View Full Version : Car Show Tips

11-08-2009, 09:25 PM
At Marauderville 7 in Indianapolis, we had four very knowledgeable Marauder enthusiasts as car show judges thoroughly reviewing 23 cars. Their attention to every detail on every car took a long time but allowed them to determine how well each car owner executed every aspect of their car. Because no two cars were alike, the focus was on how well the owner carried out any and every detail, whether stock or not. How well was any add-on/aftermarket feature installed? How clean and tidy was the car? How creative was their presentation display.

I want to thank our judges, Steve Babcock, Kenny Brown, Dave Adney and Mac Mc Carthy for their enthusiasm and participation as our car show judges. It was a very tough competition. We hope the following list of observations will inspire you for future car shows.

Are the door jams clean?
Are the door sills clean?
Is there dust and grease under the hood?
Are the hose clamps in alignment?
Are the fluid caps aligned in the same direction?
How well is your aftermarket hood installed/aligned?
Is the front plate holder intact?
How well are badges, decals and pin striping placed?
How well is the spoiler installed?
How clean are the rims and tires?
How well are the rear or front lights tinted (i.e. S-55 treatment)?
How well is your display presentation put together?
Are your dash plaques and stickers arranged and aligned (under the hood, inside the car or on a presentation board)?
Are the brakes and suspension appropriate for the horsepower of the car?
How well are your after-market products installed under the hood (i.e. CAI kit, power-adder, transmission cooler, electric water pump, UDP, second radiator)?
How well are interior gauges and electronics (radio, GPS, phone, etc.) installed?
If your electronics are not permanently installed (GPS, MP3), how neat is the power or antenna wiring or should it be removed for the car show?
Are the windows clean – inside and outside?
Are the air vents clean?
Are the stock mats in place?
Is there personal property unrelated to the car show left inside the car?
How neat is the trunk? Spare tire cover in place?
How well is after-market audio equipment installed in the trunk?

Now you can see why the judges took their time with each car! It wasn't about whether it was stock or not, it was about how well each aspect was presented.

Those of you that have been to other car show, please post your advice – what’s important and not important.

Special thanks to Mac for working on this list with me.


11-08-2009, 09:45 PM
Definately add attention to wheel wells, and bugs in the heat exchanger/radiator.:up:

Mr. Man
11-08-2009, 10:41 PM
Cars owned by girls should be spotted 100 pts;)

SC Cheesehead
11-09-2009, 05:41 AM
Cars owned by girls should be spotted 100 pts;)

Plus or minus? ;)

11-09-2009, 05:53 AM
Pay attention to the fine details! Walk around the car several times and look closely at each panel,door,fender,etc... Inside the rims and the wheel wells are important as well as the tailpipes. I usually spray tire dressing inside the wheel wells to make them stand out and cover any stains or road grime. The glass is also very important. The local car shows around here check the glass above all. For the interior, you want your floors and mats cleans and straight. Between the seats and under the seats are very important. I found that the more natural looking the interior looks, the better. I only use low gloss dressing on the dash. That looks much more professional then the high gloss oily look.
Under the hood, Any aluminum pieces that are polished should remain polished! Nothing looks worse then a fluid cap, coil cover,or the upper intake that turned white.
I use 409 or simple green to keep the block and pulleys clean and tire dressing to bring out the shine on the plastics. The hood liner is just as important to keep clean as the rest of the engine. The hood liner will make a clean engine look filthy especially if it has stains and wear marks. On my old liner, I used 409 and let it soak in until brown suds started forming, then hosed it down before I washed the engine. It made a big improvment on the look.

Low gloss sprays look much better in the interior, high gloss for the tires and engine bay. Like Chip Foose says, the hood is like a jewel box and the engine is the jewel. Thats been my motovation in dressing up my engine bay.

11-09-2009, 06:05 AM
Nice tips Mary, thanks! -and- if Girls get 100 points, then cars that were DDs in the snowbelt in a previous life get +200 points for the unremoveable salt stains on the aluminum parts. :P

11-09-2009, 09:14 AM
Well done!
Thanks for posting this info mary. :up:

11-09-2009, 11:29 AM
All very good tips; but there are no sure things in Car Shows. In fact, almost every car show that I have been in has been run differently. You never "really" know what they are looking for or what will put you out of the running for a trophy. All that you can do is your best shot. Pay attention to the details as best as possible. If the judges want to find something, they will. Sometimes, it is about being/registering in the right class or category.

Some shows use expert judges.

Some shows will use a checklist for exterior, interior and engine compartment with some standardized judging rules.

Some shows will use "seat of the pants" judging with no real checklist -- just some overall guidelines.

Some shows allow registered "car show" participants to vote on all the other cars and pick 3, or 10, or 25 depending on the total turnout. Whoever gets the most votes wins, then 2nd, 3rd etc. Within the stated classes. This method of judging and voting favors the regular car show/sponsor members since they tend to vote on other members rides.

Some shows use a people's choice format where everyone including the attendees that are primarily there to "looky see" and browse also get a vote.

At most shows, your car has to look good enough from 10-20 feet away for the people or judges to come over and take a closer look.

I am no expert at this by any standard .... its best never to expect to win anything otherwise you will just be disappointed .... that way if it does happen .... you'll be surprised and honored that someone thought your car met the grade that day. Next time it might be someone else.

Go to the show, have fun, enjoy the crowd, talk up your ride -- if you happen to take home a trophy consider it a BONUS. :D

11-09-2009, 11:43 AM
Bribe the judges if you want to win, if you still don't win shoot the bastard$!!!

11-09-2009, 12:25 PM
Did someone say shooting? Count me IN!