Pontiac collectors gather for national convention

July 18, 2012 3:38:06 PM PDT
Do you remember the names Star Chief, Tempest and Bonneville? If you do, you are probably a Pontiac fan. This weekend, collectors from across the country are gathering in suburban St. Charles for their national convention.

The conventions runs through Saturday. Hundreds of Pontiac collectors have set their GPS's for Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

"About 800 cars from about the early twenties and all the way to new GTOs in 2006," said convention coordinator Art Barrett. "All Pontiacs...Because we love Pontiacs."

Joe Bortz claims that even the air in the tires of his 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special is from 1954. Now that's original.

But not all the cars are that original. Many of them have been rescued from the junkyard and restored. The owners have spent fortunes rebuilding and reliving the past.

"Because my mom had them and I just kind of grew up with them. As far as I can remember back from '53 on up we had a new one every two years," said Pontiac collector Steve Brody.

The name Pontiac is nothing new. It goes back to the late 1800's and a company called Pontiac Spring and Wagon Works near Detroit. By the twenties they were making Pontiac, and apparently once a Pontiac lover, always a Pontiac lover.

The collecting and restoring of Pontiacs is on the rise. One simple reason is they've been out of production since 2010.

"Now we have a car that is no longer available at any dealership, so we're trying to keep the Pontiac name alive," said convention coordinator Mike Brandt.

No, you're not travelling back to the future. It's back to the back.


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