I've elected to start a new thread as I wanted to avoid hijacking the 2012 POCI Nat's thread with this discussion. I felt posts like these necessitated a reply to help assuage any confusion and rumor about next year's events in Dayton. Due to the fact that these events are a year off and there is sure to be discussion, I ask Mods to consider making this a sticky thread. Thanks!
Doing the Co_Vention thing again. It would be great if they included the TA nat's as part of that show.
Doubt you'd get the co-vention and TA Nats. on the same weekend. The Nats. folks wouldn't move it from their traditional weakend, I'd guess.
The T/A Nat's committee was approached regarding both conventions and declined to participate for a number of reasons. Here they are in no particular order:
- T/A Nat's has consistently attracted over 400 cars every year. Last year, 60 participants were first-timers - an important factor since Firebird has been out of production for ten years and Pontiac for three. Believe me, we were expecting participation to dwindle when Firebird went away, but the opposite has happened. The absence of new cars has galvanized enthusiasts' resolve to preserve and celebrate all Firebirds. It doesn't hurt that the companies doing Camaro conversions use the T/A Nat's to unveil their designs, either - that has been mutually beneficial for both. Registration is running about even with last year, so barring a monsoon, $6.00 gas, nuclear attack or Armageddon, we should have another 400+ cars this year. When you consider that GTOAA averages about 350 cars (notable exceptions being Indy Motor Speedway, '93, Detroit, '04 and Dayton, '09), we are holding our own as a single make, single model car show.
* Participant interest
- I just attended POCI and had a great time, but with 800+ cars, there was no time to see them all and chat with owners (which is the part of any car show I enjoy the most because I LEARN stuff!
), so I think the only benefit to hosting a 1,200 car meet is to say you attracted 1,200 cars. Are people really going to spend $110/night times five nights to stay Tuesday-Saturday to see & do it all? I can't afford that - even with hotel points. Even for those who stay the whole time, are you going to walk up & down every row in 90+ heat for five days? Probably not. I think people will stay pretty close to thier area of interest - not that folks don't mull around the lot, but depending on their level of interest, weather and other activities, I see more - "Oh, that's nice" and move on than anything. I think once a show gets that big, the size becomes a disadvantage for anything other than advertising purposes.
. We are fortunate that there are more Pontiac events than ever through each show season. Since Pontiac has been cut, several events have been changed to welcome all Pontiac models, which is just fine for those events. Off the top of my head, I can come up with six national Pontiac events held each year: Pontiac Heaven, Pigeon Forge, GTOAA Nat's, POCI, Norwalk & T/A Nat's. Then add the regional events: F-Body in Atlanta, Englishtown, Saratoga, POCI-GP Fall Pontiac show, etc. Now sprinkle in your local cruises, shows & events. You could conceivably do a car show every weekend from April through November, 2/3 of them being dedicated to Pontiacs. With two major national events happening in our backyard in '13 (Co-Vention in mid-July and Norwalk two weeks later), keeping our mission as the pre-eminent Firebird gathering only makes sense for enthusiasts of that model. I've heard some critical comments about T/A Nat's along the lines of - "Why do you only want Firebirds? They all look the same." This is the kind of thing that is said by someone who doesn't know or appreciate Firebirds and the reason our event is stronger on its own. For those of us that appreciate Firebirds, we enjoy sharing stories, experiences & advice on these cars and it's nice for those who are new to the Firebird hobby to have a single
place to gather parts, information and meet like-minded Firebird enthusiasts. We would also not be able to do Tipp City - can you imagine if 600 cars showed up? I believe T/A Nat's would be at best - dilluted - among 1,100 other Pontiacs at the Nutter Center.
- Trans Am Nationals is firmly established at the end of August in Dayton, OH, making planning very simple for participants. Everybody knows where and when it will be held. Dayton, OH is within 12 hours' driving distance of something like 82% of the U.S. population. Would the Marriott welcome us back if we skipped a year? Sure they would. But having a big empty hole on the calendar in late August would suck for a lot of us.
- I own five Pontiacs: 2 'Birds, a Grand Safari wagon, Grand Prix GTP & a Solstice. I take a 'Bird to the T/A Nat's, and like to mix it up with other all-Pontiac shows. My goal is to take each car to a different event. I don't take the T/A to POCI because I have three other Pontiacs. When I have, it's gotten little attention. When I've taken the wagon or my GP, those cars got a lot of attention. I'm not talking about awards here - the T/A trophied in Bowling Green. Like I said, I attend shows to enjoy and learn about the cars. Notice that I was able to include a caption for every photo I posted earlier in this thread - it's because the car intrigued me and I sought out it's owner for information.
I think the best approach is for those who wish to see more Firebirds at the '13 Co-Vention is to show
their Firebirds at the '13 Co-Vention. I am also strongly suggesting that TACA Dayton members support the event by registering their cars and volunteering to work the event (as many POCI & OVGTOA members do for T/A Nat's). We all need to support the hobby, but I think it's also important for us as Pontiac hobbyists to appreciate the things that make each event unique. Norwalk is an unparalelled event for drag-racing & swap meet, POCI attracts Pontiacs you will see nowhere else ('75 Astre wagon - had gawkers around it all weekend), and GTOAA and T/A Nat's are celebrations of two of Pontiac's most successful models. Maybe it's beneficial for GTOAA to combine efforts with POCI since they, too move around. As long as T/A Nat's maintains solid participation in Dayton in late August, we intend to stay the course and not "fix" what ain't "broke".
I do not want this post to be misunderstood as a rant against the Co-Vention or as me being a stuck-up T/A Nat's guy. Anyone who reads that into this is perceiving my position incorrectly. I've been a POCI member longer than I've been a T/A Nat's committee member and I actively participate in events held by both clubs. I appreciate the policies and approach of each to the Pontiac hobby and volunteer my time and money to support the events hosted by both. As the unofficial T/A Nat's PR guy, my purpose in posting this is to snuff out rumor & speculation about why TACA Dayton is not combining T/A Nat's with the '13 Co-Vention. I have taken no offense to any of the comments posted here and do not mean any with my comments. If anyone wishes to pm me with any further questions, please feel free to do so.