WilD HalfDork
9/14/15 3:14 p.m.

This thread: http://classicmotorsports.com/forum/classic-cars/took-one-of-the-shop-cars-to-a-show-today/105700/page1/ got me thinking about concourse judging.

I am not a big fan of the Cord 810/812 styling, but the "third in class" car pictured in that thread really looks like a stunner. Concourse judging is all about originality/correctness and condition, right? Will there ever be a point in the future in which Chevrolets from the 1980s will be part of the concourse field or is the concourse realm going to be fixed in time and highly discriminating in brand so such plebeian rolling stock is forever excluded? What I'm getting at, is it ever going to be possible for an absolutely perfect (better than new, obviously) 1982 Chevrolet Chevette to win it's class at one of these shows?

VClassics Reader
9/14/15 5:47 p.m.

I can't speak to the high-zoot shows where individual cars need some sort of provenance to enter, but I've judged a number of combined Volvo Club of America / Volvo Sports America national meets, which I imagine are run similarly to other club concours.

First off, cars compete against similar models -- PVs are classed together, Amazons are classed together, 1800s are usually broken down into two or three separate groups (the early cars are different enough from the mid-year cars which are different enough from the late cars), etc. Each of those groups is further broken down into stock and modified classes.

In the stock classes, I'm looking for condition and originality (balancing those can be subjective). These cars should be exactly like they were in the dealers' showrooms and perfectly clean. This can be a bit tricky because Volvo wasn't always consistent -- for instance, I know what a typical '67 1800S should be, but if Volvo had '66 parts left over, they'd feed them into the production line, sometimes seemingly randomly. Also, most options were dealer installed and they didn't all do them the same way (location of radio antennas vary, there is not one "correct" outside mirror). I'm looking for all the right decals under the hood, a Volvo battery and oil filter, whatever. I remember one show where there was nothing to chose from between two cars except that one had the original brand headlights in it.

In the modified classes, I'm looking for condition, the number of modifications and the merit of those modifications (which is again subjective). I'm trying to get a sense of some sort of theme -- increased engine performance should be matched with improved handling and braking mods, for instance. And of course how well the mods are engineered counts for a lot.

In the stock classes, there are always some "over restored" cars. Those take Peoples' Choice awards, but not a concours first or second place. In modified, "over restored" may or may not get you points.

We don't really have a Survivor class for cars that were never restored. Those are pretty much all parts cars at this point -- old Volvos didn't have enough value until pretty recently for most people to maintain them that long.

petegossett GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/14/15 8:41 p.m.

In reply to WilD:

I think what you're describing could pretty much apply to any malaise-era car in concours-like condition...and I fully expect to continue seeing a rise in their popularity and value. Ok, so they'll never be the highest-valued classics out there, but they very much define a specific segment of history - and they sure weren't the type of cars that most people were inclined to keep in pristine condition!

aircooled MegaDork
9/15/15 10:23 a.m.

I don't see why not, assuming the club has a class for them and someone actually restores (or preserves) one. Could be a very rare site realistically, kind of like how base models of almost any old car are almost non-existent these days.

...oh... the vacuum lines... drool...

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
9/16/15 4:36 a.m.

It really depends on the event. I judge at Amelia, and that is a beauty contest. We don't check to see if all the lights work and all that sort of stuff. At Hilton Head, where I will be judging next, the details matter. Not having your spare tire or tool roll and owwners manual, or not having your license plate light work, are the details that we use to seperate close cars. The car, the restoration and the story all factor is. Soon in Classic Motorsports we are featuring a concours winning Triumph Spitfire. The car was very nicely done, but the story and pictures of the guy's dad racing the car in the sixties and then turning it over to the son, are what puts mundane cars, like a Spitfire, over the edge at a concours event.

AaronBalto Reader
9/16/15 7:54 a.m.

I have a fancy Italian sportscar and I always find it kind of funny how the guys in the fancy Italian sportscar club actually CARE about what some annointed other guy thinks about their car. I love to hang out and enjoy these events, but I never even open my engine lid for judging. I mean, judging? Really? I have an ex-wife for that...

gjz30075 Reader
9/16/15 1:42 p.m.

Well said, Tim.

foxtrapper UltimaDork
9/17/15 4:37 a.m.
Tim Suddard wrote: It really depends on the event.

The only additional thing I'd add is it also depends on the judges.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
9/18/15 8:19 p.m.

foxtrapper, good point. gjz, thanks

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