The legendary Jim Wangers, best known for his connection with the GTO Tiger and making the car a legend in its own right, swung up to Green Bay for the Big 3 Performance open house and the company’s sneak preview of its Jim Wangers signature edition 1969 Judge GTO, which will be completed and unveiled at the SEMA Show (watch for a cover story in OCW in late October).
It was the first time I met Jim, and what a great guy and a treasure to the hobby. Jim vividly recalls the automobile industry’s “glory days” as he calls them, and has GREAT stories about what went on behind closed doors. I finally picked up a copy of his book “Glory Days,” and can’t wait to tear into it. I’m very proud to say he’s an OCW subscriber, too.
Here are a few pix of Jim, posed with the Hooters girls (hey, their short shorts matched the GTO!), as well as my pick of the car show that was held in conjunction with the open house.
There are lots of mild mods on this 1969 GTO from Jim's favorite year of production, and per Jim's rightful demands, the Big 3 Performance Jim Wangers signature edition Judge has a 505-cid Pontiac mill. Note those Pontiac Rally II -style wheels.
Jim and the ladies.
Jim revved up the new Goat and the crowd couldn't get enough. Several people requested he repeat his performance before the engine even cooled.
I'm a sucker for silver muscle cars, and this 1973 Barracuda owned by Aaron Staub wore a fresh coat, set against a black interior. The 440-cid-powered Barracuda has only been done for a week, and Staub joked, "The tires onlly have a mile and a half on them." MoPar fans won't question the fit on the hood; they know that the bowed-up center of the hood means the hood is a real AAR 'glass unit. Staub built the car as a driver, since his 8-second, black-on-black 1971 'Cuda is a bit too much for the street.