About the GTOACO

Overview:


The GTO Association of Cental Ohio has been burning rubber all over Ohio since 1984.

We are located in Columbus, Ohio, but we have members that cover the entire state! We are one of the largest chapters in the counrty and proudly represent central Ohio with over 75 active members plus their spouses and children!




Contact Us:


Address: 1710 Buttermilk Hill Road
              Delaware, Ohio 43015
Phone:    (740) 777-1135
Email:     rcozzo@earthlink.net




GTOACO Club Officers:


President:  --  Ron Cozzo  (rcozzo@earthlink.net)
Vice President:  --  Kevin Landis  (klandis@absolutecleaner.com)
Secretary:  --  Donna Landis  (sharklandis@netscape.net)
Treasurer:  --  Mike Shockely  (shockleymike@att.net)
Newsletter Editor:  --  Kevin Russo  (krusso_sp@hotmail.com)
Web Master:  --  Austin Cozzo  (cozzoaus@msu.edu)




GTOACO Club Board Members:


Kevin Russo  (krusso_sp@hotmail.com)
Lonnie McLaughlin  (londart@aol.com
Stan Farlow  (skfarlow@aol.com)
Brian D'Amico  (brugboy73@gmail.com)




History of the GTO Association of Central Ohio:
The First Six Years

1984 & 1985


    The GTO Association of Central Ohio was founded on Sunday September 23, 1984. The clubs first meeting was held at that time. The original name at the time was Goat Owners of Columbus. By majority vote of those present, it was determined that the name of the club would become the Central Ohio GTO Association. The club would specialize in the proper restoration of the goat. The club would sponsor GTO shows and hold money making and social events. Dues were $15.00 per person. Officers were Bill Barton-President, Nick Anspach-Vice President, Rob Wilson-Treasurer, Karen Wilson-Secretary.

    The first Technical session was held at the home of Andy Syrkin on October 24, 1984. The first annual Christmas party was held at Barry Wear's home on Sunday December 9th, 1984.

    In January 1985 the club became a chapter of the GTO Association of America. The initial board of directors were Bill Barton, Andy Syrkin and Neal Blankenship. Judging Standards were created by Andy Syrkin and Neal Blankenship. (These standards would later be used by the GTO Association of America). March 13th, 1985 held another change. The club logo was changed to The GTO Association of Central Ohio.

    About the club in 1985: Members of the club are people interested in cars, especially GTO'S. Most members own GTO'S but anyone with an interest in restoration of cars are welcome. The purpose of the club is basically to help restore and preserve the GTO. It is also our intention to be the first club to set out a standard on the GTO for different classes in shows. Events would be club meetings, tech sessions, parts locating, social events and GTO shows.

    Goals: Our first and foremost goal is for the GTO itself. Getting people and their cars together correctly and professionally for car shows and other club activities. Our goal for the near future is to sweep the National GTO Meet in Pontiac, Michigan on July 4th, 1985 and show people we mean business. Sponsors: Generous people from companies and individuals such as yourself.

    On Sunday June 9, 1985 the first annual GTO Show & Swap Meet was held at Haydocy Pontiac on Phillipi Rd, Columbus, Oh. It rained in the morning but turned out to be a beautiful day. I believe there were 70plus GTO'S at the first show. Jerry Hamilton of Atlanta Georgia took home the Best of Show Trophy. There were nine classes. Current club members who were at that show and placed were Richard Whaley 1st place factory original 68-70, Donna Landis 3rd place factory original 68-70, Barry Wear 1st place factory original 71-74.

    Nine club members and their families attended the GTO Nationals in Michigan. Three club members brought home trophies. In September 1985 Jeff Inskeep volunteered to be the Newsletter Editor.

    First club picnic was held at Rob & Karen Wilson's in Canal Winchester, Ohio. Fifty club members attended and at least half of them drove their GTO. A club picture was taken with each member and their car.

    The Club Roster at the end of 1985 had swelled to 56 members. The second annual Christmas party was held on December 14th at the Ramada Inn East.




1986


    New officers for 1986 were Nick Anspach-President, Andy Syrkin-1st Vice President, Jeff Inskeep-2nd Vice President, Leslie Blankenship-Secretary and Rob Wilson-Treasurer.

    In January 1986 the first mention of the GTO Association of Central Ohio hosting the National Meet in Columbus in July!!!!!!! Neal Blankenship and Andy Syrkin were the real go getters in getting the Nationals in Columbus that year. Can you believe a club only going into its third year and hosting a National Event???

    Haydocy Pontiac was the location for the first annual Muscle Car Swap Meet on March 9, 1986. 40 vendors participated at this event and at least 600 people attended the event.

    Club Jackets and shirts were designed along with the show rules and procedures books and the GTO code books.

    July 10th, 11th and 12th-GTO Nationals at the Marriott North in Columbus, Ohio with the host club being the GTOACO. The first ever All GTO Drag Night was held on Friday night at National Trails Raceway. GTOACO members who won awards in the 1986 GTOAA Concourse Show were Andy Syrkin 1st and 2nd place in the 66-67 restored class. Andy had twin 67's, Ken Moravek 3rd place 66-67 restored class, Donna Landis 2nd place 68-69 restored class, Richard Whaley 2nd place 68-74 factory original, Jim Dingess 3rd place 68-70 modified, Ron Wright 1st place 64-74 competition modified. Nick Anspach and Neal Blankenship were in the Winner's Circle.

    Due to the National Event there was no car show this year.

    2nd Annual Club Picnic was held at Ron & Donna Landis house in London, Ohio on September 6th or was it the 13th. Those who wore the white club shirts were bombarded by little black bugs. Donna twisted her ankle earlier in the day going to the mail box and Candy Whaley spent most of the time along with all the mothers trying to get her newly pierced earring in. Anyhow the picnic was alot of fun and at the end of the night a certain National Winning Car did a burn out with red lines. Can you guess? Neal Blankenship in his '66 GTO.

    The Club was asked to host the 1987 Nationals.

    Christmas Party to be held at the Holiday Inn at the Airport on December 13th.This was a Christmas party that who ever was their will never forgets that night. Awards were handed out this year. Andy Syrkin purchased special banana awards to all who owned a 1968 and newer GTO. Recipients immediately peeled and munched down their trophies. For those of you who don't know Andy he would never own at GTO that is 68 and newer.

    The club now had a total of 71 members.




1987


     New officers for 1987. President was Nick Anspach, Vice President-Donna Landis, Treasurer-Richard Whaley and Secretary-Leslie Blankenship. New Board of Directors was Neal Blankenship, Jeff Inskeep and Jeff Ruffer.

    The GTO Nationals would be held again in Columbus. Neal Blankenship would once again be the Meet Chairman. The Nationals would be held again at the Marriott North. The club did every thing right and received tremendous support for a job well done. Nick Anspach took first place in the 68-72 conv. restored class, Richard Whaley first place in the 68-74 factory original class, Donna Landis first place in the 68-69 restored hardtop class. Neal Blankenship won Best of Show with his '66. The club did very well that year.

    The club went ahead and held their 2nd annual car show. The date was set for May 2nd at Dave Gill Pontiac in Columbus, Ohio. Richard Whaley was the chairman of the event. And guess what? It rained in the morning. By noon the rain was gone and the show had 45 GTO'S. Best of show this year went to Phil Feaster of Heath, Ohio with a '64 red hardtop.

    This was the first year the club participated the Stouffer Show. Everyone had a great time and this would eventually be an annual club outing.

    Club picnic would be held on August 29th at the home of Kerry and Kathy Parker in Pataskala, Ohio.

    First annual fall cruise took place on October 11th to Hocking Hills.

    Christmas party was in full gear. The date was December 12th at the Radisson Hotel Columbus North location. Every one had a great time. The night ended with Andy Syrkin and Diane Evans trying out a new dance step. Do you remember that Diane?

    New club jackets and shirts were available. Also posters mugs and signs were being sold by the club. I believe these were left over from the National event.




1988


    New officers for this year were President Donna Landis, Vice President Jim Evans, Secretary Nancy Whaley, and Treasurer Richard Whaley.

    The club sold code books and judging standards for the up coming Spring Show. Also Club jackets and club shirts were available. This was the first year for the member profile. Each member wrote an article about themselves along with there family members and cars they owned.

    As of March the club had 56 members.

    The Spring show was held on May 21st at Dave Gill Pontiac. This was the year that Richard Whaley's first place judge had to take a back seat to Nancy Whaley's black '73 GTO for Best of Show. The show was a great success even if there were only 35 registered gto's and 15 vendors.

    The club took a cruise to Pacemaker Drag Strip to watch fellow members Jeff Toms in his '69 GTO hardtop and Andy Syrkin in his '66 Legend.

    The GTO Nationals were held in Wichita Kansas. Few club members headed that way. I believe the Rainbow Warriors got a few tips from Neal Blankenship, Richard Whaley and Jeff Inskeep. It seems this group made it to Wichita in record time. Ron, Donna and Kevin Landis followed Nick Anspach and his family in his '69 GTO. Nick had a small problem with his car but finally made it.

    Club picnic was held on August 27th at the home of Kerry and Kathy Parker On September 23rd.

    Dennis Pontiac invited our club to participate in the showing of the new 1989 cars. Dennis was showing an interest in sponsoring our club.

    December 10th was the date for the annual Christmas Party. It was held at Jim & Diane Evans. The wind blew and the snow and ice fell but the party was still on.




1989


    New officers for 1989 were President Jeff Ruffer, Vice President Jim Evans, Secretary Nancy Whaley, and Treasurer Richard Whaley. Directors were Nick Anspach, Neal Blankenship and Jeff Inskeep.

    Spring show was held on Sunday June 18th at Dennis Pontiac. Didn't know how many cars were there but 45 club members came out and helped that day. What a turn out of members. Nancy Whaley won Best of Show again with her '73 black GTO.

    GTO Nationals come back to Ohio. Nick Anspach is Show Chairperson. Andy Syrkin and Donna Landis were in charge of getting the judges. The show would be held July 5,6,7,8 at the Marriott North.

    Club picnic would be held August 26th at Jeff and Nadine Ruffers house. Club started to give to local charities. Also the club was putting on tech sessions.

    Christmas party was held at Bruce and Debbie Scott, in Pickerington, Ohio on December 9th. Bruce and Debbie were very active in the club. Unfortunately there teenage son was killed in an auto accident and there participation was halted.