Saturday on the Strand – the American Pontiac Association Spring Event 2010


Saturday on the Strand – the American Pontiac Association Spring Event 2010


Located on the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Houston, the City of Galveston, Texas, has developed a long and somewhat illustrious, if not unlucky history.  The island port at one time was considered to be the Wall Street of the South, serving as the second largest shipping port in the country.  Along with the usual tapestry of society during that time, there were the tales of scallywags to be whispered about.  Most notably, the Pirate Jean Lafitte was known to frequent the island as he made his way up and down the Texas coastal waters.


In what was the largest natural disaster known to man, ‘the storm of 1900’ blew in off the Gulf of Mexico, long before there were even thoughts of building  a sea wall for protection.  With the storm came the loss of 6.000 lives, and a way of life that has never fully returned.  It was another storm named Ike that more recently reshaped the city some 100 years later.  While these storms have hammered Galveston, the City has survived and in some many areas, prospered.   Along with the Port of Galveston, the various waterfront areas are a major feature of the island.  Located on the edge of the historic Strand, Pier 21 is such an area that combines historic buildings with modern tourism.  There are restaurants, and boutique hotels, as well as “Elyssa” - a sailing educational tall ship that is docked nearby when not on a voyage.  Just down the docks sit the larger cruise liners preparing to depart on another fantastic voyage in Mexico, the Florida Keys, or even Belize.  Set against this backdrop of history, with modern day sea going vessels bound for ports around the world, the American Pontiac Association of Houston held their 27th annual open car show. 


One aspect that makes this event so luring to enthusiast and spectators alike, is that the event is actually held on the docks of Pier 21, with an APA official greeting every vehicle as it completes the registration process that includes classification for judging.   The first 100 entries of the 2010 event received a t-shirt and dash plaque for their early registration efforts.  As there are no trailers allowed on Pier 21 unless they are special non-street legal competition vehicles that have entered, everything is driven out onto the docks. 


Being the Houston Pontiac club, the events was originally held in different locations around the Houston area, but as part of the club activities, they would make a run down to Galveston occasionally to enjoy the fine seafood and friendly atmosphere the city has to offer.  It was during one of these road trips that fate intervened when the owner of the dock area thought all the Pontiacs looked pretty cool.  After some good ‘ol boy lunch talk, the pier location was offered up as a one day show location for a charity event.  That was TEN years ago, and every spring since then, the show has been back.  Unfortunately, the 2010 show was a rain out due to some severe storms passing thru the area early Saturday, but this is the Gulf Coast, and a rain date was already setup.  The show was simply postponed a week, but that did not deter the entries.  The dock was filled will muscle cars from every make and almost seemed like every model.  Not only did the Galveston tourist get an extra treat, but many of the boaters that typically come into the dock area for food or supplies got to see the cars as they filled even the sidewalk areas. 


As the DJ played on, the cruise ships soon departed in the background while the Texas sun was shining down on Pier 21 during the American Pontiac Association Annual Spring car show.   For more information on upcoming APA events, or the March 26, 2011 Galveston Pier 21 event, visit their web site at, or call Sal at 713


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