New Rules that Car Shows Should Adopt

Car shows are like anything else.  They are run by a very small group of people with little influence from the outside world with a bunch of participants who don’t have the backbone to speak up for common sense.  The result is predictable - insanity.  If I could be the dictator of this country, in just a few short years, I could have everything straightened out.  I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon so maybe I should start out small.  Let me be the judge at car shows.  There would be a new sheriff in town, with a whole new set of rules, like these:

  1. Any car that had a sign saying anything remotely like “Don’t Touch” or “Hands Off” would be immediately disqualified from winning anything in any category.  What?   Your car is so fragile that it can’t handle being touched?  Then what good is it?  Leave it at home, or sell it to a museum.
  2. Any car that was hauled in on a truck or trailer, will automatically finish below any that are driven to the show.  Anyone seriously trying to win anything should have current license plates for their vehicle.
  3. Any car that does not have the ground clearance to make it over a speed bump, enter a normal driveway, or cross a set of railroad tracks will be penalized points, unless, the owner doesn’t give a shit and just gives it hell and bottoms out when meeting such obstructions.  Points will be added for that.
  4. There are already more than enough bone stock Tri 5 Chevys, Classic Mustangs, classic T-Birds and Corvettes in the world.  If you have one of these, feel free to show it, but don’t count on winning anything.
  5. Anything that irritates purists will be given additional bonus points.  This includes Chevy motors in non-Chevy cars.  Non-Chevy motors in Chevys are even better because that is less common.  You gotta love a big block Chevy in a GTO, but a Corvette with a Ford engine would almost certainly earn best of show.
  6. I don’t care what it rolled off the assembly line with, a V8 always beats a six, (Unless the six has been heavily modified, that’s cool), and a big block always beats a small block.
  7. Anyone caught displaying these faggy dolls, will not only be immediately disqualified, they will be asked to leave.
  8. With trucks, four wheel drive always beats two wheel drive, especially if a particular truck was never offered from the factory with four wheel drive.
  9. 17” maximum wheel diameters, unless the vehicle was originally available with larger diameter wheels.
  10. Vehicle modifications that can be easily reversed are generally positives, (engine, tranny swaps, and rear end swaps, even throwing an old truck body on a 4x4 chassis.)  ones that can’t and will probably leave the vehicle in a permanently altered state (e.g. wheel tubbing, unless the car is a true race car) are generally negatives. Unless it’s a Tri-5 Chevy, classic Mustang, classic T-Bird, or Corvette.  There’s plenty of them.  Go ahead and butcher them.  Plus it makes the purists mad, and that’s always a good thing.
  11. Door handles are good things.  Factory rain gutters are good,  (Lead sleds will be exempted from this.)
  12. Owners caught cleaning their cars will lose points.  You should have cleaned it before you brought it, and if you did, trust me, it’s clean enough.  I can see through a day’s worth of dust.  You’re there to have fun.  Go buy a Coke and some popcorn, maybe a Big Bar, if you’re in Wisconsin, and go check out what other people brought.  Maybe, go check out the swap meet.  Don’t worry, your car will be fine, I won’t touch it, unless you got some gay sign saying “Don’t Touch”.
  13. Dual exhaust always beats single exhaust, especially on vehicles that were not originally available with dual exhaust, like straight four and six cars, and wagons.  Side pipes trump everything, unless they are not functional, in which case they are a negative.
  14. Fake stuff, and non-functional stuff is frowned upon.  Rat Rods with fake tri-power setups are exempt.
  15. Better is better.  Front disc brakes always beat front drum brakes, dual pot master cylinders always beat single pot master cylinders.  12 volts always beats 6 volts.
  16. Loud is good.  Sweet sounding and loud is better.
  17. Modified weird motors are good.  Let’s see how much power someone can get out of a Studebaker or International truck engine.
  18. Lotsa motor always beats lotsa paint.  I’d rather see a big block Nova with a few rust holes and the paint burned off the roof, hood, and trunk, than a perfect body and a weak motor.
  19. I’ve never seen a custom interior that looks better than a stock interior.
  20. I’ve seldom seen a custom paint job that looks better than a factory appearing paint job.
  21. Vinyl graphics suck unless they were a factory option.
  22. Manual transmissions always beat automatics.  The more speeds, the better.  No sports cars with automatics will be considered as being worthy of winning any of the top three positions in any category, even if they are the only cars in a particular category.
  23. I know I’m not done here, but I have to go now.  I’ll proofread and add to this list later.  If you got any suggestions, give ‘em to me.


  1. Any car arriving on a trailer (except *maybe* a judged concours event) will be required to remain on the trailer, and only the trailer will be eligable for scoring.
    In the event of a judged concours event there will be no 100 point scores no matter what. No such thing as a perfect car. And ALL entrants will be required to complete a 20 mile DRIVE on public roads before scoring a single point.
    No Camaros at all. They have been done to death.

    1. I really like everything you said here. Very good, except I'm a Camaro guy, but I understand what you're saying. Tell you what, how this for a compromise? I'll include Camaros with the Tri-5's, Mustangs, T-birds, and 'Vettes. Fair enough?

    2. I'll go for that. I am a sucker for a nice 69, but man...I have seen enough to last me.Ever been to Carlisle? I think you could build a mustang or camaro from scratch there. I have a 64 Chrysler Newport wagon here I hope to get to some day... Not a car you will run across everyday.

    3. You mean in Pennsylvania? I'd like to, but I'm in Wisconsin. We have a big car show here called "Little Carlisle" that I try to make it to every year. The cool thing about your car is it's different. Also wagons are getting more and more popular every year, especially the one's that shared the same platform as muscle cars. The bad thing is, rarer cars do not have a good source of parts. Camaros, Mustangs, T-birds,
      Tri-5 Chevys, etc. no problem there, so a restoration is much easier and cheaper.

  2. Wait, forgot one... One point will be added for each fresh stone chip or splattered bug on the front of the car....

  3. And as if the don't touch sign wasn't bad enough, some even put the ropes around their cars to where you can't even get close enough to see anything. Those really piss me off.

    1. Yeah, I mean they treat us like we were a bunch of grubby fingered, no mind kids, but you know what? The only kids that would ever do any damage to the car, are so young and short that they could just walk right under the rope.

    2. I have a friend with a really nice 50 MG TD. Supercharged, etc. He lets kids sit in it at shows when he is in the mood. You know they start becoming enthusiasts after that...They are just cars...Meant to be driven, touched, as well as looked at. After all, it is supposed to be FUN.

    3. J. Bogan - You are so right about everything you said. Increasing the public's interest is actually more important to the preservation of classic cars than any amount of washing, waxing, or chasing people away from your car, ever could be. The whole reason that theese cars ever even existed in the first place, is because they were meant to be enjoyed. Sharing the enjoyment with someone else brings much more satisfaction than sitting,guarding, and making sure people don't touch. If your paint job cost over six grand, you spent too much on your paint job.

  4. Excellent Post! I was in tears reading this. I have to admit that car show enthusiasts are some of the most uptight bunch of weirdos I have ever come across. It's a car, it's not a cure for cancer. Please stop acting like the world revolves around your car, ya damn fools!

    Donald Corral @ Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport

    1. Yes. There's already enough museum quality cars out there in museums. Anyone who watches Barrett-Jackson, knows that the museum quality level of a restoration only lasts for about ten years, even with the best of care. Classic car owners will end up getting much more value out of their rides if they let themselves and others enjoy them. That means touching, siting in, riding in, and driving them, rather than just looking at them.