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By Jim McGowan
     The southern California Gathering of Goats produced their 20th edition of the largest GTO show on the west coast over Labor Day weekend '05. Cars came from all over the western states and it was heaven for lovers of the breed. The gathering was held in the San Pedro marina area of LA, so the scenery and weather was perfect.

     As usual there were stock and modified classes for '64-'74 GTOs, and there was an under construction class and a FOR SALE area as well. One special attraction was the legendary original Red '64 Tri-Power, four-gear GTO that was featured in a 1964 issue of Car & Driver, competing against the Ferrari GTO. Jim Wangers, who is usually the banquet guest speaker, arranged this vehicle and brought a few from his own stable, including a pristine '69 Trans Am.

     Art Fitzpatrick, who along with the late Art Kaufman, was responsible for all those beautiful early Pontiac advertising illustrations signed AF VK, was there. Art, or Fitz as he's called, is marketing his illustrations and had a portfolio of cars to choose from.

     The swap meet area was smaller than usual with Kelly Klein vending his GTO and Trans Am parts and Legendary Supercars on hand with a ton of new repro parts for most A-bodies.

     The folks from Just Dashes cruised the show, took home some parts and generally enjoyed the festivities. That evening, the banquet gala with trophy presentation took place, making a lot of GTO owners happy they sent some time cleaning their classic rides. As usual, the Smile-O-Meter was pegged, as show contestants coveted their trophies and started looking forward to next year.


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As each entrant arrived, the vehicle was checked in, photographed and given a goodie bag. This rare '70 Judge was a real show stopper. This show is always a great family event. There was a nice sampling of '69 thru '72 machines on display and the early comers got to examine and photograph the cars before the crowd thickened.

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You can always tell the habitual show car entrant. The large sign standing next to the car is usually the give-a-way. The '64-'65 modified class was understandably small as these cars are usually restored. This "Mean Indian" '66 LeMans coupe was a hit with the drag racer crowd. It sounded a mean as it looks and drew a crowd all day.

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The venue was perfect for a car show, with California palms and GTO's dominating the landscape. Here are a few '68 to '72 hardtops hunting for trophies. Here's a sight to warm the heart of any '64-'66 Goat owner. Kelly Klein had his wares lined up according to year, which makes finding stuff and giving him money really easy.

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Irwin Tessler (foreground) of Just Dashes offered Klein $10.00 for the whole line of parts, but it was a no sale as Kelly wanted $15.00. This beautifully restored and festooned with options '69 Judge came all the way from Reno, Nevada. It's been a father and son project for years, and the attention to detail was amazing.

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Legendary Supercars had a large display of GTO repro parts on hand. They primarily market on the Internet and are an up and coming west coast supplier. That is definitely an original ground strap for a 1971 Judge convertible, and I know they only made 17, and only 3 were that color. It's got to be worth at least two grand!

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This is the original '64 GTO that was used in the 1964 competition road test in Car & Driver magazine against the Ferrari GTO. It's in pristine original condition and might have been the most photographed car at the show. A full-on blown GTO racecar showed up and made a couple of circuits of the show field before parking for the crowds inspection. Lots of rumpety-rump here!

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Jim Wangers brought his pristine Ram Air III '69 Trans Am for display. There were several non-GTO Pontiacs in the show that provided a diversion from all the goats. Here an example of the legendary Ram Air V engine. Being skeptics we checked the block casting code and it was a real RA V block. Very rare indeed!

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A new GTO show car, along with several other contemporary GTO stockers joined the old school gang.


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