For the full story to include images please click here.Invasion X took place in Hendersonville, North Carolina, April 29 to May 2nd. I would like to thank Eric and Bonnie Gibeaut plus all their helpers who worked very hard to make Invasion X one of the best ever. The location was perfect with great scenery, a nice hotel plus, lots of shops including antique shops for the wives and girlfriends. The Biltmore Hotel is one of the local attractions which some members visited during the weekend.
The weather was perfect Sunbeam top down weather all weekend.
On Thursday as people started to arrive it was great to meet old friends plus make some new ones. The hospitality room started to fill up with Sunbeam parts and literature for sale. There was a lot of Sunbeam parts for sale including some hard to find items.
Friday morning we set off in our Sunbeams to drive through the scenic North Carolina roads to the Blue Ridge Parkway and up to the top the top of Mount Mitchell a 6,684 foot elevation! During the drive some of cars at the rear of the convoy became separated and traveled an alternate route to the mountain. As we traveled up the mountain the cars that were originally at the front suddenly, were now at the rear of the convoy which is a mystery but adds to the fun. At the top of Mount Mitchell is a restaurant which was reopened after renovation a day early for us Sunbeamer’s to eat lunch. After lunch we returned to the Invasion hotel again getting lost and taking different road back.The first tech session was held by Jose on the V6 conversion using Dennis Michaliga’s car for reference. Several V6ers including Dennis, Jim Ellis and Dwain Cooke talked about their V6 experiences. Jose explained the steps required and how easy it is to convert an Alpine to a V6 using the kit. Mike Phillips followed up with a tech session which included brakes, electrical, wire wheels, and suspension rebuilding.
In the evening we went into downtown Hendersonville in small groups for lunch before returning to the hotel banquet room for more Sunbeam tales.
Saturday a convoy of Sunbeams drove to Lake Lure for the Sunbeam show. The setting was excellent with mountains in the background and Lake Lure nearby for those who wanted to take a boat ride. The Sunbeams were well represented with all series Alpines one though five plus a rare Harrington Le Mans and a Fastback Alpine. There were several Tigers present including one owned by an 85 year old lady. Some local Car Club members came to the show in their cars which included an E-Type Jaguar, a TVR, an Aston Martin plus a Citroen 2CV van. It was great fun to look at all the cars and talk to the owners about their Sunbeam’s. I noticed several owners taking notes for their own projects. A very nice barbeque lunch was catered in during the show.
The Invasion Banquet was catered in from a nearby restaurant and the food was excellent. The raffle tickets were drawn and the door prizes were awarded. The organizers had worked hard to collect a vast amount of door prizes so everyone went home with something. This year the trophies awarded to the winners of the car show were Sunbeam clocks. The "Best Car in Show" award was won by Judy Berghult’s very nice series 2 Alpine. The long distance award was won by Todd and Ann Marie Norby who travelled over 600 miles in their Alpine. A special mention must go to Mile Schreiner who was the winner of the "Hard Luck Award". Mike while trailing his car from Florida lost the hardtop which was destroyed on the freeway, suffered several flat tires plus had the oil cooler hose on his Alpine leak when driving through the mountains.
Sunday arrived too early and it was time to say goodbye and home. A great event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all and I cannot wait until next year.