2/22/16: Convention Highlights from the Host Chapter:
The last time the POCI National Convention was held in the Quad Cities was 1996. Three years prior to that, Dan Driscoll (now acting GM of Cordova International Raceway) had the dream of bringing it here. From every report that I’ve ever heard, he and the club succeeded and went beyond on every level!
You may have had a taste of it then but, as you’ve probably noticed from the updates in Smoke Signals, we’re proud of our history. Our history in the Quad Cities goes back before the Civil War days. You might have read that the first railroad bridge to cross the Mississippi River was built here in the mid 1800’s. You might not have known that angry boatmen set a boat ablaze and pushed it towards this first bridge to destroy it in protest to reclaim riverboat trade. You also might not know that a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln worked on behalf of the railroad.
Yet, while all this history is interesting, the truth of the matter is that what really matters is the upcoming 2016 Convention. The Blackhawk Chapter’s goal this year is to further surpass Dan’s expectations and give you the best POCI convention experience you’ve ever had! That’s why, as locals, we’re going out of our way to bring you the best of what the Quad City Area has to offer. You may ask, what does Southeastern Iowa or Northwestern Illinois have to offer? We’re here to tell you, our area has plenty, a lot more than you may realize.
Our feature tours, include visiting state-of-the-art companies like Alcoa Aluminum and John Deere Harvester Works, should be evidence in and of themselves.
While Alcoa is part of the auto industry, producing body panels for the Ford F-150 trucks, John Deere is just as competitive in the Ag industry, maintaining and updating its manufacturing processes to stay on top of the competition. You will also be able to capture more of the John Deere Experience at the John Deere Commons in Moline, Illinois.
Our other ‘ride supplied’ tour is the Pontiac Oakland Museum and Research Center. While you may have been to the facility, have you been to it lately? Tim and Penny Dye work tirelessly to keep it fresh. That way, while not all of it changes, there’s something new every time you go there.
We’ve also got two pages of local attractions that you can go and see on your own, including the Village of East Davenport. You should take the available shuttle bus service to experience LeClaire, Iowa, amongst other things the home of American Pickers. Almost every single spot is less than a half an hour away by car or water taxi.
Wednesday features the Welcome Night, sponsored by Ames Performance. We have managed to secure Gray Wolf. They’re one of the Quad City Area’s finest entertainers. The members of the band describe themselves as a bunch of guys playing the music that they (and we) grew up with.
Of course there will be the swap space. If 1996 is any indication of how many vendors and people selling parts that will be here, we’ll have plenty, most likely with any and everything you’ll need to finish that project at home.
Thursday is a big day to concentrate on POCI events like the Oakland Breakfast Cruise, Road Warrior Lunch cruise, chapter meetings, and seminars. We’ve got some great speakers for seminars including Tim Dye from the museum and Fred Simmonds. You might remember that Fred was in charge of GM’s drag racing program until Pontiac Motor Division was gone. Both are world class in their knowledge and presentations. This packed day culminates with the POCI night Banquet.
On Friday, you have a choice. The points judged cars are on the field bright and early to be scrutinized by the qualified judges. There’s also the excitement of pure Pontiac power and performance at the drag strip.
Drag Racing has been part of the POCI experience since its start right here in the Quad Cities back in 1996. Cordova International Raceway, a little less than 30 minute drive up river on the scenic Great River Road, is going to open the gates at 9am with cars on track at 10am for a whole lot of quarter mile fun. You can run in the cash classes or just come out and see how fast your car will go in 1320 feet. If you’d just like to come out as a spectator and get all your senses stimulated, that’s almost as much fun.
Friday would not be complete without another feature event, the Captain Dinner Cruise on the Celebration Belle, leaving the Isle host hotel dock at 6:00pm. You will have the Mississippi Riverboat experience that has always been on your bucket list.
Of course Saturday is the big car show for Popular Vote and Road Warrior entries. We’ve got a covered show field for you that we’re pretty sure will be more than adequate to hold every show car. It all winds down on Saturday evening with the annual POCI awards banquet.
Our goal is the same as it was in 1996, to give you the best POCI convention that you’ve ever been to. Make sure to catch the 2016 POCI Convention feature articles for more details on the events mentioned above. As stated, it is the Blackhawk Chapter’s intention for you to have a great time in the Quad Cities with memories that last another 20 years!
2015 Convention Award Results- click on the .pdfs below
2015 Convention photos: click here
Thanks also to all of our members for attending,
we hope to see you next year in the Quad Cities!