Alamo Area Chapter
Pontiac-Oakland Club International

 
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Frank San Marco
E-Mailfpsm@gvec.net
Pontiac(s)1966 Grand Prix, 1967 Grand Prix
Member Bio
Pontiacs were not on our radar when we were planning our retirement hobby. We have had a 1929 Model A for 40+ years and it was to be restored & enjoyed “when we had time to do it”. However, when we retired we had not started on “Henrietta” yet when Frank heard about a collector in Arkansas that was selling his entire collection of antique & classic cars. By that time there were only 6 cars left but one of them was a 1950 Silverstreak Straight 8 with 4,030 original miles. Frank says when he first opened the door it was like looking at it on a 1950 showroom floor. The interior was flawless and the black lacquer paint still had a shine. The price was right and that was our first Pontiac since 1963 when we bought a 1962 Catalina for our family car. We found the POCI website and from that the So Central Texas Chapter. The guys welcomed us and we were soon members regularly attending the monthly meetings. While searching for detail information on the 1950 Pontiac Frank talked to the POCI advisor for that year who asked us to bring our Pontiac to the National Show in 2003 in St. Louis, MO. We trailered it and entered it in the Points Judged Survivor Class. There’s no way to express our surprise and excitement when it was announced at the awards banquet that our first ever “Show Car” had won the highest award at our first ever National Show. The Concours d’Elegance Award is given to the car that has the highest score of the entire show. The score was 400 out of 400 points.

That led to our second Pontiac. We didn’t want to drive the ‘50 – it needed to be in a museum. A collector of low mileage cars was very interested in acquiring the 1950 Silverstreak and we were very happy that it ended up in his collection. The sale enabled us to seek out a Pontiac we could drive & enjoy. An internet search found a 1966 Grand Prix in W. Virginia that looked really good. Not wanting to trust pictures on the web we took a little trip to look it over. The red ’66 GP with power steering, power brakes, air conditioning and tilt wheel came home to Texas and Frank started a complete mechanical restoration. Anything that could wear out or go bad he replaced so it was as road worthy as possible. We have driven that Grand Prix to three Nationals. Joplin, MO; Greenville, South Carolina and Tulsa, OK. It received a Bronze Award in Joplin, MO. and was chosen by the Grand Prix Chapter as the nicest Grand Prix at the South Carolina Show. It has received many awards on the local car show circuit.

In 2004 while showing the Red 66 GP in Helotes, TX, one of the spectators told Frank about a 66 GP that was for sale. This was another really interesting find. The owner had inherited the car his father had been working on for many years. The front clip from the fire wall forward was removed from the car. The interior was out, the frame & under carriage partially cleaned. All the parts were in the garage as well as more extra parts than you can imagine. The car came with 8 lug wheels. The deal was: you buy the car you take ALL the extra parts. First the car was trailered home then the unbelievable collection of parts was loaded onto the trailer that had been converted into a very big box. Four 4X8 sheets of plywood were used to surrounded the entire length of the trailer – a 16 X 8 rectangular box of parts. It was such a good car Frank decided to do a frame up restoration. Believe it or not, the restoration began in June, 2005 and was ready to drive out of the shop in July, 2006. It was driven 5,000 miles on one of the Grand Prix Chapters famous cruises. This one was to the 2006 POCI Nationals in Ontario, CA. where the Burgundy ’66 won a Gold Award. It was eventually sold at auction and now Frank could start on the ’65 GP he had waiting that is right now (7/08) several months from completion. He does cry every time he sells one but he has to finance his habit.

The San Marco fleet of Grand Prixs now includes a 2002 40th Anniversary Edition that is now our daily driver and one more of those “it’s too good to pass up” future projects – a ’66 Grand Prix with tripower & Hurst four speed shifter p/w, p/s, p/b, tilt wheel, tach, vacuum gauge and 8 lug wheels.

We really do enjoy being members of the San Antonio Chapter Pontiac Club. It’s a fun group and with so many different activities year round there is always something to do with other Pontiac enthusiasts and always someone to help out with information, parts or actual labor restoring these great cars.