Opel Nationals Discussion thread
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  1. #1
    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    Opel Nationals Discussion thread

    The Opel Nationals is considered the "event to go to if you can only attend one major event that year".

    Individuals or groups manage regional events held annually throughout the country. Attending the one in your region is a great way to held these expand and grow. The Nationals are rotated through these regional events. The schedule is somewhat flexible and is usually set 2 to 3 years in advance to help with planning.

    Post your thoughts and comments about future National's locations here.
    Last edited by Gary; 05-25-2015 at 10:19 AM.
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    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    The "Big 3" as far as venue, attendance and history go for me is Rt. 66, Charlotte, and Carlisle.

    The 50th anniversary of the Opel GT coming up in 2018 (and/or 2019) and the Nationals should be at one of those locations. Carlisle is in 2016 which I think is too close for a repeat. Past rotation would put 2018 in Rt.66 and 2019 in Charlotte. Any thoughts on this?

    2017 - A request has been made for the Nationals to be held in TN. Is that close enough to the GA group for the event to be considered the "Southern Meet"?
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    Opel Key Master My location opelspyder's Avatar
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    We are below the Line of Northern Aggression
    Just not as Deep South as GA
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    I like the idea of the Opel Nationals (or any other large Opel meet) being held at a venue in conjunction with a larger car show. That way Opel's can get more recognition from other car enthusiast and introduced to many who've never seen an Opel. Being a stand alone show or a show that's part of something other than a car show doesn't spread the Opel love near as much.
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    Southern Red Neck My location BQS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post

    2017 - A request has been made for the Nationals to be held in TN. Is that close enough to the GA group for the event to be considered the "Southern Meet"?
    Gary;
    I was going to wait till our next meet in July to discuss this with the GA group, but, if TN wants to step up to the plate, by all means. They seem to have a pretty good start already.
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    3000 Post Club My location m610's Avatar
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    I completely agree that holding the Nationals in conjunction with a bigger event would be a plus for all the reasons mentioned above. If that is not possible, then shoot for something else that can make it a memorable event.

    In planning this year's Nationals we looked at having it at Sonoma Raceway, hooking up with the Shelby Club. If that had worked out we'd be sharing the paddock with 50 years of Mustangs and we'd have access to the track. Yes, you could put on a helmet and take your car out on track, at speed. You would had also had the option of going out as a passenger in one of the Mustangs (Most people at track events are cool with giving rides.) and I had a very firm offer of $50 for a few laps as a passenger in the Tinyvette. John "Rocket Man" Paxson, who is bringing the Bill Ward Bonneville Opel GT, said he'd even do a couple of demonstration runs down the drag strip, it they'd allow that.

    At minimum we would have had lunch with the Shelby folks and been given a parade lap (guided, slower, safer) around the course before heading off to a winery or two, or three, then back to the hotel for dinner and other formalities. Anyway, we'd have a show and a guaranteed audience, plus the chance to experience a race track. Stuff to remember.

    So, not being part of another big national show, our approach was to make the event much more than a car meet and show.

    Years ago OMC held an event at the Queen Mary and I understand people are still talking about that. That's the kind of thing we should aim for.

    The Shelby Club thing didn't work out this year. This was a big anniversary for them as well and they expected a huge turnout, meaning the paddock, as big as it already is, would be full.

    What we did was move a little up the road to Rohnert Park. We'll be at a very nice hotel that has everything we could ask for, plus they are located adjacent to a golf course, and is in the middle of the Sonoma Wine Country, and more. There's even a casino nearby. We'll take advantage of what the location has to offer, starting with a several hour long cruise to and along the coast. The banquet will be on Saturday evening and on Sunday Keith has a tour of the hill country planned. For those with other interests we can help arrange for balloon rides and guided tours and area wineries and breweries. Think of this as your Opel vacation.

    Maybe the wine country cruises will make up for a chance to run at Sonoma Raceway, or maybe not, but one of the things Gil has been shooting for with this was the chance to be part of the Monterey events the following weekend. Of course there are the historics races, but there is also the prestigious Concours d'Elegance, the Concorso Italiano (Gil and Roy have shown their cars there), the Legeneds of the Autobahn (They are inviting Opels, and we plan to bring as many as we can), and even the Councours d'LeMons (And you know I'll be there).

    My plan is to attend the Nationals, then show at "Legends" and "LeMons". If you are traveling from an eastern state, these would provide a lot more bang for your road-tripping buck, plus when these activities are over there's still Yosemite, the redwoods, and many other places to swing through before you head back home.

    So, we're not hooked up with a big show, but to make up for that we're linking it to some pretty prestigious ones, and you can take in other sites while here. Hey, drop on over to the Tinyvette garages and help me assemble yet another motor.

    I would love to make it to Carlisle next year, Nationals or not. I hear Charles is going to do something to make that an anniversary even to remember. And yes, I'd drive the Tinyvette out and back, assuming that big fat raise in the Blitz's editor's pay comes through.

    Mike
    Last edited by m610; 05-25-2015 at 02:19 PM.

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    Opel Key Master My location opelspyder's Avatar
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    The problem with adding the Opel group to an established car show is that most are shows such as Goodguys, and it's not really set up where you park with a group. You preregistration and have your spots.
    Being our plan would involve showing at the European Car museum, we did and have considered trying to make it an Euro/Brit car show, that way we could get other group clubs with similar interests to meet up. Harold has a good friend with ties to a lot of those groups, especially the vintage Nissan Heritage Collection. If we did snag the 2017 National Meet, we would possibly try to plan a regional show this year and next year to give it a trial run.
    the plus side to this venue, is we have already established a when and where, just got to work out the how.
    When the Georgia Nationals took place, it really didn't have a venue. It was next door to the Sorgum Festival, but really was more of a day cruise and not a show. That show was in a smaller town, that isn't the easiest to get to, which surprised me when Atlanta had so much to offer. It was a bit too stand alone...and I understand having other car groups to join in, as the more the merrier. So these are some details that would get worked in.
    Again I'm not saying this is the right choice, but I am saying that we are giving enough time and notice to secure the event so it can be better planned out, funding can be achieved well in advance, and the a good chunk of the plans can easily be laid out.
    It's hard to start a new thing at a new place because everyone has ideas of what should and should not be a meet. Georgia was a new venue for the Nationals and I don't know how successful of a National Meet it was, as there was not a trial run years prior to work out the bugs. I always thought the Orphan Car Show in Snellville would have been a good proven venue for the Nationals, unfortunately they stopped holding that show. Tacoma held the Nationals and that is a proven show that happens each year, but I was told it was not very successful either. I love the Big 3, but it needs to be the Big 6. the one good thing about Springfield is it pulls out people from the Midwest and Polar North, which I feel TN would do as well.

    Things in Nashville to do are pretty obvious
    The Johnny Cash Museum, George Jones Museum, The Country Museum Hall of Fame, The Grand Ole Opry, The Gardens at Opryland Hotel, The Parthenon, Music City Downtown
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    I like Keith's idea and would attend.

    Karl

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    Southern Red Neck My location BQS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opelspyder View Post
    The problem with adding the Opel group to an established car show is that most are shows such as Goodguys, and it's not really set up where you park with a group. You preregistration and have your spots.
    Being our plan would involve showing at the European Car museum, we did and have considered trying to make it an Euro/Brit car show, that way we could get other group clubs with similar interests to meet up. Harold has a good friend with ties to a lot of those groups, especially the vintage Nissan Heritage Collection. If we did snag the 2017 National Meet, we would possibly try to plan a regional show this year and next year to give it a trial run.
    the plus side to this venue, is we have already established a when and where, just got to work out the how.
    When the Georgia Nationals took place, it really didn't have a venue. It was next door to the Sorgum Festival, but really was more of a day cruise and not a show. That show was in a smaller town, that isn't the easiest to get to, which surprised me when Atlanta had so much to offer. It was a bit too stand alone...and I understand having other car groups to join in, as the more the merrier. So these are some details that would get worked in.
    Again I'm not saying this is the right choice, but I am saying that we are giving enough time and notice to secure the event so it can be better planned out, funding can be achieved well in advance, and the a good chunk of the plans can easily be laid out.
    It's hard to start a new thing at a new place because everyone has ideas of what should and should not be a meet. Georgia was a new venue for the Nationals and I don't know how successful of a National Meet it was, as there was not a trial run years prior to work out the bugs. I always thought the Orphan Car Show in Snellville would have been a good proven venue for the Nationals, unfortunately they stopped holding that show. Tacoma held the Nationals and that is a proven show that happens each year, but I was told it was not very successful either. I love the Big 3, but it needs to be the Big 6. the one good thing about Springfield is it pulls out people from the Midwest and Polar North, which I feel TN would do as well.

    Things in Nashville to do are pretty obvious
    The Johnny Cash Museum, The Grand Ole Opry, The Gardens at Opryland Hotel, The Parthenon, Music City Downtown
    Keith
    We had a LOT of issues to deal with when we did it here in GA, yes, there are a lot of venues we could have attached to, but, any in downtown Atlanta brought up security issues. Time issues were if we did it in the summer, when most, if not all were able to possibly come, it would have been WAY too hot for these non a/c cars. Stone Mountain would have been too crowed, The Orphan Car show is no more as Snellville wanted to start charging us to use the field. This is just scratching the surface of what we debated.
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    Opeler opelgtboy70's Avatar
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    I dont know how others feel, but I think an early fall show would be great. Not too hot and not many shows around to go to. Maybe beginning of October?

    Karl

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    Opel Key Master My location opelspyder's Avatar
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    We have had a few October meets within the first two weeks. They are either really nice fall weather, or cold and rainy. Guess which of the two we got the most of. Other areas its different, but when we would participate in the Opels Across America, it was always iffy weather for our area
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    Owner of EZ2Wire.com My location GoinManta's Avatar
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    Actually history lesson for those just getting into this. The National rotation was designed with the idea clubs would have a regular annual meet that every 5 years and would culminate in a national meet to encourage local clubs to get bigger and get more attention.

    The odd thing is while this worked in Charlotte, Springfield, and Georgia. The opposite happened in California.. they went from annual meets to only holding the National. Which I think has been a detriment to the Opel community there and hurt attendance at their National Meets.

    I can't imagine the Opel community has gotten that much smaller since the annual OMC picnics. Also with Gil running them in Northern CA, has left the Southern and Desert Opelers with no meets at all.. At least until Todd picked up the flag and started his June Bug Opel meets last year in Perris. Which he is doing June 13th FWIW.

    The Washington meet, has stayed the same.. no real club activity from what I can see, but they do have their annual meet still.

    Two other clubs, that were in the talks to host also seemed to have gone quiet. The Texas and Rocky Mountain Clubs used to be real active and havent been very active in a while.

    So having Tennessee have a meet and kick start the local club they had there is a great idea. Might encourage other clubs to get active again.

    See originally there were 3 slots.. with OMC (years 5 and 0) / Carlisle (years 6 and 1) swapping east and west.. Charlotte and Springfield have been solid enough to become the defacto meets before (Charlotte) and after Carlisle (Springfield). But nothing is written in stone, Except I would say Carlisle. As both the hosts for Charlotte and Springfield shows could retire from doing them, and its unknown if there is a new host to keep them going.

    Anyway.. As Gary noted 2018 and 2019 will be (Depending on how you want to frame the anniversary) the 50th anniversary of the Opel GT. Maybe we could have both be 50th. The 2018 meet being the 50th anniversary of the start of production, and the 2019 being the "Official 50th anniversary of the Opel GT". Just an idea.

    Technically this would mean the floater year would be 2018 and Charlotte would get the "official" 50th in 2019.

    I personally would like to see Route 66 be 2018, and Charlotte be 2019 both being high profile events run by large groups. So if we can get a little extra attention. Leaving 2017 to be the floater.

    But as stated earlier.. very little is written in stone. Most this is just rule of thumb the schedule has been set on. Other than next year being Opels @ Carlisle 20th anniversary I would think anything is open for tabling.

    As for dates.. the best attendance has either been when the event has a lot of locals and the date does not matter ( Carlisle ) or when its in the Summer after school is out. October is a bit late for most, with school starting, and with few exceptions, weather is iffier than May in Pennsylvania. Rather it be a bit iffy on the hot side than iffy on the rainy and cold side. Nashville is no different than Charlotte or even most the mid-Atlantic in July-August its in the Mid-80s if its good 100 or so if its not.. but more than likely dry.
    Last edited by GoinManta; 05-26-2015 at 10:54 AM.
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    This show may be worth consideration as is a very pro-club show like Charlotte and Carlisle. It also has a huge draw with all the other activities/events like the monster trucks and lawn mower races it puts on during the weekend.

    http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/...med_id=1573634
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinballace View Post
    This show may be worth consideration as is a very pro-club show like Charlotte and Carlisle. It also has a huge draw with all the other activities/events like the monster trucks and lawn mower races it puts on during the weekend.

    Motorama Is This Weekend! | Videos | Motorama | Atlanta Motor Speedway
    This sounds like it would be a great thing to be incorporated into a GA club or regional meet but April may be a little early for a national event. Those guy up north still haven't cleared all the snow away so they can get the Opels out of hibernation.

    We enjoy a 12 month Opel season here.
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    Super Moderator My location Ooooner's Avatar
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    I think Charles' idea of where the next 5 years of National Opel Meets has merit:

    2015 California
    2016 Carlisle
    2017 Tennessee
    2018 Springfield, Ill.
    2019 Charlotte, NC.

    I personally think that this is a great lineup. If someone (Club) new wants to participate in hosting a National meet, please let everyone know. It's great to see Keith and Harold stepping up to host a National Opel Meet. Great new place!

    I vote for this lineup.
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    Über Genius My location First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ooooner View Post
    I think Charles' idea of where the next 5 years of National Opel Meets has merit:

    2015 California
    2016 Carlisle
    2017 Tennessee
    2018 Springfield, Ill.
    2019 Charlotte, NC.

    I personally think that this is a great lineup. If someone (Club) new wants to participate in hosting a National meet, please let everyone know. It's great to see Keith and Harold stepping up to host a National Opel Meet. Great new place!

    I vote for this lineup.
    Seems to lean a little to the East, if you ask me.
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    Owner of EZ2Wire.com My location GoinManta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    Seems to lean a little to the East, if you ask me.
    As noted in other thread (maybe merge the two)

    It takes two to tango.. A club/group willing to Host the event.

    Texas club has been offered it in the past and either went silent or backed off.

    OMC moved most events to Northern California and until recently no one was doing anything in southern California / Desert SW.

    Rocky Mountain Club got quiet as well..

    Tacoma has a meet, and was a national meet at one time. They don't have a group per se and the event wasn't helped by the National moniker and few outside their regular group showed up due to distance and timing.

    Fortunately Carlisle as the largest Opel Meet in the Nation, is a defacto national meet on its own and due to Carlisle Productions doesn't need near the work as its got its own group of hosts. Same can be said to an extent of Charlotte and RT 66.

    Feel free to start up a local group with regular meets and an annual meet to get the group around. Thats how Springfield , Charlotte, Carlisle and OMC did it.

    That gives a West (OMC), Mid-Atlantic (Carlisle), Springfield (Mid-West), Charlotte (South) rotation.

    Unfortunately until another Opel group shows a history of being together, and having a large enough local group to put something on consistently. The "Float" year is going to go to the most active group that wants to give it a try, no matter region.

    Because a National meet at minimum needs 2 years to plan from ground zero. So it can't be someone that just wants to do it and disappears.. As that happens a lot. Now given your a regular here and if you and Rodney and others in Texas got behind it.. I see no reason why you couldn't be fit in. It was intended back in the day that the 5th event would be Rocky Mountain/Texas but that never materialized and not due to a lack of trying. I think many would love to see a meet in Colorado ( Gordo in Colorado.. OMG ) and even Texas. But Someone THERE has to WANT to do it.

    As for your region.. The Tacoma Meet is only a state north..
    Last edited by GoinManta; 05-26-2015 at 04:41 PM.
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    Owner of EZ2Wire.com My location GoinManta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ooooner View Post
    I think Charles' idea of where the next 5 years of National Opel Meets has merit:

    2015 California
    2016 Carlisle
    2017 Tennessee
    2018 Springfield, Ill.
    2019 Charlotte, NC.

    I personally think that this is a great lineup. If someone (Club) new wants to participate in hosting a National meet, please let everyone know. It's great to see Keith and Harold stepping up to host a National Opel Meet. Great new place!

    I vote for this lineup.
    The only "hitch" is the question does John want to do it.. or are there others in MO/IL area willing to step in for him.. ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    Seems to lean a little to the East, if you ask me.
    I agree that it does lean to the East. But nobody in the West seems to want it except OMC so what do you suggest?
    Last edited by Ooooner; 05-26-2015 at 06:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by opelspyder View Post
    The problem with adding the Opel group to an established car show is that most are shows such as Goodguys, and it's not really set up where you park with a group. You preregistration and have your spots.
    Being our plan would involve showing at the European Car museum, we did and have considered trying to make it an Euro/Brit car show, that way we could get other group clubs with similar interests to meet up. Harold has a good friend with ties to a lot of those groups, especially the vintage Nissan Heritage Collection. If we did snag the 2017 National Meet, we would possibly try to plan a regional show this year and next year to give it a trial run.
    the plus side to this venue, is we have already established a when and where, just got to work out the how.
    When the Georgia Nationals took place, it really didn't have a venue. It was next door to the Sorgum Festival, but really was more of a day cruise and not a show. That show was in a smaller town, that isn't the easiest to get to, which surprised me when Atlanta had so much to offer. It was a bit too stand alone...and I understand having other car groups to join in, as the more the merrier. So these are some details that would get worked in.
    Again I'm not saying this is the right choice, but I am saying that we are giving enough time and notice to secure the event so it can be better planned out, funding can be achieved well in advance, and the a good chunk of the plans can easily be laid out.
    It's hard to start a new thing at a new place because everyone has ideas of what should and should not be a meet. Georgia was a new venue for the Nationals and I don't know how successful of a National Meet it was, as there was not a trial run years prior to work out the bugs. I always thought the Orphan Car Show in Snellville would have been a good proven venue for the Nationals, unfortunately they stopped holding that show. Tacoma held the Nationals and that is a proven show that happens each year, but I was told it was not very successful either. I love the Big 3, but it needs to be the Big 6. the one good thing about Springfield is it pulls out people from the Midwest and Polar North, which I feel TN would do as well.

    Things in Nashville to do are pretty obvious
    The Johnny Cash Museum, The Grand Ole Opry, The Gardens at Opryland Hotel, The Parthenon, Music City Downtown
    Every location/venue isn't going to satisfy everyone. I think there were plenty of folks that attended the Blairsville event that enjoyed it for the same reasons you didn't like it. Some people aren't looking for a large venue to advertise their business but rather looking for a venue to get together with other people with a common interest in unique vehicles. There's only so much walking in the sun and sitting one can do and having an organized drive to enjoy the local scenery was refreshing. Don't get me wrong, I occasionally like the larger venues but it doesn't have to be a large venue to be successful.
    guyopel likes this.

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