Daily driver turned show winner

Sheree Silverwood/Times Record Reporter
Mike Fiedler's GTO.

Mike Fiedler of Rock Island bought his 1965 Pontiac GTO in 1981 to use as daily transportation to get back and forth to work when he was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo. in the military. The car was in great shape, having started its life in California, and Mike was a bit surprised by the number of factory options that it had, but he really wanted nothing more from it than a mode of transportation.

In 1998, Mike decided to do some restoration on the car in order to start taking it to car shows and cruise nights. The "Goat" got a fresh coat of Mayfair Maize paint, bumpers brightened by rechroming, the engine was rebuilt, and the factory 2-speed Powerglide transmission was replaced with a more powerful Turbo 350. The restoration was completed in 2001. As Mike was restoring the car, he realized that the number of factory options on the Pontiac were a rarity. He said that he has never seen another one with that many options. Some of the factory options included on his GTO are: a 389 Tri-Power engine (the Tri-Power is an intake manifold with three two-barrel carburetors), air conditioning, power seats, power windows, power antenna, rear window defroster, and seat belts.

Mike takes the GTO to a handful of car shows every year, but he stated that what he really enjoys most are the fundraising cruise nights. They make him feel as though he's making a difference by helping to raise money, while enjoying his car at the same time. The car is definitely not a "daily driver" any more, it gets about 500 - 1000 road miles every year, and Mike doesn't take it out if there is rain forecast. His hard work on the car was rewarded on Saturday with a Top 50 finish in the Knucklebusters car show.