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Pontiac Parts Seller Steve Ames Passes Away

Pontiac Parts Seller Steve Ames Passes Away

Steve Ames, 78, of Marlborough, N.H., died on Dec. 20, 2020 from a brain bleed that resulted from a fall. Steve loved cars. At 12 years old he worked in a gas station. After getting his engineering degree from Columbia University, he worked for a paper company in Maine. He left that to run a machine shop and drag race from 1961 to 1975 
 After seeing vendors selling parts at a swap meet, Ames started selling NOS Chevy parts, then switched to Pontiac parts. After attending the Flea Marketeers’ second show in Carlisle, Pa., in 1976, Steve started Ames Performance Engineering, Ames Automotive Enterprises and Ames Performance Classics. He distributed a GTO parts catalog in 1983 and a Firebird parts catalog the next year. Then, in 1985, he moved into the reproduction parts business. Ames eventually sold the retail side of his company, but continued to develop new products and sell wholesale parts. He also started the annual Ames Performance Pontiac Tri-Power Nationals held in Norwalk, Ohio, every August.
The Ames Automotive foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, was created to recognize and appreciate unrestored American cars with under 10,000 miles. This collection grew to include at least 76 vehicles and is said to be worth millions of dollars.
Ames was a founding members of SEMA's Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO). In 2007, he was named ARMO’s Person of the Year. His parts won multiple "Best New Product" awards at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Ames is survived by his wife Joan, who used to vend with him at swap meets nationwide.