Jim Hand

Jim Hand

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

Jim E. Hand has been a recognized figure in the Pontiac world for a very long time and it started in 1955.

His first new car, a red, 287 cu. in. four barrel-powered two-door 1955 Pontiac left its El Paso, Texas dealership and took the newly formed Hand family to Pennsylvania for Jim’s US Army stint.


After three kids and a conclusion of his NIKE Missile base duties, Jim came back to the Midwest with the red ’55. It stayed in the family until 1960 when it was replaced with a 425-A, 389 cu. in. four door Catalina. After years of family life and dragstrip duty, the 1960 was sold and replaced with a 1963 389 cu. in.-powered four door Catalina which also saw family and strip duty. The burgundy ’63 was sold in 1965 and the era of the “Jim Hand high powered wagons” began in 1965 with the delivery of a nine passenger, 389 cu. in, tri-power 338 HP Safari wagon. The 1965 wagon stayed in the family until it finally succumbed to the “midwestern winter salt” in the early 1980s. At this time, it was replaced with the smaller 1971 LeMans wagon. (FYI: In the late 1960s, Jim built and raced another 1955 Pontiac that was sold to allow room for a 1969 340 Dart Swinger).

Long before “the home computer”, “internet”, and “websites” became everyday words, Jim was sharing Pontiac info with anyone who requested it. Local drag racers in the KC area were always welcome to discuss what made a Pontiacs run. Various magazine articles and Pontiac exhibitions and presentations enabled Jim to share what he had learned from years of drag racing and street driving his red 455 cu. in. powered 1971 LeMans wagon.

Jim also became proficient with Pontiac cylinder heads, carburetion, camshafts, exhaust tuning and virtually anything that affects the power output of the engine. In the late 1990s, Jim hit the Internet and extensively shared all the details surrounding his impressive wagon and its performance. Pontiac enthusiasts worldwide were able to learn from Jim and in the early 2000s, the CarTech publishing group invited Jim to put it all in one book that was eventually published in 2003. Jim’s “How to Build a Maximum Performance Pontiac V8” was available for many years and was praised for its clear writing, great photography, and tremendous details regarding all parts of the Pontiac V8 engines.

Jim and his wife Mary raised seven kids and they continue to live in the Midwest. As a testament to his heritage, a quick Internet search for “Jim Hand LeMans wagon” will open up a world of written, audio, and visual links to see and hear the wagon in action.


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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.