Car Club Annual General Meetings rarely attract capacity crowds, so it came as a pleasant surprise to see almost 70 club members and friends at our recent meeting. It may have been the attraction of the Golf Club’s new chef and dinner menu, or the opportunity of viewing David Anderson’s 1967 Pontiac Firebird in the dining room. Then again, perhaps it was the desire to watch the annual attempt at breaking our minimum record time for an AGM. All three were worth a night out, the meal was delicious and plentiful, David’s car created a great deal of interest and the AGM was dispensed with in just 1 minute 47 seconds.
Our outgoing president, Graeme Hollingsworth, thanked the Committee for their work over the past 12 months and tabled various reports. With the exception of Philip Finger and Claire Richards who are retiring from Committee, the current Committee were re-elected with Ray Youlden being elevated to Club President. Ray then chaired the rest of the meeting covering the usual meeting agenda with a range of past and coming events before introducing David to speak about his recently completed Firebird.
David has only owned this car for 2 years, but it has a sad history of being owned and worked upon by two of David’s close friends who have since died from cancer. Both previous owners had the car for about 15 years each, but the car was never completed. When David took delivery, most of the mechanical work had been restored, but the bodywork needed de-rusting and prepared for painting before being resprayed in the original metallic blue colour. After painting it was a matter of reassembling all the components, which is never easy after somebody else took everything apart!
The Pontiac Firebird is the sister car to the Chev Camaro and although they share many panels and components, the engines were specific to either Pontiac or Chev. By examining the structure of the rear axle locating hardware it seems that David’s car may have been delivered with the smaller of the two V8 options. These engines are now quite rare in Australia, so it’s not surprising that the engine David collected with the car was a 350 Chev. It’s been mated to a race-modified, 2-speed auto which is capable of over 100mph in first gear! It’s unknown when, or by whom, the conversion to right-hand-drive was accomplished, but the steering box is from a HQ Holden and most of the front end is very similar to a Holden of that era. David’s choice of wheels is quite controversial and he admits that the ultra-low profile tyres result in a harder ride than normal, but they certainly make a statement !