United X – 1986

by Tom Ehrhart

Just ask Doug Jennings (Tiger Auto), Ed Gullett (Automotive Fine Art), Jim D’Amelio (Commonwealth Auto), Ken Bishop (TE/AE Club regalia), Rick McLeod (Sunbeam Specialties), and–of course–Mr. and Mrs. Tiger Tom. Mrs. T. T. stood by in the parts room virtually the entire time the parts room was open. Even helping to handle some of CATS’ wares hand carried in by Tom McDaniels, CAT VP. Okay, so much for the commercial. As you can see, the Whose Who of the parts world were right there at INDY.

With the ever-ambitious schedule put together by Barry Schonberger, it was near impossible for all to take care of their spares inventories and enjoy the “spectacle” of Indy. So this year (like the past) the parts emporium was turned on and off during periods of group activity. The concept worked rather well and prevented conflicts since so many owners tend to hang around the spares so much. There always seems to be some sort of entertainment value in our spares: Heavens know why–an Austin Healy owner would not even bat an eyelash (except George and Nina Null).

Aside from Tiger Tom’s anchor store, used spares from many owners were scattered about in the room. Facilities were provided for all to display their wares. Even the parking lot was used. I mean, when they pull in with flatbed trailers loaded with used parts, it poses a challenge for the best of organizers. You can only put so much into a 2000 square foot area …but we tried.

A TE/AE United parts swap is a very special institution. Everything from some owner’s junk pile to the last OEM gadget show up. If you want that hard-to-find part (N0, impossible part) you have to experience a TE/AE United. Even Chuck Silvey, a local Indy owner who is attempting to restore a MkII with only OEM spares, made the trek to skim the pickins.

This was a successful year for both buyers and sellers. Some of the sellers made significant contributions towards the banquet awards. Recipients of the door prizes will attest that the gamble of attending a TE/AE United was well worthwhile. Winners of these items went home just a little happier.

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