World of Wheels 2001-2002 Show Season by Lothar Bacher

Every year, the International Show Car Association sponsors a competition show car series called the "World Of Wheels". The country is divided into the "Eastern" and the "Western" divisions. The Eastern division is geographically East of the Mississippi. Car entries are separated by Type, Construction, Custom, Truck-Van Competition, Rod, Street Machines, Restored, & Bike. The Custom class is split between passenger cars and sports cars. Sports cars are further split into Sport & Sport Compact classes (Corvettes are in "Sport"). My 87GT "Northern Star" competes in the "Sport Compact" class. My typical competition includes Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and some European cars. In my class the competition must be a 2 door, 2 seat compact rated car.

At each show the judges evaluate cars within classes, assigning points for many factors, including paint, interior, engineering, and display. I attended five shows this past show season, which ended with a show in Green Bay Wisconsin on April 7th, 2002. This was followed by the "finale" award ceremonies at a Banquet in Louisville, Kentucky on May 11th, 2002.

The entire series started in November 2001 in Houston, TX and continued in 44 USA cities and Canada. The shows I participated in were: Milwaukee, on January 11-13, Chicago on February 1-3, Detroit on February 22-24, South Bend, IN on March 22-24, and the Green Bay, WI show on April 5-7, 2002. My "Northern Star" awards included: 4 "Best in Class", 1 "Best Engineered", and 3 "Outstandings". At the Detroit show I was placed in a Corvette class (which I objected to!), and still took a 3rd in class. My total "points" were 314 for the 5 shows.

A typical show schedule starts with an arrival on Thursday to "set up" my car and display. The show usually opens to the public on Friday, with awards on Sunday evening. Then, after the awards, I load up late Sunday evening and drive home late Sunday, or, depending on the distance and weather conditions, stay over until Monday morning. Each show involves 4-5 days of driving, plus set-up time and answering questions throughout the 3-day show hours (which are typically 5PM-10PM on Friday, 10AM-9PM on Saturday and 11AM-6PM on Sunday). This is a total of 23 hours of "show" time. A typical show has 300-500 entries. The Detroit show had 750 entries!

Many of our club members have seen my "Northern Star" 87GT at local shows and in various publications including: Pontiac Fiero Connection, and Pontiac "Smoke Signals. I started on the "Northern Star" in 1998. I added a Cadillac Northstar engine & transmission, custom designed suspension & brakes, custom hood & side scoops custom interior and additional custom accessories.

In the past 2 years of shows, I did not see any Fieros in the competition! However, at our local Chicago show, NIFE was represented with 4 Fieros and 2 Re-bodied Fieros. I have always wondered why no other Fiero enthusiasts wanted to bring their car to these very popular shows? Certainly there are numerous "show ready" Fieros throughout the Midwest and the publicity they would generate would further the "Preserve The Excitement" theme all Fiero owners embrace!

My "Northern Star" is the only Fiero ever displayed in competition to reach the finals in point standings. At the end of the 2001/2002 season, I accumulated 314 points which gave me the following awards:
"Participation Award in the Eastern Division"
"Class Champion Award for the Eastern Division"
"International Class Champion 2001-2002"

So, I was invited to the May 11th banquet in Louisville!! I was given some monetary awards, gift certificates (ed. note, Lothar has given NIFE some of his "extra" certificates to be used at Fierorama 2002!), "50lbs. of goodie bag stuff", the official "World of Wheels" jacket, and a "Edelbrock Elite Series" jacket in recognition of all the long hours spent at the shows.

A successful ending to a real "Fiero" season!!

Lothar Bacher
Wilmette, Illinois
NIFE member#184