The AMC SouthWest Regional AMC Meet Texas
The AMC SouthWest Regional was founded by me in early 1990s using my database of customers throughout Texas & surrounding states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. At the time there was only the Classic AMX Club of Houston with 10-18 members. There was a Oklahoma AMC Club but it folded. Later a Dallas AMC chapter, North Texas AMC Club then San Antonio chapter Alamo AMC were founded and the Houston chapter changed it's name legally to American Motors of Houston to pull in more members.
While Houston was active in Houston Autorama at the Astrodome complex, and had cruise nights, we needed a bigger stage, something to REALLY put us on the map, gain new members, as club was dormant. The idea of a AMC Regional was passed around at a meeting and everyone thought was great idea, but how to come up with the money to put on a meet such as that as meets do cost money, such as advertising, trophies, awards, door prizes, tshirts, and so forth. Stamps were cheaper then so I put out a flyer and sent it to all the customers in my database of this fledgling meet, in the meantime I also contact many of the national editors and clubs I was in, sending them information year in advance. The location chosen was Bear Creek Park, which was free and the Park Service reserved a pavillion for us. Flyers were also sent to many vendors and businesses, and a number of Houston members who knew 'car related' people or businesses they dealt with donated goodie bag and door prizes! There was a small hotel out on Highway 6 I contacted and asked if they would give us a reduced rate for that Friday, Saturday, and also if they had secutiry, bingo on both. A tshirt was decided on, but was all text, no photos of cars, but still it would eventually sell out.
In the meantime, excitement as it does for a meet was building, event months away as word spread. Auto Trader donated a full page ad off one of my flyers (I knew a number of the editors there) this was a $1200 ad if we had to pay for it and it ran thruout Texas in the Classic Car Trader! They also donated crates of their classic car, and regular auto traders along with the national auto classic trader to give out free at the meet. These would go over well with a table set up and each book had discount coupon inside for $5 off ad.
The national American Motors Owners Association said they would give permission to be a sanctioned Regional, so more exposure. In the meantime, each monthly meeting Houston chapter would continue to tie up loose ends with everyone in attendance volunteering for something, no matter how mundane. One meeting a whole slew of us licked envelopes with the flyer inside for instance. A lot of calls were coming in, this is before email, text, facbook, so word travelled by mail or phone.
I do not remember how many pre registered for the AMC SouthWest Regional but there was about 70 cars that showed up! Quite a splash, and after meet I sent many, many photos (not digital, but printed at Walgreens) to same national AMC clubs, AMO, NAMDRA, AMCRC and also leaned on a lot of editors of national magazines I not only advertised in, but also they lean on me for stuff like production figures and AMC specific info, and all of them got a number of the printed photos I had taken, along with a form leter detailing the meet, thanks to those who showed up and all those AMC of Houston members, their wives, kids, sponsors, donors, everyone who had made it happen. So months later here was a nice article in numerous magazines I had written, with photos, and was surprised at how many people DIDN'T know of the meet until after it was over, so gained more people for my mail list database. Eventually we (Houston chapter) decided to 'move it around' so it became a rotating Regional between San Antonio and Dallas chapters, worked GREAT.
With that in mind, I have a old file on my iste about "How To Do A Successful AMC Meet" with many of the things I learned from fouding, and sponsoring, and just helping out with the AMC SouthWest Regional. And the AMC National in 2001 held here. A lot of the tips might help other clubs get on the map, bring about enthusiasm where there was once apathy, and encourage AMC people to put on a meet for fun and show the world that AMC is still alive & kicking and relevant & AMC people out there are the best.
This file will have photos I took of a number of the AMC SouthWest Regional meets from 1990 thru 2001. Is your car on the field?
Letter from Honorable Mayor of Kenosha I got about AMC Nationals & a letter from County of Kenosha! How cool is that?!
Alamo AMC San Antonio