FULL SIZE PONTIAC CLUB
The Full Size Pontiac Club is a free resource for Pontiac lovers that prefer the land yachts produced by Pontiac in the 60's and 70's. No rules, no dues, no obligations...just jump in and enjoy. 
With baseball season in full swing and the never-ending thrash to get my 70 GP done, I haven't done a thing to update the site. Until now. Gary sent me a really great story via email about his Pontiacs and himself and thought it would be a great addition to jump start the site again. Enjoy!


When I was 17 and graduating from High School in 1965, I wanted to get a better car. My older brother Glenn said that he was going to go shopping with me so that I did not buy a piece of S__t (Crap). We found a 1963 Grand Prix, metallic midnight blue, 389-4, 3-speed auto, cruise control, power antenna, power driver’s seat, reverb, but no air-conditioning. I fell in love with the car immediately. I did not have enough money for the down payment so Glenn said that he was going to loan me $400. I was in heaven driving this car. All of my friends would spend their evenings working in their garages on their cars trying to get them ready for the drag races on Saturday. I spent my evenings cruising the streets like Whittier Blvd. in Southern Calif. looking for beautiful girls.

 

I saved my money to pay my brother back the $400 and when I tried to hand him the money he took a swing at me. I ducked and he knocked over a lamp. I wrapped my arms around him so he could not swing at me again. Then he said “Don’t you know that I was giving you that money?” He was always watching out for me and trying to help me not make mistakes in life. He refused to take the money. He said to use it and do something nice on the car. So, I took the 8-lug wheels off the back of the car and I installed Oldsmobile revers chrome wheels with basket spokes and pop offs. It really made the car pop. I wanted to do the same for the front but so much more was involved with that so it was on my wish list. At the time, I did not know how popular the 8-lug wheels would become.

 

I had the car until 1967 when I got drafted. I sold the car because I felt that I would not be able to keep up the car payment while in the Army. I later found out that they had a program for draftees where you could make $1.00 a month payments and then continue your payments when you were discharged from the service. I was pissed that I had sold MY CAR.... however with the Vietnam war going on, I believed that I would wind up in Vietnam and I was not coming home.

 

When I did wind up in Vietnam, each morning I would pray to God to give me a sign if I was going home and if not, to please let me die today to get over being in that hell. I volunteered for ever dangerous job that no one else wanted to do like walking point on patrols, demolition (responsible for blowing up mortars and artillery shells that had not exploded) and blowing up enemy booby traps and VC tunnels (Tunnel Rats).

 

I started receiving what I felt were signs from God that I was going to go home. The first was when I was walking point on patrol and I hit a trip wire that was connected to a Chinese grenade tied to a bush about 4 feet from me. The grenade went off but the powder was wet and it just went up in smoke instead of exploding in my face. The second sign was just a couple of days after the Tet offensive in 1968. My squad was being sent out on a patrol and while we were getting our gear ready to leave, our cook came over and said that he needed someone from our squad for KP (Kitchen Patrol). All of a sudden I realized that my arm was up in the air. So off I went with the Cook while my squad argued about who would take my place walking point. A friend of mine, Keith Rodgers said that he would do it if he could carry my M-79 grenade launcher. We were dug in on top of a hill and the patrol walked down hill towards the jungle. Ken started walking into the jungle and the enemy command detonated a 155 artillery shell right in Kens face, killing him instantly. Kenneth Rodgers and just died in my place. The Army bombed, napalmed, and artillery and mortars blew the hell out of this patch of jungle all night long.

 

The following morning we were going to send out another patrol and this time I was walking point. As we jot towards the bottom of the hill I saw two VC run over and jump into a bunker. I carried an M-72 LAW Rocket Launcher and I pulled it out to shoot a rocket at the bunker. The LAW is designed to blow up tanks and bunkers. They will penetrate up to 11 inches of steel, 30 inches of dirt and the have one hell of a punch. Well, instead of the rocket launching and going to the VC bunker, the rocket blew up on my shoulder. There is no way that a human being could survive that explosion but I did. This was the last sign that I needed from God. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital and 2 weeks later I was sent home. I had lost about 40% of my hearing in both ears.

 

On return from Vietnam I wanted to have a really fun car so I built a 1930 Model-A installing a 289 Mustang motor and drive train. It was fun, radical as hell, but required a lot of maintenance. I sold it and purchased a 1945 Harley Davidson Knucklehead Motor Cycle. It took me over a year to get it customized just the way that I wanted it. I then went through several radical years of my life that I call “My Motorcycle days.”

 

Now I am retired. I have always wished that I could have my 63 Grand Prix back but boy had the price of these cars gone up. I had been looking for a good buy on one for about 3 years and I finally found a 64 that I thought was a good deal. It tuned out that it has a lot more work on it that needs to be done but I am currently restoring this car the best I possibly can by myself. It has a 389 with Tri-Power, 3 speed automatic, Power Steering, Brakes, windows, driver’s seat, 8-lug wheels, and Air-Conditioning. Living in Arizona that was a must have. It does not have a Power antenna or Cruise Control. I think adding the Cruise Control is cost prohibitive.

 

I did not estimate that parts for this car would be so hard to find. I currently am looking for the following:

1. Rear Window, left side stainless steel dress molding.

2. Right side, fender mounted remote mirror.

3. A 1964 bumper jack that works.

 

I have several reasons for wanting to restore this car:

1. I enjoyed the 1963 Grand Prix more than any car I have ever had. I want to put a Grand Prix back on the road as a sort of thank you for all of the good times that my Grand Prix gave me.

2. My brother Glenn was killed in a car accident in 1979. I want to build a car that he would have been proud of as he loved cars more than anyone I have ever know. This 64 Grand Prix will be a tribute to Glenn, my big brother, my best friend. I am going to build something that Glenn owned into the interior of the car. That is a stainless steel screw that was one of the 4 that he had screwed into his skull when he was 12 years old and he had volunteered for an experiment spine surgery to fuse the spine into a solid bone. Glenn had had Polio that ate all of his muscles in the upper portion of his body and he would have become a hunch back with this surgery. He was an amazing person. His dedication to doing things right got him promoted in his job. He became the Chief Test Conductor for the command modules for the Apollo Space missions.

 

I attached a few pictures of my cars and such. I have more.

 

Sincerely,

 

Gary Tufto

 

 

JANUARY 2016
***We're moving our photos to another photo-hosting site. You may find that photo album links aren't all working. It will take me about a week to move everything over. I'll crank it out as quickly as I can!***
DECEMBER 2015

2016 is nearly upon us and it's about time I give you folks something new to help you stay motivated through these winter months. Enjoy the photos I took at the annual MCACN show in November. (The link is below the photo.) An amazing, not to be missed event. Use these to keep you inspired. My New Years Resolution for 2016 is to keep the updates to the website coming fast and furiously. My 70 GP will be done and occupying less of my time. Although I'll be building a 71 GT37, it should take less of my free time. 

Stay tuned and keep coming back for more!
Strawberry fields forever...desperate for nice weather to arrive and stick around for more than a few hours. This photo gave me some hope. I tried to back-track and locate the source, but was unable to. I have a feeling it was our friends in Sweden. Not only do they have righteous Ponchos, they have a great eye for photography! If anybody knows who I can credit for this beautiful image, please chime in!
Spring has Sprung...well, not really!

I was cleaning up some old folders and came across these pics of me, the fam, some friends and one of my nicest builds. The 64 Bonneville Safari was from Houston and it was loaded. Loved that sucker. The stork brought my youngest one a little early so the Safari was sold to pay down some medical bills. It has shown up on eBay for months now at a classic car dealer. Who knows what the reserve is. The kids in the pics are now in high school! The Three Stooges pic is me, Steve Snyder and Terry Broadbent. The group shot is our first ever Full Size Pontiac Chi-Town Shindig attendee shot. This is the day that started it all. 2014 wsa our 10th gathering! One of my partners, Mike Ardito, left TriPower to go work with Dana Mecum so we're shifting gears and will do our annual Shindig later in the year. We'll keep you posted. 
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! 
IMAGE COURTESY OF MATTHEW KOSER--YET AGAIN!
This is how Anders Hjelm and his buddies shake off the winter-time blahs in Sweden! Click on the link below called "Anders on Ice" for the video version of Frozen that I prefer!
Upon further review, Anders had so many cool photos of his war wagon, I had to build an album of his work to share! I'll also be putting these in the Ponchos Around the World section with his buddy's 63 GP which is equally wicked and DRIVEN YEAR 'ROUND!!!
Santa can only dream of owning a sleigh like this! Thanks for the image John Mead!

DECEMBER 2014


The holidays are here and it's time for a little updating. Over the next couple of days you'll see some new video of John Sweeney flogging his 67 Bonneville in NJ, Ponchos from around the world, classifieds, reference and eye candy! I'll start by putting some shots of a really interesting color combo on a GP. A combo you don't see very often on a year you don't see very often. It looks great and thought it would be a great beacon to let ya'll know there is some new stuff to be found here.


Most importantly, I want to extend a warm thank you to all of my friends around the globe. To my good buds, you know who you are, thanks for always being there for me. Hopefully I've been able to give back and add something to your lives as well. For those of you that pop in from time to time to exchange greetings, ideas, encouragement and so on, THANK YOU! The best part about a project like this website is meeting new folks and making new friends. For those that simply sit back and enjoy behind the scenes, thanks for spending some time with us. We love knowin' that you're out there enjoying our hobby with us.


Here's to wrapping up 2014 and looking forward to a fun and safe 2015. Thank you for being a part of our Pontiac community and we look forward to more shenanigans in the months and years to come!

It's in the books and it was another mind-blowingly perfect day. The Chi-Town Shindig and TriPower Automotive Open House turned into another automotive grand slam. Each year, Arnold brings out another ridiculous full size 4 speed rarity and this year was no different. Please feast your eyes on his 67 428 HO disc brake 4 speed monster. The Mickey Thompson 62 bubbletop mystery motor masterpiece was basking in this picture perfect Pontiac day! Arnie Beswick pulled into the lot about 5am as he just can't keep himself away from our annual dust-off. Mike Ardito, Jon Markese and Mike Markese hosted this little slice of heaven for the TriPower faithful. Pete slung sammiches and Jon's wife sliced up the pies with Steve Snyder. Jon and Pete handled the split the pot raffle with the winner donating his hundreds to a childrens cancer charity. Yup, all is right in the world. Click on the link above and enjoy the show from your armchair. Feel free to go to the Cruises links as well to view the previous 9 Shindigs we've held at TriPower too.