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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > Do Not Judge Lest You Be Judged

 

alwaysakid’s Profile Photo

alwaysakid

M –60
Burnsville, Minnesota
United States

 

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Do Not Judge Lest You Be Judged

By alwaysakid

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I've been reading a few blogs posted about inaccurate judging at various car shows, so I thought I'd throw in my two-cents worth.
I've been to three "judged" events this year, two with the Studebaker and one with the T-Bird. The one with the T-Bird I didn't even stay to see who won because the show ran for 7 hours (too long), had only one trophy to award, and I would've been disappointed if I had won it because of the caliber of several of the other entries.
As for the two events I attended with my Studebaker, the results really raised my eyebrows.
At one show, the Studebaker was entered in an "orphans" category for obvious reasons. But the car that won was a Chrysler! That's right, a Chrysler in the "orphans" category, apparently because it was a Crossfire and Chrysler doesn't make Crossfires anymore. I guess, based on that definition, 75 percent of the cars in the show should've been in that category, but the owner of the car gets to choose the category in which his or her car is to be judged. And I suspect the owner of the Crossfire knew there wouldn't be much competition in the "orphans" category (wait until all the Plymouth, Pontiac and Oldsmobile owners figure that out), and he wanted his trophy.
At the other judged show in which I took my Studebaker, I knew I was in trouble when a friend of mine came up to me and announced he was chosen to judge the Studebaker class. He's a diehard hotrodder, and there's no way he would ever choose a stock six-cylinder car to win anything. Sure enough, he chose the Hawk with the blower sticking through the hood (personally, I think the original '63 Avanti should've won, but that's beside the point). When he came up to me to announce he had been chosen to be a judge, he told me he would probably choose that Hawk before seeing all the Studebakers, and I never even saw him get closer than 30 feet to my car to determine his decision.
Am I mad at my friend? Heck, no! That's because I understand him. I know he is a hotrodder through-and-through. I think even if he had some kind of super car, he'd still be looking for a way to tweak it and get some part of the engine to stick thorugh the hood. That's his way and how he enjoys cars. And he's a nice guy.
The way I figure it, he's volunteering his time so he should be able to choose whatever car he wants to be the winner. If I don't like it, I should volunteer to be a judge next year (which I probably won't because I seldom get to the same show two years in a row). Likewise, the other guy (and I don't know who he was) that chose a Chrysler as the best "orphan," well, that's his perogative since he agreed to take the time to judge the cars at that show,
I came away from the show where my friend helped judge without any plastic statues, but I had an excellent time. I saw a lot of great cars, trucks and motorcycles, and enjoyed visiting with several car and biker friends I ran into there. And I've been able to prolong my pleasure by posting pictures of that show on Motortopia and read and discuss comments with my Motortopia friends.
One of the things they did at the one show which I thought was an excellent idea, was instead of awarding second and third place awards, they chose some of the better cars that didn't win to receive "Outstanding In Class" awards (I did get one of those). I thought that was an excellent idea as it gives the car owner some prestige without having to be the first or second loser.
I recognize the importance of scoring points to help determine the historical accuracy of antique cars. But most shows are not judged by "historians;" they're judged by average guys not much different from me, and we're going to have some limits to our historical knowledge. And how do you score points on a car that's been customized or hotrodded? That's going to be almost purely subjective.
So, I guess the moral of my story is don't get too caught up in the judging and trophy thing. It's more important to enjoy yourself. If it's the judging part you enjoy most, then start contacting some car show organizers and offer yourself as a judge. Most of these events are always needing more help. But be aware, as my friend said, whenever you're a judge, you're going to probably make somebody mad. That's because a lot of people get caught up in the judging and trophy thing.

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SouthDakobra’s Profile Photo
SouthDakobra
Aug 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm
People are always asking me to enter the cobra in shows. But becasue it's a replica cobra and not a replica 32-34 Ford it gets put in the "Orphan" class also much of the time. That class can have anything from 3-wheelers to motorized beer-coolers. I don't need trophies and really don't need one person's opinion on my car. Peoples Choice is kind of cool though. A smile and thumbs up at a stoplight beats a trophy anyday and I don't have to dust a smile.
 
tamatt79’s Profile Photo
tamatt79
Aug 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm
Amen. I have gotten to the point where i dont like judged shows. Our show is giving away a minimum of $1000 this year with 5 special trophies.

Modified cars are easy to judge because it is all about looks and mods. But production classes are much harder and should be judged by experienced knowledgable folks, but rarely are. Take the TA Nats last year for instance. A high caliber show with many many nice cars. The production SE class was judged by 2 folks who couldnt know what they were really judging. This type of show isnt about popularity or what 1 "perceives" as nice. It has been and should be based on correctness. This show lost so much respect and credibility with many last year.

Local hometown shows are not like this and never will be, but 1 should always remember, going to these shows for the fellowship is so much more important then a $5 trophy.

Just my $.02!!!
 
mwg55’s Profile Photo
mwg55
Aug 3, 2010 at 6:04 pm
I have to agree with you and most of the other people that just being able to go to a show with a car, (show car or not), driving there and talking to the people is where it's at.
I've judged and been judged and really do not care if I win or not but you have to respect the judges no matter how inexperienced they are, remember these guys, (like me), are car guys and enthusiests that love cars. I restored a few cars but by no means an expert. I couldn't tell you if that 396 was original to that particular Chevelle or not, or if the shifter is right in that '57 T-bird. In our local shows, (small shows less than 125 cars) we give out say the top 70 or 75, no classes, and some specialty awards, like mayor's choice, fire chief's and so on. Seems to work pretty well, most people are happy. Like they say 'you can't please everone every time'.
Just my opinion.
 
Moonshine55’s Profile Photo
Moonshine55
Aug 3, 2010 at 11:31 am
Do I hear an AMEN Brother!!!! LOL I'm not big into the trophies but it is nice to win one here and there, but I have seen some very interesting wins!! LOL Great Post!!! Thanks
 
1971’s Profile Photo
1971
Aug 3, 2010 at 1:57 am
MY FRIEND WENT TO A CAR SHOW WITH HIS 70 CHEVELLE, 454 CID, ALL ORIGINAL BUT NOT PERFECT. THE CAR THAT WON BEST MUSCLE CAR WAS A 2007 SALEEN 302 BOSS TRIBUTE MODEL. MY UNDERSTANDING IS THE MUSCLE CAR ERA WAS THE 60;S & 70;S. THE SALLEN WAS NICE BUT GIVE ME A BREAK. HE AND HIS OTHER SHOW BUDDIES WERE ALL SHOCKED. THE JUDGE WAS A FRIEND OF THE SALEEN OWNER. NOBODY EVER SAID LIFE IS FAIR, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO CAR SHOW JUDGING. THE BEST AWARDS COME FROM PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS SHOWS. AT LEAST THE ATTENDEES MAKE THE CHOICES.
 
donnalove’s Profile Photo
donnalove
Aug 3, 2010 at 12:34 am
i agree and enjoy just having my car there to enjoy the visits with other car people and so those not into having old cars can enjoy looking at yours. The fun of going to a show is being able to just go, enjoy the ride there and enjoy the people looking at your ride and then the drive home is a great trophy feeling anywaysmile image That's my 2 cents on those kind of shows!!!
 
Rayman’s Profile Photo
Rayman
Aug 3, 2010 at 12:18 am
Wow nice thx for the info helpos alot for the up coming show I have this month
 
pluckedchicken’s Profile Photo
pluckedchicken
Aug 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm
I've started thinking of entering big shows as paying for a good parking spot...

My cars are stock, but always get lumped in with modified cars, due to the way every show slices and dices classes to fill them up... my '62 Newport will end up competing against ALL convertibles, or All Mopars.

In the convertible class, there are so many judges have a fondness for Mustangs, or anything with a bowtie, they always vote for thier fantasy car. Same is true in an all Mopar class, Judges drool over anything with a Hemi or 440-six pack...

so I'm happy to get a good parking spot for my $20 to $30... besides on the rare occasion I do get a trophy it ends up in the back of my closet wink image
 
canadianpontiacguy’s Profile Photo
canadianpontiac
guy
Aug 2, 2010 at 6:36 pm
I like the idea of "Outstanding in Class" awards!
And your assessment of "judging" pretty well mirrors my experiences as well.
 
vegavairbob’s Profile Photo
vegavairbob
Aug 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm
How 'bout this one The show I posred just yesterday my 73 Vega was assigned the class 1964-1975 How's that? and guess what no choice which usually is the case and ONE trophy for a class of 12 model years grouping 60s and 70s cars. My 7k miles totally original award winning MT feature car loses to an "Earl Sheibs quality" painted 66 Bel Air 4dr, Great choice for the sole trophy. Owner probably a retired Sheriff. I don;t get caught uo in it from yhe onset of the show if the odds are kike a lottery. I can back the car out of judging if I don't like the classes but I usually don't if I don't have a problem with the judge. A new policy I just started is If I don't like the judge I will take the car out of the competition on the spot wheyher I get a refund or not, then decide if I'll stay for the rest of the day just to show the car.
 

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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > Do Not Judge Lest You Be Judged

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