Friday, August 19, 2016

Flashback Friday

Showing my 1966 Chrysler 300 in Monmouth.

A week from tomorrow I will be attending, weather permitting, a car show in Bushnell.  Its always been one of my favorites because it is an actual judged show and has narrow classes.  Let me explain.  usually if you take an old car to one of these, they will give you a ballot when you register.  At around noon you will be directed to wander from class to class (i.e. 1955-1964 Stock or Corvettes 1970-1980, and so forth) and mark the best car in each class.  You then take your ballot and drop in a box at the registration table and someone will count them, and thus, trophies given to top three cars in each class.  There are problems with this kind of voting:  buddies vote for buddies (I am guilty of this), club members vote for club members (I am guilty of this).  Also, people love chrome and the color red.  It is a well known fact that all red chromed cars win.  This is called the Rule of Red.   

At Bushnell a couple guys will look your car over and mark on a 100 point scale the condition of your car.  Categories are things like brightwork, interior, engine compartment, paint, undercarriage, and so forth.  Each category is 10 points.  

Showing my 1962 Plymouth in Bishop Hill 

As for those classes I mentioned.  Usually classes include a decade worth of cars, like Stock 1970-1980.  That takes in a lot of cars.  You could end up with 10-15 cars in a class.  Your chances of winning a trophy diminish with each car in your class.  In Bushnell, they have the tightest classes around, such as 1960-1963.  You may be competing with only three or four others cars. 

Showing my 1967 Chrysler in Monmouth.

The most recent trend in car judging is to eliminate classes altogether and go with a Top 30 approach.  Everyone parks wherever they want and you attempt to judge a stock 56 Studebaker next to a '78 Chevy Caprice modified.  My experience in these cases is that the Rule of Red will supersede any and all previous rules.  

Showing my 1963 Dodge 880 in G-Burg.

Next weekend is also the Aledo Antique Days car show.  I could drive a half mile and enjoy a day of kibitzing with acquaintances, or I can go to Bushnell.  There is another rule of car shows:  driving there and back is always more fun than hours in a lawn chair.  Showing cars is perfect for a fellow like me.  The car is the star and I'm just a supporting player.  I get to hide in the background whilst others wander slowly and take in the shape, style and history of old iron.  You know, the cars are a reflection of society at the point they are designed, usually three to four years in advance.  The sweeping fins of a '61 Imperial reflected the 50's excess and by the time it was produced, its styling was already becoming outdated.  But I digress.  

Oh, and all my wonderful old cars are gone now except for the Dodge.  I consider them my children that I cared for and then let them go.  It hurts when I think of them, but when I moved to Florida my life circumstances changed.  Such is the way of things.  

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