Advice to Participants

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Part of RPCGI


Contacting L.T. Performance

Obey the Rules

Most shows have some type of rules.  There will always be those who just don't listen to them.  Of course, if you don't like listening to rules, you probably don't drive the way you're supposed to anyway.  One sure fired way of getting "booted" from a show is to blatantly disobey the rules for the show.

Rules are established for many reasons including liability.  Car show promoters, their sponsors, or the property owner where the show is being held have to worry about neighbors, the local law enforcement, and insurance.  Most show promoters are not very tolerant of violations of the rules, nor should they have to be.

Other participants are not very tolerant either.  Most participants believe in some type of honor code; if you're good enough to be at the event, you're good enough to act professional.  One way to get on everybody's list is to carry-on and act immature.

Remember - contrary to popular belief, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.  It only takes one idiot to have future shows cancelled or unsupported. 

Touching Vehicles

There is no reason to touch the vehicles on display.  Remember it is a Car "Show", not a Car "Touch".  Most of the owners have taken a lot of time and effort to keep their own fingerprints off the car, they sure don't want someone elses on there instead.  And especially don't go opening up the door and  see how it feels to sit behind the wheel.  That is a sure fired way to see how short tempered the owner is.  And especially, do not lean on or into the vehicles. 

I saw a guy lean inside a drivers window of a car at one show this past year just to see the instrument panel.  The car had one of the "real flame" paint jobs.  The guy's belt buckle put about a 2 inch gouge in the paint and then couldn't understand why the owner of the car slugged him.

If for some reason you really have to touch someone's car, truck, bike, etc., ask the owner first.


I like kids, and I especially like when they go to shows and really show an interest in certain cars.  Most of the cars at shows these kids have never seen on the road.  They are the future of car shows and building and collecting cars.   After all, car shows are supposed to be fun for the whole family.

But parents or guardians must be especially responsible when taking them to car shows.  Kids learn by touching, but as stated in the previous topic, touching is a no no.  Kids like getting dirty.  If their hands are dirty and they go touching cars they are going to scratch the finish.  And, like so many owners, I don't go along with the excuse, "they're only children".  If they are "only children" and they won't listen when mom or dad tells them not to touch, leave them home.  I hate to bring this up, mom and dad, but being responsible for them also means that you are liable for their actions.  If they damage a vehicle, you may find yourself paying for a very expensive repair.

Also remember, even though the cars in the show are supposed to be stationary, parked, there are times they move.  Even at just a couple miles per hour, a car striking a kid or even a kid running into a parked car can cause injury to that child.  Make sure they don't go running around the showfield.  And especially, there should be no skateboards, scooters, bicycles, or any other riding toys around the showfield.


It seems like most pets at car shows are better behaved than some of the children, so it's probably good to keep them together.  Most shows have very specific rules about pets.  Some shows forbid pets.  And I'll bet the reason pets are not allowed is because owners weren't being responsible when they were allowed.  I often wonder why on hot summer days, people have to take their dogs out on hot concrete and asphalt.  It's almost to the point of cruel.   Of course, I've seen people who take their dogs to drag races, and then they wonder why the dog seems to be deaf.  No fooling, he probably is.  The dogs don't get any enjoyment out of seeing these vehicles, they really really don't know what they are.  All they know is that there are a whole bunch of these big things they like to chase and wouldn't know what to do with it if they caught it.  Leave them home where they can be comfortable.  If you have to bring your dog, if it's allowed, keep them on a short leash and away from the cars.  And most importantly, clean up after them.


Smoking is another thing that can really get on the nerves of participants.  Many shows now forbid smoking near the cars.  Some go as far as to provide designated smoking areas or only allow smoking in the vendors' area.  I personally love somebody with a big 'ol stogie cigar, taking a big drag off it, and then leaning inside somebody that doesn't smoke's car to exhale.  From a safety point of view, remember, many of these cars are home made.  Some leak.  Some are made of flammable materials, even wood.  Some still smell like a new car.  I'm sure the owners don't want them to smell like ash trays.


There is a reason shows have certain times for the various segments.  There is usually what is referred to as the registration time, which corresponds to the time when the participants arrive and register their vehicles.  Most shows use this time also to judge the cars shortly after they arrive.  Large shows usually have specific times for judging as well, but the smaller shows are usually pressed for time and staff, so the judging usually takes place when the judges can get around.  If the judge or judges also help with the registering and setting-up, they may have to finish one chore before they can get around to the judging.  Larger shows usually have more staff to help out, so the judges can concentrate on the judging. 

But regardless of the size of the show, the promoters, sponsors, and judges appreciate the considerate participant.  They don't like it when someone gets to the show after the registration time ends and still wants to be judged.  Of course this irritates the other participants as well, especially when it becomes obvious that the person showing up late has already been guaranteed an award.  (See more on this in the Advice for Judges section.)

It's very important to get to the show early.  First, it benefits you, the participant.  You usually beat the rush, and get a choice spot.  Secondly, for judged shows, it allows the judges to have more time to look over the cars. 


Most show promoters, and I know not all do, provide trash cans for the spectators and participants.  I've seen some show locations that look like a tornado went through after everybody left.  And the promoters wonder why so many property managers now want security deposits when they use the location for a show.  It's not fair to the promoter or the property owner to have to clean up after a show.  As participants, we have a responsibility to leave the property in the same shape we found it when we got there.  If there aren't enough trash cans around, take your trash with you.  "But I don't have room to take it with me."  You most likely got it there.

Music vs. Noise

Just about every show I have attended has entertainment provided.  Whether it's a live band or a D.J. with a "ghettoblaster", most show promoters paid to give everybody some music and have a rule about participants not providing their own.  Nothing, NOTHING, is more irritating at a show than a war between 6 tuners fighting to see who has the loudest, most powerful stereo and can play the most obnoxious music.  Nothing gets on the nerves of your fellow participants quicker than playing your own music too loud, or in some cases, playing it at all.

Club or Personal Rivalries

Car shows are supposed to be fun for everyone.  The spectators are there to see the vehicles on display, not necessarily the owners and their friends.  Car shows are neutral territory.  They are not the location for disputes between individuals or clubs.  The other car owners don't care about your gripe with each other, they really don't.  If you want to have a show where your two clubs can hash it out, hold your own private show and don't open it up for everybody else.   Enough on this.

More on the next page

How to Impress the Spectators and Judges 101