Official Transporter of MCACN
Sneak Peek 2014 MCACN*
1964 Royal Bobcat GTO
MCACN 50th Anniversary GTO Invitational Display Sponsored by Ride On Appraisals
THE ORIGINAL CAR AND DRIVER ROYAL BOBCAT 1964 GTO JOINING US FROM CALIFORNIA!
This year we have a number of notable anniversaries in the Muscle Car world. Of course, the Ford Mustang is one that nobody will forget, introducing the Pony Car genre to us. Then we have the Chrysler 426 Hemi, introduced as one of the wildest factory options ever offered to anyone who knew how to check the right boxes. Chevrolet introduced the Chevelle, while Plymouth brought us their Barracuda. Over in the Oldsmobile camp, the 442 would bring on yet another highly recognized and respected Muscle Machine. The list goes on, but suffice it to say, 1964 was a heck of a year for anyone who craves high horsepower!
G T O
Among the many offerings out of Detroit, there is one that truly set the stage for the Muscle Car movement. With some incredibly creative marketing, Pontiac introduced us to something that would truly change the automobile world. To quote wikipedia; "The GTO was basically a violation of GM policy limiting the A-body intermediate line to a maximum engine displacement of 330 cu in (5.4 L). Since the GTO was an option package for the Pontiac Tempest and not standard equipment, it could be considered to fall into a loophole in the policy. Pontiac General Manager Elliot "Pete" Estes approved the new model, although sales manager Frank Bridge, who did not believe it would find a market, insisted on limiting initial production to no more than 5,000 cars. And the rest, as they say, is history!"
Of course, there is a whole lot more to the story, and there are many. One of my favorite stories involved a very special Grenadier Red GTO. Marketing genius Jim Wangers saw an excellent opportunity to draw some attention to this newly created car, and got together with the crew at Ace Wilson’s Royal Pontiac in Royal Oak, Michigan. Known nationwide for their “super tuning” and “Royal Bobcat” performance packages, they knew exactly how to make a GTO run. Mr. Wangers would suggest to Car and Driver magazine a “GTO vs. GTO” comparison between the Pontiac GTO and another well known GTO, and although no actual direct car to car comparison would ever take place, he certainly created the buzz that drew more attention than anyone ever dreamed of. Originally pitched as a spoof, it soon took an interesting twist that would create unforgettable history. Two tri-power 4-speed equipped GTO’s were lined up, one red and the other blue, with the red one getting a little extra attention for the pending acceleration tests. Many years later, Mr. Wangers would reveal that this red car would receive a 421 engine, (cleverly disguised as a 389), with special high compression head gaskets, a recurved distributor, richer carb jetting, manually adjustable progressive carb linkage and adjustable rocker arm lock-nuts. With the blue car sent in advance, the C/D staffers enjoyed driving the 3:55 geared 4-speed. When the 3:90 equipped red car arrived, it “blew them away” and with a handheld stopwatch, they recorded incredible 0-100 mph times of 11.8 seconds and 0-60 mph times of 4.6 seconds, on bias ply Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires! The 11.8 second times would earn Pontiac the cover...
While the Ferrari GTO would never make it for direct comparison, the C/D editors had tested one earlier. The red Pontiac GTO had similar times, (with the hand-held stopwatch) but of course, the Pontiac GTO did not come close to competing in any of the other area’s. And so...the magazine insinuated that this new domestic offering actually was a challenge to Ferrari’s finest, thus creating not only a legend, but a whole new market for the domestic automobile buyer. After the tests, Mr. Wangers would use this exact car as his daily driver, (and occasional other activities; wink-wink) until the 1965 GTO became available. It was then sold for a mere $3,200 to a Royal Oak, Michigan Police Officer who kept the car for more than 20 years. Eventually the car would be sold to Tenney Fairchild in California. Tenney knew all about this car and even remembers first seeing it when he was just four years old. You see, his father happened to work at Pontiac’s ad agency, and he brought him to his office one day. On that visit, young Tenney got a ride he will never forget in this particular red GTO...driven by Jim Wangers! Years later with the GTO in his garage, the decision was made to return this car to its former glory. He sent the car to famed restorer and Pontiac aficionado Scott Tiemann of Supercar Specialties in Portland, Michigan. Scott would restore the car to its exact Car and Driver test configuration, right down to the date coded 421 block and “additions.” To quote Mr. Wangers, “This great Goat is perhaps the best documented and certainly one of the most valuable GTO’s in existence today.” We are truly honored to be able to host this incredible automobile in our “50th Anniversary of the GTO” Invitational display at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals this year. We will also be announcing several very special guests that will be joining us!
Our GTO Invitational display, like all of our special and Invitational displays, is not about quantity, but rarity and quality. With one or two examples of each year from 1964-1974, (and a few very special additions), this is sure to be one of the most popular area’s of our show when we return to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, (greater Chicago), Illinois, November 22-23. Think Ram Air IV, Judge, HO and more, with the best of the best and the rarest of the rare in hardtop, sedan and convertible body styles. If you own a very special GTO and would like to be a part of our show, or this special display, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Special Thanks go out to Tenney Fairchild and Scott Tiemann, along with Jim Wangers and of course, GTO Invitational display sponsor Ride On Appraisals for once again helping us “raise the bar” to create the absolute best possible show for Muscle Car and Corvette enthusiasts! Going to be another incredible show...
Al Rogers Freeze Frame Image LLC
MCACN CAR SHOW GUIDE MAGAZINE; We are well into production of our all new 64 page MCACN Car Show Guide magazine. Filled with features on the cars, the vendors and the sponsors that you will see at our show, you can get yours FREE by signing on to our mailing list here; We have limited ad space available starting at just $100, and this year will be doing a print run of 30,000 issues and will also have the magazine online so you will be able to get 24 hour access. To secure your ad space, please contact Bob asap! email@example.com
UPCOMING SHOWS; No matter where you are, there are plenty of shows to attend, whether you are a participant or a spectator. A couple that we consider “must do” events include next weekends Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, (I’ll be there!) and the weekend after brings us the National Corvette Homecoming in Bowling Green, Kentucky and the big Chicagoland Mopar Connection show and swap in Belvidere, Illinois.
Vicki and I hope you have an excellent holiday and remember to celebrate our independence with family and friends. We would also like to wish belated best wishes to our Canadian friends, and hope you had a great Canada Day!
The Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals was dubbed “The Pebble Beach of Muscle Car Shows” by Muscle Car Review magazine. With 550+ cars and over 200 all automotive vendor spots filled to capacity, we are gearing up for our best show to date. Applications are now being accepted for cars by clicking here and for automotive related vendors by clicking here. Our future continued success depends on YOU helping us spread the word about our show, so please tell a friend or anyone else that may be interested in joining us November 22-23, 2014. Also, please view our facebook page and “like” us, as I do updates nearly every day.
THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!