1998 marked the return of the Show Me Regional to St. Louis, Missouri.|
The Arch Chapter of the P.O.C.I. started the show to give those Pontiac enthusiasts in the Midwest an event to attend since the Nationals tend to be located on the coasts. After hosting it for two years the show travelled to Kansas City and then to Springfield before returning home.
For me the pressure was on because I wanted to have The Judge freshened up for the first local All-Pontiac event since I started Classical Pontiac. I had planned on redoing the Rally II wheels and the engine compartment since they were showing their age. As the season progressed I discovered that I simply was not going to have the time to do both, and settled on the engine as it had deteriorated the most since being detailed several years ago.
I managed to get the engine done despite several obstacles, many of which I created. The 5th arrived with a blaze of sun, and after finishing with the reassembly and test drive I headed to the host hotel. Did I say a blaze of sun? Labor Day weekend turned out to be a scorcher. Temperatures quickly climbed to the upper 90s and tested our Pontiac devotion and radiators.
The show was held at the Holiday Inn in South County. The cars were arranged on the back lot that curves around the hotel making for an interesting display which was a nice departure from the large square parking lots in which these events are normally held. The penalty was less space between some of the cars, and the area was hidden from the road. There was a nice shaded lawn leading up to a patio, used by the DJ and food vendor, and a glass enclosed pool. The registration table and chapter teepee (!) were arranged on the balcony overlooking those fortunate enough to be taking a swim.
Although the turnout was good (about 90 quality cars) attendance was down from previous years. Perhaps the combination of the heat, several other car shows in the area, an air show that included the Blue Angels, and Mark McGwire's race for 62 contributed to it. Regardless, the show was a success with something for everyone from Mark's '86 2+2 to Tony's '70 Trans Am to the Fiero that managed to find space for a Northstar V8 in its engine compartment.
Throughout the two-day event cars were teched and graded as they arrived, although owners could detail them before submitting to the scrutiny of the inspectors. This made for a relaxed atmosphere as you could park where you liked and there was no flurry of activity at the last moment on Sunday to get the cars judged.
Sunday evening a banquet was held with good food and door prizes. The latter included a signed copy of Jim Wangers' new book, a signed photograph of Arnie Beswick in action, a Kyle Petty Hot Wheels racing blanket, Pontiac hats, and other goodies. Following the banquet the awards were given out which were tasteful placques for runners up and indian head trohies for those who garnered first place in class.
Although firm plans have not been made, chances are that the Show Me Regional will be held in St. Louis again Labor Day of 1999. Perhaps you'll be there to check and see if I get those wheels done!