Having been in the magazine business since 1988, I have worked with the best and the brightest in the Pontiac world and have assembled what I consider to be the Pontiac hobby’s “Dream Team.” We will be adding to this list as time goes on and we are very proud of the dedicated group that we have assembled.
A long time Pontiac enthusiast, Tony Webster grew up around GM cars his entire life. Tony is a true Pontiac guy who loves all Pontiacs from the late 20s through today and is the original owner if his 2000 Chameleon Blue Green Firebird Formula. He is new to the magazine world and is also a music journalist, a long time radio radio show host, accomplished singer and photographer. Tony specializes in late model Firebirds and Trans Ams most specifically the LS1 powered Firebirds and Trans Ams. He is currently a member of the North Coast Pontiac Chapter in Cleveland Ohio and serves as secretary, webmaster of his chapter’s website and newsletter editor of his chapter’s newsletter called “Coastline.”. One fun fact about his photography work is that Tony shoots all of his pictures with vintage Canon FD film cameras and is a collector of vintage cameras and lenses.
A hardcore Pontiac fan since age four, Rochester, New York native Don graduated from St. John Fisher College in 1986 with a B.A. in Communications/Journalism and moved to Hackensack, New Jersey to begin working for CSK Publishing, producer of High Performance Pontiac and several other titles. He worked his way up to the Senior Editor position there. He was laid off in 1991 but continued to freelance for the magazine before joining up with former HPP Editor R. George Ellis, who founded GTO Enthusiast Magazine, which became Pontiac Enthusiast. Don stayed with PE from 1994 until 2000, when he rejoined HPP as a freelancer and also contributed to many other magazines.
Don became Editor-in-Chief of Smoke Signals in 2006 and remained there until this past October 1, when he began Poncho Perfection. His byline and photography have appeared in Hot Rod, Collectible Automobile, Car Kulture DeLuxe, Hemmings Classic Cars, Hemmings Muscle Machines, Rodder’s Digest, The Barrett-Jackson Experience, USA Today and Pontiacracing.com. Additionally, he has written promotional material for Pontiac-GMC and TV scripts for Speed TV and has appeared on the History Channel’s “Dream Machines.” He is the author of Grand Prix: Pontiac’s Luxury Performance Car (2007) and How to Restore Your Pontiac GTO 1964-74. His next book, Department X, will be out in Spring 2016. Don lives in Fairport, New York with his fiance, Managing Editor, Ann Haines.
Though Chris Phillip had been a hardcore Pontiac collector since high school, he actually began his journalism career coming from the music end of the business. He was the editor of Thrust Magazine from 1989-1993 and after a stint in the IT world, came to Source Interlink as Senior Associate Editor for High Performance Pontiac and ‘Vette and worked his way up to the Editor’s position for HPP in 2013. After HPP shut down in 2014, Chris freelanced for Hot Rod Magazine and came to Smoke Signals as a freelance writer and assumed the role of Digital Content Manager, a position he held until October of 2015. In addition to being the Digital Content Manager for Poncho Perfection, he is also a freelance copywriter for Dream Giveaways.
Chris has a very impressive collection of Pontiacs, including a 1959 Catalina 345A Tri-Power NASCAR sedan, the 1968 Firebird Grand Marque factory show car, 1998 Mecham Trans Am #1, 1999 Trans Am VIN# 1, 2008 G8 VIN# 1. We are thrilled to have two former HPP editors on our masthead.
A former president of the GTOAA, Eric is a veritable Swiss Army knife of talent- a great writer, photographer and graphic artist. His company, Whitehouse Graphics, has published an immense amount of automotive art, as well as book compilations of his artwork. He is also creating the Poncho Perfection Profiles, which accompany every cover feature. Eric is also very active in the preservation of printed automotive material through the Automotive History Preservation Society. Eric lives near the Motor City, in Lapeer, Michigan.
Eric passed away on March 19, 2016 at the age of 60. His contributions to this magazine included the design of the logo, as well as the “Poncho Profiles” that were included in every cover feature from December 2015 to March of 2016. This magazine and the Pontiac hobby would not be the same without Eric’s contributions and for that reason, he will always be on our masthead.
Dave was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1977 and moved to Central Florida in 1991. An automotive painter by trade, he’s done a complete restoration on his very first car, a 1970 Pontiac LeMans that he’s owned for over 20 years. A big fan of music, Dave has played bass guitar for many hard-rock bands in the Orlando area, including Hot Mouth and Cherry Spoiler. Dave currently lives in Altamonte Springs, Florida with his wife of 12 years and their two rescue dogs, Iggy and Paco. Dave’s superior photographic skills, writing talents and Florida location make him an ideal year-round contributor.
Not unlike many 40-something Pontiac proponents cruising through childhood in the mid-to-late ’70s, Andrew Nussbaum’s life and young car guy soul was shaped by the film “Smokey and the Bandit.” From that first viewing at 6-years old, the die was set and he would be a life-long Pontiac guy. He has owned and driven many Pontiacs over the years, including Firebirds, Grand Prixs, Bonnevilles, Grand Ams, GTOs, G8s and a Solstice. He currently owns a 2002 WS6 T/A and a 2006 GTO.
Since 2008, Andrew has been a freelance writer/photographer for several niche car-enthusiast magazines, both print and online, including, High Performance Pontiac and GM High Tech Performance. “I have written and photographed multiple feature stories-more often than not focusing on the cars I am most passionate about, those from GM’s excitement division Pontiac”, he said.” I intend to bring my experience, skills and unwavering enthusiasm for these iconic cars to the new voice of the hobby, Poncho Perfection.”
One of the main forces behind the runaway success of Butler Performance, David combines a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the Pontiac V-8 with the expertise of running a large engine-building facility and parts distributor. A racer since age 12, David brings decades of experience to the Poncho Perfection “Tech Q&A” column
A designer for General Motors, Jeff is their “go to” guy when it comes to anything about GM and Pontiac history. A longtime contributor to various magazines, his work has appeared in Pontiac Enthusiast, High Performance Pontiac and Smoke Signals. A former POCI board member, Jeff is keenly aware of the state of the hobby and is a force for positive change. His collection includes a ’67 GTO convertible, a ’69 GTO Judge, a ’70 Trans Am and a 1998 Daytona Pace Car Replica Grand Prix GTP.
The former editor of High Performance Pontiac and the founder of GTO Enthusiast and Pontiac Enthusiast Magazines, George brings a solid background of magazine experience and impressive credentials. A pioneer in the use of digital color reproduction, George was experimenting with the new technology as far back as 1994 and helped make it the standard it is today. Now semi-retired and living in Florida, George is a successful automotive artist working primarily in the medium of watercolors.
A newcomer to the magazine world, Justin’s enthusiasm for Pontiacs goes back quite a bit further. He has been a hobbyist since his teens and owns a ’64 Catalina wagon, a supercharged LS!-powered, ’89 Formula, an ’01 Firehawk, an ’07 Solstice GXP and an ’09 G8 GXP 6-speed. “My goal is to help preserve the Pontiac hobby, while at the same time bringing it to the newest generations, and actively promoting the history to new and existing hobbyists.” Justin has been covering Pontiac events for Poncho Perfection this past season and you’ll be seeing more from him soon.
A CSK Publishing alum, Diego started there as an intern in 1993 and has become one of the musclecar hobby’s foremost authorities on production numbers, option breakdowns, package content and marketing. His work has appeared in High Performance Pontiac, Musclecars, Musclecar Review, Mopar Muscle, Pontiac Enthusiast and Smoke Signals. A former content editor for Hot Rod.com, Diego lives in Los Angeles.
Scott is a cradle Pontiac enthusiast with over 35 years experience collecting Pontiac models, literature, parts and cars. He currently owns six Pontiacs: ’73 Formula 350, ’74 Grand Prix SJ, ’76 Grand Safari, ’77 Trans Am, ’99 Grand Prix GTP sedan and an ’07 Solstice GXP. The Trans Am is Scott’s first car, purchased used and totally frame-off restored by Scott himself. All of the cars in Scott’s fleet are driven regularly to Pontiac events all over the Midwest.
Scott currently serves as an officer in two Pontiac clubs and serves on the committee of a national Pontiac event. He has been a contributor to High Performance Pontiac since 2011 and has written for Smoke Signals since 2013.
Rocky Rotella has lived his life surrounded by Pontiacs. His father and grandfather were performance enthusiasts who drove nothing but Pontiacs during his formidable years, so it should come as no surprise that studying Pontiac history and performance has become his passion. Rocky has penned about 200 articles primarily for High Performance Pontiac magazine, but his work has also appeared in Hot Rod, Car Craft, Hemmings Motor News, Hemmings Muscle Machines, and POCI’s Smoke Signals. Additionally, he has written two books on Pontiac V-8 engines and is currently finishing a book on 1967-1981 Firebirds. Rocky resides in La Vista, Nebraska with his wife, Jennifer, and children, Sofia and Rocco.
When it comes to funny, insightful and truly entertaining columns, you really aren’t going to find a better voice than Stan Rarden. A former Editor-in-Chief of Pontiac Enthusiast and a past president of the GTOAA, Stan brings a southern charm and a very clear vision of the world around him. Stan’s reach into the hobby also goes into television production, as producer/writer on “The American Musclecar” series for Speed Channel, which has aired continuously since 1997. He also created, wrote and produced the Aurora award-winning series “Off Road A to Z” for versus, and created/wrote the mini-series “The Last Sting Ray” for SPEED. He also wrote and produced the series “101 Cars You Must Drive” for SPEED, featuring “Last Comic Standing” winner Alonzo Bodden. Stan is based out of Tampa, Florida.
A longtime musclecar fan, Ann Haines cut her teeth on a ’69 Boss 302 Mustang, a ’70 ‘Cuda and various Camaros and Corvettes before coming to the Pontiac world. Ann brings a truly unique skill set to Poncho Perfection. A New York State certified 7-12-Grade English teacher, she has a B.A. in English and a Masters Degree in Education from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. Currently, Ann teaches in the Rochester City School District. She was previously the Copy Editor of Smoke Signals Magazine and her attention to detail is one of the main reasons that the title won nine Old Cars Weekly Golden Quill Awards in a row. She lives in Fairport, New York with her fiance, Don Keefe.
Chicago-based artist Ted Alexander had a history with High Performance Pontiac that went back twenty-two years. He created more than two hundred and fifty illustrations, designs, as well as artwork for the popular “What If?” series which continued in Smoke Signals and is now here at Poncho Perfection. He is also known for illustrations of American powered European automobiles, obscure and orphan prototype, production and competition cars and cars designed by Italian designers and carrozzerias.
Ted’s automotive work is shared with a thirty-six year career as an Art Director in business-to-business advertising primarily for companies in the automotive, construction, manufacturing and transportation industries. His corporate image brochures, product brochures and automobile racing event posters have won national design awards.