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Carlisle GM Nationals Celebrates 50 Years of the GTO in June
Weekend Festivities include Two Pontiac Team Members who Made "The Goat" Possible
Milt Schornack and Bill Collins won't be the only GM centric special attractions/
Schornack can easily be credited as one of the key players in the development and continuation of the GTO line of cars. As the performance manager at the famous Royal Pontiac dealership in Royal Oaks, Michigan, Schornack turned plenty of wrenches on GTOs. He helped to assemble many of the Royal Bobcat GTOs ordered at the dealership. As one of the GTO development leaders, Schornack worked closely with Pontiac to help tune engines and create performance packages for the GTO.
Along with Schornack is the aforementioned Mr. Bill Collins. Collins is an automotive engineer with 35 years of experience, having worked for GM, DeLorean and AMC during his career. While employed at Pontiac, Collins worked very closely with John DeLorean (Pontiac’s chief engineer) and Russ Gee (an engine specialist) to get the GTO project off the ground. Some of the lore surrounding Collins comes from a story of how he and the engineering team used a loophole in a GM policy to bypass the engine size limitations in midsized cars. That story, within automotive circles, is the stuff of legend. Rather than make the car a stand-alone model, the team made the GTO a package option for the Tempest and placed a 389 engine under the hood. What followed was the jump-start of a battle within the automotive industry known as the Muscle Car Era. Collins was a key member in the development not only of a performance vehicle, but also played an important role in generating a completely new type of enthusiast market.
Joining Schornack at Carlisle will be an experimental 1969 Ram Air V GTO that he designed to showcase what the Ram Air V engine could do. This car is truly a test mule from GM as only a little over 200 of the engines were ever created. While there were plenty ’69 GTOs produced, only a small handful came equipped with a Ram Air V engine, making this an extremely rare car that everyone can appreciate.
“Having Mr. Schornack and Mr. Collins here is like reliving a part of automotive history," said event manager Tyler Staley. "These two men helped to implement a new movement in the automotive world that focused on performance for the masses. Without these men and the GTO they helped create, the car hobby would likely look very different today. Mr. Schornack and Mr. Collins are a great addition to the 50th anniversary celebration of the GTO, and I am excited they could be a part of our event.”