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View Full Version : To Be Judged or Not To Be Judged? That is Our Question...



John and Tracy Smith
06-06-2010, 05:22 PM
We love our Studebakers, but realized right before attending the Glendale Meet that we have spent more of the past year driving them than we have working to improve them. Most of this was due to health and time constraints, but the fact remains that our vehicles are overdue for a little TLC. The truck has had the most work done on it (simply because it needed it to be a safe driver), but George the President and LuLu the wagon were in fair enough shape to just hop in and enjoy. We decided to start by giving LuLu a little extra attention, which brings us to our question: What is the process involved with turning a "display" vehicle into a "judged" vehicle?

During the Meet, we became intrigued watching the judging of the vehicles and couldn't help but be curious how one of our cars would measure up. Obviously, the truck is modified and wouldn't qualify at this point on many levels, and Tracy loves George the way he is ('60 Lark engine, vinyl seats, imperfections, and all!). LuLu, however, is the closest we have to "original" and she was kept in fine shape over the years. It would make sense to start with her; HOWEVER.....

1) We can't afford a frame-off restoration. In fact, other than interior and exterior painting (something to save for, obviously), we would be attempting most of the work ourselves. Is this an attainable goal?

2) We don't want to offend anyone! :) Does your vehicle have to be perfect in order to have it judged? Can you have it judged first (and along the way) to get an idea of what you're shooting for, or is that not acceptable?

3) We're really not looking to have a 400 point car. Our number one thing we enjoy is that we have family cars. Our kids are welcome in them and LuLu would be no exception. We may trailer our vehicles to shows, but they are by no means "trailer queens."

We just thought we'd get some insights and opinions to see if we were insane in our thinking. Obviously, we are not the most conventional people in the world, but we have no idea what would be the best way to start. We would just be doing this for fun and as a challenge to ourselves.

j.byrd
06-06-2010, 06:04 PM
Smith family, put those rascals in for judging as they are!!! That way you will have it written down on a judging sheet what you need to concentrate on. Karen and I always took our cars to 2 or 3 shows just to get varied opinions, and you can learn a lot that way. You could also enter a couple of AACA events, they, like the SDC, are a really good, old, fair, and experienced organization with world-wide accepted judging criteria. Good luck, and most of all, have fun, some folks get SOOOOOO serious, Ha!!! Oh, loved your event coverage too. My son was always part of everything too, John

StudeRich
06-06-2010, 06:50 PM
John and Tracy; I expect you will get quite a few suggestions here, John's about about getting it judged whenever possible is a good one.

One of many suggestions I have in mind, a big one is this " CLEAN detail and polish" everything you can! A Clean car always presents itself better. If you have some grunge around your Instrument bezels, switches, knobs, dash panel, door panels, carpets, seats, headliner, tires, when you remove it you be amazed how well it cleans up!

If some parts do not, many small detail parts can be replaced. Like: door and window handles, clear plastic escutcheons under the handles, knobs, dash pad, Carpets etc.

Make sure the rims of the wheels that shows with wheelcovers on, has nice correct color paint (the '57 & '60 are body color) without "Kitty stains" and the '60 would look very sharp if you can afford some correct wide whites to go with some '60 wheelcovers.

So get some Simple Green, sponges, cloths and a toothbrush and go for it!

The Engine and undercarriage can be pressure washed and any surface rust that appears when the Oil is removed underneath, touched up with semi gloss Black before it rusts worse.

Then the judging sheet will tell you what you missed.

DEEPNHOCK
06-06-2010, 07:03 PM
Check the search function for 'Judging' and read about the numerous post's and opinions regarding judging, being judged, and not being judged (display only).

COMMANDERPINK1
06-06-2010, 07:12 PM
Have it judged!!! I bought my red 66 from its original owner with only 15,000 miles on it. I had to make it driveable again but all I really did to it befor a Zone meet was to just detail it good. Now the car is no show stopper cause it has some blemishes over its 44 years of life. From a Zone meet to an International meet the judging was a little different,(its all subjective) but this came from veiws of other people, it gave me a base to work off of. I new there were some issue needing attention and there are some nicks and scratches in the exterior paint that I wont touch just so I can keep it original. So it was fun having it judged, wether it gets 370 points or 400 it really doesnt amount to a hill of beans to me. I still drive it to enjoy it.

Tom

stall
06-06-2010, 07:24 PM
I had my Speedster judged at the Studebaker Nationals in Lancaster and at an AACA Grand National simply to validate it's condition; essentially what I paid for it. In both cases it came up top notch. That being said I think Judging is the worst part of the old car hobby. It tends to foster the "mine is bigger than yours" hobby faction and discourage the "take it out and play with it" fun part (pun intended).

I love AACA tours but have noticed that there are many trophy people that are only in it for the silly awards and couldnt open the hood without their mechanics help; i hape that never happens to the SDC,

Take your cars to the show and be proud your using them as they were intended and not as nick-knacks for show only. Just my HO

Murray

Green53
06-06-2010, 07:34 PM
Go for it. Having the cars judged does give you an idea of what needs to be done to improve them. Have an open mind and don't let it get under your skin if you get beat up on some items and your score isn't what you are looking for. I first showed the Avanti at an International Meet in 1974 and lost first place by 1 1/2 points. At that time it was just 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in a class and no multiple winners like it is today. At that time I didn't have a clue as to what was correct. Other experienced owners took me under their wing and pointed out things to correct. The next year in Texas I won Best of Division. I only display today but my three cars are still decent but not the leaders of the pack. Many of us in the Grand Canyon State Chapter can help you. First most enjoy driving them.

Denny Lockmon

silverhawk
06-06-2010, 07:55 PM
I'll repeat what they say, go for it! My car is extremely far from perfect (As a few members of this forum can attest to) but I do it anyways. It's alot of fun, and you learn a lot in the process!

rockne10
06-06-2010, 08:42 PM
I say do it.
The way SDC assesses points and makes multiple awards (actually, everyone starts at 400 and points get deducted), you are competing only with yourself. With our judging system it's entirely possible (not likely) there may not be a winner in a given spot. I think at Lancaster there was one division where there were no second place winners.
If a First, Second and Third must be awarded, there are shows where first place goes to the best of the crap.
SDC's system, though not totally objective, is an evaluation of your vehicle. It lets you know where you're at. If you are looking for areas to improve, and the quality of your vehicle is more important to you than the acquisition of a trophy, go for it. If achieving the trophy is more important than the satisfaction of your work, reset your priorities.

61Lark
06-07-2010, 12:13 AM
Don't have your cars judged. You'll enjoy the meet a lot more if you're not going over your car with a tooth brush on Wednesday night. Also you will be free to wander around the show field on Thursday and look at all the cars, instead of having to sit next to your car most of the day waiting for judge. I've had my cars judged at three different national meets but when I go to Missouri next year I'll be displaying my cars. Plus you save a few bucks that you put towards gas (the true spirit of being a CASO in a DRIVERS club).

Nick

mbstude
06-07-2010, 12:29 AM
In Glendale, there was a lady who attended the meet with her '51 Commander Convertible. The car was special ordered new by her father, and she came home from the hospital in the car in '52. It was her high school car and has been with her throughout her entire life. The car has had a very meticulous restoration done over the past few years, and is nothing short of a true show car. This meet was her first SDC meet and first time having it judged in a Stude-only venue. Being she was new, I got up early Thursday morning and helped her get through the judging. She was rather nervous about it and I was more than happy to help. The judges ripped the car apart and docked her for things that were correct, and didn't take off points for things that were actually wrong. She and I sat at the same table at the awards banquet and after she got her plaque, I looked at her judging sheet and just laughed.. For example, the judges took off points for a rare accessory on the car and she even showed pictures of the car brand new with the items installed. (So much for "show the documentation and they won't deduct points"). The item was the stainless steel fender skirts that were a dealer add on, the judges insisted that they were chromed. (Even though this stainless restorer told them they were polished stainless, they wouldn't believe it. Funny, huh?) I told her to take it all with a grain of salt and her response was "After all this is over, I'm just going to drive the car. That is what would make my parents happy".

So what I'm trying to say is, having your car picked apart isn't necessarily an aspect that many find enjoyable.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk179/1959S2D/glendale2026.jpg

Mark57
06-07-2010, 01:07 AM
I will echo what many others have said. I think it can be helpful to have your vehicles judged at least once... this may help you to know become aware that some of the items are not as they should be (non stock, poor shape, etc.). What you choose to do with that information, is of course your decision. Don't take judging personally - I have had my truck judged and I know I would have marked down a number of items that the judges missed. On the other hand, I have also seen judges nit pick minor things as well.

Overall, I think it is an interesting experience to go through. As StudeRich said, cleaning up your car beforehand is a great idea, as that way you won't lose points for items you could have easily made better.

As both of you already know, this is supposed to be fun, so as long as you won't stress out over the judging, I say "Go for it!" :)

4961Studebaker
06-07-2010, 10:57 AM
J & T.....

Don't get the idea that the truck can't be judged..........IT CAN, I believe "Division 8" (all judging classes are called Division then the appropriate number) 8 is, Stude powered, modified vehicle.
And not remembering your trucks powerplant.......if indeed another manufacture's powerplant moves your truck down the road......you would be in Division 9 - non stude power, modified.

Enter those pinstripes and padded dash, you might be surprised.

Having multiple vehicles does present a bit of a challenge if they're not in the same division........logistically seperate areas....but not a deal breaker....It's only for one day.

Personal note......when my car's done.....I'll probably do the judging thing once, just to experience it...and then just display.
Who knows,
What ever you decide, have fun with it, and don't stress over it.

Anne F. Goodman
06-07-2010, 12:07 PM
We had our SilverHawk judged at our Zone Meet in 2007. We prepped the car as we always do. Its a driver so all the details to make it perfect well we didn't do that. David thought that we would be in the negative for the judging. They start with 400 points and deduct from there. LOL!!!1 But we had a score of 289 and we were happy with that. We didn't stress over it at all. The hard part was staying with the car so long waiting for it to be judged. Now some that read this might think wow how bad can that car be . Well its the 1957 Silverhawk in my signature pictures. Just my two cents. Its interesting to have it done once for a baseline. It gives you a better understanding of judging. One other thing I think everyone should be a judge at least once. It makes you appreciate just what they do. Now if you think hey I don't know enough to be a judge. Well you will be placed with a knowledgeable team and you will be an assistant they will give you a job that you can do to help. Its a great experience. But plan on the whole day of service.

jackb
06-07-2010, 12:20 PM
..I don't know about others, but...I can read clearly through your post and see that you are "not" the judging type of Stude driver...having said that, I ask this question

jclary
06-07-2010, 12:29 PM
They start with 400 points and deduct from there. LOL!!!

By the time I started college, I had been through one war and out of high school for over 5 years. One thing that kept me from getting too depressed was that I figured out that I always started every semester as a 4.0 student until the first test!

Seriously, as I started out in this "car club" business, I was very inexperienced, immature, and had a big ego sitting right next to the chip on my shoulder. Looking back...I am somewhat embarrassed at the time and emotion I wasted on some rather trivial things. Judging is a thankless task, will always have a subjective element, and is not always perfect or fair. I have been to some shows and won "Best of Show" and not even placed with the same vehicle in another show in the same month. My suggestion is to participate at a level that is fun and enjoyable. Life is too short to let the little trinkets we toy with make us miserable.

studeclunker
06-07-2010, 02:03 PM
By the time I started college, I had been through one war and out of high school for over 5 years. One thing that kept me from getting too depressed was that I figured out that I always started every semester as a 4.0 student until the first test!

Seriously, as I started out in this "car club" business, I was very inexperienced, immature, and had a big ego sitting right next to the chip on my shoulder. Looking back...I am somewhat embarrassed at the time and emotion I wasted on some rather trivial things. Judging is a thankless task, will always have a subjective element, and is not always perfect or fair. I have been to some shows and won "Best of Show" and not even placed with the same vehicle in another show in the same month. My suggestion is to participate at a level that is fun and enjoyable. Life is too short to let the little trinkets we toy with make us miserable.

Best advice of the day I.M.N.S.H.O.;)

In my case, my cars will never be show cars. I drive them because they have an inexpensive (comparitively) and widely available parts supply, are easy to work on, and most of all: FUN. Do please attend more than just the Studebaker events. You have a great selection of cars and it would be good for the public to see them. Also, the more people see that Studebakers can actually be driven as a daily driver, they might become more interested in them. The more people that can be exposed to our hobby the better chance that our cars will survive us.

Studebaker Wheel
06-07-2010, 02:40 PM
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee285/studeq/newsgroup/fenderskirts47-50b.jpg?t=1275934368

I have attended 42 consecutive Intl meets and have been a judge in four of them. I have not had a car judged since 1983 in South Bend. Having a car judged will NOT necessarily be a good way to determine what needs to be done to improve your car! More than once I have known situations where a judge deducted points for authenticity when there was no reason for the deduction. Then the owner corrects the supposed "error" and finds out later that the judge was wrong (after spending time and money to make the correction). In judging I tried to make it a point never to deduct authenticity points unless I was absolutely sure there was good reason. In other words give the owner the benefit of the doubt
As a follow-up to Matthew's comments on the '51 convertible shown above the owner was given a two point deduction for the fender skirts because the judge stated that they should be painted and not chromed (or polished stainless). Obviously he was incorrect as the original accessory sheet above confirms. This is but one example of why I do not bother having a vehicle judged.

Some of you remember Asa Hall who had a huge collection of cars and trucks specializing in the 1941-48 M series. He was without question the foremost authority on these trucks in the world. He would also not have his trucks judged because of an instance back in the '70's when a judge docked him points on authenticity after he had painstakingly researched every minute point on his truck. His comments in the years afterward are not for family viewing.

While there is some subjectivity in judging of the quality of a restoration there should be no subjectivity in authenticity. Either it is original and authentic or it isn't. If there is any doubt the benefit should go to the vehicle owner. What is the point in unnecessarily antagonizing a member who may decide never to show his cars again and maybe never to attend another SDC meet?

JRoberts
06-07-2010, 03:07 PM
Why is it that judging seems to always be the weak link in even the best Zone and International Meets? Before long we might not need judges because people will simply not show them, or put them out for display only. Too bad.

mbstude
06-07-2010, 03:11 PM
http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk179/1959S2D/glendale2002.jpg

Mr. Quinn, you are the man.

This thread reminds me of one of the reasons why I did join the Antique Studebaker Club. No judging!! Of course those guys didn't waste any time before putting me to work...

Green53
06-07-2010, 03:43 PM
As I said in my earlier post that John should try it once to see what happens. I myself would love to see an International Meet with no judging. By just displaying the visitors will enjoy the cars just as much and won't require that every particle of dust or bug be removed thus a more relaxed atmosphere. Been there done that. I just display.

Denny L

Jim B PEI
06-07-2010, 04:40 PM
I wondered about them when I saw the car at Glendale...but I only know that I don't know much at all, which is why I always take lots of pictures of details of cars that are being judged, and then wait to hear more informed feedback from people like DQ, Bob, JDP, Matthew and many many others. I will never have a car that aspires to even a 3rd place score, but I admire the hard work that goes into a drive-to-the-event car and still get over 375.

55champion
06-07-2010, 09:45 PM
Just my thoughts about your question, first do what you enjoy doing with your car.
Some people enjoy the judging at events while others don't find it to be what they want
out of an event. I have had cars over the years that were winners and some that never won, however I have always done what
I like to do with the car and not what some judge thought my car should be.
Remember the hobby should always be FUN and if it turns out that you're not having fun
you will soon loose interest and move on to something else.
Try the "Show" and it it brings you to a point of frustration..... go back to what you enjoy in owning your Studebaker.

Bob Bryant
06-07-2010, 10:41 PM
Smith family, put those rascals in for judging as they are!!! That way you will have it written down on a judging sheet what you need to concentrate on. Karen and I always took our cars to 2 or 3 shows just to get varied opinions, and you can learn a lot that way. You could also enter a couple of AACA events, they, like the SDC, are a really good, old, fair, and experienced organization with world-wide accepted judging criteria.

Good advice. I have helped judge at some local AACA events. While I think the quality of the judging is good I don't think the judges share any basis for the evaluation and the owner does not get a copy of the judging sheet to determine any deficiencies unless the policy has changed.

glen
06-07-2010, 11:24 PM
John and Tracy.....there is a lot of good information and advice
all up and down this thread! I would also suggest to enter just
once to see where they fall in line with the others! Don't let the
judging drive you "nutz" or stress you out.....as it is all part of
the "dance!" When I got "Charlene", my former 1953 2 door sedan
back in 2003....she had just finished a 1 + year "frame on" renewal
by the former owner. Instead of being authentic....David switched
the outside paint job from a Coral Red over Ivory Mist to just plain
Ivory Mist. The dash/interion paint areas were repainted in U.S.
Navy Battleship Gray, (a much better color) rather than "Loma".
Finally the seats, he got rid of the pinstrips and replaced them
with a vinyl, with cotton inserts, which reflected the period of time.
Within a month, I drove her the 6 miles from my home in Ramona Ca.,
to the Barona Casino, east of San Diego, where the San Diego Chapter
was hosting the Pacific Southwest Zone meet that year. Entered
Charlene into the POST WWII sedan class and worried like an "expectant
father"......to my amazement, she took Best of Class, with 368 points,
in that division.

That was the 1st and last time, I just smiled when they gave me my
final score sheet. While I wish I could have had all the loot to fix her
up in total, I figured that would take all the fun out of being a Stude
owner......even if the 53 sedans were not on everybody's "A list" more
like "you have a what?" or "you sure that isn't a 4 door with the 2 rear
doors welded shut?"

You have 3 great examples of Studebaker......don't worry about having
to do it all......just have fun! as it should all be anyway!

StudHawk60
06-08-2010, 10:59 AM
No judging for me. I know what's wrong with my car, no use somebody else rubbing my nose in it.

Nelsen Motorsports
06-08-2010, 11:23 AM
My dad has his 70 1/2 T/A and he never tried to get a trophy cause the paint now is 20 yrs old and cracked, he just tries to enjoy it, he had to drive it everywhere he took it. Like to Dayton Ohio 5 or 6 years ago. It was covered in bugs and dirt, but he went there to see other cars, not his get judged cause the car does have a super rare interior combination, but being a ram air 3 it is nothing all too special. It doesn't have the original engine in it (under workbench), but he doesn't want to risk blowing it up. He just has fun with it. Besides, we couldn't ever afford a restoration, and if we could we might not becaquse the car is good for the drag strip or a cruise night and is still different than a Camaro. Only 3,000 70 1/2 T/As were built as compared to an asronomical number of Camaros.

lschuc
06-09-2010, 09:06 PM
At the Glendale meet last week, I had my 63 Avanti judged in the stock class, and it was the ONLY Stock Studebaker Avanti judged; others were either custom, modified or display, or newer model Avantis. I saw TWO Packard Hawks judged -- one more than the stock Stude Avanti class.

I lost a few authenticity points which I knew would be deducted for the modern radio, newer style A/C vents, non-original voltage regulator, and also knew that the engine compartment would lose points, since I have not yet redone that area yet.
But the judges did not even catch the Lark-style Prestolite alternator instead of the larger alternator used on the Avanti, and the judges took off 2 authenticity points for non-original parking/turn signal lights!! Maybe they thought all Studebaker Avantis used the chromed housing with single lens -- but early 1963 Avantis used a molded-in turn signal housing in the fender with two-piece lens.

I do like this kind of judging, but obviously judges should at least be familiar with the class they are asked to judge.
One judge in South Bend in 1987 actually deducted points because a 1983 Avanti did not have a II emblem on the front nose panel. When Stephen Blake bought the company, he removed the II emblem saying that they are "just Avantis".

In Lancaster, AOAI members judged ALL Avantis for the SDC and at least knew what was original and what was not.
Maybe we should go back to this... not just for Avantis, but maybe have the ASC members heading the judging for prewar Studebakers.

rockne10
06-09-2010, 09:47 PM
My '51 had an on-frame rejuvenation sixteen years ago and I've driven the snot out of it since then. I drove it to Lancaster on the remaining 3/32" tire treads, gave it a quick wash Wednesday before judging, never detailed under the hood and missed a first place by 6 points.

I also had my Rockne judged just for s & g. Still totally original, never had anything restored. It took Rick Peterson about thirty seconds to determine not a single authenticity point could be deducted. I did lose points for worn, chipped paint, worn chrome, worn upholstery and dirty chassis. Still, missed a second place by 38 points. Not bad for one that hasn't been restored in 77 years and, it still sees the road.

AACA judges advise me to not touch anything that is not required to keep the car safe and operable. Always receives a Preservation Award at AACA meets.

My point is, you don't need to be anal to keep a nice car and you can enjoy the judging process if your vehicle is more important to you than the trophy.

jclary
06-09-2010, 10:15 PM
Last year I entered my '48 bz coupé in a local early spring aaca judged event. It was the most original car in its class. One of the aaca clique members showed up in one of those bath tub Hudson's, with non original metallic colors, flipper hub caps, and some of those "Cars Movie eyes" in the windshield. No judging sheets were handed out. When the trophies were awarded, it was obvious that the aaca clique group were handing the trophies out to each other. The Hudson got the award in my class. I really had a good time and have been in this hobby long enough to expect this type of outcome from time to time. A fellow Studebaker owner (non SDC member) was there with his silver hawk and was shocked and kinda made a scene about the way the judges conducted themselves. In fact, by the end of the fall cruise-in season, he was still raving about it so much that I started avoiding him to keep from hearing about it. My solution was just to by-pass the show this year for a free cruise-in a few miles away. In fact, there were less than 20 cars in the same show this year. Lets face it, sometimes it just happens. Popularity trumps rarity, what is popular will win over what is perfect, and many times it comes down to who you know and not what you have.

JRoberts
06-10-2010, 07:50 PM
Last year I entered my '48 bz coupé in a local early spring aaca judged event. It was the most original car in its class. One of the aaca clique members showed up in one of those bath tub Hudson's, with non original metallic colors, flipper hub caps, and some of those "Cars Movie eyes" in the windshield. No judging sheets were handed out. When the trophies were awarded, it was obvious that the aaca clique group were handing the trophies out to each other. The Hudson got the award in my class. I really had a good time and have been in this hobby long enough to expect this type of outcome from time to time. A fellow Studebaker owner (non SDC member) was there with his silver hawk and was shocked and kinda made a scene about the way the judges conducted themselves. In fact, by the end of the fall cruise-in season, he was still raving about it so much that I started avoiding him to keep from hearing about it. My solution was just to by-pass the show this year for a free cruise-in a few miles away. In fact, there were less than 20 cars in the same show this year. Lets face it, sometimes it just happens. Popularity trumps rarity, what is popular will win over what is perfect, and many times it comes down to who you know and not what you have.

Each March for the last six years or so our chapter has attended a mulit-car event at Carolina Beach. The host club puts on a very nice event. The judges are members of the host club. To prevent favorites in the judging, members of the host club cannot put their cars on the field for judging. There is a separate place for those cars. I think this a pretty smart thing to do.