By Jennifer Goss, Jim Hallman & Fred Bartemeyer, Jr, MWFC Members
Plans and arrangements for the 35th Anniversary of the Introduction of the Pontiac Fiero are currently underway. The goal of the event organizers is to attract as many Pontiac Fiero owners as possible to bring themselves, and hopefully their Fiero(s), to East Peoria, IL to take part in the celebration. The event will take place August 9-12, 2018 and will include a very wide range of activities such as parking lot tailgate parties and weigh-ins to a cruise from East Peoria, IL to Pontiac, IL along Route 66 called “Fieros on Route 66”. The highly anticipated Fiero car show will take place on Saturday, August 11, 2018. These are only some of the events already planned. Be sure to mark your calendars and make your reservations today. You can register and learn more about the event by visiting www.Fiero35th.com. Black Top Racing (www.blacktop.racing) is the event’s Sponsor.
A Historical Summary of the Anniversary Events
In 2003, the Michigan Fiero Club and Classic Fiero Owners Group International (CFOG-i) hosted the 20th Anniversary Event in Pontiac, MI. This first event was the largest gathering of Pontiac Fieros to ever come together in the history of Fiero shows with an attendance of over 600 Fieros. This 20th Anniversary Event also exclusively featured the nine prototype Fieros brought to the show by the GM Heritage Collection. This was the first time that all of the remaining GM Fieros were shown at the same venue including the first public showing of the illusive 1990 Fiero GT concept car. The event also included a track day at Waterford Race Course and drag racing at Milan Dragway. To finish off the event, guest speakers Hulki Aldikacti (commonly known as the father of the Fiero), Don Parkinson and John Callies gave presentations on their involvement with the production of the Fiero.
In 2008, the Michigan Fiero Club hosted the 25th Anniversary Event. This edition was a near repeat/mirror image of the 20th Anniversary Event in the way the show was organized. The Fiero show itself featured nearly 400 Fieros. Once again, the nine GM prototype Fieros made their appearance. Little did we know that this was the last time that all nine cars would be shown together as GM Heritage Collection assets. As you may recall, in 2009 five of them would go on the auction block to be sold. An exclusive tour of the GM Heritage Center also took place the day before the show and allowed Fiero owners to see a very special collection of GM prototypes and unreleased vehicles that are often unavailable for viewing to the general public. The 25th Anniversary Event included several social events that allowed Fiero owners to interact on the streets of Pontiac, MI. The highlight of the event was the large culmination of guest speakers present at the awards banquet. Special guests included Hulki Aldikacti, John Callies, Alex Mair, Jon Albert and Gary Witzenburg.
In 2013, the Midwest Fiero Clubs hosted the 30th Anniversary Event. This event featured a change of venue to Indianapolis, IN. Over 260 Fieros turned out to celebrate the 30 years since the introduction of the Fiero and many enthusiasts, both with and without their cars, attended to participate in the festivities. John Callies made his third anniversary event trip and regalled the crowd with additional stories of his time on the Fiero project, made even more special by his role in the Indy Pace Car program and engineering. In fact, over 165 Fieros took the opportunity during the anniversary weekend to take two laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track and get their pictures taken on the track; it was a sight to see!
A Historical Summary of the Midwest Fiero Clubs
So, just who is this group called the Midwest Fiero Clubs (MWFC) who is hosting the 35th Anniversary Event? In 2004, the MWFC was formed as a result of many of the club representatives from the active Fiero clubs in the upper Midwest assembling at a meeting in the Chicago area. The meeting agenda centered mainly around what the Fiero clubs could do to combine efforts to promote the Fiero community as a whole and provide activities that would attract and enhance the experience that Fiero owners would participate in at the various club events throughout the Midwest. Discussion also involved future plans of expanding the concept of each club helping other clubs in other regions of the country by supporting their events outside of the general Midwest area. Another point discussed was if there was a way that we could revive the old structure of the former defunct national club and possibly sponsor national events that would attract Fiero owners from abroad. Each year the Midwest Fiero Clubs has created a promotional campaign to enhance the events and shows of the participating clubs.
As many in the Fiero community may already be aware, on April 30, 2016, the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) graciously granted the Midwest Fiero Clubs (MWFC) a charter to make their association of clubs an official Non-Geographical Region of this prestigious international organization. As a result, the Pontiac Fiero nameplate is now recognized in this international organization that has 60,000 plus members, 400 Regions and Chapters in all 50 states, and more than 50 countries. The AACA’s purpose is the perpetuation of the pioneering days of automobiling by furthering the interest in and preservation of antique automobiles and the promotion of sportsmanship and good fellowship among all AACA members.
As a result of this charter, MWFC transitioned to a more formal club structure with operating bylaws and an oath to the AACA to conduct itself within the expectations of the national policies and procedures; however, the current purpose of the MWFC remains the same as it has since 2004: A dedicated group of enthusiasts whose passion is to promote and preserve the Pontiac Fiero and the Fiero community.
The MWFC goal is to promote the clubs, events, people, history and preservation relating to the Pontiac Fiero. After becoming an AACA Region, MWFC has continued to operate as its own separate entity within the Fiero community and offers the same support as it has done for the past 12 years. As a result of their regional status, the MWFC is now exposed to the vast resources of the entire automobile hobby. Since the youngest Fiero is now 30 years old, our cars have crossed over into what is recognized as a collector car instead of just normal daily transportation.
The benefits of this venture are numerous. They range from public exposure of MWFC activities with the Pontiac Fiero and the Fiero Community within a larger view of the collector car hobby to liability protections for officers and members. The Region has appointed the following officers: President, Fred Bartemeyer (IA); Vice President, Kevin Lindeman (MN); Secretary, Ken Nagel (IL); Treasurer, John Holmes (IA); Social Media Director, Jason Fawley; Webmaster, Jeff Jones. A specific set of MWFC bylaws were drawn up and a board of directors were also elected to include: Jim Hallman (IL), Sadie Goad Kaminski (WI) and Lisa Thuerauf (IA).
We also strongly encourage every MAFOA & NEFA member to consider a family membership to the AACA. A family membership is only $40 and gets you many benefits including a free bi-monthly magazine filled with content about the art of collecting, a free monthly online magazine – “Speedster”, access to national car meets/tours and more! Visit www.aaca.org for more information.
The MWFC currently maintains a website at (http://midwestfieroclubs.com/) and can be found on Facebook under “Midwest Fiero Clubs”. Please be sure to like this page and be an active contributor when you can.