Let me offer my perspective as a former United organizer (TE/AE '93, Burlington,
1. The whole purpose of these events is to get a lot of Sunbeams and Sunbeam
folks together to have some fun. If you are coming just for the concours or
autocross trophies, then perhaps you are missing the point. I've been to both
SUNI's and several TE/AE uniteds, and each one is remembered more for the
people we met, the regions we visited, the ideas we got, the neat cars we saw,
than for who won the autocross or concours. Does anyone even remember? (OK,
the autocross was probably Wally, but that's been true almost every year.)
Sure, each of these, and even my Burlington event, could have been better (Isn't
hindsight wonderful?). But don't take things so seriously. Celebrate the
people who make the effort to attend, with our without their cars.
2. No matter what you do, someone isn't going to like something about it. Some
didn't like our location, because it was so far north ("You dragged us half way
to the North Pole.."), but lots of people came. (Half way to the Pole, 45
degrees north, is actually a few miles north of Burlington.) Some thought the
rally could have been easier, but we ended up with a nice tour of the
3. Deliver what you advertise. A couple times, we've had no autocross at TE/AE
Uniteds, but everybody knew that going in, so the complaining was minimal. If
you advertise a specific type of event, then deliver it, unless some act of God
or something of a similar scale, prevents it.
4. It is 10X harder to organize these things than it seems. Working with
uncompensated volunteers, it's nothing short of a miracle that the events turn
out as well as they do. The time that the organizers have to put in to select
hotels, negotiate for autocross and concours sites, is unbelievable to someone
who hasn't done it. Have you ever had to find a site for an autocross in an
area with no active clubs? One of our fellows had to volunteer a bunch of
weekends working with a some kind of National Guard youth drug prevention
organization in order to get us access to their airport for our autocross. I'll
bet lots of invisible deals like this are done every year to make things happen.
So don't crap on the organizers too heavily. If you don't like the way things
have been done, then step forward yourself next time around!