With the annual Concours and Picnic fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about getting your car ready. Perhaps you may have never entered your car before or simply want to know what makes judges are looking for when they judge a car. Here are some of my tips for you to consider.
You’ve got to remember why we’re doing this in the first place and that is we are trying to keep cars for future generations. That doesn’t mean however that we want cars to be locked up in garages, we believe that cars are meant to be driven and you’d be surprised to know that a lot of the judging criteria and points are designed with this in mind.
Realistically, when we look at and try to judge a car, most of our modern cars anyway, we look at how it’s been washed. Taking the time to wash, polish and wax your car is a key part of the preservation of the vehicle. There are many sites out there with step-by-step process on how to detail your car inside and out. Thankfully with advances in chemistry, many car detailing products makes it much faster process and very easy to achieve a professional finish.
Assessing the car is everything, wash and assess; if there are swirls use the clay bar wash and then assess. If there are still scratches, compound and polish, then rebuild up new layers of wax for a mirror shine. Pay attention to the details such the trim. Don’t forget underneath and clean your engine bay, which is also very important, in doing so you may find a new leak or loose clamp that may save you hassles in the future. Remember to take out any rubbish, stick on phone holders or aftermarket GPS units. If you have a non-original radio but have the old one still, bring it for no points off. Child seats are welcome as it’s a fun day for the whole family.
When we judge a car, we start at the front face of the car. We look at the badges, we look at the symmetry and make sure everything hasn’t been in an accident and that it’s been well maintained. When we knock points down on a car it will be things like lights don’t work, things that may fail a registration check. If you’ve got a flat tyre or a flat battery and your car won’t drive that’s more points off. Whereas, if its stone chipped it’s only half a point. That’s right, you could have 1 or 20 stone chips it’s only half a point off because we want to encourage people to drive their cars, get it out and on to the road. Cars are meant to be driven.
We look to see that the panel gaps all match. Are there any dints? Are the rubbers perished? Is the chrome the best it can be? We keep walking around and lap the car a couple of times because we’re looking to determine if all these areas are satisfied. Then we go around the rims and make sure, they are all right, looking for scuffs. Is there any gutter rash from parking your car? Are the right valve caps on there? Is the tyre size correct? So, we double check a few things like that.
While judging the Concours is a thorough process, we mainly just try to encourage people to get into their car, get it cleaned, do it once a year, have a close examination and to properly maintain your car. I look forward to seeing your car at the upcoming Concours.