Steve Ames

Steve Ames

Times Nominated: 2
Nominated Year(s): 2018, 2019
Last Year of Eligibility: 2023
Category: Pontiac Entrepreneur

Graduated with an engineering degree from Columbia University and immediately went into the National Guard.

Upon completing that requirement, he got his first real job with a large paper company in Maine.


During his time there, he could see that the corporate life was not for him. So he left Maine and started to run a machine shop while pursing his passion for drag racing until he was 33. One time he went to a flea market and saw car parts being sold for a lot of money. So Steve got his humble beginnings in parts business by traveling up and down the East Coast buying NOS parts from primarily Chevy Dealers. However, there were Pontiac parts mixed in with the lots he was buying.

He attended one of the first Carlisle events in the Fall of 1976 with a bunch of Chevy parts and a lot less Pontiac parts. At that time, he saw how competitive the Chevy parts business was and that surprisingly his Pontiac parts were selling pretty good and at pretty good prices. It was at that time that he decided to specialize in Pontiac. He soon realized that the time and cost of doing these shows and obtaining NOS parts was starting to take it's toll. At one point he was doing 30 per year shows while stopping at every dealer he ran along the way.

Then in 1980 George Richardson asked for a rare 64 GTO part. It was at this point that the visionary part of Steve Ames recognized that the demand for Pontiac parts far exceeded the supply of NOS parts that he could find. So he made some connections and started to get these popular items reproduced. A year later, he compiled one of the first full line GTO catalogs in 1983. The 1st Firebird catalog followed in 1984. What made Steve stand out however, was his insistence for making things correctly. This combination of supplying parts readily available from a Pontiac dealer, NOS and very high quality aftermarket items literally set the bar for the industry we see today close to 37 years later.

His magazine ads for his GTO and Firebird catalog were seen nationwide and slowly inspired many other competitors. Today, although his retail business has been sold, it remains the single largest source for classic Pontiac parts. He still runs the same wholesale parts business that he started in 1980. His wide range of Pontiac and GM reproductions are still one of the largest in the industry and are being carried by most of the major catalog supply houses.

Steve has been a long time early board member to SEMA's ARMO division which has significantly helped shape the Restoration market from the nineties to present. Steve has one of the most unique and rare automotive collections in the world. The fact that almost all his vehicles are un-restored and have under 10,000 original miles is incredible. With these cars, Steve founded the Ames Automotive foundation as a 501c3 non profit organization.

The goal has been and remains to help future generations to recognize and appreciate how well these vehicles were made and how important the American assembly line concept has been in solidifying the USA as the world leader of industry. Many of the cars in the collection are ultra rare Pontiacs.

Steve has always led an unassuming and humble lifestyle almost always shying away from the limelight, accolades and notoriety. Steve lives in New Hampshire with his Wife Joan. He is still very active in the Pontiac community.


Our Mission At The PPA

The mission of the Pontiac Preservation Association is to provide a vehicle for all clubs, associations, individual hobbyists, web sites and groups, parts manufacturers, parts businesses, restoration shops, car dealers, event promoters, publishers-everyone associated with the Pontiac automobile to come together for the express purpose of better coordinating all energies and resources to preserve and promote the Pontiac hobby and to improve the Pontiac industry for the betterment of all involved.