Club member, Ron Vaseleski displayed his 1968 Agena Blue Firebird coupe at the 32nd Annual Trans Am Nationals; near Dayton Ohio, and gave us his perspective of the show.
“Last year they had 367 registered cars and it looked like about the same number for this year. All generations are represented and this year there were about 25 first generation Firebirds in all show classes.
Show classes are : Stock, Modified (1-5 changes), Heavy Modified (6-10 changes), Custom (11-15 changes), Heavy Custom ( 16 or more changes), Super Street, Firehawk/Comp TA, Special Edition, Work in Progress/Driver, and Concours ( 67-74 stock or modified). All cars go through the Tech Line to get their classes assigned. Cars must be on the show field on Saturday and Sunday to compete for awards. Last year’s first place winners that come to the show do not compete but are placed on Winner Row and receive a plaque for returning to the show. This was the first year for Concours judging and 9 cars were entered. Concours judging was completed by 8 Concours judges using a 500 point system. Judging for all other classes was completed by professional hired judges who had experience with show cars in events such as World of Wheels. Score sheets for all classes were available at the end of the show.
Last year I received a first place award in the 67-69 modified class (1-5 changes). If you receive a first place award and come to the show the next year you are placed in Winners Row. Winners Row does not compete in their class but receives a plaque for bringing your car back to the show. This year was the first year the TA Nationals had concours judging. The club has worked on this for about 10 years and was ready to start this year. They had 8 judges with lots of show and restoration experience. The 8 judges looked over each car for about 45 minutes using a 500-point system and 5 pages of items to inspect.
The club had concours open for cars in the 67-74 stock or modified classes. They sent me a note that I could enter concours judging as part of the Winner Row recognition. I thought I was driving 400 miles for the show so I should experience all that I could. A total of 9 cars were entered, 4 received silver and 5 gold. I was fortunate enough to win a gold in modified.
The weather was hot and sticky for the weekend but that did not affect the event. There are lots of Firebird fans of all ages and everyone had a great time. The main show field is around the Holiday Inn but there are 3 other hotels and various restaurants within walking distance. Trailer and show field parking has overnight private security. Friday night had a cruise to Miamisburg, Ohio to a Smokey and the Bandit screening. Saturday night had a cruise to Tipp City which is a small downtown car show with great places to eat. VIP seminars were held by Don Keefe, Tim Dye and John Middlebrook a retired Pontiac VP. The event raised $7,300 for the charity A Special Wish Foundation. This is a great Firebird event held each year on the last weekend of August.”
-Ron Vaseleski – Hendersonville, North Carolina
I also asked Tim Dye for a few insights from the show and he said: “The Trans Am National convention was a very good event for Penny and myself, I was invited to speak. One of the highlights for me was getting to spend some time with former Pontiac General Manager John Middlebrook (photo above of us together) who was also a guest speaker.”
“There was a lot of rain over the course of the weekend but it always cleared for the major events like the cruise to Tipp City and the actual show. New this year on Friday night was a showing of Smokey and the Bandit at a restored vintage movie theater in Miamisburg. It was a lot of fun watching the movie in a setting like that with a lot of fellow Pontiac fans. Saturday was the day for seminars and a visit to the swap meet. Saturday night is Firebird & Trans Am cruise night in Tipp City. This is always a great event as the streets are lined with only Firebirds and Trans Ams. The streets are full of spectators and the restaurants, antique stores and quaint shops are buzzing with activity. Sunday is show day in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn, the host hotel. There are of course hundreds of beautiful birds of every generation and configuration.”
Tim finished by saying, “If you are a Firebird fan this is an event you must put on your list to attend.”
(Story by Ron Vaseleski and Tim Dye. Pictures by Scott Schwartz, Ron Vaseleski, Tim Dye, Dan Abrams and Dave & Denise Armstrong.)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Midwest Firebirds, 2016 ©