My first Rally :(

with my 5, i have to say i was a bit narked!

Getting to the site & parking was spot on :slight_smile:

The stalls were not up to much for a national rally imho, i mean a marquee selling well, charity fare as you enter!! it seemed like a mini market, should have had the mx5 oc marquee as the feature as you enter & exit, ok there were a few other stalls, what what were autolink there for? mx5 parts could have been a bit bigger. i suppose.

maybe next time, a dent fix person, auto trimmer etc.

Considering the space we had , we could have had a car boot style sell, on by the cars , selling mx5 stuff, if you had anything to sell. i mean once you walked around the stalls & best mx5 etc, what else was there to do?

The autotest thingy could  have done with a compere announcing the drivers & giving the lap times etc and geeing up the crowd. A score board would have been nice with the top ten on it also.

Having said that, i met a couple of mates so not all bad, but it could have been so much better, well done though to the people that put the effort in.


scfcstoke1, aka bah humbug




Are you trying to gain entry to the Old Gits’ Clan by any chance ?

So come on then scfcstoke1, volunteer to host the 2013 National Rally and show how us how to do it properly  Big Smile

Ken Stanbury.  Northampton Area Coordinator

 Perhaps you should have gone for a ride on the train to cheer yourself up


Nice suggestion Ken, but I think he’d have to become a Club member first.



Nice to see two area coordinators take this so seriously.

He didn’t have to post feedback, it’s not his club. He could just decide never to go again.

I like the idea of an MX5 car boot sale - I certainly have a boot full of parts in my garage that I don’t really want and would be happy to pass on for a couple of quid.

 Muppet.  It was a serious, but not unkind, suggestion (that’s why I added a smiley face at the end).  I’m sure we would all love somebody like scfcstoke1 to join the Club and propose to his AC that he will volunteer to take on the task of organising a National Rally.  I hope he acccepts the challenge that I’ve laid down to him and provides us all with the best NR ever Big Smile

Brilliant suggestion of yours about the Car Boot.  Fancy offering your services to organise it at next year’s National Rally? Big Smile

Ken Stanbury.  Northampton Area Coordinator

It was his suggestion, I just repeated it. And I’m not in the club any more. Also I do enough volunteer work to eat up all my holidays, so doing more really doesn’t appeal.

Plus I went to one national rally and was underwhelmed, so I’m unlikely to go to another.

To be fair, there has always been stalls at Rallies (not just ours) that are aimed at those not so interested in “car parts”, and usually craft stalls. The Owners Club was the first marquee people would come across if entering the arena from the parking area the majority would have parked in. And it would have been the last marquee for most upon returning to their car, and exiting. In any case, I would hate a rally that was so rigid, that you could only enter/exit at defined gate points, which is what the OP is after.

There was a list of expected traders posted at:


A couple didn’t turn up, but I can’t see how the Owners Club could have anticipated that (blame the last government I suppose). BBR were, to my mind, an unexpected attendee. MX5parts, as usual, pulled up in their perfectly adequate tent, carrying the most popular lines; anything they didn’t have, you could have ordered from them on the day, post free. They had 3 demo cars with them. SFT had their usual store, which was always busy. I thought it was great for Autolinkuk to support the rally; they have never brought along with them large amounts of stock (they had a few bits and bobs with them). They’re not that sort of business, and by keeping the overheads low, they keep their prices low. They brought with them a selection of cars to give you a flavour of what they can do for you; the multi-coloured Roadster was actually intended to demonstrate their interior services. Andy was on hand for pretty much the whole day to answer any queries.


There were traders, polishing competitions, an autotest, and loads of gleaming (and not so gleaming) MX5s to go and admire. And a band. What more is needed at a free car club meeting? Dancing girls? If you were really bored, there was a funfair across the way. I wasn’t bored though. Owners Club members have always been free to bring any bits with them, and set up a blanket/folding chair behind their car; this is the usual way at most classic car rallies. On occasion, the club has provided a table service for used parts, but I don’t think thats really all that fair on the volunteers who have to man it; fending off people trying to haggle, or asking “will this fit my car” etc. Thats my view, after inadvertantly getting caught up in it at the Tatton National. Others will no doubt take a different view.

Sterling job by all, and I suspect a few butterflies, given some of the weather forecasts leading up to the day. On a practical note though, I probably would have spread the area of the competitions out a little (it was a little crowded), but thats a trivial comment. There’s probably entirely reasonable reasons why that couldn’t be done though.

I agree with Ken.

It takes an awful lot of time and effort to put on an event like that, (I know, I helped with the Spring Rally). Once youve joined the club, put your hand up and have a go.



Do you read one book then not read anymore because you didn’t enjoy it? Some have been better than others but very unfair to dismiss all rallies. We though Northampton did a grand job.

If I read a book and don’t enjoy it I avoid that author and read another book. If I find a genre I don’t like I avoid that too. Isn’t that how everyone else does it too?

I only posted on this thread because I thought the replies to scfcstoke1’s post were a little flippant. A chap wasn’t happy - suggesting that he pay to organise the next one seems unlikely to make him more happy.

If the current level of organisation is stretched to the limit then say so, then he might want to help. I helped out back when I was in your club, not because I was told to, but because it was fun.

This was our second National Rally and we thouroughly enjoyed the day once we found our way into the badly sign posted aquadrome. I think it will be impossible to beat Chatsworth for a location.

I have to agree with scfcstoke1, aka bah humbug about the auto test. An excellent idea and good fun to have right next to the cars and stalls but a Top Gear like top ten board of the best times would have added a lot more interest.

Well done to the organisers for all the hard work and a good day out.

 Can i just put my penny in the pot, i understand that this is your first, so what did you personally want for yourself??? a red carpet Mr dark cloudRolling eyes

As i can only talk from the northern side of Autolink, you must never have dealt with us to understand what we are about, lots have been talked about for every rally, and for every rally we have loaded up a full van with new parts at specail prices just for the shows and s/hand parts, and every time we set up all this stuff the day before and early starts, to repack it all and take the lot back again, so this time around we left it all at home and just brought a good selection of roadsters to veiw, to chat with fellow owners, and just have a bloody good time, which it did turn out to be.

There my be plans in the pipe line for other things from us,as a unit, you will just need to wait and see for the next rallies, in the mean time from me stop your droning, the weather was good, it was in a nice place and the mood was great.

See at the next one, and try and crack a smile.


It is very easy to criticise things.

scfcstoke1 has made some suggestions that are aimed at improving things for next time. I extend my thanks for that.

Now as this is scfcstoke1 first rally so it is possible that they did not know that most of the suggestions have been done at other rallies but that does not diminish the value of suggesting things.

As a club we are always short of volunteers. Good ideas are welcome (even if this thread makes you think otherwise) but we also need people willing to come forward before an event with ideas and a way of implementing them.

So scfcstoke1 and anyone else reading this please do think about joining the club. I am sure that the people organising the next rally you are available to attend will welcome hearing your idea and how it can be implemented with a limited volunteer base.

Ok, here is my two penneth: I recently attended the Silverstone Classic and the MX5OC stand that we eventually found out the back of beyond sort of put us off attending the National at Northampton, there was nothing on offer at all, not even a cup of tea or a solitary biscuit to a potential owners club member (we are already members) During our long search for the MX5OC stand we walked through the Honda S2000 OC and De Tomaso Pantera OC stands, both were staffed by folks who were very keen to extoll the benefits of their respective clubs.

The MX5OC had no merchandising for sale that we could find (even the Lamborghini stand had a friendlier feel and more gear to sell!!!)

I find it quite pitiful the attitude of those on this thread who choose to berate the OP of this thread for daring to be critical of what was on offer at Northampton, even more annoying is the fact that I find myself agreeing with the Skidding Muppet over anything, not sure if he is on some kind of different medication but if he is it seems to be working better than the usual stuff Wink

I also attended the recent Wings & Wheels event at Dunsfold, organised by PlanetMX5, and have to say there were a lot of MX5OC members in attendance and apart from a rubbish gazebo it was very well organised and also very friendly.

Perhaps the MX5OC should take a look at how other clubs do things and learn a little, instead of patting each other on the back and assuming, wrongly, that we do it best and instead of alienating potential new club members, try taking any critisism as constructive

Speculate to accumilate comes to mind, spend some of the money and put on something really special for next year, preferably not during our monsoon season<img border="0" title="Storm Cloud" alt="Storm Cloud" src="" /> innit?

Dr. EunosGeek

I was trying to be constructive on my original post. although i’d be happy to help if i’m available, if you wish.

Don’t see why i need to be a member though, non of the benefits could help me.

Oh,the national rally advertising is still up on the site! tut tut :wink:






I was up early for the drive to <st1:city w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Billings</st1:place></st1:city>, Arranged to meet up with some fellow members from the Western group at the Marriot for 08:00. Had a nice drive down (topless most of the way). Got into the show for 08:30ish so quite near the front (it might have been nice to allow people to park by region).<o:p></o:p>

First port of call after collecting my goody bag was for a cuppa and a bacon roll (found £5.30 a bit steep) then of to MX5Parts for all the shinny bits and speakers I had been saving for. Booked my 1990 Eunos in for an AC service with Bee Cool (£75 as its R12). Watched with envy the speed and skill of the gents fitting new hoods (it would take me 10 times as long).<o:p></o:p>

Spent the morning admiring the members and exhibitors cars loved the chrome rapped number & the white BBR turbo NA (220bhp in an MX5 scary). Had a nice fish & chip lunch and a cuppa at Vinnie’s (same building as the Indian Restaurant) and at £6.20 the catering trucks should take note. After lunch watched the autotest and chatted with other members whilst Bee Cool looked at my A/C (the compressor has failed so was only charged for the check up not the service).<o:p></o:p>

It would have been nice to have had more trade stands and / or an auto jumble (might have bought the compressor) and a wider range of food and drink outlets might have provided better value but the site, the organisers, the traders and the fellow owners who I spoke to were all great.<o:p></o:p>

All in all a great day out and I look forward to many more.<o:p></o:p>


we always leave it for a few weeks, so people know what they have missed… Big Smile