Jim Wangers, the “Godfather of the GTO” turned 85 years young on June 26, 2011!
A very special Pontiac Concours event was held at Jim Wangers' home in Fallbrook, CA. The beautiful property with its "grand lawn" was turned into a show field where—you guessed it—85 of the region's most outstanding Pontiacs were on display. Guests enjoyed a catered barbeque and were entertained with period surf tunes performed by The Surf City All-Stars.
WOW, what a wonderful celebration we had for Jim Wangers on his 85th Birthday! We set out to honor a great man who has dedicated himself to the promotion of all things Pontiac and with more than 400 people on the grounds, Jim Wangers couldn't have had a better day of celebration. All of the folks who attended made the event a spectacular celebration. The atmosphere of celebration permeated all that attended.
The line of enthusiasts offering Jim personal best wishes seemed endless. With many still waiting in line it was finally time to break away so that all could sing Happy Birthday! Jim was glowing with appreciation.
Nearly overwhelmed, Jim would next present the three special awards of the show. The field was filled with a so many wonderful cars it was quite a challenge for Jim to make his picks. Jim has certainly seen thousands and thousands of cars, but he never tires of the sight of a beautiful Pontiac! Larry & Marsha Allen brought their beautiful '58 Parisiene Convertible all the way from Missouri and they were rewarded with their car being selected as "Best Pontiac" of the show. Then the "Godfather" named Heinrich Gerhardt's '66 GTO as the "Best GTO". This former Car Craft cover cars that was nearly destroyed in an accident a number of years back and this was its first showing since being reconstructed. After a short drum roll it was time for Jim Wangers "Best of Show" pick. The "Best of Show" award went to a spectacular 1961 Tri-Power, 4-speed Ventura owned by Kevin DeWitte; a spectacular example of Pontiac's glory days!
The Surf City All-Stars then launched into "GTO" as Jim Wangers himself lead all in the singing of the Pontiac "national anthem". The hills of Fallbrook were alive with the sound of music and the day could not have ended on a higher note! With little doubt, this was the highlight of the day. The cameras were busy and many got Jim's singing on video. This is certain to be a YouTube classic!
A tremendous amount of memories were created on this GR-RRReat day of celebration—not only for Jim but for all of us! Here are a few of the photos from the show.
Here is our first photo submittal from long-time friend and nationally know auto journalist C.Van Tune.
We want to thank Thom Trafford for being our event photographer. Unless noted, these photos are the handiwork of Thom.