A beef about car show judging categories. Your take?

1960 NYer+1963 300

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While I'm not a big fan of car shows, as they chew up a lot of weekend time, I enjoy going to a few to see folks' reactions to the "over the top" 1960 styling and features of my New Yorker.
That said, I do have a beef with how show judging categories are set. I'm not complaining, just wondering if others with MOPARS have had similar experiences.

So, my beef: There is rarely a show category for stock, "as built," unmodified cars.
Such cars get regular praise in car magazines as sources of "period correct" features, valuable to the restorers' art, historical artifacts, etc., etc., etc. Yet, car shows tend to ignore these cars.

Instead, they they typically consider these to be the desirable categories:

> Best Truck
> Best Unrestored
> Best Interior
> Best Under The Hood
> Best Paint
> Best Foreign Car
> Best Tuner (Domestic)
> Best Custom
> Best Modified
> Best Wheels
> Best Hot Rod
> Most Likely To Get Pulled Over
> Oldest Show Car

Typically, the judging categories are sliced up into 5-year spans. In the case for my car, it's 1955 to 1960. Okay, that's six years, not five, but it matters. Why it matters is, 1960 MOPARS get lumped in with Chevy Tri-Fives, and the judges seem to cream over them. Really, they are not that special as there are thousands and thousands of them out there. Why not just make a category of "Best Tri-Five" and be done with it.

BTW, what car won in the 55-60 category at the last car show I attended?

1st Place - Fxxxx Sxxxx - 1955 Chevy 2-Door Sedan

Thanks for indulging my rant. Anybody else feel this way?
 

saforwardlook

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My thoughts are very different. My reaction is I don't care about judging at car shows. If I win something, great, if not, that is great too. When I do win, I receive a trophy, and then take it home and put it in my junk pile.

I only care about whether my car appeals to and satisfies me and I am pretty much an originality freak and want a top notch restoration effort. That is more than enough............................
 

1960 NYer+1963 300

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My thoughts are very different. My reaction is I don't care about judging at car shows. If I win something, great, if not, that is great too. When I do win, I receive a trophy, and then take it home and put it in my junk pile.

I only care about whether my car appeals to and satisfies me and I am pretty much an originality freak and want a top notch restoration effort. That is more than enough............................
Actually, our thoughts are pretty much the same about the judging at car shows. I'm not looking for kudos; I get them from the ladies who like the swivel seats and the kids who search for the turn signal lever. The car itself is enough--and probably enough for the great majority of folks who bring their cars to shows.
My point has to do with the lack of appreciation of we "originallity" freaks.
And, I admit--I have a beef about too many Tri-Fives! My bad.
Thanks for your adding to this thread, from a fellow who fell in love with MOPARS as a 10 yeas old kid, too.
- Chris
 

Big_John

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If I win something, great, if not, that is great too.
This is the attitude to have about car shows.

So, my beef: There is rarely a show category for stock, "as built," unmodified cars.
Such cars get regular praise in car magazines as sources of "period correct" features, valuable to the restorers' art, historical artifacts, etc., etc., etc. Yet, car shows tend to ignore these cars.
It's been years, but I've been involved in several shows. I used to do some judging too.

There's a couple issues... First is the cars themselves. How many cars can really be classed as "stock". The answer is that the majority of the cars that roll into to any show aren't stock. They may be close, but there's always something. Often, it's safety related changes, like modern tires or halogen headlights. But look some more and you'll see aftermarket radios, mild engine mods (like converting from a 2bbl to a 4bbl), or mild cosmetic mods. Your car might be more stock than others....

Then there's judging. These guys are volunteers and they don't know everything. I could probably pick apart a '69 Roadrunner for what is "stock" or "correct" with the best of them. I know those cars. Wheel in with a '63 Ford Fairlane and I have no idea what I'm looking at. I was once approached by an irate loser at a show I judged.... Seems the winner had the wrong hubcaps on his immaculate '64 Nova. I still don't know the difference on that one.... and it really didn't matter that much because it was just an informal show a burger joint was putting on.

BTW, these volunteer judges aren't getting any younger as the hobby "grays". Tough to work out in the hot sun doing a thankless job where you know someone isn't going to be happy with the results, no matter how hard you try. Even tougher when you are an old guy with bad knees.

So what, as someone putting on a show do? The best is to go for the easiest and most generic. You don't have to split hairs with a guy over his mostly stock '55 Chevy belonging in a stock or modified class if you just have a 55-60 class. I've seen "top 25" cars receiving trophies and that seems to work out. I was also at a Mopar show this summer where they didn't judge at all.

Shows have gotten to be boring to me as a participant. I have a couple I go to... The huge Syracuse Nationals, the local Mopar club's show, and a local show at the NAPA a couple miles from here. The last two have no judging... The Syracuse Nationals is so big that they just give out a dozen "special" awards so they don't judge every car. Carlisle is off the table for 2023 (same dates as Syracuse Nats) but I may go to the big show in Lake George, NY next year just because I've never been to it.
 

Toolmanmike

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I'm not into trophies. A lot of shows are just politics anyway. Or the buddy system when voting. I would rather go on a car cruise or a show and shine. Always more fun for me.
 

300rag

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Around here we have stock classes for A, B, C, E, etc, then same but modified. Stock means as it rolled off the line with up to three minor mods (radials, master cylinder, wheelcovers, etc). No major mods allowed, and that includes a colour change even if it is year and model correct. Slant 6 to 440 obviously is modified. When we do our judging, the team of 5 or 6 has only one area to scrutinize per judge. One may look at interior, another the engine bay, one the body and trim, another the undercarriage, and so on. That said, the last two years we have just done a participant choice with a top 3 award in each category.
 

Sixpactogo

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I don't know how or why the Chevies got to be so popular but it seems to be the same everywhere. When I used to hang around for the trophy distribution it did seem like if there was a Chevy in the class, it won most of the time. It must not have happened all the time though because my Mopars all have been trophy winners at times and I have a few too many shelves full of them so I quit competing. I still go to some shows but now instead of the voting number form they hand out, I put my "Display Only" info card on the dash.
I have seen people walk by a whole row of 90+ point 57 Chevies to look at my 60 Dart Phoenix. Many tell me they have never seen one before. Sometimes I hear the comment "Dang, I wanted to vote for your car" and that is enough for me.
So....We are in the minority but I tell the trophy hounds they can't drive their trophy but I can drive mine.
 

xxcarguy

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Tell them when you get parked you don’t want to be judged.
Do you want to be told by a bunch of chevy or ford guys what’s wrong with your car. My .02 cents.
 

300rag

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Tell them when you get parked you don’t want to be judged.
Do you want to be told by a bunch of chevy or ford guys what’s wrong with your car. My .02 cents.
Our shows also have the option to come in as non-comp. The window cards are a different colour.
 

1960 NYer+1963 300

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This is the attitude to have about car shows.


It's been years, but I've been involved in several shows. I used to do some judging too.

There's a couple issues... First is the cars themselves. How many cars can really be classed as "stock". The answer is that the majority of the cars that roll into to any show aren't stock. They may be close, but there's always something. Often, it's safety related changes, like modern tires or halogen headlights. But look some more and you'll see aftermarket radios, mild engine mods (like converting from a 2bbl to a 4bbl), or mild cosmetic mods. Your car might be more stock than others....

Then there's judging. These guys are volunteers and they don't know everything. I could probably pick apart a '69 Roadrunner for what is "stock" or "correct" with the best of them. I know those cars. Wheel in with a '63 Ford Fairlane and I have no idea what I'm looking at. I was once approached by an irate loser at a show I judged.... Seems the winner had the wrong hubcaps on his immaculate '64 Nova. I still don't know the difference on that one.... and it really didn't matter that much because it was just an informal show a burger joint was putting on.

BTW, these volunteer judges aren't getting any younger as the hobby "grays". Tough to work out in the hot sun doing a thankless job where you know someone isn't going to be happy with the results, no matter how hard you try. Even tougher when you are an old guy with bad knees.

So what, as someone putting on a show do? The best is to go for the easiest and most generic. You don't have to split hairs with a guy over his mostly stock '55 Chevy belonging in a stock or modified class if you just have a 55-60 class. I've seen "top 25" cars receiving trophies and that seems to work out. I was also at a Mopar show this summer where they didn't judge at all.

Shows have gotten to be boring to me as a participant. I have a couple I go to... The huge Syracuse Nationals, the local Mopar club's show, and a local show at the NAPA a couple miles from here. The last two have no judging... The Syracuse Nationals is so big that they just give out a dozen "special" awards so they don't judge every car. Carlisle is off the table for 2023 (same dates as Syracuse Nats) but I may go to the big show in Lake George, NY next year just because I've never been to it.
Thank you for your well considered take on my thread that I impulsively typed into this discussion. Y
ou are so right. I don't give a rat about a plastic trophy, But I would like to see one, just one, forward look MOPAR take a trophy in the 1955 to 1960 category. Just my beef.
Thanks again,
Chris
 

1960 NYer+1963 300

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It's been years, but I've been involved in several shows. I used to do some judging too.

So what, as someone putting on a show do? The best is to go for the easiest and most generic. You don't have to split hairs with a guy over his mostly stock '55 Chevy belonging in a stock or modified class if you just have a 55-60 class. I've seen "top 25" cars receiving trophies and that seems to work out.
 

tbm3fan

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The only show I go to is the West Coast Nationals for Cougars at our club president's house. Categories are simple as in 67 Std., 67 XR7, 68 Std., 68 XR7, 68 GT-E, 69 Std. and you get my point. No best this or that. Everyone gets a ballot and fills out each category with one choice. Later the results are tallied while we all relax in the shade or the pool since it is almost always near 100. Everyone who attends has a good time and most know each other even if 80+ cars.

PICT0041.JPG

Relax
Grounds_03.jpg

Presentation
Crowd.jpg
 

patrick66

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Generally, if it's a "participant-judged" show, I don't judge. I want to look at the vehicles and enjoy the day, not walk around and judge cars/trucks. I already have over a hundred trophies from shows and such from 1979 to the present, so a trophy is really the least of my concerns.

I much prefer "shows" that are driving events, such as a group cruise from Point A to Point B that is perhaps 100-150 miles on state highways and through small towns, avoiding the Interstates/tollways completely. Drive the damned things! Seeing people roll a car off a hauler, push it to a spot, sit there, and reload their 4,000# rolling paperweight is not my kind of event.
 

stubs300

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I'm not complaining,

So, my beef: There is rarely a show category for stock, "as built," unmodified cars.
Instead, they they typically consider these to be the desirable categories:

> Best Unrestored

Thanks for indulging my rant.

Yes, you are complaining! Wouldn't unrestored be considered "stock, as built"? You be needing to talk to the car show board members about this and not a public forum if you want honest answers!
 

patrick66

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In our classes, we make this simple - A-body all, B-body all, etc. NO year groupings, or three-or-more mods, or coupes/convertibles/sedans. We judge based on appearance and presentation. We don't care if you have original factory Hamtramck air in your tires, or that the spark plug wires have the proper date-code, or that the crayon mark on the rear axle is red instead of orange. All of that falls under "STFW!" criteria. Keep it simple.
 
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