Show cars and car shows
In this article I would like to talk about VW show cars. Please keep in mind I am not a car show guy anymore. Been there done that, got lots of shirts (and I mean a lot of shirts). Do I like car shows? Sure I do. Why don’t I build show cars? I have helped with a lot but last time I built a show car was in the early 90s. The way I was treated and the way the car was judged left a sour taste in my mouth. With that said, that’s why I’m writing this article. I would like to start with how I have seen it done in the past and present, then maybe offer some suggestions.
So now it seems that we drive to a show and enter our car. We get a number to put on our car and we are told to park here. Then we walk around and look at other peoples car and write down on a piece of paper who we think should win each class. This all sounds good and from a promoters point of view this is great. Promoters are off the hook if there is a dispute, he doesn’t have to hire anyone to look at the cars. Seems like a win win deal. I can see some of you already smirking. You already know what I am going to say next. The problem with this system is it seems the most known person wins, not the best car wins. NO REALLY? I know I know, settle down. So who cares? Well maybe the guy or gal that poured their blood, sweat, birthday money, etc into their car flippen cares, that’s who. Myself personally had a car in the 90’s (stock) that was so far above anything anyone had ever done and I still lost because I was out of the area and wasn’t well known. I showed that car for three years. After that I was so done and went onto drag racing. In that arena the guy who crosses the finish line first wins. Not the guy my peers thinks should win before we race.
Now I have gone to a show where the promoter picks a secret judge. A judge that doesn’t have a car in the show, but knows his way around a car. Now I feel that’s a little better. If there is a dispute then hey, it was a secret judge and that’s what he picked.
I did go to a car show that was not a VW event, a concores show in Chico, CA. I thought this was going to be pretty cool showing a vw bus in with a bunch of exotic cars, so I entered. After much debate with staff they grouped me in with a bunch of four door jags. Now the cool thing was each car at this show started off with 100 points. Then three people came by and picked your car apart and I mean picked it apart. They spent about 30 minutes on the car. For each thing that wasn’t quite right you got a deduction. Like a gas stain or wrong fuel line, etc. I don’t remember what I got deducted for, but it wasn’t much. I didn’t get first but was asked not to come back as I was making the others look bad. I asked the reason for getting univited and was told the bus did not cost enough new to enter that type of show. Now I was stoked that I got “kicked out” because I did to good of a job and was taking attention away from the jags. I was way happier at that show than being at the VW shows. Why? Well for one I had a score card. This told me what the judges were looking for, and what I could improve on. Also I knew the car that beat me was a better car and not just a more popular guy. I don’t know about you, but I want to win because I did a good job, not because I know more people. What do you guys think? Now I'm not going to sit here and say we should get rid of the way things are done now, but maybe we should incorporate some different judging ideas?
If I ever build another show car I would want it judged on a scoring system. Hell, I would even pay to get in on a scoring system. That way it would take a lot of “me” out of it and the attention would be on the car and how well it was put together. If I got a trophy I would know I was better then others on workmanship not because I was more known by others.
Did I open up a can of worms with this article? Probably. I’m sure im going to hear it from promoters and car show entries themselves. But maybe someone reading this will be inspired to consider taking popularity out of voting and focus more on the cars themselves.