Gatlanville, TN   1983

United Concours

Here we are again Beamers; at the end of another year of meets, shows, and part swaps. United VII has come and gone leaving fond memories of both renewed and newfound friendships, beautiful cars, and in general a great weekend.

Alpines East/Tigers East Uniteds are a treat for everyone I’m sure, but for those of us who have attended all of them, Gatlinburg was a very special event. It was not the well planned activities, or the fine facilities that made it so, nor was it the trip to Tennessee and home again. It was the people and their cars. You just multiply the greatest people and the most outstanding Sunbeams anywhere times seven and the product of that is the real reason so many of us keep coming back year after year.

Who would have ever thought that Alpine #B9000001 and Tiger #B9470001 would form bonds to hold fast for so long, between so many, who are so far apart? Enough driveling, as I am sure you are most interested in the results of the United VII Concours de Elegance.

Close to fifty cars were presented to those in attendance, as well as to the numerous spectators that gathered about. Seventeen were judged and six first place cars from past Uniteds were on display, to be eligible for popular vote only.
Pictures [ page 1 ] [ page 2 ]

The results are as follows:

Stock Alpine

  • 1st – Gary Fuller – Series III – W.Va
  • 2nd – Art Cramer – Series IV – NY

Stock Tiger

  • 1st – Brian Boyer – MKII – MD
  • 2nd – Gary Ballard – MKI – IND
  • 3rd – David Lamb – MKIA – AL

Personalized Tiger

  • 1st-Jim Morrison-MKI-AL
  • 2nd-Dallas Hunt-MKI-MD
  • 3rd-Bill Bullpit-MKI-GA

Modified Tiger

  • 1st-Barry Schonberger-MKI-IND
  • 2nd-Gary Hellings-MKI-PA
  • 3rd-Bill Miller-MKI-TN

Popular Vote Alpine

  • 1st-Gary Fuller-Series III-W.VA.
  • 2nd-Art Cramer-Series IV-NY
  • 3rd-Travis Smith-Series V-FL

Popular Vote Tiger

  • 1st-Brain Boyer-MKII-MD
  • 2nd-Gary Hellings-MKI-PA
  • 3rd-Wally Swift-MKIA-MD

Special Thanks:

  • To Bill Wells, Jim Morrison, Al Johnson, George and Debbie Matthis, Ed Anderson, and John Kathmann. You were the judges who gave your time and talent to help me pull this thing off. I really appreciate it and THANK YOU!
  • To Jack Fields for designing and having the trophies made, and to Dr. Lawler for assembling them at the last moment.
  • To “Uncle” Wally Swift and Bill Miller, thanks for being there and for your expert advice and guidance.
  • To Andrea Hellings, who helped me with the absolute worst job of all tallying the scores. You made the job painless. THANK YOU!
  • To my wife Linda who has lived with my “tiger” obsession for the past seventeen years.
  • Last but by all means not least, thanks to everyone who participated in this event, for without you none of it would have been possible.

Mike Smith

Life in the United Parts Den

TT Cantwin

Uniteds have a way of drawing people for many diverse reasons – a trip to get away from the family or with the family, vacation, to meet people old and new, share war stories and go on ego trips and on and on ….
Once were under the same roof there are many things, which provide rewarding experiences, like local trips, planned activities, unplanned activities (beer parties), banquets, competition events (concours, auto crossing), sex, tech sessions (of course no sex), Alpine slides, parts – PARTS. Parts you say! Yep, next to the hospitality suite the parts room always was the center of attraction. In fact, it appears there were times when more folk were in the parts room than the banquet, which doesn’t make sense. The banquet is cheaper.
Heck, the parts room resembles more of a casino. Owners just keep pouring money into the cash boxes looking for a big win. Parts at Uniteds are like ore-ism, alcoholism. Owners are absolute addicts. This United was no exception, everyone felt like they were in a candy store with Tiger Tom and Classic Sunbeam parts spread out. Even our old time Sunbeamer made his first appearance at a United. Doug Jennings of Tiger Auto, Dayton Ohio brought down a load of parts and some very special T shirts. Doug graciously donated proceeds of all “Tiger Auto” T shirts sales to “Tang Team Tiger” who he supports and helps sponsor in SCCA road racing. TTT is a very competitive state of the art Tiger armed and driven by Tam Patton of Cincinnati, Ohio.
So you see. the parts room/area is like a rally at the local, destined to keep you poor, well informed of racing and war stories of the past year, full arms, empty pockets and a swollen head as you leave….
Don’t miss your next fling at Niagara Falls, New York in 1984. Bring your parts and help keep your fellow Sunbeamers poorer-you richer!

United VII Tech Session

TT Cantwin

If parts, vacation, sex, don’t get you to the United, then Tech Sessions will! If you made it to a United, you were bound to have same sort of harrowing tale about your trip. Especially this year. Gatlinburg is definitely not your local town you pass through going somewhere. It is a town you have to go to. It is out of the way of everything, stuffed in the hills of Tennessee. Which translates into- if you made it nonstop your car is in good shape.

For those who made it, the tech tip session was like emergency aid. Now that all the A1pines and Tigers had gathered on one ridge, realization suggested we eventually had to leave for home. Although our cars are the better lot of English motorcars, they are British and Lucas wired. The tech session was a welcome respite. It afforded us with an opportunity to learn how to tweak carbs, rebuild servos, install antennas (you have to listen to the radio to survive the long trek home), rebuild our own rack, etc.
We understand the tech session worked out well. John Quinter learned how to change a hot starter only a couple of miles into his return trip home. Who ran out of gas? No, the tech session wasn’t a driver training seminar.

The tech session didn’t advise on Chevy repairs either. Seems Barry Schoenberger’s Chevy van hiccupped on the way back from the Autocross. And low and behold, what do you suppose Barry and Angie used as a spare? Why his super Tiger that he was towing, of course. Folks, this is one fine testimonial! Every Chevy needs a Tiger as a back up vehicle.

Some United Activities

By Melissa Fields

Friday afternoon same Sunbeam owners took advantage of the free time for shopping in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Others took the leisurely drive thru the Smokies either shopping in the many lovely craft shops or heading to the town of Cherokee to go thru the excellent museum there on Indian culture. In the evening many Sunbeamers took the cable car ride up to Obergatlinburg for dinner. A floorshow could be seen which contained various types of entertainment such as food eating contests, trampoline act, umpa band and the roving tuba player whose tuba caught quarters. Many Sunbeam owners feel the best part of the Oberfest was the cable car ride up and down.

Apparently they hire the operators for their comic ability. They were very good. The later part of the evening was spent in the hospitality suite watching movies and telling Sunbeam tales till the wee hours. The concours entrants were up early enough despite late hours the night before to wash down their cars and still have time to eat breakfast at one of the many restaurants in Gattlinburg before the judging started.

United Autocross

Pictures [ page 3 ]
Our second caravan of the meet lined up Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. to travel same 50 miles to Knoxville and Chalhowee Park for the Eastern Tennessee Region of the Sports Car Club of America’s Solo II Autocross. After gathering the last of our speed freaks out of the membership meeting we departed with a dozen cars, some prepared to run the event and others to spectate. Upon arrival we found the park to be set up to accommodate a large carnival. A large paved area and ribbon of asphalt, which formed an oval track with hills on the straight aways, formed our track. Cars were parked like carnival rides and sideshows in the infield. Spectators parked in the outfield. For the first time autocrosser let alone the old, the opportunity to drive a course with two substantial hills was inviting. Participants could sign up for as many as 6 runs on the course if they chose to run in both their cars respective class and in an unlimited practice class. Following a group course walk through 13 TE/AE VII participants prepared to do battle with the local iron.

Our first hint of trouble was when we found that the average stock class took over a minute and a half to complete this long course and they could only run one car at a time. By 3:00 pm some TE/AE members still didn’t have their first run and they had purchased six. At 4:00 pm with everyone through once the organizers agreed to refund a portion of the money to those TE/AE members who had to head for home. They also reduced the number of unlimited runs to one and class runs to three. Around 4:30 with only two class runs completed the clock broke which sent the Tennessee Region Organizers on the run for a replacement. The last runs of the day were completed at 6:45 pm, which made for a long day beyond anyone’s imagination. All our entrants looked real sharp on the course and many took top honors in their classes. Wally Swift even thrashed the gleaming red Tiger before departing for Maryland. Tom Ehrhart’s Roto Rooter turned a few heads that thought it might be a new Mazda release for ’84. Katie Kathmann was mistaken for Bill Miller, but she got that all straightened out by throwing back her shoulders. John Kathmann and Barry Schonberger found the grass in the infield and outfield respectively to their liking during the late afternoon runs. (read spins) Bob Lawler made his 1983 Mustang sing without overstepping the law.

Our thanks to the Eastern Tennessee Region for extending an invitation to us for the day. The course was great, but things just didn’t go as they expected and they gave it their best to resolve the problems. We brought home three first place trophies and the results are as follows:

1st ASP John Kathmann 1966 Tiger 1:30.625
ASP Katie Kathmann 1966 Tiger 1:36.553
ASP Bill Miller 1966 Tiger l:33.625
1st CS Jeff Jackson 1980 RX-7 1:30.221
CS Wally Swift 1967 Tiger 1.33.615
CS Tom Ehrhart 1969 Roto Rooter 1:37.598
FS Bob Lawler 1983 Mustang 1:47.584+
Chris Galdikas 1963 Alpine DNF
DP Mark Franklin 1963 Alpine DNF
DP Ed Miller 1963 Alpine DNF
ES George Matthis 1977 Capri DNF
ES Debbie Matthis 1977 Capri DNF
1st BP Barry Schonberger 1966 Tiger 1:23.547+
BP Tim Pride 1966 Tiger 1:26.384

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