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2004 National Meet Observations

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My wife and I attended the National meet this year. the only other National meet I have made was 1997 St Louis which I thought was pretty good. This meet in Plano had some pluses and minuses. I thought overall it was a good meet and the Texas hosting chapter did well.

I arrived Friday morning and there were very few cars (in my opinion). I always visualize a club specific National as being awe inspiring in the number of entries and swap meet vendors - like we dream about. In this case, many cars showed up on Saturday morning-helping to fill out the field.

My wife and I went to the rodeo Friday night and that was a fun time. It was different from the entertainment we get up here. I ran into some old friends and talked with some new ones. I did not have a car to show but I will next year.

I was disappointed that the lodging was not closer to the meet. It also feels strange when the National 'wraps up' on Saturday afternoon, so to speak. Oh sure, there is still the banquet Saturday night but it felt like everyone was leaving Saturday afternoon. There should be an official send off Sunday morning by the President and BCA board members that attend. Perhaps that occurs Saturday night but a Sunday breakfast event would be nice.

I liked the ability to come indoors out of the heat, which wasn't oppressive - it was hot but I don't believe it got above 88 degrees. It was cooler on Saturday.

When it comes to the number of cars - and variety - the turnout was a complete failure (in my opinion). I hope the BCA Nationals are not in a downward spiral. I think the format needs to be addressed SERIOUSLY now that this meet is over. The Rivieras 63-73 were horribly represented. I saw some 63-65's and 3 boattails (on Saturday) but no 66-69's. The 55's were there in fair numbers, as were the 58's. Few if any 59's and 60's. Few Wildcats. Of course the pre-Wars are dropping in numbers but I thought there was good representation in the 30's.

My wife and I at age 40 were among the younger members there. I don't own a GS - and by the way there was a great GS representation I thought - I own a 61 Buick and I am trying to decide on another Buick. Part of the reason for attending was to view up close and take photos of Buicks of interest.

One member with a 62 Electra convertible was very helpful and friendly. I learned a lot. What is proper show field etiquette? If an owner and spouse are close by the car, and judging is not going on, is it reasonabl OK to inquire and ask about the car? Is it OK to ask to sit in it? I always feel uncomfortable even getting close to a $65,000 convertible. I just think the hobby isn't being served long term by being aloof and reserved.

I believe this was a low turnout event that deserved better. The hosting chapter was superb and the venue was great. WE JUST NEED TO FILL UP THE AVAILABLE SHOW FIELD!!!! The tapered parking lot at the Plano Centre was well suited to a car show, even if the surface was concrete.

Bryan and Christine Moran

BCA 28571

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I was there and agreed that the number of cars that showed up was a little disappointing. You have to give them credit for taking on a tough position with being the first national meet after FLINT though. Hank Deglman put it well into perspecive at the banquet on Saturday night. He was one of the last people to speak, and he thanked the local chapter for taking on such a tough task. It's very easy to lose money on an even like this.

I'll be sure to tell Hank (62 Electra convertible) what you said. He'll appreciate it. He's always been a big help to me. He's also one of the reasons I joined the club - great folks!!

I'm just glad we had somewhere to go this year. The possibility of NOT having a national meet at all was in the air.

The thing I could rant on and on about, was the ridiculous lines for the cash bar at the banquet laugh.gif What the heck was that all about? I think I signed my life away to buy a couple drinks. I've never seen anything like that before!

Thanks again for making the event fun and successful!!

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I almost forgot -

Kristin from the Sloan Museum needs to come to these meets more often! wink.gif

I found myself buying things I normally wouldn't have bought...excellent marketing tactic they have there grin.gif

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Adam,

You can thank the Baptists and the antiquated Liquor laws for the lines you and everyone else faced Saturday night. You had to join their private club, which is the way to get around the law. I am glad not everywhere in Texas is like that. Also, they had it set up pretty well, some places make you but a 2 dollar card and fill out a long form.

As far as the number of cars go, I was disappointed too. We had about 200 register and took pictures of 150 of them. From what I understand, people just dont like to come west. I am sure we will see more at Batavia next year.

For those of you who didn't come, you missed a great show.

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Well, I'm part of the reason there weren't more cars there, at least by one...I was absolutely determined to bring my '71 LeSabre, but fate and an accursedly obstinate rear window / trim issue (insert really long story here) forced me to attend without my beloved Buick. But when it's 10:30 pm the night before, you're pushing the work, and all you've really just succeeded in doing is slicing your finger open, you begin to think that somebody is trying to tell you something. That is, once you stop swearing...

Anyway, I was terrifically glad to be able to attend, my family had a ball, it was wonderful to finally meet some of you and see your cars in person (Congrats, Adam!!! NICE Centurion...), and everybody was great.

The only bummer for me is that my extended family in N. Dallas (whom I love dearly, don't get me wrong!) required a lot of my help/attention, so I couldn't hang around more and talk about really important stuff...

Of course, more Buicks would have been even better, but hey, I got to see a Sportwagon!!! Whose IS that, and where can I get one?

James Myers

BCA 40635

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We just got back from Plano and had a great time. Remember, this is the back to reality Buick National. Anything after Flint is going to seem small and underrepresented. We met quite a few old friends and made new ones. Great banquet and it was a very nicely run event.

I was especially appreciative of the Buick Driven award. My '27 got one and we really like it. I only objected to the "driven" cars being called "drivers" occasionally at the meet. To me, the driven cars are very well restored and/or maintained vehicles with enough mechanical integrity to be driven thousands of miles in summer heat. Believe me, there are many show cars and daily drivers that cannot do that. Our car is not a so-called "daily driver". Yes, this is a semantic nitpik, take it or leave it. Thanks so much to BCA for sponsoring the award, it's a definite keeper.

Bill

Albuquerque, NM.

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The Dallas club knew that following Flint would be really tough job. On top of that, many remember 1996 in Plano as hot and made the decision long in advance NOT to attend. That is an individual decision but it had a huge affect on the attendance and the overall meet.

The hosting club(s) have a real problem when it comes to hotels. Imagine you are going to host a national.... how many rooms do you need? Dallas could have found a hotel that would handle the number of people that actually attended, but remember, they had to make the decision two years before the meet. Had there been a normal attendance, one hotel (that we used) could not handle all the people and have the space for the show and swap meet (plus regular parking)

In an ideal world, we would have one large host hotel where everyone could stay. It would have plenty of parking for the attendees and the show, plus indoor and outdoor swap meet space. It would be surrounded by a varity of resturants within walking distance. The daytime tempature would be 75 and there would be no problems. If anyone knows of such a place, we need to start planning.

Bryan, you are correct in what we invision when we come to the national, and this year was not the greatest. Not because the hosting club failed but because BCA members failed to support the meet. What do you believe the BCA board should do on Sunday morning? We have also had a long week. I arrived on Wed. Cleaned two cars, went on two tours, and did not set up as a vendor because I knew there was not enough time. Attend the BCA membership meeting followed by the BCA board meeting (over 5 hours).

One of our tough decisions was where to host the 2006 national meet...Rochester MN or Colorado Springs CO. A tough decision...... we would like to have a meet in the west, but when all things were weighed, it was felt that Rochester should get the nood.

Adam, I am filling out my application for the St Louis regional at this time.

Regional meets fill the gap between nationals and fill the need for members that cannot take 10 days to travel and attend a meet that is a great distance from their home. There is a chance that a Regional like St Louid could attract as many vehicles as Plano..... but remember, there will only be "peer" judging at most Regionals, so a national is one of the few places you can see how your Buick rates.

Bill, the Driven class is going to be very popular. There is less pressure to get every bit of dirt removed and the owner can spend more time with friends you see but once a year.

Hats off to the North Texas Chapter for a well run meet.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or complaints, please send them directly to me at Barney@Texas.net

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I just returned from the national, and the tour after, and must say that even though the car count was down, the ones displayed were top notch!The swap meet also was small, but the vendors had parts I have not seen ever at a swap mweet. I must compliment the host chapter,as they did a GREAT job, and I too got to meet people that are just names.

Thank you Texas

Joe Taubitz

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I was also one who registered a Buick to show, but didn't get it finished in time. The 64 Skylark Convertible was to be painted and the interior installed by June 1, but it hasn't even been to the paint shop. My wife and I went to the meet and had a great time looking at the Buicks there and talking to some of the owners and lookers. I even found a windshield washer reservoir in the swap meet and have been looking everywhere. My hat is off to the North Texas

Chapter for a great, well planned event.

By the way, asphalt gets hot in Texas, thus most surfaces are concrete.

Karl Eltzroth

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Hi. This is Roy Faries, Meet Co-Chairman for the 2004 Plano National Meet. I really appreciate the comments, especially the good ones. The members of the North Texas Chapter worked hard to make the meet a success. We knew from our experience in 1996 that it would not be a very big show. We had about the same turnout then, which was our first one. We took the experience we accumulated in 1996 to heart in several areas, trying to make this meet a better one. For instance, we purposely held the meet in June instead of July, making the temperature around 10 degrees cooler. And did anyone notice that every outdoor vendor had a big shade tree? My personal opinion is that there will always be a few members that will come to every Nationals no matter where it is held. But the location will draw many members from local areas that do not make the trip every year. And, frankly, there are not that many members within a 500 mile radius around Dallas. Anyway, we planned this event with the bottom goal of giving everyone a top notch experience with or with a lot of cars. Based on most of the comments, I think we succeeded. Again, thanks for the comments.

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How many Buicks were at the show and how does that compare with the other shows held in the past (other than Flint of course!) ? There is alot of talk about so few cars but no numbers or comparison...this would be good data for those folks who are planning the next few National or Regional events...as would a list of tips like mentioned with the shade trees or checking local Weather for a more hospitable month for temp and precipitation...although the later is much harder to plan for! :-)

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There was a long discussion at the board meeting about putting together a team of past national meet people. They would be available to help anyone that is interested in hosting a national meet. The pitfalls that have been encountered in the past could be passed on to the new national hosts, and they would really help keep the new kids on the block out of trouble.

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Cool. Did they also talk about putting a list together for each site from the past? I would hate to see information lost from generation to generation because we're trying to do it with "word of mouth"...maybe something they could put together and post on the BCA site for clubs that are trying to decide if they want to persue it in the initial stages? Something web based for easy access?

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Here are the numbers from the 2004 National Meet in Plano, TX.

Total Registrations: 312

# of Registrations w/out car 90

Total People 616

Vendors 29

Car corral 15

Awards Banquet 342

Cars 207

400 PT: 110

Display 30

Archival 10

Modified 3

Drivers 38

Senior 17

Roy Faries

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I volunteered to put together the list from earlier meet locations. Joe and others have stepped up to help with names. If you or your club hosted a meet in the past, it will speed my assignment if you send me the information. I am starting by compiling a list of the major areas of responsibility, then adding names from around the country. Any help you can give will be appreciated.

I want to comment on one of the things Roy mentioned. If you draw a 500 mile radius around Dallas, you pick up the following Chapters...Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Wichita, Kansas City. Without Chapter numbers, I'm guessing that is about mayby 400 members.

Now do the same thing with Louisville Ky as the center. I am not going to list all the Chapters but you get the point. Dallas is more remote and the drive is longer for many members. However, most all agree, we cannot have the meets in the same area each year. Rochester MN will have several hundred more members within the 500 mile radius than Dallas.

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Guest imported_MrEarl

Roy, ya'll did great. This was my son's and my second national, with Flint last year being the first, and I thought Plano was super. One good point was that with no more cars than was there, one had time to REALLY look at the beauties that were there. And look I did. Wore my knees out looking at that gorgeous undercarriage on that yellow 54 Skylark, got a catch in my back from bending over so many hoods without touching that fender, my left eye got spasms from being closed so long from takin so many pictures of portholes, grilles and sweepspears, and lost about 5 lbs from sweating it out in that Plano Texas sun. Also met some of you guys on this forum. Willie I've got to say, of all the cars that I spent time looking at, I've got to commend you on that beautiful 55 Convertible as most deserving of that Senior Award!! This car wasn't just sent to a restoration shop and 6 months later delivered back to the owner (and I have every respect for those kind also). Willie spent years, 7 I believe I heard, on restoring this car from a rusted out hull to what you saw at the National. Let's give the ol critter doc a hand!!!!

I would however like to have seen a little more spunk at the banquet. Maybe some before dinner music (Arlen Roth-56 Buicks from outer space, The Remains-Big ol' Dyna Flow, John Fogerty-Hot Rod Heart and any thing by Big Joe and the Dynaflows. I guarantee there would have been some leg shakin goin on and more people would have joined the "Club". Maybe if Georgia ever gets the National again I can handle the banquet entertainment.

Well, just wanted to say Good job North Texas Chapter.

Oh and I almost forgot, this ol' Georgia goat roper could have caught that little calf at the rodeo, but I didn't want to get my new Buick polo shirt dirty.

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