Posted on: September 12, 1980

Remember Columbus Day weekend 1980?

Were you at the United East event in Washington, D.C. that weekend?

You should have been!!

For those of you who did not make it, we want you to know that fond memories still linger. For without these memories, we would be without this United Issue. Like fine wine–our good times are cherished more and more as time slips past. For those of you who attended this event, your wine has come of age–enjoy! For those of you who missed this past United, savor the bouquet–see you at the next United!

This special photo issue is presented in lieu of a thousand words. ‘Tis true, a picture is worth a thousand words. If we published a thousand words for each photo, you would be reading a book. We are very grateful for all the photos received. Most speak for themselves (some don’t!!).

They came from all over–65 Tigers and their drivers plus one real-life, lower-case tiger and his bottle. In one way or another (racing, polishing, selling parts, or judging) some 200 people were involved in TE/AE United IV the weekend of October 12, 1980.

As Tom Calvert puts it “the cars are getting better and there were more of them than before. At least 25% of the cars were Alpines.”

Concourse Chief Judge Mike Smith says, “Stock Sunbeams are becoming more original with particular attention being paid to detail. Personalized cars are showing subtle and tasteful modifications, many of which lead to a more efficient, dependable, and pleasurable car to drive.”

For more on the concourse, the drag strip race, the autocross, and the meeting, READ ON:

It was called the TE/AE United. It might have been just as easily described as Wally Swift Days. Swift, who lived up to his last name in the autocross, won the following prizes:

  • The Lord Rootes Award
  • First Place, Stock Tiger in the concourse
  • First Place, Competition Alpine in the concourse
  • Most Desirable Car Award Fastest Time of Day for stock Alpines or Tigers in the Autocross

Wally, who sometimes appeared to be in the same place twice due to a masked man with a marked resemblance, was also responsible for the presence of a twelve week old tiger cub borrowed from a friend, Jim Fowler, who used to be associated with the television program “Wild Kingdom”.

Wally was given custody of the tiger cub, EXXON (Paid ad.), with instructions to give it a bottle when it misbehaved–which could mean that most (real) tigers are badly behaved because they are permissively raised.

Wally had won second place in the concourse for three years in a row, and he says that he really went to work in the last year. He put his pristine red stock Tiger up on the trailer and with a high pressure hose and a paint brush made it look like the day they drove it out of the factory. The car has about 66,000 miles on it, and Wally runs it for 3-5,000 miles a year. It sparkled! The final touch is that Wally not only has the original drivers manual but also has the manual that instructs the driver about the operation of the stock AM radio that was sold with the car.

Each year, he had the car evaluated for insurance purposes. Last year the evaluation was $8,000. This year Wally thinks it will be worth $2,000 more. The $10,000 Tiger has arrived:

Wally, who owns five assorted Sunbeams and is a former factory rep for Chrysler, was an advisor to the concourse judges, helped arrange the motel accommodations and was also a technical inspector for the autocross. Among other things, being a Tiger and Alpine owner keeps one active.

Mike Smith describes the progress in the past few years as “amazing.” Not only do the cars seem to be immortal, but they are becoming more numerous. Could there be a secret factory somewhere with little elves turning out the cars?? No–unfortunately not. The answer lies in a lot of elbow grease, imagination, skill and a few dedicated parts suppliers.

There were twenty-five stock Tigers and Alpines, nine personalized cars, twelve modified, plus one competition Alpine entered in the concourse.

There were six categories in which points were awarded or lost: Body, Chassis, Engine, Interior, Trunk and Roadability.

Twenty points in each category meant a perfect car would collect 120 points. This year’s highest total was 112 (judges were not permitted to assess their own cars).

Smith says, “Most of the modified cars involved were sporting engine changes (e.g. dropping a V-6 into an Alpine or a 302 into a Tiger) or major suspension mods and sheetmetal changes (such as flared fenders or hood scoops).”

Wally Swift, who took FIRST PLACE in both Stock-Tiger and Competition Alpine as well as MOST DESIRABLE CAR, graciously announced at the presentation ceremony that he is retiring both cars from further concourse competition. Now, if the other Alpine drivers can only get him to retire of Number 2 from the Autocross competition.

Ernie McCormick’s spotless Alpine once again took FIRST PLACE in its category, and Bill Hosenbusch’s very pretty cream-colored 302-powered Tiger won in the Modified Class. What is really impressive about the condition of the cars is that some of them, like Hosenbusch’s or Ron and Donna Dyak’s, were “basket cases” a few years ago.

DRAG DAY AND AUTOCROSS

by Nick Nicaise & Jim Anderson

Two of the highlights of this year’s United East were the Drag Day and Sunday Autocross. Saturday a group of Tigers headed south for Maryland International Raceway (MIR). The Tigers were at the strip at the invitation of the Capitol Region of the Shelby American Club.

The Shelby Club held their fourth, annual Go and Show with just about anything Ford-powered at the track. The morning rain slowed things down a bit. By early afternoon, though, the skies cleared and the smell of clutch and rubber filled the air. It was not long ‘til the clouds ominously came back.

In the final round–minutes before the rain fell–Henry Ward beat Nick Nicaise (me:) with a 14.43. With all the thunder and lightning during that last run, I wondered if Henry had any help from above.

Ward, with a 302 in his very clean rebuilt Tiger, was running about 14.4 seconds for the quarter mile. Jim Anderson, in a stock 260 with a 2.88 rear end, was running in the low 16’s. Nicaise also with a 260 but with a 3.31 rear end was in the mid 17’s.

On his way to the strip, Ward broke a valve push rod and managed to find a parts place open on a Saturday morning in rural Maryland. Try that with a Jaguar or a Ferrari! He put the thing back together and won the drag meet trophy and then ran the next day in the Autocross as well.

The next day was cold and windy, but it did not stop thirty Tigers and Alpines from making their runs through the pylons. The autocross was held by the University Sports Car Club, College Park, Maryland. Boy, do they lay out a course! Twenty-three off courses were tallied including three by the four first place finishers. The course was so convolute that anyone achieving an on course should have been given an automatic merit badge in map reading. And whi1e we are handing out mythical awards, let’s hear it for Tom Calvert for the most pylons knocked over in a single run–TWO. .

Andy Hollis took First in Modified tiger and FTD with his fast Mark II. Bob Rhodes captured First in stock with his 300,000 mile Tiger. For the Alpine, Philip Perron had an easy win in Modified Alpine.

Wally Swift, as usual, blew away all comers. His stock Alpine not only was faster than the other Alpines but all the stock Tigers as well Andy Hollis, Timonium, Maryland, looked absolutely effortless in his modified light blue Tiger with sticky tires as he ran the fastest time of the day at 48.793. If prizes were to be given for consistency, Andy would have won that also because all three of his runs were within .2 second of each other.

Wally Swift, in his well-known green Alpine, beat the fastest stock Tiger (Bob Rhodes) by about .2 second over the very tight, twisting course. Phil Perron, in his blue modified Alpine (and it sounded really, modified) came within .9 second of matching Hollis’ time. Perron’s FTD was 49.6; Swift was 50.4; and Rhodes was 50.7.

Bob Rhodes, who recently had an accident with his Tiger, lashed it together to drive in the autocross and turned the best time of the day so far on his first run. Tom Ehrhart points out that Rhodes had an obvious weight advantage since he was lacking one headlight and rim. Rhodes later remarked that he was trying to run slow, but fast–if you know what he means. In other words, the squealing of rubber is nature’s way of telling you that you are going sideways which does not count in the total elapsed time.

USSC-ALPINES/TIGERS EAST CHERISHED DATE AUTOCROSS

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND LOT 4
October 12,1981

POS CAR # NAME CAR 1ST 2ND 3RD
MODIFIED ALPINE
1. 101 Philip Person Alpine OC 49.602 50.035
MODIFIED TIGER
1. 136 Andy Hollis (FTD) Tiger 48. 975 48.946 48.793
STOCK ALPINE
1. 123 Wally Swift Alpine OC 50.402 50.857
2. 122 Rich Choyce Alpine 55.260 OC 51.930
3. 102 Rich Elliott Alpine OC 54.735 53.253
4. 115 Dale Gibson Alpine 56.226 53.701 60.221(1)
STOCK TIGER
1. 125 Bob Rhodes Tiger 50.724 50.658 OC
2. 105 Barry Schonberger Tiger 51.520 51.391 50.806
3. 117 Ron Rogers Tiger 51.887 51.565 51.306
4. 109 John Wotring Tiger DNF 51.322 51.315
5. 110 Bill Miller Tiger 52.339 51.562 51.360
6. 124 Douglas Pruitt Tiger 59.045 52.323 51.394
7. 113 John Kathmann Tiger 51.815 57.607 51.940
8. 116 Alan Simon Tiger OC OC 51.927
9. 120 Scott Woerth Tiger 59. 641 52. 279 52.003
10. 132 Bud Elliott Tiger 53.732 63.184(1) 52.125
11. 108 David Driggs Tiger OC 54.783 52.411
12. 128 Tom Ehrhart Tiger 53.190 52.516 52.763
13. 118 Nick Nicaise Tiger 53.384 OC 53.353
14. 111 Wm. Rosenbusch Tiger OC 53.387 OC
15. 121 Henry Ward Tiger OC OC 53.762
16. 204 Steve Ezzo Tiger 54.177 54.060 OC
17. 202 Thomas Calvert Tiger 55.1.08 65.830(2) 55.454(1)
18. 201 D. D. Phipps Tiger 59.683 55.905 55.698
19. 106 Craig Hanna Tiger 61.466 58.465 56.462
20. 114 Charlie Driggs Tiger 58.765 60.634(1) 56.683
21. 107 Ronald J. Dyak Tiger OC OC OC
22. 127 Jim Anderson Tiger OC OC OC
23. 134 David Reed Tiger OC OC OC
24. 126 Jim Tony Tiger DNF DNS DNS
All times include pylon penalties (2 seconds for each pylon hit). Number of pylons hit marked in parentheses.

CONCOURS RESULTS

Stock Tiger
1. Wally Swift, Mk IA
2. George Steigerwalt, Mk II
3. Mike and Linda Smith, RH drive Mk IA (former factory showcar)
Stock Alpine
1. Ernie McCormick, V (original owner)
2. Gary Lyman, IV automatic
3. Joanne Ehrhart, ’69 GT
Personalized Tiger
1. John Kathmann, Mk IA
2. Ron and Donna Dyak, Mk II
3. Diane Driggs, Mk IA
Personalized Alpine
1. Dave Lawler, V w/chrome wire wheels
2. Pat and Bill Deeter, yellow V
3. Dale Gibson,
Modified Sunbeams
1. Bill Rosenbusch, Mk IA
2. Steve Towle, Alpine V-6
3. Walt Teichgraber, Mk I
Competition
1. Wally Swift, V Alpine
Most Desirable
1. Tigers: Wally Swift, Mk IA w/Mk II trim
2. Alpine: Ernie McCormick, very original V
JUDGES:
  • Dave Driggs, Buffalo, NY
  • Brian Scott, Ontario, Canada
  • Scott and Bobbi Woerth, Christians, PA
  • Dave Lawler, Harleysville, PA
  • Mauricio del Prado, West New York, NJ
ADVISORS:
  • Bob Rhodes
  • Tom Stanbro
  • Rick McLeod
  • Wally Swift
  • Jack Fields

Idle Gossip from the UNITED

Phil Perron came down after a regional at Lime Rock, CT, in his F Production Alpine just to see if we were worth all the noise. We were–according to Phil. It was nice to see a real racer. (Thanks for coming, Phil. Ed.)

Bill Miller (who traveled the furthest by road from Waverly, TN; who is an ex-STOA presidents and who has a very special Tiger) very quietly came and went, but we knew that he was there.

Gee, heard that Jim Tony who owns a Cottman’s Transmission Service Center had transmission trouble in his Tiger.

Saturday looked bleak with a threat of rain. Confirmed the rain around 800 a.m. which lasted for several hours. Those selling parts ran to a local store causing a plastic cover shortage (parts protection racket)

There was an excellent selection of parts available. Having been to both West and East coast Uniteds, it is NO contest. The East Coast has the parts and the owners were buying, no doubt about that.

Among some of the unique cars in attendance was Brian Scott’s (Toronto) Mark II which is being used in SUNOCO TV and newspaper ads in Canada. Brian brought movies and ad proofs to show around in the hospitality suite.

Chris and Mitch Freeman (Reading, PA) had a right hand drive, 1965 Alpine GT–a very unusual combination for this part of the country. There were a total of three right hand drive cars (including Nick Nicaise, Baltimore, MD, and Mike and Linda Smith, Romney, WV).

The Uncle Wally (Swift) impersonation was well done by Clay Robinson. In fact, he looked a little better than the real thing:

Although Bill Miller drove furthest in his Tiger, the longest traveled award should go to Rick McLeod of Sunbeam Specialties. He traveled from Los Gatos, California by air. Suitably enough, his car traveled in the cargo compartment of a Tiger Airlines plane.

Find pictures of the event here.

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