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Fancy Schmancy Car shows

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tomster Avatar
tomster Tom Dunbar
Annapolis, MD, USA   USA
OK, so I have been to 2 or 3 British Car shows as a spectator - before I acquired my TR4.

So my question is, there is a show in Virginia coming up soon and I'm not sure if I should go.
My car is not a show car. It's a nice driver mutt and I'm just wondering how these shows work?
Is every car registered to compete? I could drive it there and leave it in the parking lot I guess
or register it and put it in the line-up. I'm actually more interested in learning more and maybe
comments on improving my car a tad.

So what's the scoop on these shows? I'm sure everyone is quite nice and it's really no biggie one
way or the other. Just looking for any insights on these?


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Jim Guillaume Avatar
Jim Guillaume James Guillaume
Farmington, ME, USA   USA
I go to a couple of local shows and Stowe every year. I’ve probably one of the worst TR6s on the field. It has a bit of bubbling on the rear quarters and the panel behind the cockpit and the dash pad needs replaced etc. I’ve also a kid attending MIT. He’s the funding priority. I’m a trucker so while comfortable, I’m not wealthy.

Everyone at the shows are cool. I’m sure some are aghast that I dare sully the field with my less than perfect example, but there are always others with cars in the same condition, or worse than mine. I go to these shows 100% for myself and to see friends I’ve met at the shows over the year and the cars. There are always exceptions but in my 30 tears of British car ownership I’ve generally found other owners to be pretty accepting, good people.

So clean up your TR and go have a good time.

Britnut Avatar
Britnut Randy DeRuiter
Nacogdoches, TX, USA   USA
One thing to consider for yourself- I’ve gone to shows as spectator and participant for the same reasons as my car is driven more than a show car - but I’ve found I like it more to be with the other cars to talk to other owners, check other cars against mine for various details etc. no reason to be embarrassed or put off if your car is not a trailer queen.

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Dougdall Doug D
Burke, VA, USA   USA
Definitely enter your car in the show. I’m guessing you’re thinking about Britain on the Green in Gunston, VA. This is a great show that is anything but “fancy schmancy”. By entering it will allow you to talk first hand with other car owners and have your car right in the mix to encourage these discussions.

Spitfirejoe Avatar
Spitfirejoe Joe Guinan
Fremont, NE, USA   USA
1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "The Phoenix"
In my experience, if you really are interested in learning how to improve your car, these shows are a very good first step. Go look at similar cars and ask questions, show some interest. Get to know the owners a little bit. We all like to talk about our cars and the things we've done to/with them. Some will be more willing to pass along tips and tricks, some will be there just to show off their car. It takes all types. If you are lucky, you'll meet some people who are really helpful and willing to share their knowledge. See if they are members of a local club. There is usually no better contacts to make than the members of a club who own cars similar to yours.

If you end up at one of the shows where they look down their noses at any imperfection, you can always leave.

Joe Guinan
Fremont, Nebraska

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
I don't go to many shows these days, but I always found it more interesting to talk to owners with 'less than perfect' cars.
To my mind there is nothing so boring as seeing a row of Austin Healeys or Jags, all of them perfect, and all the owners can tell you is the amount on the cheques they wrote.

The last show I went to I spent the most time talking to the owner of the messiest car in the show. The car was a daily driver, and the owner delt with things as they occured to get home, or to work the next day.
Some of his 'fixes' were ingenious. We exchanged phone #'s in case we could help each other.

tomster Avatar
tomster Tom Dunbar
Annapolis, MD, USA   USA
Thanks everyone for your responses. Sounds like a day worth spending amongst like minds. So far most Triumph people I have met are very helpful.
Since I've only had my car for about 6 months I can probably learn quite a bit from more experienced owners. Not sure I want to know too much. grinning smiley

My main purpose now is to keep her running and drive it daily - top down!

trjohnnie John Malinick
Mirror Lake, NH, USA   USA
Just go have fun. Ive met some really great people and made some good parts connections over the years. Find what fits your personality. Ive attended with one of the worst cars and have won the whole show with one of the best ever seen. smileys with beer

grubscrew Avatar
grubscrew grub screw
The suburbs of, Winfield, Maryland, USA   USA
You'll definitely find that the British car shows in the Maryland-Virginia-Pennsylvania-Delaware area are not fancy schmanzy. Despite the fact that the word concours is thrown around on this forum, there are no concours, points-judged shows in the area (someone will correct me if I'm unaware of such a show around here!). You'll only find concours and points-judging at shows like TRA, VTR, or AACA.

If awards or prizes are involved, the local shows are usually Participant's Choice at most. Typically, that means anyone who pays to enter a car receives a ballot to vote their choice, and cars are usually grouped in some sort of year, by model, by color or whatever. Some shows even give a voting ballot to spectators...people who often know little or nothing about the cars they are viewing. Every once in awhile there will be some special awards for Farthest Distance Driven, Chairman's Choice, etc.

Knowledgeable voters may look for originality or correctness, but most often voting goes along the lines of nice paint job, nice chrome, best bling....that sort of thing. You'll find owners bring cars that range from perfect restorations to correct original survivors to ratty drivers to works in progress.

Having said all that, you should go and you should enter your car on the field whatever condition it is in. I think you'll find little or no snobbery among the car fact most owners I come across are very supportive of cars that are 'in progress'. You'll find them very friendly and willing to help you with any question you might have. Don't worry, your car won't be given a judging sheet listing everything that's 'wrong' with it! Doesn't work that way at all.

When you go to Britain on the Green be sure to look up some of the forum members...I expect Spitman (Doug Walls) to be there with his recently completed red 1970 Spitfire and Scardini1 (Jim Moscardini) to be there with his blue 1968 SpitSix. I guarantee you'll get along great with these 2 guys and you'll be impressed by their cars!

There's a whole series of local shows coming up this summer....PM me if you want some details.

Looking forward to seeing you around this season (although I can't make it to BOG, sad smiley ) !

1970 Spitfire Mk3
FDU 78359L
34/11 (Jasmine yellow/Black interior)

1962 Triumph TR3B
TCF 575L
Signal Red/Red interior

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