2008 All Firebird Lawn Show

Story bv Keith Fuerst
Photos by Keith Fuerst and Tom Smith

We were concerned about the effect of $4 a gallon gas and a monsoon like weather pattern on attendance of the 6th Annual All Firebird Lawn Show at the Saratoga Auto Museum, but prayers for good weather were answered in Saratoga Springs. Unfortunately the weather in southern New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania prevented some Firebird enthusiasts in those states from attending the festivities.

On Friday night, early Birds gathered for a show “appetizer” at the Saratoga Auto Museum. Firebird enthusiasts mingled in front of the museum, cameras in hand, introducing themselves, and of course the subject of conversation was…Firebirds!! The Saratoga Springs PD provided an escort for 37 Firebirds on a cruise past Saratoga Lake, Saratoga Thoroughbred horse track, and Saratoga Racing and Gaming Racino, to Mr. Ed’s Ice Cream and Pizza Station. It’s very nice to see people’s reaction when such a long line of Firebirds go cruising by! Ironically, the number of cars in the cruise this year is the same as the total number of Firebirds at the 1st All Firebird Lawn Show. It’s amazing just how much this show has grown.

On Saturday, much to the delight of the host club, Firebird Nation of North America, a show record of 139 Firebird owners did not let the price of fuel keep them from enjoying a day of fun in the sun and showing off their Pontiac F-bodies. A bigger surprise was that the participants opened their wallets and helped to raise almost $6,000 to benefit Special Olympics Saratoga. Combined with donations from show sponsors, this year’s total was another show record.

Once again the Firebirds on the large rectangular show field were truly amazing. However you like your Firebird, from stock to wild custom, from flames to Pro Street, it was there. As usual, judging these fine examples of Pontiac muscle was extremely tough. Judges Joe Carey, Ray DeCrescenzo, Eddie Barra, Keith Fuerst and Dean Meneilley rolled up their sleeves and got the job done.

There are many people to credit for the success of this show. The “Head Cheese” Tom Smith and his wife Sandy who work year round to organize this event. FNONA members Keith Fuerst, Joe Carey, Keith Tanney, Dave, Lisa, and Trish Lord, Eddie Barra, Ron Pratt, Joel Auger, John Green, and Dean Meneilley. We also thank our Special Olympics athlete representatives Brian Smith, Anthony Larmon, Daniel Larmon, Ernie Dillon, Todd Byron, DJ Nolan, and Jennifer Delaney. We also thank Special Olympics Saratoga County coaches and volunteers Mike and Margo Bagneschi, Ron and Arlene Delaney, Sandy Byron, Chris Radz, and Don Nolan. Volunteer friends included Barb and Henry Gepfert, and Ray DeCrescenzo

Special thanks go out to Alan Edstrom of the Saratoga Auto Museum and Show sponsor Ralph Mangino Jr. of Mangino Pontiac, and NFTAC for generously donating raffle items and Eagle Magazines.

The date for next year’s show is July 11, 2009. Rain date is July 12, 2009. Following is the 2008 All Firebird Lawn Show Winners List:

Name            Home town      Class            Year / Model

Tony Tirone         Poughkeepsie, NY   Best of Show         1977 SE Black T/A
Bill Thompson      Acra, NY      Athletes’ Choice      1984 Knight Rider replica
Phil & Julie Dickler      Valley Stream, NY   Coach’s Choice      1996 Winston Cup Pace Car
Adam Hoffman      Schenectady, NY   Museum Choice      1967 Sprint
Donald Allen         Savannah, NY      Dealer’s Choice      1986 T/A
Ryan & Grace Corcoran   Milford, PA      Joe Nolan Award      1995 Firehawk

Beth Ann Agostini      Athens, VT      1967-1969      1st   1968 Convertible
Tom Martens         West Nyack, NY   1967-1969      2nd   1969
Bill & Connie Gebo      Lake Luzerne, NY   1967-1969      3rd   1969
John Murphy         Buskirk, NY      1967-1969      4th   1969
Douglas Bussing      Stillwater, NY      1967-1969      5th   1969
Sam Wahnon         Saratoga Springs NY   1967-1969      6th   1967 Convertible

Greg & Denise Bleamer   Palmerton, PA      1970-1976      1st   1971 T/A
Chuck & Ann Marie Gifford   Roaring Brook, PA   1970-1976      2nd   1976 50th Anniversary
George Berg         White Plain, MD   1970-1976      3rd   1973 R/A III Formula
Rob Ryan         Liverpool, NY      1970-1976      4th   1973 Firebird
Chris Lepri         Naugatuck, CT   1970-1976      5th   1972 T/A
George Berg         White Plain, MD   1970-1976      6th   1970 T/A

Nick Rossi         South Salem, NY   1977-1981      1st   1979 Esprit Redbird
John Kunasek         Feeding Hills, MA   1977-1981      2nd   1978 T/A
Steve Mastrianni      Schenectady, NY   1977-1981      3rd   1979 T/A
Harry DeBernardo      Branford, CT      1977-1981      4th   1979 T/A
Angelo Psaras         Hopewell Jcn, NY   1977-1981      5th   1977 T/A
Louie Hershberg      Burlington, VT   1977-1981      6th   1978 T/A
Ray Adamski         Nazareth, PA      1977-1981      7th   1977 T/A
David Newcomb      Schenectady, NY   1977-1981      8th   1978 Formula

Donald Ogilvie      Fitchburg, MA   1982-1992      1st   15th Anniversary T/A
Holly Rushlow      Richford, VT      1982-1992      2nd   1989 GTA
Mark & Janie Goldman   Endicott, NY      1982-1992      3rd   1986 T/A
Rit & Cindy Sindoni      Schenectady, NY   1982-1992      4th   1991 Formula
Adam Sweeney      Burlington, VT   1982-1992      5th   1988 Firebird
Mary Lou Palmer      Brant Lake, NY   1982-1992      6th   1986 T/A

Jeff Clune         Sparrow Bush, NY   1993-2002      1st   1999
30th Ann. Convertible
Gary Blond         Clifton Park, NY   1993-2002      2nd   2001 T/A
Stephen Dike      Milton, VT      1993-2002      3rd   2002 Firehawk
Louie Delmonico      East Greenbush, NY   1993-2002      4th   1999 T/A Convertible
Kim & Holly Rushlow   Richford, VT      1993-2002      5th   2002 T/A CE
A.J. Viruet         Edison, NJ      1993-2002      6th   2001 Formula
Pierre Trudel      Daveluyville, QC   1993-2002      7th   2002 T/A CE

Dennis Tice         Delanson, NY      Super Street      1st   1967
Sue & Pete Holland   Easton, PA      Super Street      2nd   1979 T/A
William Meyer      Schenectady, NY   Super Street      3rd   1985

The End of Pontiac?

Ah, another week, another Congressional hearing.  It almost feels like pledge week back in college. Candlelight, dark robes, the glisten of fresh paint on those long, wooden paddles.  “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”

But, the one thing that makes all of this mess worth it is finding out just how many friends we have.  In addition to the comments posted here, we’ve also been getting e-mails and phone calls expressing support for Pontiac and making suggestions for our future.

So, we just wanted to take a couple of minutes and address some of your comments and suggestions, some very general and some very specific…

G6_cluster So, is Pontiac going away?
Nope.  As we said last week, we’re still a very active part of GM’s future, especially within the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel.

So, what’s all of this “core brand” verses “niche brand” stuff?
We call it a poor choice of words.  From our perspective “niche” means more focused, which means Pontiac does what we do best: sporty, fun-to-drive cars.  And, that’s perfectly cool with us.  We don’t need to be everything to everybody.  When you add Pontiac to Buick and GMC, you’ve got a single, “full line” dealer showroom.

What does this mean for your current cars?
In the short term, nothing.  We’ll keep selling the G5, G6, G8, Solstice and Vibe while we sort out what vehicles are best for Pontiac and the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel in the future.

What about the new cars you’ve already announced, like G8 GXP, Solstice Coupe, G3 and G8 ST?
We’re happy to say that the G8 GXP, Solstice Coupe and G3 are all being launched in early 2009.  The G8 ST is still on schedule for a late 2009 launch, and it will be part of the total portfolio review for Pontiac, as will all of our other vehicles.

Bring back the Firebird!  –  Jkujo, Pontiacspeed, and numerous others
We’ve got to be honest and say there are no current plans to bring back the Firebird.  But, we can promise you that your comments will be sent directly to the team reviewing our future product portfolio, so the voice of Firebird fans WILL be heard.