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 Car Show Tips for Displaying Your Car
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4963 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2017 :  12:18:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
After refinishing the TA in '93, it was ready to participate in some Pontiac car shows. The car competed in open car shows too in Virginia and Maryland. The car had a modicum of success and several trophies are scattered about in the garage. Move ahead to the next century...

The car was still competitive in 2001-2003 in California but no recognition came from those efforts. After leaving California and retiring to South Florida, the TA soon lost it competitiveness so I proceeded to pursue more power in hopes of competing at the strip. Mods were made and power was increased. However, things just didn't work out as there were few people in my area that held the same interests as me. Consequently, as the car sat, it was decided to bring the car back cosmetically and compete in car shows in South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties). That became my focus for the TA. No more auto-crossing, no more drag racing or rallies.

Since 2009 I've competed in at least three dozen car shows with my 2001 Millennium Yellow Corvette Coupe. Corvette competitions are far more competitive than I ever experienced with the TA. There are only a few all Corvette shows that I've participated in, mostly are open shows.

What I've learned detailing the Corvette and competing has enhanced my appreciation of what must be done to have success is showing a car. Here are some tidbits--

Condition of the car's paint is very important. Great paint doesn't have to be new but it must be free of acid rain, water spotting, and swirls.

Also important is what I will call contrast. Your car must contrast itself with itself. The paint must pop, the wheels, wheel wells, tires, rims, chrome, black trim must jump out and contrast itself with the paint--whatever color it is.

Detailing, means just that. It deals with the small stuff. Emblems can't have remnants of polish or wax. Dirt can't exist anywhere. The car must pass the white glove test. inside and out. Glass must sparkle. Chrome must sparkle and swirls on chrome--doesn't work for the judges.

Rims are very important to the overall appearance of the car. Scuffed rims with dings and curb rash--defeats an other wise great paint job and a car clean as a whistle.

Carpeting must be devoid of particles, dirt, lint, and dog hair. At show time, the trunk should be empty but for jacks, tires, etc. Coolers, chairs, hats, rain gear etc...out of the car.

When the judges come to your vehicle, be there to answer questions and to open the doors, trunk etc, if asked. The hood must be open. There may be questions asked about the engine. The engine bay has to really sparkle--not dirt, no grime, no oil, nothing that looks bad or out of place.

So, there you have it--tips culled from experience.

I hope that all of you competing in car shows have great success. Good luck.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

StevenLac
Tribal Scout

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2017 :  12:41:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great tips! Thanks for sharing your insights, they're invaluable.
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hardknox50
Tribal Scout

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2017 :  10:00:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for sharing.

Tony Lane
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jsoncharl
Tribal Scout

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2018 :  01:47:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
These are really nice insights that I haven't read yet. Thanks for the tips.
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Bill Boyle
Horse Feathers (Charter Member)

USA
4963 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2018 :  2:03:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill Boyle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What I have come to realize in the 35+ car shows that my car's have entered is that judges are both inexperienced and experienced and many have biases that are revealed if one closely evaluates the trophy winners at the end of the show.

Before I go into that, one thing remains constant and that is cleanliness. No car that is dirty and greasy has a chance at winning anything. When cars are fully detailed and each pops, the judges must look closely for simple flaws to detect the best among the best. One critical thing is to try to get your car to be one of the best and then hope that the biases of the judges gives your car the advantage.

I participated in three cars shows this year (to date) with my 18 year old Corvette C5. The color is Millennium Yellow with black leather seats. It is striking in appearance. However, yesterday, yellow was not a car color the judges deemed worthy of recognition.

When highly detailed it is hard for judges to distinguish which car is better than another. Fact. Yesterday, the distinguishing feature was the color red. While red was ever-present among the field of 95 Corvettes on display, there was a multitude of colors present. Red however won the day for the winning cars that was the bias displayed and the point that made the difference for the winners. Hardly objective and mostly subjective, judges make decisions because they have to.

There were amazing looking Corvettes from C1-C7 in original paint, custom, stock engines to high powered mods factory and otherwise. If you owned a red Vette, you had an advantage yesterday.





"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

----
400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, 2.5 SS dual exhaust X Pypes, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 850 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.
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mike389
Big Trees

USA
581 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2018 :  11:53:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great tips Bill !
I finally after a few years got my A/C brackets, Inside A pillar pieces, & a 6" water pump pulley chromed to match other side !! hope to have running today, worked on getting P/S pump pulley lined up with W/P pulley which turned out to be a pain in the arse ! more to clean now, oh well !!
Happy Easter to you & our PSP contributors !

Mike
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