Re: [Chrysler300] Letter Cars at car shows
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Re: [Chrysler300] Letter Cars at car shows

I have always enjoyed the WPC club shows, as well as Marque sponsored shows for Triumphs, Jaguars and other British cars. I also have always enjoyed Antique Car Club of America cars shows (we hosted a National event here years ago) . Local non-marque car shows seem to be like a proverbial “box of chocolates”. 

We have a neighborhood market where I live and the owner has a coffee and cars event several Sunday mornings in the summer and those are a lot of fun.

Years ago, my car club, “SoCal300”  (no longer around) had members in both of the National Clubs and participated in those events when we could. We were once  in an all Mopar event a couple of times and we suggested they have a letter car class because we had around 12 in our club at the time. Our cars were pretty well restored and correct (Gary was still in LA at the time). Anyway, one year they created a letter car class and we were asked to judge, which we did. 

So, a man there entered two very nice, newly purchased  letter cars. They each had a lot of incorrect stuff which was flashy-chrome air filters and valve covers, incorrect cabling from starter relay to starter etc.

We did not judge his car as highly as others because of the dazzleness  etc and neither car won. One of our members was judged 1st and another judged 2nd.
 The angry owner of the two cars called me at home (I was Pres of our club), and explained he and his wife had just paid $89,000 for the pair of cars and he thought they were the best out there etc and wanted to know why they didn’t win. 
I explained the parts which were not correct and recommended he join the two national clubs and ours if he wished . He was very angry and I felt very badly about it. It must have looked awful to him that our club had judged the cars and our members had won. That the judges didn’t have a car in the judging didn’t matter to him. 

Our club was not invited back nor did they have a letter car class again. I can’t blame them. We didn’t do the right thing. I should , have done it differently.   We COULD have made all of our members ineligible if we wanted to judge letter cars-(but what if we were the only letter cars as we usually were? )” That guy (and his wife)  would have won 1 and 2 , would have been very happy, we could have pointed out what was wrong and get him competetive for a National sponsored meet etc          
Judging at car shows can be is a tough job.
Mike Moore

On Aug 20, 2017, at 3:12 PM, Ray Melton rfmelton@xxxxxxx [Chrysler300] <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I know the feeling - two months ago I took "Big Red", my gorgeously restored 1957 300C convertible to the biggest annual car show in Las Cruces, the second-largest city in New Mexico, sponsored by the local Kiwanis Club.   I understand there were over 250 cars entered that day, filling up the largest park in the city.  "Big Red" was entered in the "Classic" division - cars over 25 years old.  (Other categories were "Custom", "Rat Rod", "Low Rider", "Hot Rod", "Vintage - pre-war", "Foreign", "Sound System" and "Motorcycle".    The owner of the shop who did the restoration on my car also brought a VERY nice 1955 Ford truck, but although there were nearly a dozen other trucks entered, there was not even a "Truck" division!  There were quite a few late-model cars in the "Custom" category, often sporting nothing more than a fancy metalflake paint job, bigger rims, an add-on supercharger, etc.  If they'd have created a "Corvette" or "Mustang" class, there would have been a dozen entries in each!  

I had made up two big 36" x 48" storyboards describing the 300C specifications, production numbers, etc, and also the individual history of the car, which was purchased by my Father in 1968 for $750, restored mostly by him and my uncle (and Gary Goers!), and shown nationally throughout the mid-1970's and 1980's, garnering dozens of trophies - I even laid out many of Dad's trophies and plaques, carefully explaining that these were from HIS generation (he passed away in 1996 and the car was dormant until 2012) and did not reflect the recently completed 5-year meticulously researched and executed professional restoration effort.  I told lots of fun stories about this car's personal history, showed people many obscure details (including the copy of Gil Cunningham's IBM card "birth certificate"),  and got lots of big smiles, glowing accolades and fun talk with general public and other exhibitors.   But not a single official person ever came to talk to me (Kiwanis officials all had their nice Club vests on), nobody was seen to be actually inspecting or critically judging any cars or interviewing exhibitors all day long.  I had absolutely NO idea who was officially judging ANY of the cars!  Toward the end of the event, I passed by the booth with a "People's Choice Award" banner, where I found that the so-called "People's Choice" award (separate from the other specific classes) would be determined by counting "votes" cast by anyone - exhibitors, general public spectators or Kiwanis Club personnel - who purchased a ticket for $1.00, wrote the exhibitor number for the car they liked on the back and dropped it into the single box there at the booth.  People could purchase as many tickets as they liked, to "stuff the ballot box" for their favorite!  What a farce! 

Bottom line was the "Classic" division was won by a beautiful resto-mod 1955 Chevy Nomad with a supercharged LS motor, chrome everywhere, disc brakes, 19-inch wheels, 16-speaker sound system, etc.  "Big Red" got nary a mention (trophies went down to third place).  "People's Choice" went to a wealthy frequent exhibitor with an (admittedly gorgeous) outrageously over-the-top, chromed-up, $200K blown big-block Altered drag racing car that was trailered to the event and made a spectacular burnout in the parking lot, followed by a  bellowing, raucous 100-yard drive from the trailer to his spot in the park.  After all the awards had been announced, whispered word immediately spread that the owner had gone up to the "People's Choice" booth just before voting closed and plunked down $200 for tickets - nearly bought up an entire roll!  So, he essentially "bought" his own $20 "People's Choice" plastic trophy for $200!   

I didn't go there necessarily expecting to "win" anything at all (although dozens of people said it was deserved) -- and I genuinely enjoyed the interaction with all the spectators and other exhibitors, including the guy with the resto-mod '55 Nomad, who earlier in the day had told me how nice "Big Red" was, but not to expect to win, because it was all about all the "good-old-boys" who were in the Kiwanis Club and all their car buddies.  Even before he knew had had won the "Classic" car division, he admitted that his resto-mod Nomad should not be in the same division as my car, but that was the closest description there was.  (There were probably more than 20 cars entered that I would have called "resto-mods", but no class for them?)

I'll still plan to go back next year, pay the $35 entry fee, and just enjoy the pancake breakfast, the camaraderie with the other exhibitors and interaction with the spectators, but not expect to win any plastic trophy!  (Especially NOT the "People's Choice"!)

Ray Melton   Las Cruces, NM  1957 Chrysler300C  convertible   white/Gauguin    s/n 3N572517    

On 8/20/2017 6:18 AM, donald cole mr300k@xxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300] wrote:

A big AMEN!

On Aug 20, 2017, at 6:31 AM, 'David Schwandt' finsruskw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300] <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I wasted the day yesterday at a local (150 car) show. All the MoPars were in one class. I was the only one w/fins other than Carl Bilter’s '63 gorgeous Imperial that kinda has fins!! 
Exceptions were a 57 Ford, a 56 Crown Victoria and the always super rare hard to find 57 Chevys were about it for finned 50's cars. The F took home a 3rd place piece of plastic. The kiddie cars ruled. 
One had a huge placard made up to look like a real newspaper story w/several pages touting the RARE BARN FIND hard to find 57 chevy along with photos of the "restoration" 
Most sported a raft of shiny aftermarket crap under the hood and elsewhere. 
The rest were rods customs etc, etc, and many were really late model newer cars making a large part of the field look like a late model used car lot. 
Car shows suck anymore!


Posted by: Michael Moore <mmoore8425@xxxxxxx>

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