these…so who’s volunteering to be the taskmaster…er…lead?
Dixie Chapter annual meeting
As usual, January brings a new year and with it our annual meeting to handle the "formal" stuff (yuck)... you know, recap the prior year, elect new officers. But our favorite part is eating way way too much via the potluck we do, and then there is seeing folks you haven't spoken with in months due to the holidays.
For this year's venue we headed south to Lloyd and Sharol Hoffman's house. As you can see by the pictures, it was a large crowd, and folks took turns riding in Lloyd's amazing 1924 Runabout and its huge, powerful, amazing, earthshaking... 25hp engine. Okay, maybe I over-hyped it just a tad. The kids thought it was both odd and wonderful.
2018 was a good year, with cruises and events. Probably topping the events as we had never attempted one before was the Progressive Dinner...with Cars. The low spot was we weren't able to attain a location for our annual show that met the required criteria: 1) has natural people traffic 2) in a time slot we could support and 3) that we could afford. Guess the bright side is we'll have a bit more in the bank when we do our 2019 show.
So, lots of new ideas are being kicked around for 2019, many being flavors of similar things we've done before. One on the books we haven't done in a long time, make a trip to Gainesville Raceway for some good 'ole burning rubber on the 1/8 or 1/4 mile. Also, we've created a ground swell for the POCI National Convention in Gettysburg PA, with 6-8 members already signed up.
Your officers for 2019 are
President - Gary Harrison
Vice-President - Andy Musil
Secretary - Lloyd Hoffman
Treasurer - Eric Decker
Webmaster/Marketing design - Rick Bohler
Click HERE to see pictures