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Meet judging

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  • Meet judging

    I was chief judge for the recent Pacific CanAm Zone meet. Very early in the planning for the meet, I proposed to the meet committee that guest judges, i.e. people who were NOT Studebaker owners, judge the cars. Committee response was very positive. Taking it one step further, I contacted other SDC chapters in the zone and also got a positive response. SDC members would be authenticity/backup people only.

    Since I wouldn't have a "captive audience" when it came to selecting judges, I started contacting non Studebaker clubs in our area six months before the meet. I did this several ways. I talked to people I have known for many years in another club. I went to a local collector car/custom car show and a show and shine. I went to a club's monthly meeting and I went online. In every case I found that people were willing and eager to do it. I found clubs I didn't know about, and remade contact with one with which our club had held joint meets many years ago.

    The result was the judges came from six different clubs, representing American, British and Japanese makes. Their cars ranged in age from 1910 to 1971. There were two women who judged (I'd like to see more of that - SDC is not a "men's club" in my view). Three of the judges were past the age of 80.

    Before judging began I went over the SDC judging form with the guests, answered any questions they had and assigned them to specific classes. Once judging was completed, I got very positive reactions from them. They liked being able to scrutinize vehicles free of any bias, which was appreciated by car owners as well. They talked to owners easily, something also appreciated by the owners. (One judge had been to another club meet the week before for a car he owned and commented on the animosity, bias and tension he felt while judging there).

    A number of things came out of this, some of which should possibly be considered by SDC . I was questioned by a couple of the judges about the word "Drivers" in our club name. How much driving do our members do? Some time back I said on this forum that in my view if a car couldn't get to a meet under it's own power, regardless of it's age, it doesn't deserve to go. I caught a fair amount of flak for that. I can say now that I have met other people with that view. If the car is trailered, one club takes a percentage off the top before the car is judged, another takes a fixed amount off the final judged figure. One actually adds points to the final figure if the car is driven. Another requires owners to drive their cars a certain number of miles in at least six months of a twelve month period and keep a log to make the car eligible for judging. The distance varied depending on the age of the car, but was easily attainable. Having said the above, they also said that many of these things relied heavily on the honour system.

    All in all, it was a very positive experience, both for the judges and the judged. It has resulted in requests to have joint meets or garage tours with other clubs and increased our awareness of them.

    I had an interesting conversation with one prospective judge. He asked me how much time judges were permitted per car. I told him our judging standards stated the time should be ten minutes. He declined to judge because he said that in his experience that was insufficient time. I won't name the club, but there may be people on this forum who will know which one it is. In this club, judges MUST be certified. They start at apprentice and proceed through junior, intermediate and senior to master. Each level has an exam for certification. At a meet, entrants are selected for judging and no more than two dozen cars are judged. There are eighty to one hundred judges and each car takes four to six hours to judge.

    I don't think we are quite ready for that!


  • #2
    A novel idea, Terry - one that has some merit.
    As for the driveability, that's the rule at Pebble Beach - they drive a 40 mile route the day before, and if your entrant breaks down, tough luck!
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers


    • #3
      That experience sounds absolutely awesome to me. I hope those in authority really consider this approach.


      • #4
        At our La Palma show one year, we had the model A club judges with authenticity judges and it worked out well. Should be done more.