What makes a 'Winner'?
The Classic and Custom Car world has become a vast arena of 'every ones favourite cars'. The history behind the 'Classic Car' and the Custom Car movement is very different, each with a following and background as diverse as 'chalk and cheese'. It is therefore necessary when setting up a show or a collection of vehicles, which are likely to be 'judged', to be confident that you have in place the right people with essential qualifications to carry out the task.
At Ravens Wood the vehicles represent a wide variety of makes, styles, models and years, all of which are someone's 'pride and joy' but alas in reality are not all presented in equal condition, so it is vital that all of the entries are inspected and marked with accuracy.
Often a very hard job, sometimes a thankless task. You can't please all of the people all of the time, but at the end of the day you have to show that you have made every attempt at selecting the best available within the constraints applicable.
There are various formulae for judging but by and large they all cover the basic pattern of:
A basic mark is allocated to each section and then reduced by the faults, which the judge sees and feels are applicable in that section. The total marks for each section are added together and the vehicle with the highest mark becomes the winner. All so simple!! If only.
Various events have various classes. In a one-make car club, cars would be judged by the model. I.e. An M.G. event may judge the M.G.B.'s together, regardless of the type, and the Midgets, M.G.A's, T.C's etc in separate groups. Jaguars might be 'E' Type's, Mk 1's Mk'2 XJS's etc. In these cases a Motor club may well have an expert in each section looking for the minutest detail of originality or restoration.
I am frequently asked 'What do Judges look for'. This is a hard question to answer in writing, but easier when looking at a vehicle. For example looking at the bodywork closely there may be areas of 'Over Spray' on the chrome or rubber trims. This is an unforgivable mistake and one that illustrates the lack of care in finishing the vehicle or its presentation. Id does not take a lot of time or energy to clean off the mess. Glue is another giveaway. Little areas of brown smears, which should have been cleaned off at the time of working.
Looking at the painted bodywork it is necessary to be able to pick out imperfections in the 'shape' of the bodywork, i.e. had the repair or refinished area been made exactly as the manufacturer made it. No dips or uneven wavy lines. All of the edges should be even, the gaps in the bodywork between doors and the wings should be parallel even on bends or corners.
The paintwork should be properly finished on the inside of the doors, bonnet boot, etc. there should not be areas of 'thin' or missing paint just because its not on the outside of the car. Chips or imperfections in paint or bodywork should never be painted over without the correct preparation. When repainting a 'Classic' never change the original colour. This will detract from the 'originality' of the vehicle and unless the entire body shell had been stripped of all parts prior to painting it looks stupid looking at a red body with a blue engine compartment.
Originality is the key to all restoration, just as the vehicle was made, no frills, no over chroming of parts, and no fancy goodies.
Sometimes a vehicle in absolutely original condition with no restoration at all can score more marks than a pristine restoration. Now Custom Cars are a different story!!!