Advice to Participants

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Part of RPCGI


Contacting L.T. Performance

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to one of the most exciting and fun things you can do as a vehicle enthusiast; show your car, truck, or motorcycle, we hope to share some pointers on how to better enjoy shows.

The same goes for whether you show up to have fun, meet some new friends, and enjoy people with a similar passion, or you show up to win and only win. 

Have you participated in a car show where you came away feeling it was a waste of time, maybe even a waste of money?  Even if you are one of those who don't go to win something?

What about leaving a show seeing cars win something that you know was not the best choice by a long shot?

And what about spectator judged shows where you see the car owner whose friends don't have anything better to do on a Saturday than to go to a show and vote for his or her car?

How about going to a show where everybody with a Corvette wins because everybody with a Corvette voted for everybody else with a Corvette?

And what about the babe with a "plain-Jane" stocker that won an award because the owner wore a pair of hot pants and shmoozed up to the judges all day long?

These are all some of the reasons not to go to shows and reasons why car shows die.  Remember something; in most cases, you paid to get into that show.  An older guy I ran into at one show told me something that made a lot of sense; "They should be paying us.  We're the reason the people come to these things."  You know something, he's right !

Why pay to get into a show, to have a good time talking to people, and then leave all ticked-off that the judging was poor?  I know, "I don't go to shows for the trophies."

I don't either, but I still want to see the judges be fair.  I've gone to shows that I thought there was no way I was going to get anything and ended up walking away with a trophy.  And then there were those that I had people lining up to have their pictures taken next to my car and got nothing. 

Frankly, I prefer the shows that aren't judged and don't give away trophies.  I'd rather leave remembering comments made by the spectators and other participants.  I like helping some church, scout troop, or other charity raise money for a good cause.

Be careful with shows at churches though.  I was invited to a smaller show at a church that used to be for 1976 and older cars.  Last year, they wanted to open it up to newer cars just to increase the size of the show.  You know what?  Guess who won the awards?  All of the cars that won in previous shows that were 1976 and older.  God will get you for that!  Like I keep saying, I don't go for the trophies, but at the same time, I'm not going to show up just to boost the numbers and revenue.  Think I'll go to that show next year?  Don't bet on it.  Neither will 6 other folks that were in the same position.  Meanwhile, a very small church in a small town in Pennsylvania held a show.  It was judged by everybody; participants and spectators.  Awards were given out across the board, new cars and old, members of that church and non-members. 

Personally I am not a huge fan of the import tuners, AKA "Ricers", AKA "Hooptie Cars".  But, if they show up at shows they should be given a fair shake, the same as anybody.  I was at a show, actually one of the better shows that year.  Parked behind me was a really sharp Mitubishi Lancer Evolution (if my memory is correct!).  Bright candy-apple red metalic, all kinds of chrome, stereo and video, just a really nice ride.  It had, what I had considered a 9 out of 10 graphics job; quite spectacular, even considering my lack of fondness for tuners.  There was no way I would have thought any other car or truck at this show would have beat him.  He left without even a Best 100 trophy much less the 6 footer for Best Graphics.  Even I felt bad for this kid.  He's invested a lot of money in this car only to get beat out by some multi-colored pastel flames that looked like they were put on just before and probably peeled-off just after the show.  Think he'll be back to the next show?  I wouldn't blame him if he didn't.

One of my strongest pieces of advice is read the blogs.  And if you post on them, be honest.  Moderators of blogs have a real responsibility to make sure the information being posted is relatively accurate.  Don't let it become a whining board.  As my old idol Sergeant Joe Friday used to say, "just the facts".

A couple of years ago, one of the car dealerships that holds a show for whatever charity they choose was blasted and boycotted by some of the participants from the year before.  It seems, that year, the dealership put some of the Chargers on the rear lot and they didn't like it.  They didn't like that the dealership had them all around the Kasey Kane NASCAR simulator.  As it turned out, it rained, so the simulator didn't operate.  But did these guys with their Chargers whine and complain to Mother Nature?  Of course not.  Frankly, I'm not as big a NASCAR fan as I was when Dale Earnhardt was alive, but put my car near anything that says NASCAR and I'll be happy to be near it; front lot, back lot, showroom.  Something like a NASCAR racing simulator is like a people magnet.  But, some people just like whining.  How somebody can have a nice ride and still find a reason to whine about it is beside me.  And on top of it, they missed a really good show last year, Mother Nature cooperated.

If you get to the Advice for Judges section, and we hope you do, we'll discuss some of the biggest factors in a show failing.  In all fairness, most judges really do try to do what they are supposed to.  Some come from long traditions of only judging cars more than 25 years old or older.  Frankly, many of them just don't know what to do when judging an open or "general" show.  The more cars, trucks, or motorcycles, the more years, the more classes and styles, the harder it is to judge.

That's why it is very important to pick and choose the types of shows in which you participate.  Be very careful entering your newer car or truck in shows that until recently were limited to cars older than 1976.  That is unless you have a car that is older than a 1976.  Far too many of these shows only allow newer cars in to boost the number of cars and the amount of money they bring in from registration fees.

And now to school.

Go to the next page for more advice for participants.

"I don't go to shows to win a trophy, I go to have fun !"