This years rally had a total of 27 SLP Firebirds on the prowl.
They were represented as follows;
1992 - 01
1993 - 02
1994 - 06
1995 - 12
1996 - 03
1997 - 01
1995 - 01
1997 - 01
A Firehawk clone race car was present. This was my first Firehawk rally and the sight of so many Hawks in one spot was really exciting for a guy from western Canada. I had seen a total of 5 others over the years. The best part of the rally was without doubt meeting other owners and enthusiasts. Many of these folks I have been in Email contact with for up to three years.
The majority of the SLP birds were from the mid-west. Long distance recognition goes to Chuck Strong (94/#307) who came from some place that sounds like 'useless' in Texas. Chuck got into the fun on the drag strip and was rewarded with a slipping clutch for his efforts. I hope they had a prize for clutch work Chuck.
Not having my Firehawk there I got up at the late hour of 8 am, showered, shaved and headed out to help Wayne get setup at the show. To my surprise I walked out the motel door to an virtually empty parking lot! Boy you guys get serious about car shows. Saturday dawned bright and sunny. The Firehawks and Comp T/As were arriving throughout the day. Most of the owners were getting signed up and cleaning up their rides. During the afternoon car show judging took place we had an opportunity to make some passes on the drag strip. The afternoons official activities ended with a diner at the Ames Performance hospitality tent. After diner a few of us stayed at the track to watch the awesome drag racing program. Others took pity on their patient wives and headed out.
The accompanying car show had around 200 Pontiacs of all shapes and sizes. There was also a swap meet and retailers booths. My luggage was jam packed for the return flight with all the literature I picked up. Another benefit of the somewhat remote location was that most of the spectators were car enthusiasts who respected the show cars and kept there paws off of the cars.
Sunday I got up earlier to help get the drag race program set up. Well at 7:30 there were a few cars still there. It was cloudy and cooler that day but the rain held off. A couple new Firehawks showed up to replace others who attended on Saturday only. The rally participants had a chance to vote for their favorite Firehawk/Comp T/A. These award were handed out n the early afternoon. This years winners were as follows:
Favorite 1992 - Dave Gray, Teal #22
Favorite 1993 - Gene Lease, Red #102
Runner-up 1993 - Dan Taraban, Black #006
Favorite 1994 - Don Yeager, Gray-Purple #204
Runner-up 1994 - Walid Machoul, Green #141
Favorite 1995 - Don Crager, Black #409
Runner-up 1995 - Barry Hood, Silver #600
Favorite 1996 - Bob Jackson, Blue #11
Runner-up 1996 - Matt Bracich, Green #37
Favorite 1997 - Ken Collins , Comp T/A #139
Choosing between these cars was very tough. There was a trio of Black 95s that amazed me. The autofocus of my camera had trouble the paint jobs were so deep. All three deserved to win.
The other major event in addition to the show & shine was the Firehawk drag race challenge. A total of 8 rally participants took part. This group included about half rookies and a couple old pros. Round by round results were:
Mark Forrider, email@example.com, (94 - 6 spd) def. Matt Bracich, firstname.lastname@example.org, (96 - 6 spd)
Phil Frantz, 13.85, (95 - Auto) def. Greg Hacker, 14.35, (95 - 6 spd)
JB Mattison ,13.80, (95 Comp - 6 spd) def. Chris (Med Red 95), 13.47,
(95 - Auto)
Walid Machoul, 14.50, (94 - 6 spd) def. Brian France, 14.32, (95 - 6 spd)
Dan Taraban, 14.79 (93 - Auto) def. 97 SLP LT-4
Phil Frantz, 13.87, (95 - Auto) def. Mark Forrider, 13.90, (94 - 6 spd)
Walid Machoul, 14.30, (94 - 6 spd) def. Dan Taraban, 14.79 (93 - Auto)
Walid Machoul, 14.43, (94 - 6 spd) def. Phil Frantz, 13.77, (95 - Auto)
Congratulations to Walid for his win. Phil, last years winner, was looking very strong through the rounds until he cut a 0.499 light in the finals! If you draw Phil at next years rally, you better be sharp. Jim Mattison of SLP handed out awards to Walid and Phil after the races. All competitors were well behaved and put on a solid show which the crowd seemed to appreciate. Following our event was the all Pontiac drag events which were outstanding. Nostalgia racers, mint GTOs, news WS-6 cars, there was a bit of everything and they all seemed fast, even a 97 Grand Prix GTP which laid down a nice 14.73.
That was it for the rally. Lots of hand shaking followed with
promises to join up again in 1998. I know I'll be there. Hope you decide to join us.