: Advice on car shows

water walkin warrior
06-04-10, 12:53 PM
I'm considering taking my '89 'Ham to a car show in our city. I'm not sure if she's ready yet though. The paint is good on the sides, but has little cracks in the hood and trunk (looks like little bird tracks and has a couple places where the previous owner let bird stuff sit for too long and left a mark) that aren't that noticable unless up close and the engine is not very clean. Other than that, she cleans up well and is in tip top shape inside and out. Everywhere I go someone says "Nice car". What do you guys think? Should I wait and get it painted or find a black hood and trunk to replace the old ones before I put it in a show? I'm planning on cleaning the engine soon, but need advice on how to do that safely too. Help me out with advice please.

06-04-10, 01:45 PM
If you're just going to the car show to have some fun and don't care about awards etc...I'd say go! From what I hear, it's a lot of fun and a good place to meet some fellow classic car guys.

06-04-10, 02:04 PM
If you plan on slowly restoring the car, you could take it every year and watch your score go up and up until you get to the level where you wanna be at. Some car washes offer engine cleaning for 50 bucks

06-04-10, 08:54 PM
Just go. You'll have fun, and someone will appreciate your car. Start with cruise nights instead of "shows" if you want a taste.

06-04-10, 10:33 PM
Depends on the show. If it's the usual show n' shine most are, you'll be fine. Some shows will let you enter a car as a work in process, if you feel that much like the car is still "under construction". The most important thing is to have fun, meet people with similar interests, and learn lots of neat car-related stuff.

06-04-10, 11:49 PM
Usually other people don't notice your car's minor defects as easily as you do. While people at car shows might be a bit more observant, the little problems always seem to outweigh the good in your eyes. I'm thinking of going to a car show just for fun, and I have a bunch of rusty paint chips! They'll be fixed before then, but it'll just be a spray-can touch-up job.

water walkin warrior
06-07-10, 09:50 AM
Thanks all for the tips and advice. There's a couple shows in our area that the profits go toward charity I'm definitely going to do after hearing the replies.

06-07-10, 10:13 AM
These guys are right, It's all about the fun and the people. If you're going to a big time show most of the serious showers have far more money than we do and will usually, with every right, take the awards.

If it's a smaller local show it evens the playing field quite a bit. Clean and detail every aspect of the car the best you can. I usually spend about 10 - 15 hours with the car before I go and my car is kept clean.

Having said all of that, it really is about the fun and the people. you'll meet some great folks, you'll get to hear how others have done things that you may not think of. You may get leads on cars for sale. Whatever, participating in a show is just plain fun.

Go and have a great time. Bring chairs and some shade if you can.

06-07-10, 01:01 PM
+1 on the chairs and shade. You'll find them indespensible. Bring a cooler with drinks, too. I can get hot on those show fields.

06-09-10, 06:48 PM
My car is not that good, its all about meeting other like minded people and having a bit of fun on a weekend. If it wasnt for people like us there wouldnt be shows to go to. I am in the UK and american cars at shows are not that common, so we always get a lot of attention.

06-09-10, 07:31 PM
My car is not that good, its all about meeting other like minded people and having a bit of fun on a weekend. If it wasnt for people like us there wouldnt be shows to go to. I am in the UK and american cars at shows are not that common, so we always get a lot of attention.

Not that good? :confused:

06-09-10, 09:30 PM
1965 pillared SDV :drool:

06-10-10, 12:12 AM
That car is awesome in any country.

My car is not that good, its all about meeting other like minded people and having a bit of fun on a weekend. If it wasnt for people like us there wouldnt be shows to go to. I am in the UK and american cars at shows are not that common, so we always get a lot of attention.

06-10-10, 07:06 AM
People don't expect every car to be in mint showroom condition. A lot of people just enjoy looking at the older cars and remembering the good old days. Everybody can't win a trophy either. Just have fun and enjoy all the nice old cars; flaws and battles cars and all. When I see those gorgeous spotless cars with every nut and bolt all polished up, I appreciate the beauty but I always get to thinking somebody has way too much free time on their hands.

06-10-10, 02:48 PM
Not to mention that the "perfect" cars rarely get driven at all. Such a waste of a fine automobile.

06-10-10, 03:16 PM
I am harder on my car than anyone else. Every car show I have decided not to go to ‘cause “my car is not good enough” I end up looking at ten cars that are in far worse shape, and all I think about is how bummed I am that I didn’t bring my car.


06-13-10, 09:16 PM
well, if you have something that you don't see on the road everyday then i think it would be welcome at a car show, no matter what shape its in.

06-13-10, 10:00 PM
People at shows understand the 'work in progress' as well. I myself love to watch cars progress from show to show or year to year.

water walkin warrior
06-14-10, 11:42 AM
Definitely going. Gonna make it a father/son thing too. I just cleaned the engine last weekend. Now I want to detail the engine a little more. Still some dust and dirt stuck in some places. The show's on July 17th. I'll post some pics and see if there's any other big body Caddies there.

06-14-10, 12:34 PM
Great! Car shows are just another aspect of the hobby. Usually they benefit a good cause and provide "old guys" of all ages to reminisce about the cars they had, wanted to have, or just plain fell in love with. Car shows also give an interesting lesson in the history of the automobile for those willing to look and listen an inter-generational opportunity to share!

In many shows their is a class for unrestored original cars, sometimes called survivors. I personally appreciate the well cared for original cars the most. As a Jaguar (JCNA certified) judge I have inspected many an over restored (ones directly from the factory never looked like that) trailer queens, while their overought owners wait anxiously by to see what points they have garnered for their national points tally. All very good if you've the money and fantasy floats your boat. But for me, the cars that really get my attention and admiration are the well cared for survivors which show how the cars were originally and with a patina that reflects the loving care that has kept the car in great original condition.

Whatever your car even if its' condition is a little rough there will be someone there who appreciates it!

06-14-10, 02:10 PM

water walkin warrior
07-19-10, 02:21 PM
So, the car show was last Saturday. I did some work on it each day the week before. Painted the brackets in the engine bay, cleaned the engine again, detailed the inside, fluffed up the carpet and original floor mats, got the 1989 Cadillac Style Model Catalog off Ebay in the mail, and washed and waxed it before we went that day. We got a late start due to my son and his friend staying up all night on Friday and my washing/waxing it at the last minute. I figured we could go and see what to do for the next first show chance. When we got there, they were still taking entries. So we went ahead and entered it since she was so fresh and so clean. I didn't have the info board (didn't have time to finish it right), catalog, first aid kit, or fire extinguisher for the trunk to get extra points plus we didn't bring the canopy cover to sit under. The judge kind of got my hopes up saying that I was the only "4-door" class entry. The end result was a sunburn and no plaque or trophy to show. I did win a door prize though. A hat, t'shirt, and keychain light. There was at least 3 or 4 others in my class with cars from the 90's-00's. It was a positive experience, but I think it would have been more fun if I knew more people there and it wasn't so hot and humid.

Next time, I'll probably be ready for the unexpected entry, ask a friend to come with me, bring a cooler/cover, and start working on a new paint job since I'm pretty sure that's what cost me the most points compared to the 2006 Charger and such that I was up against.

By the way there was only 1 other Cadillac there. A '79 (I think) DeVille Lowrider with like 13 inch rims and hydraulics. It was nice, but not an authentic DeVille. I'll post some pics tomorrow probably. I'm really looking forward to making some improvements now.

07-19-10, 02:37 PM
I think the most important part of the show is the travelling in company of other fine machines whether you know the owners or not. Just being part of the proceedings and getting involved rather than just being a passive observer is great. Getting your car looking its best is of course also very positive. Sounds like your overall experience was a good one and I'm looking forward to the pictures.

07-19-10, 05:11 PM
Live and learn. Trophies are nice and all, but after a time they become just one more thing to dust. That's why I usually enter my cars as "display only" if given the choice. Go to enough of the local shows, and you'll know plenty of people soon enough. Glad you had a good time! :)

07-19-10, 11:43 PM
Yup. it's all about the fun. Usually there are far more entries than trophies. You'll come home from a lot of shows without an award. Trophies are nice but it's really just the icing on the cake. Do your best but don't 'expect' to win something every time.

It's a lot of work and it also depends heavily on the other entries and what the judges like.

Just go, have fun and enjoy the cars. Try to think of extra little things that will make the car stand out. The manuals, pamphlets, first aid kits are all great ideas.