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Viva Italia – A People’s Choice Show

August 3, 2009

VIVA ITALIA Concours D’Elegance is a People’s Choice car show to benefit The Children’s Guild. This means the spectators have the say as to who will win the awards. If the show were a Concours or Panel Judged show a select few people would have the right to say whose car should win.

As a spectator at a car show, you may wonder what the judges of a Concours or Panel Judged show would consider when choosing one car over another. Many times, if not most, the judges of a car show are current or past owners of similar cars and have been around enough cars to know what to expect. They understand the proper parts the car should have, the fit and finish of the vehicle and the availability of parts for restoration/repair.

When at a show with People’s Choice judging you should take the time to review each vehicle as if you were a knowledgeable judge. Many times it is very easy to determine who has taken the time to present their vehicle for your viewing pleasure. People’s Choice awards are often given to the car the People like the most because of their value, how unique the vehicle is or because the owners take the time to talk to anyone about their car – making it more personal to the voter. Women react to cars differently than men and children do. At the VIVA ITALIA Concours D’Elegance we have categories for People’s Choice, Ladies Choice, and Kids Choice. Last year different cars won each of these ballots, the count wasn’t even close.

Here are some points to ponder and things to take into consideration:

Basic Rules of Judging a Concours or Panel Judged show:

  1. Judges do not touch the cars. If they feel the need to have a door, hood or trunk opened they should politely ask the owner/exhibitor to open the vehicle;
  2. Judges should be very careful not to allow any part of their clothing or gear to touch the car as they are leaning over them for inspection;
  3. Know the vehicle you are judging; what should be there, what original parts should look like, do not deduct points for what you think is incorrect;
  4. Do not interact with the owner/exhibitor while judging, except to have a door, trunk or hood opened;
  5. Do not eat or drink while judging, or near the show vehicles;
  6. Never smoke around the cars;
  7. Be consistent in valuations;
  8. Be prepared to explain your evaluation;
  9. You should not judge the same category in which you are entered;
  10. Consider the category for which you are judging –

a. ‘Original/Unrestored’ vehicles will have wear, dings and faded paint;
b. ‘Restored to Original’ vehicles should appear as if they are in ‘show room condition’;
c. ‘Modified’ cars should be judged on fit and finish – without making judgment on whether you like the choices they made;
d. ‘Rat Rods’ are the hardest category to judge because they are intentionally made to look old, used and worn.

In any category the vehicle should be clean and presented to its best appearance.

What to consider when judging:
[Most judging is done on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.]

  1. Original/Unrestored’ or ‘Restored to Original’ – are the parts original or like original? (Sometimes you can’t find a true original part available.)
  2. What is the condition of the body? (Dents, scratches, dings, rust and alignment of body panels)
  3. Is the vehicle clean? (Body, engine, wheel wells, door jams, door sills, and interior).
  4. Is the interior worn, ripped, tattered or soiled?
  5. Are the heater vents clean?
  6. If the judging is true Concours judging cars are judged on a “Standard of Perfection”, following rules and points standards set out by the sponsoring club or organization. The autos entered in Concours competition are judged against a point sheet versus against other entrants. Considerations within Concours Judging would include;

a. Trailered/Towed – the most critical category for judging;
b. Driven from home: more allowance is made for the condition of the undercarriage, exhaust, tires, shocks, batteries, undercoating and “road rash” (rock dings);
c. ‘Stock Street’, cars driven frequently where the undercarriage is generally not detailed. Cars in the ‘Stock Street’ category are judged for authenticity, quality of workmanship, cleanliness and overall condition;
d. ‘Daily Driver’ is the least harshly judged category. Cars are judged for condition and cleanliness only. Authenticity is not always a factor, as many times changes are made for safety and overall comfort for every day use.

So in short what to consider when judging?
For People’s Choice judging:
1) Exterior
2) Interior
3) Engine Bay

People’s Choice is most often which car the voter likes the most in their hearts as opposed to a points valuation.
For Peer, Panel and Concours Judging:
1) Exterior:
a. Exterior surfaces – paint, glass and trim
b. Rain channels or gutters
c. Trunk: (in some models the tire and jack should be visible and in good condition)
d. Wheels and tires, wheel wells
e. Hood/Engine Bay
f. Exhaust
g. Undercarriage
2) Interior:
a. Inside glass
b. Dash
c. Vents
d. Floors/carpets (remove floor mats)
e. Seats
f. Under seats
g. Foot pedals – throttle, brake, clutch

Come join us at VIVA ITALIA Concours D’Elegance and become a judge for the People’s Choice, Ladies Choice or Kid’s Choice awards. It may help you to better appreciate each model of car on display and the work that goes into maintaining and presenting these beautiful Italian cars and motorcycles.

VIVA ITALIA Concours D’Elegance will be on the streets of Harbor East on Sunday, September 27, 2009. Join us as Mr. Tire helps present this show to benefit The Children’s Guild a school for children with learning, emotional and behavioral issues.

Come out and cast your vote – every vote counts!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2009 8:53 pm

    I have greatly enjoyed advocating for the Children’s Guild during my reign– looking forward to stopping by the event this weekend.

    Nicole Ortiz, Miss Maryland United States 2009


  1. event expert Jeanette Scott ‘How to Judge a Car Show’ tips, rules, and tricks « Writing Portfolio of Kae Davis

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