December 5, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

FOLKS, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION SO I CAN DISPEL ANOTHER UNTRUTH.  IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DUPLICATE THE 1972 GTO CONVERTIBLE PACE CAR FOR 1973.

APPARENTLY I HAD BEEN OBSERVED IN DEEP THOUGHT REGARDING A NEW 1973 PONTIAC CONVERTIBLE PACE CAR FOR DORIS KING.  WHEN I WAS APPROACHED BY PONTIAC DIVISION JAMES BOSTWICK III, HE SAID, ALEX, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS FOR 1973?  I SAID, I WANT TO GO WITH A METALLIC RED GRANDVILLE BROUGHAM CONVERTIBLE 455, AIR, TURBO HYDROMATIC, RALLY TWO WHEELS AND SUSPENSION WITH THE PARCHMENT 60/40 SEATS.  THAT’S ABOUT AS SEXY AND PERFORMANCE MINDED AS I CAN GET.

JAMES SAID, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE FROM PONTIAC ADVANCED ENGINEERING AN ADVANCED TRI-POWER SYSTEM COMPLETE WITH NEWLY DESIGNED INTAKE MANIFOLD, MECHANICAL THROTTLE LINKAGE, A MODERN DAY VERSION OF OUR HOT ELECTRONIC IGNITION COMPLETE WITH GTO STYLE AIR BREATHERS?  I REPLIED, THAT’S A DREAM COME TRUE.

WE HAVEN’T HAD TRI POWER SINCE 1966.  I THINK CORVETTE WAS THE LAST TRI POWER ON THE 1967 435 HORSE.   JFOR PONTIAC IT WAS 1966 GTO WITH THAT SORRY POWER GLIDE TYPE AUTOMATIC.  AT LEAST THE 421 TRI-POWER ON THE 1966 BIG PONTIACS HAD MECHANICAL LINKAGE WITH TURBO HYDRAMATIC.

JAMES SAID, YOU ARE CORRECT.  I HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME AT PONTIAC ADVANCED ENGINEERING BEFORE ACCEPTING THIS NEW ASSIGNMENT IN THE FIELD.  UNDERSTAND THIS, VERY IMPORTANT, I WILL BRING THE TRI POWER HERE, INSTALL IT ON YOUR CAR AND AFTER ALL PACE CAR OFFICIAL EVENTS ARE CONCLUDED, I MUST RETRIEVE IT AND RETURN IT BACK TO PONTIAC.  IT IS TRUE THAT MANY OF THE INTAKES MIGHT BOLT RIGHT UP FROM 1966 BUT THAT’S WHERE THE SIMILARITIES END.  THIS WILL BE A ONE OF A KIND WITH SOME SPECIAL  HOT IGNITION AND TUNING, HIGH PERFORMANCE VOLUMATRE’S EFFENCIES AND STRAIGHT THROUGH CONSTRUCTION EXHAUSTS.   THERE IS NOT A 1973 THAT CAN TOUCH IT – ACCELERATION OR PERFORMANCE.  THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT THIS SYSTEM THAT IS REMOTELY CLOSE TO THE 1966 TRI POWER. 

IT MAY APPEAR TO BE THE SAME, BUT IT IS NOT.  WITH A SET OF CHROME VALVE COVERS THAT I WILL PROVIDE, WHEN YOU OPEN THE HOOD FOR DISPLAY, IT’S GOT TO GET THE HEART RACING OF EVERY ORIGINAL PONTIAC PURIST AND CAR ENTHUSIASTS OF ALL DESCRIPTIONS.  I TOLD JAMES I WAS ALSO GOING TO HAVE THE BODY SHOP PAINT THE RALLY TWO WHEELS ON MY PACE CAR TO MATCH THE BODY.  HE SAID, THAT IS A GREAT TOUCH THAT WE WOULD LOVE TO DO FROM THE FACTORY BUT WE ARE NOT SET UP FOR IT YET.

I  DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THE 5X7 NOTE IN JAMES’ OWN HANDWRITING LISTING CENTER, FRONT AND REAR CARBURETOR SETTINGS.  NOTE JET SIZE, ACC, PUMP, FLOAT LEVEL, FLOAT DROP, NON BRASS, NEEDLE TYPE VITON TIA, VACUUM BRAKE 160, AUTO CHOKE NOTCH, CHOKE ROD .085, UNLOADER .160, *66 JET SIZES WERE .062”, .068”, .068”.  NEEDED 2 EA 516 X 24 NUTS AND 2 EA 516 X 18 BOLTS (1 3/16TH LONG).

WELL OF COURSE DORIS KING LOVED IT.  I DID INSTALL A CHROMED CASED SUPER TACHOMETER MOUNTED ON THE STEERING COLUMN FOR FASTER SHIFT POINTS REMINISCENT OF THE FIRST TIME I RODE IN DICK HAROLD’S RED AND WHITE 1958 CHIEFTON CONVERTIBLE AFTER HE JUST FINISHED BEATING DAVE IN HIS NEW 1960 CATALINA CONVERTIBLE 4 BBL 389 ON RACE TRACK ROAD IN ROSSFORD OHIO.

THE GREATEST FAN OF THIS CAR WAS A GUY  TOM WOOD WHO I REALLY ADMIRED.  HE OWNED A P-51 MUSTANG FIGHTER PLANE AT WARE COOK AIRFIELD IN INDIANAPOLIS.  HE WAS AN ENVIABLE BIG EXCLUSIVE PONTIAC DEALER IN A VERY LOW RENT NEIGHBORHOOD ON EAST WASHINGTON STREET IN INDIANAPOLIS.  HE AND BILL TIEMAN, MY FORMER SALES MANAGER AT ERIC CHEVROLET KOKOMO WHILE I WAS STILL PART TIME IN THE SERVICE, PUT A LOT OF NEW PONTIACS ON THE ROAD.  AS I REMEMBER, TOM WOOD WAS A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL BIG USED CAR DEALER IN MICHIGAN BEFORE GETTING THIS PONTIAC DEALERSHIP.  IN MY VIEW THEY MAKE THE VERY BEST NEW CAR PEOPLE AND TOM WOOD WAS THE FINEST CAR MAN THAT I KNEW.

TOM WANTED TO SEE THE 1973 TRI POWER.  I DROVE IT RIGHT TO HIS DEALERSHIP WITH THE TOP DOWN WITH THE RADIO BLASTING AND VERY LOUD PIPES.  TOM WALKED AROUND IT WITH A HUGE GRIN AND HE CHECKED EVERY INCH OF THE CAR ESPECIALLY UNDER THE HOOD, HE WALKED TO THE REAR WHERE I HAD INSTALLED SPECIAL CHROME EXHAUST TIPS AND SAID IN HIS UNIQUE STYLE, THAT’S PRETTY NIFTY.  HE ALSO THANKED ME FOR THE INCREDIBLE SHOWROOM TRAFFIC THAT THE 1972 GTO PACE CAR BROUGHT.  I AM NOT THE ONLY DEALER WHO SAW IT.

WE FINALLY COULD POINT TO ONE VEHICLE EXCLUSIVELY WITH GREAT ENTHUSIASM AND PRIDE.  DIDN’T MATTER IF WE DIDN’T HAVE ONE.  FACT IS, ITS IMAGE WAS INSTANT AND UNIVERSAL.  NICE WORK ALEX.  I WILL MISS TOM THE REST OF MY DAYS.  HE HAS LEFT A LEGACY BEHIND HIM WITH MULTIPLE FRANCHISES INCLUDING LEXUS RUN BY HIS SON AND  SELECTED STAFF. I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF BEING IN CONTACT WITH TOM’S CHARMING WIFE, JULIE.

PONTIAC ADVANCED ENGINEERING DID COME AND RETURN THE CAR TO STOCK FORM.  I SOLD MY DEALERSHIP BEFORE OPEC COMPLETELY RUINED HUNDREDS OF DEALERS.  I DROVE THE GRANDVILLE TO AUSTIN TEXAS WHERE IT WAS SOLD TO A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL.

A BIT OF INTRIGUE: A CONTROVERSIAL SITUATION AROSE WHEN JIMMY DAPUZZO WANTED ME TO HAVE OUR INDIANA SECRETARY OF STATE FAMOUS LARRY A CONRAD AS THE DRIVER TO OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL EVENTS.  IT WAS TERRIFIC EXPOSURE FOR A SMALL TOWN NORTHERN INDIANA DEALER . . . AND PRESS MENTIONED THE PACE CAR.

RETURN

 

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