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rodney

Sour Grapes?

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I own a 1951 Roadmaster that is in decent shape. She definitely is a driver but the paint is nice (haven't quite figured out how to get a picture posted) and she rides great. I have taken her to several car non-brand specific shows and she hasn't gotten a second look by the judges.

I enjoy the car shows because I get to see some great cars outside of the club I belong to and I don't go to win a trophy (altough that would be nice). The problem is that some of the comments I hear at the shows really get me to thinking that I could better spend the entrance fees (typically $20 - $30) elswhere.

Comments I have listened to:

1. "Great car but it's black and black never wins."

2. "Was this used in funerals?"

3. Overheard a judge say "Car's in great shape but it is boring."

I get a little annoyed that the groupings at the show always seem to be "1950-1960". This means I am in the same category with all of the '57 Chevys and early Corvettes. Also, people enter with performance exhaust and chromed out engine components, listing their cars in the "classic" categories. I was at a show where a guy with a '49 Chrysler won in the classic category, and he had flames on the front.

My wife no longer attends the shows because she thinks they are demeaning. She mentions that the only people who seem to appreciate the Roadmaster are the few who attend the shows who are in their 70's ot 80's and begin their sentences with "Back in the day . . ."

Is this just a case of sour grapes or do other Buick owners have this problem?

Thanks,

Rod

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No, not at all. I used to be involved with a large annual car show in the area, about 650 cars for a one day event.

It was a problem with the 55-7 Chevrolets and Thunderbirds, we finally broke them out and classed them by themselves. Yes, they overpowered the other makes. And they, IMHO are not a challenge to restore due to the amount of reproduction parts available. All it takes is a fat checkbook/credit card and a strong dialing finger.

Also, judging the restored versus the original was a problem. I always gave a little more "credit" to the original cars as it is more of a challenge to find and preserve these.

I too have given up with a lot of shows. The only one of my cars that is presentable at this time usually doesn't get a second look from non Pontiac people as all they look at are the Firebirds/Trans Ams and GTO's. I've been asked if my 2+2 is a Canadian car as they have never heard of it.

My Buick at this time is sorely in need of a renovation. The decision that I made has taken me a few years as it is going to be a resto-rod, so to speak. Buick powered, 455, TH400, disc brakes, aftermarket air, but original appearing externally. I've owned it for twenty eight years as a stock car, and it's at the point of needing a lot of attention.

This car too did not get a lot of favorable comments at car shows, but I didn't do either of my cars for other's approval.

It's what you want and drive, enjoy it yourself. In fact, the plans are with my '55 is that it will be done in time for my retirement, and my wife and I will take it out west to celebrate this event. Gives me about ten years to finish it...........

P.S., always had a soft spot for '51 Buicks. That and a '51 Plymouth are the first cars my parents had after getting marrried and having me.

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It is unfortunate that the Judges had no couth. Anyone who makes a comment about someone elses car being boring is just rude, but a judge!? That's completely uncalled for.

For my part I have stopped attending shows where my car will be judged. I only go for the display class. I have found I just don't want to hear someone,who is probably unknowledgeable about my car, pass judgement on it. But I attend the shows in the interest of meeting the people who own those great cars, such as yourself. Maybe I don't go home with a trophy but if I'm not judged then there is no expectation.

The funny thing is I have won a few awards which were totally unexpected and thus greatly appreciated.

Also it's too bad your wife won't attend shows with you anymore. Those people who start out " back in the day..." sometimes have great stories to tell. And if nothing else, your car and your willingness to listen to them have just provided you with a reward that is immeasurable.

Also, as was suggested in the Bugle, let people take a turn sitting in your car when they show an interest. That is another great reward in life when you see the smile upon their face. That being from young AND old alike. Just be careful of the family of three kids. I offered to let them sit in the drivers seat one at a time once. The oldest went first and grabbed a hold of the signal light lever like it was a 4 speed shifter. shocked.gif The middle son was not to be outdone. cry.gif When # 3 got in there I held my hand over the lever. sick.gif Since I hardly put any pressure on this part, I can't believe the 56 parts held up to that abuse. But they did and you couldn't measure the smile on my face when they all got out of the car. whistle.gif

JD

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Rod, your comments do not surprise me in the least. I avoid the local car shows for the most part, since I've found that cars other than Chevys or red convertibles receive little attention from other car people who think they've figured out which cars are desirable and which are not.

Thankfully, the general public is much more appreciative of cars like yours, and there will always be comments from a few folks that make it worthwile to bring the cars out.

One thing that you might consider is searching for other owners of fine, original-type cars like your Buick. These people may be similarly disenchanted with the local car show scene. Schedule some events just for you and a handful of your friends. My wife and I have found that driving events -- especially overnight tours -- are far more fun than most car shows. As a bonus, when you're on the road with a few other fine cars, everyone will enjoy seeing your Roadmaster. The public will be eager to speak with you at the filling stations, restaurants, and motels. Your wife will have opportunity to develop friendships with the other wives.

If you're not already plugged in to a local BCA chapter, this can be a great place to start in your quest for others with similar automotive interests.

Bottom line: There are myriad ways to enjoy your '51 Roadmaster that do not require participation in a "demeaning" local car show scene.

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Rod, don't let it get you down. I still take our cars to a number of shows each year that have peer judging, and have had them judged in BCA and AACA events, but I have gotten to the point where if I'm at a peer judged show, I rarely bother to fill out the judging form. If we win something fine, (it's always nice to be recognized) but most times we don't which is fine too. We have gotten to the point where we much prefer to take them to non-judged shows that are part of some type of a community event such as a 4th of July show or annual community celebration. These shows draw people that just enjoy looking at the old cars and reminiscing (sp?)about the good old days. They want to know the history of the car and whether or not it is restored or original and could care less if it has a Holley carb with an Edelbrock intake, roller rockers and a 3" Flowmaster dual exhaust.

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I pretty much have to agree with JohnD...if non-Buick folks are judging my car, what is their level of expertise to be able to judge it? It is unfortunate that you have come across people who have less tact than a spoon.

If nothing else, you should be able to look forward to the 2009 BCA National in Colorado Springs, where you'll be surrounded by Buick lovers who will appreciate your car for what it is.

I wonder what people would say if they thought your car was boring as a two tone if it was sitting beside the same car in a single colour.

Keep your chin up...there are great car people around and I'm sure you'll find them eventually. If nothing else, why not try to hook up with a local BCA chapter event? There's likely to be one or two a year in your area that may be Buick-only.

Good luck.

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Rod, sorry to hear about your bad experiances but it is typical at "local" shows. As for "peer" judging it's a joke so don't even give it a second thought. You yourself are the most important judge of your Buick and your enjoyment of it is far better than any plastic P.O.S. trophy. When I do go to a local show I usually leave before the trophies are awarded.

I think if you attended some Buick Club or AACA meets you would find a much more receptive group. If your Buick is "driver" quality there are classes for that where you will feel welcome and your car appreciated. At every AACA and BCA meet I've attended, after the judges look the car over the head judge has always made a point of thanking me for bringing my car. I do beleive they meant it........Bob.

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When I first found out about the weekly weekend-night cruises, they were something to go to--that was about 30 years ago. It was a different car culture back then, it seems, when myself and the cars were younger. Plus, when you're in the "discovery mode", things are usually more interesting and "keen". There was a Friday night cruise at a McDonald's just west of the downtown area of Fort Worth. It was THE place to be seen with your car. When there was word of a special car somebody had been working on, usually with a name that was deeply embedded in the local drag race scene (Green Valley Raceway, at the time), you waited around to see it as you knew it would be worth staying for. When that venue finally had to stop the cruise events, it took about a year for another venue to surface to take its place.

Then the Sonic Drive-In managers got together and put together a "circuit cruise" situation, where one place would have a cruise each Saturday night of the month. That got you to drive the cars more and was an opportunity to see cars you'd heard about.

Within a few years, the number of weekend cruises in the DFW area had proliferated to where you had to have a calendar to keep up with it all . . . and it's much "worse" now than ever. More people, more cars, more clubs, and more places as civilization expands into the more outer metro areas.

With that large of a number of cruise events and venues, you start to cull out the ones that are in flaky places and such, and you also start to build friendships with the regular people you see there. In the beginning, it was neat to see the cars that you saw at the annual "Street Freaks" car show (later to become the Fort Worth Rod & Custom Show, an independent show) on the streets. Still, in the earlier years I did those things with friends, it was neat and not-very-expensive entertainment for a car person.

Eventually, you got a little tired of seeing the same cars at the judged shows each week/month. The economy seemed to slow down some and the number of newly-built cars did too. So you start working on your own projects or helping friends with theirs.

I'll admit that I've got a '67 Chrysler Newport 2-dr hardtop. It's a decently nice original car, with some incognito upgrads here and there, but still with the factory AM radio and such. When I'd go get it from the storage building and take it to the Burger King cruise nights (just a "show up" display, usually frequented by the H-E-B Cruisers, newly re-organized), I'd park it in the row with my associates from the local Mopar club. Although it had wider tire tread on the road and a dual snorkle air cleaner, everybody walked right past it to the cars with factory "holes in the hood" and factory "multi-carb" engines (i.e., the Road Runners and Super Bees and 'Cudas) as if it was not there. The few that did stop to talk about the car usually mentioned a grandparent that had "one like that . . . a big boat". So, with the inattention, some of which was to be expected, and the "nautical" comments, I declined to get it out and drive it a few miles each way to the event.

No body ever came by to comment about what great cars they were or how good they handled or anything of that nature. Of course, the attendees were usually "in their formative youth", so the grandparent comments were all they knew about.

And, in that middle 1980s time frame, few young people knew what a 426 HEMI looked like. And we had an inside joke answer for them about what it was. PM me for details . . .

So, I can understand the reaction of the owner of a non-muscle car vehicle or a non-'57 Chevy or T-bird owner to what they might see and experience at one of these judged weekend car cruises. The normal attendee of these events is not a typical car person, but somebody that just likes to look at them or was driving by and saw the show. I don't know how many times we heard about a friend that (when talking about a '70 Dodge Challenger R/T 440+6, for example) "My friend had one, but it was a four door, with that 440 HEMI 6-Pack in it. It would run!" You might think I'm kidding, but that's what they said . . . by different people over the years. Some know just enough to be dangerous, it seems.

By observation, the "show up" events are the best ones to go to. The judged events are good and they provide their sponsoring clubs with a good deal of revenue that can go to designated charities later in the year. Still, if you're looking for praise of a stock car at one of those judged events, you might be a while in getting it or get it from people you might not want to get it from.

Our chapter used to have Saturday afternoon meetings at a popular Dallas cruise spot, Fender's Drive-In. It was THE Saturday night car cruise in the area--period. There were many others, but this one was the one people usually mentioned. We'd have the meeting there in the mid-afternoon time frame, also getting those who drove their cars and wanted to stay a prime parking spot for the later afternoon and evening events--if they wanted to stay for "the madness" and gridlock. We got many nice comments as various groups would appear early for the cruise. One Harley rider had glowing comments about a friend's mother who use her Buick to carpool the kids to school, when they were younger. And there were others like that, too. This further verified my suspicion that almost EVERYBODY has or had some neighbor, friend, or relative that had a Buick in the 1950s-1970s time frame. And they all liked those cars for what they were . . . big and comfortable and powerful.

The "boring" comment might have been rude and unprofessional in some respects, but that can also be reality for the show staff. Yes, they want your car there for the show, but they are also usually looking to give awards to cars that the public will perceive as being deserving of the award . . . in THEIR (the public's) eyes. And that means . . . chrome, shiney and possibly incorrect paint and paint schemes, aftermarket this and that, a "booming" sound system, and an exhaust note that gets attention . . . and other things that some of us might not care to have on our own vehicles. In other words, not a place where a preserved and unrestored (but still highly presentable) stock vehicle would receive its deserved recognition or accolades from passers-by.

So, not all weekend cruise events are the same. The judged shows might attract the nicer vehicles you'd see at indoor shows and such, but the cars that would win awards there usually would not win similar awards at a judged marque-club show, by observation. Different judging systems and judging criteria, to say the least.

The "show up" cruise events (non-judged) usually are the friendliest ones to attend. It's more about the cars and people than just being there for the possibility of getting an award. You might see some of the "award winning" cars (from the other shows) there and you can then get close enough to see why they got those awards . . . plus talk to the owner. These are great places to network with other car enthusiasts, even if they aren't Buick (or other marque-specific) related shows per se. For example, upholstery fabric goes on the seat the same way whether it's a Ford, GM, Chryser, or otherwise brand of vehicle. Same with good places (and particular employees to talk to) to buy parts, locally or nationally. And you'll probably see more "in process" vehicles there than at the judged shows. Plus more unusual and interesting vehicles that have not been or have recently been restored. There were multitudes of unique vehicles which turned up at the Burger King cruises . . . more than you'd ever expect . . . some home-built by the owners, too. Of course, this was before the restoration and aftermarket parts segments of things had prolifferated to what they now are . . . where as GMPARTSMAN mentioned, you need a strong dialing finger and "magic plastic".

So . . . what I might recommend is to not expect to receive glowing accolades for any basically stock vehicle at one of the weekend cruise events. If you expect these things and don't get them, it can turn you off on the events AND your car. Not having expectations is a better way to do things, by observation. If you like, you can drive your car to the event, but not put it in the show unless you want a better parking place for the show, for example. Sooner or later, somebody will come by and strike up a conversation about it. And THAT's when you put "the sell" on them about what makes your car great (other than the fact that it's a "survivor").

If they talk about "grand parents", then you can tell them WHY people of that generation loved Buicks and how the same attributes exist in later and more recent Buicks--including the more popular muscle car era Buicks. It's easy to be turned off and take offense with the "grand parent" comments, but it's also an "in" to expand their education of why Buicks were great cars to own back then (power, economy, reliability, upscale luxury, etc.). IF we don't educate them, it might not happen. Not that it needs to be an overpowering "sell", but more of a mentoring and sharing of information, in concept. And, with any luck, they'll bring their friends/parents back next time.

If you become a somewhat regular attendee of these show-up shows, other participants might start to come by, too, so y'all can compare notes and talk cars. Some of the best "cheap entertainment" around!

Just some thoughts and observations,

NTX5467

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Random rants about judged shows, purchased cars, greed,etc.

About four or five years ago, one of the last non-specific make

judged shows I entered, there was a "sour grapes" whining how my '67 Pontiac 2+2 shouldn't have gotten a award and his Mustang should of. How his was a more "correct" restoration and mine was all wrong. He was spouting off to anyone that would listen how I had the wrong year wheels (eight lugs '67 option) and my engine compartment was all wrong, etc. If he would have asked, I would have showed him the new car brochures with the supporting photos, but it was easier to whine about a twenty dollar award I guess.

The whole car hobby has changed from the hobbyist spending his time with a few friends, trading out work on each other's cars for the checkbook crowd that just buy it and drive it.So many are clueless on anything about their cars, they can't have a intelligent conversation about it.

Personally, to each his own, but I prefer the dirty knuckle crowd, the rat rod guys and gals that actually turn their own wrenches. Kind of like the new "bikers" out there. I worked part time at a H-D dealership and had a fellow buy a quart of oil. He paid for it, walked away, turned around came back to the counter and asked me where does he put it in at. (?)

The last non-brand specific show I was associated with as a committee member had a generous corporate sponsor one year, no strings attached on how we were to use the money. Some of the board members and myself wanted to use the funds towards trophies, some door prizes, and a elaborate license plate for all participants this one year, a anniversary year, and the leftover monies to be used for future years. We were overruled by the ones that wanted to use this as cash prizes along with trophies. I warned that this would change the whole tone of the show, and how could we sustain this as the others wanted to award all the money that year and not hold any back. The majority of the board obviously won, as that is what occurred that year.We were told that they were verbally promised the same funding for the next year.

Well...the next year came around and we (the board) were informed that the corporate sponsor was unwilling and unable to give us a cash donation that year. Fast forward to show day and the questions from some participants on how much money for first, second and third place awards. Such attitudes and language! I replied "Write a letter to the committee and tell them." I don't know how that came out as that was the last time I volunteered for that particular show, one of many reasons I never participated after that.

So don't let it get to you and you wife, enjoy your car for what it is, a piece of history you are the caretaker of.

Sunday drives out to a restaurant, summer nights to the Dairy Queen or whatever, or just to non judged cruises. Just enjoy it for what it means to you. Remember, you don't have to please anyone but yourself.

P.S., I judged some pretty skanky cars in my day, I may make comments to other judges, but NEVER put down a car to the participant. If they were around at judging, I would at least find something that I could make a positive comment to them about. Even to the point of saying "I haven't seen one of these in a long time!" if I could not find anything else positive to say about it. Why hurt their feelings and sour them to future participation?

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GMPARTSMAN, I could not agree more with your "P.S." comments! A vehicle might not "trip your trigger", but it still belongs to somebody that it DOES do that for, for whatever reason. The kind words you might give them are usually well-received and cherished . . . just as the unkind words (as direct comments or "overheard" comments) can quickly turn the owner off to ANY car shows in the future AND to owning that particular vehicle. Being "positive" in comments and orientations toward other peoples' vehicles is ALWAYS a better way to do things!

It's an interesting thing about what money infusions can do to show administrators. EVERYBODY wants to see it spent, even if it might put the show at a monetary loss when it's all said and done. And without some restraint, it'll get spent before it's in hand--several times over.

In our Mopar club, we decided to start selling sponsorships on our meet t-shirts. We were modest in our rates, but figured it'd generate enough extra money to add some things to the show, to hopefully make it nicer (in this case, a live band). As Treasurer, I knew what was getting ready to happen, so I advocated a more cost-effective approach, but was overruled. Well, that additional money got spent several times, which I gently pointed out after it was all over and we had barely covered costs. Without the sponsorship money, we would have lost about $1200.00 that year.

As for the cash prizes at the car show, it is optimistic to believe such would be a good investment in getting more people to and into the judged show. Money quickly disappears whereas a trophy or plaque has a much longer life and meaning.

One year, in the late 1970s, I was helping a work associate get set-up at an ISCA show in Wichita Falls, TX. There was a guy there with a '72 era Cutlass convertible. It was not done as nicely as it could have been, even back then. When we got there, he'd already been put in a class. By the time the judging started, they had to do a new "Vote For" card as he'd talked the judges into reclassifying the car several times. Seems he'd scout the other cars in the particular class and then figure which ones he might be beaten by, then see where he might finagle a reclassification so he would be more likely to win an award.

In later years, that situation led me to build a vehicle classification system (using numbers rather than "number of changes") for our Mopar club shows. For many years it worked well, but many participants didn't understand it or why I was the one that did the classification of their vehicles rather than them putting themselves in the same class they might be in a the weekend cruise or another similar show. At the time, it was an innovative way to do things, plus being pretty "cut and dried" as to what was what. Myself and other club members did simulations to make sure that vehicles with certain degrees of modifications did not show against each other--by vehicle changes, intent, and content rather than somebody's judgment call of what was what . . . all done by numbers attached to certain modifications on the list and then making sure the "point breaks" were where they needed to be for things to work as intended. A few tweaks were done over the years, as needed, and as some things changed in orientation. In a larger show, it was somewhat bulky to administer, but I was in charge of the judging so I had to personally make sure things were as they needed to be. After about 10 years of that, I decided it was time for somebody else to have that honor.

I have been fortunate to have been around "dirty knuckles" enthusiasts that also had money to do what they needed to do with their cars. They might find the "right" body shop to do the paint and body work, the "right" upholstery shop for the interior, get an account with Year ONE, and then actively participate and oversee the assembly of the vehicle themselves and turn wrenches as it happens in THEIR shop building. Still, they were fiscally responsible to know the ultimate value of the vehicle so it didn't turn into a money pit. In this case, it was a full "body shell to completion" restoration of a Plymouth SuperBird, which turned out to be an award winner at the Mopar Nationals the year it was finished--THAT WAS NEAT and an experience I will cherish forever. Lots of learning in that experience, too, about how to correctly restore a vehicle of any make--things you won't read in a magazine, either.

In the world of automotive enthusiasts and others, there can be some big egos in the mix. Those that spend money and expect their just rewards, even if they might have spent it "wrongly", as opposed to those that invest their money wisely and reap rewards that really mean something to them and others.

There are those that tend to follow the leader and those that do something different (like restore a Buick rather than a Chevy or Pontiac, with all due respect). Some people might not look at anything with more than two doors, but that does NOT mean that a 4-door hardtop can't be just as neat of a car--just depends upon how readily you might want to share the driving experience with others and give them an easy entrance to a somewhat spacious rear seat area. Lots of variables! Plenty of cars to go around, too!

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

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Had the same experience, my car is a bit of a "plain Jane" but is mostly original. Well the converts and the 70s fast cars always got more attention than my little 65 Skylark. Never went to win anything but would have liked to have at least got close. Finally got teed off and would just go to the shows to have a good time and talk to all fellow car guys. The one show I left the hood down and really did not care, is the show I got a trophy. Have no clue why. But I had gone to several all Buick shows with no success. On a happier note for you, there were always lots of nice 50's cars--and they are NOT boring.

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Guest BJM

I might have told this story already. Madrid Iowa's Labor Day (actually Sunday) Car Show is getting more and more popular, which is good for my small town. 271 cars.

I enjoyed seeing them all but there were 3 total Buicks, including a 69 GS400 convertible I see at a lot of shows and an early 50's Special I believe.

No Cadillacs, no non GTO Pontiacs, just a few Olds. Anyway I walked up behind a nice 60's Chevelle and the fellow had one of those photo albums full of the restoration photos. I am always interested in these for ideas.

After 10 minutes of careful attention I turned to the chubby (no offense intended) seated fellow and asked "You did this in your garage?"

He said, "No, no - I bought it already done."

That takes kahunas to use the restoration photo album of the guy you bought the car from. Yea, there is a whole generation of these guys and gals that just buy a completed car to go to these weekend festivals in Iowa at least.

Of the 271 cars, maybe 75 were restored by the owners.

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Wow this sure exploded!

Might as well chime in. JohnD1956 will know exactly what I'm talking about here too...

I have to say my area is blessed with one helluva good old car crew. Mainly the "Dead End Cruizers". Wow what a great group. The end of this summer I'll never forget, their Cruizn The Moon show, and I won a "Favorite 40 Award". I couldnt believe it. I was standing with a group of people just bs'n about whatever havin a GREAT time and didnt even hear my name being called at first! And then it was explained to me that its not necessarily the car that won the award (exactly why I was surprised, most there were restored or just in much better shape) but really the car and the driver. One individual made the remark "You could have a fresh-restored high-buck car here and if youre an arrogant ______ you aint gonna win nothin here".

I really like the way these guys run their events. Like a "peoples" choice kinda thing, ballots for the spectators and stuff, not just whos is in the best shape. Honestly, that would be a HARD choice, most of the cars are extremely well kept up. I think mine stands out a little because, yes most of the cars are late 50s thru early 70s, and the guys there actually like to see something different from time to time. I also forget how shocking it is to them that someone my age cares enough to bring something that old there and hangout when I "should" be out with the import tuners racing up and down washington ave.

But when Im there I almost feel like Im with family, really. Nobody much cares nearly as much about what each other has, but about keepin you (and keeping the car ABLE TO BE) comin back to the hangout each week.

Sounds like theres not enough of this kinda thing around. Thats really too bad, I dont think I've ever felt more welcomed and comfortable in a new place than when I first started bringing this ol' hunk to the cruises. I knew almost no one but you would have thought Id known em all forever the way they just walked on over and went "where did you get THIS?" and were so interested to hear my story.

How ironic, such a great place the Capital District is for the car scene, yet almost half the year it has to be put away while cold white fluffy stuff, not cold blue steel, fills the lots.

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ZondaC12:

There used to be a show in February at the Washington Ave. Armory in Albany. Do they still have that. I know it was indoors but if it has not snowed and the streets are dry then all you have to put up with is the cold.

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Haha really! That would be pretty neat. I've never heard of it before.

Its not really *that* bad I don't suffer from withdrawal or anything haha not anymore than everyone else up here in this corner of the country anyway.

Believe me if all that winter consisted of was cold, oh yes the 38 would be out all winter too! As much as the fan doesnt blow too hard that little heater cooks the inside of that car up real nice!!!

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Rod,

Don't let their comments or lack of interest get you down. Go and enjoy yourself. Check out the cars you like, and have a good time...whatever YOU deem to be a good time. Some have to walk and see every car, some just sit and watch those walking by. Do what's fun for you.

I have on many occasion had experiences like this. With my Turbocharged 82 Grand National at a Buick only event in Kentucky. Once there were film crews shooting video for the yearly video produced about the event. The crew began shooting the big GF Goodrich trailer with it's new graphics all over it. A friend of mine asked what their problem was, in less than family terms. They asked what he was talking about. He told them the car they just walked past was one of a handful ever produced, and the first time one ever made it to the show...maybe the last time one would be at this show. Since it was so rare, and they weren't Buick guys, they had no clue. It got filmed and in the video.

Another time, I entered the GN in an all Buick car show. There were classes seperate for T-Types and GN's. I entered the GN class. The official in charge of the GN class tried to put me in the T-Type class...because "they only made GN's in black, you have a T-Type". Oh how wrong. It is a GN. And if it wasn't a GN, it would be a Sport Coupe, not a T-Type. I let it roll off. The guy I parked next to was more offended than I was. We had a great conversation and he was thrilled to see an all original 82 GN in person. We had a good time despite the unknowledgable official.

For my 87's..."Hey, nice Monte Carlo" can be heard quite often. Yes, whatever. I know what I have, and I like it. And that's what it's all about.

I've had too many times my 82 has gotten comments like "forget that one, it's not fast like the 87's" or the best was when our club got a participation trophy that was 6'6" tall and I was putting it in my 82 (t-top removed to allow it to fit) and some lady said "you got that trophy for that?!?" Yea, well, it hurt, but I know my car has potential, and may one day be desireable. Untill then, I just let it roll off my back.

And proof that somebody does appreciate my car came when Matt L. from Hemmings Muscle Machines contacted me about featuring the 82 in the magazine. I couldn't believe it, somebody wanted to see MY 82 in a magazine. I was stoked!! The article was just released and I feel the car has just had it's chance to flip the bird to all those that ignored it all these years. HA, were they in a magazine?

The point being one day, the tide may turn and your car may be the hottest thing going. Look at all the Edsels that nobody wanted. Now take one to a show and see if it gets attention. A friend Rich locally has one, and I think it's quite a nice looking car. But then what do I know...I like that non-selling 82 GN too.

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I suspected that most people who read my question probably felt the same way I do. I love my Roadmaster and had wanted one since I was a kid. The straight 8 engine is a lot of fun and is a real conversation piece. Is there a more distinctive grill than one on an early 50's Buick?

The funny thing about my car is that the body is black but the roof is Cloudmist Gray (a stock color for that year) and I have had judges not notice the second color. Come to think of it though, the beauty of a Buick (in my opinion) is its understated elegance (my apologies to '58 owners).

I think that I want to stop going to the local shows and just enjoy going on tours with my friends in the club I belong to. One of my friends has a late forties Buick convertible, and with my Roadmaster, we are quite the site going down the road.

What I have realized is that I am very lucky to be the caretaker of a 56 year old piece of history. Going on tours and non-judged gatherings while listening to the AM radio is when I am happiest. I'll leave the competitions to the 57 Chevys and muscle cars..

P.S. Real men drive 6 volts at night!

Thanks!

Rod

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Lots of young people go to shows and get really turned off by lots of the owners. Granted that we ask really stupid questions and make really stupid remarks. But when the owners act all uppity and put up signs saying don't touch, etc etc etc, it just makes old cars look like grouchy old people. Muscle car owners are usually the worst. They're these old grey haired guys in t-shirts and tennis shoes acting like their feet don't stink.

I met a guy who owns a Hudson like Doc Hudson in Cars. He was really nice to us and even let us sit in his car. He told us all about Hudson and what they were like when they were new. We all liked him and his car because he seemed like he wanted us too.

I guess I'm saying car show attitudes really vary. All kinds of mean people own all kinds of cars. But lots of nice people own all kinds of cars too, so you just have to check out the nice people's cars and screw the rest of them. Probably goes for judges too.

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I've heard it said that a Buick is really a Packard with a better engine. I don't know the truth of that statement but owning a 1947 Packard I can sympathize with what has been stated here about local car shows. I often have been to shows and found my car put in the same a class comprising 1940 to 1959. I almost never win a trophy since the car is just a plain old 4 door and I will lose out to almost any convertible regardless of it's conditon. That is not the reason I attend and it doesn't in the least bother me. Nevertheless I feel it is important to take these cars to the shows because on every occasion I have people who are curious about that huge long engine lurking under the hood or are just plain confused about what make of car it is. I almost invariably get the question "Who made Packards?" Unless you are an old car nut it is unlikely that the name Packard has any meaning so it is an opportunity for me to enlighten these folks. When they leave I almost bet that what will stick in their minds for years to come is that big blue Packard and the old guy who gave them a history lesson. I almost always have some old guy sidle up and tell me about his experience with Packard and these stories are immensely entertaining to me as well. The same thing can be said about your old Buicks so just keep going to the shows and enjoy the experience.

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Looey - check out the thread for the GS in the Buy/Sell Forum and you may start to begin to understand why some of the muscle car guys may be a bit particular.

Granted, as you state, there are all kinds. I'm uptight about my cars a bit...but when you consider that I put the better part of $15,000 into the body and paint of my Wildcat, I hope you can understand why I might want to exercise caution. There is a large mar on the hood of my '62 that occurred at a show while I wasn't looking. If you show a genuine interest and ask the owner questions, you may get some gruff replies, but you may also get some folks opening doors to let you have a better look at the car overall or some particular features. They might also get a bit more warm if they know you are working on some old iron as well.

To be perfectly honest, it comes down to respect. Society has changed - I've seen it in a generation. Until I locked the rear gate, people would walk right through my yard - when I confronted one about trespassing, he acted like it was his right to use my property for a shortcut. And if he would have had a bad encounter with my dog in my yard, the law is on his side (at least as I was taught at university in Canada). Whoever marked the '62 didn't leave a note. It was parked with other cars from our club - they could have asked around. Even to get an apology would have made me feel a lot better about it.

For me, it depends which car I have with me, what sort of show it is, and how people act. I will often approach people looking at my car and ask them if they want a better look, or if they have any questions. More and more, I'm finding that the people are what draw me to a show, even though it is the cars that brought us together in the first place. Maybe I'm just getting old....

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Dan you brought up Richs' Edsel before I could . Now heres a car you dont see everyday. A <span style="color: #66FF99">green </span> 1960 Edsel Ranger. Its done up mostly original but has a few "options". It draws some attention but its not as popular as the muscle cars. It doesnt mean a thing to Rich. He has a blast with that car. And it fits in nicely with our little cruise group. My Electra, Richs Edsel, A 65 Mini Cooper, a 72 Chrysler New Yorker, a 75 Dodge Dart and a 1961 Plymouth Police car. In the upcoming weeks all of these cars will be doing a 60 mile drive to a local show. And Ill be willing to bet that we draw more looks rolling down the highway than any muscle car you can name. And if Dan gets the 82 GN ready it will be another fine addition to the color outside the lines cruise gang. Rod what happens with your car is up to you not some ignoramus show judge or the masses that dont know a Buick from a Chevy Citation. Tune em out and enjoy your car.

Dan

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Interesting read. My advice is to keep going to the shows, enjoy the people who like your car and smile brightly to those who have negative comments. If you can't smile brightly (like ME smile.gif ) then have some smart comments planned such as "which one's yours?" "different strokes for different jerks" or some other witticism.

One thing is certain, not everyone likes the same things. I seldom appreciate tri-5 Chebbies...how many red 55, 56, 57 Chevies can one look at? I practically run through them. I like "off brands" (see sig) and interesing vehicles but I'm sort of a rebel...I despise following the pack and usually those who do.

And finally, go to the show to enjoy the people you meet who do appreciate your car, help a kid learn something, or just enjoy the weather.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JDHolmes</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I seldom appreciate tri-5 Chebbies...how many red 55, 56, 57 Chevies can one look at? I practically run through them.</div></div>

Reminds me of a Ron White quote..."Once you've seen one pair of breasts...you pretty much want to see them all." laugh.gif I actually want to see all the classic cars that come to a show. That way I have more to look at and see if something that really interests me. I've seen some really nice 55-57's that really got my attention. Then there's others that I looked past pretty quickly. I don't discount any car at a car show, because it may or may not interest me...but it definitely interests the owner. And I don't want to disrespect the owner as I would not like to be disrespected.

As long as you're having fun (within legal limits), who cares.

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Looey, I suspect you are on the upside of the learning curve about cars in general (and hopefully Buicks in particular) as others of us might be more on the downside of the learning curve about cars and Buicks. I don't mean this in a disrespectful manner, but being on the upside of the curve can happen at ANY age rather than just younger people.

I've seen LOTS of older people (who grew up when the particular cars were new!) make totally inaccurate statements in a perceived effort to display their "knowledge" to those they were walking around with. And I've seen some younger people do similar. When they make these remarks, they don't look at the car owners, just those they are trying to impress. Now, if they posed their remarks as a question to the car owner, THAT's a different situation! That shows interest in the cars there on display AND a willingness to interact with the car owners. As . . . "Weren't all of the Buick GS cars 2-door hardtops, or were there some sedans built as GS cars?", for example. Or "What engine came in cars like yours?". In other words, something to at least show some interest in the car you're looking at rather than make otherwise. Generally, if you ask about the car you'll get a positive response . . . but knowing a little about the particular brand of car helps, too, plus showing a respectfull willingness to learn. Key point is to focus on the car you're looking at when you ask the question. In concept, it's like talking to a prospective employer and displaying some knowledge about their company . . . or starting a convesation with somebody you think you'd like to know better.

Remember, too, as Derek commented, these vehicles on display are more than just a vehicle with four wheels and an engine. These vehicles reflect the amount of work (and $$$$$) which many have scrimped and saved to make happen, even doing some of it themselves to stretch their $$$$$, even over several years, to make it all happen. This, plus not having the desire to see a painter to get a chink (inflicted by "somebody") fixed or the salvage yard (or repro vendor) to fix something that some admirer might have damaaged while being shown the vehicle by the owner . . . these things can make some car owners more cautious about anybody even touching their vehicles (which can be a variable situation!). But, you can many times tell the owners who "bought it like it is" and the ones that have more sweat equity involved--regardless of brand or orientation of the vehicle.

As many of us have been around the car show "scene" for quite some time (or have taken a break from it after many years), for those younger people who might feel put-off by the fact that some of the car owners might not seem to take you seriously, please forgive us as we possibly have become a little too jaded in our perspective of younger people who might ask (perceived) dumb questions. Sometimes, our radar for such things goes off when it shouldn't.

Also, when you might get a closer look at the cars on display, PLEASE don't make comments about how you'd "mod" the car if it was yours. Or what a good "demo derby" car it would make, so big and heavy and powerful. To me and some others, those are a BIG red flag that what the particular car means to the owner is NOT what it might mean to you. And to some, disrespect for the vehicles involved. I know this might be a controversial situation, but I know that such comments have killed some car deals to younger people by the vehicle's owner, over the years. After taking the pains to get a vehicle to the condition you might see it in (either through years of restoration expenses and labors or through careful maintenance of an original car), the owner usually does NOT want their cherished "member of the family" to meet an untimely demise in such a manner, if they can keep it from happening.

How a particular owner might react to such comments can be a variable situation. Some might be seeking some input as to what they could do to make their vehicle "more special" (i.e., light customization, different interior fabrics, paint schemes) but others might like their vehicles just as they are . . . and these orientations should be respected. Or a particular owner might be so fed up with the vehicle, that they might welcome seeing it be a demolition derby car, too. You never know what response you might get, but I suspect many in here might not want their car to be a donor vehicle for a cloned muscle car project or end up as a lump of twisted sheet metal ready for the crusher.

To get to the point where these conversations can happen, you have to get past those first crucial sentences where the owner will either tune you "in" or tune you "out" . . . regardless of age. Some will be more willing to talk than others, some will not be willing to talk very much (reflexively not wanting to lower their "guard" very much, initially), yet there'll be others you might wish you'd never started talking to (as you'll still be there well after everybody else has gone!).

As Derek mentioned, going to these car cruise events (judged or not judged) can be more about the people you'll meet (networking) there and get to know over a period of time (as you become "a regular" AND might gain some credibility with the other "regulars"). It can become an extended family, even if you don't join the particular clubs putting on the event. An extended family from which you can gain valuable friends and contacts to have more "car fun" in the future--more shows, more cruises, more "runs", etc. Once you get "in network" (not to sound like a health care situation, although being active in car events/activities can tend to improve your health and outlook on life, sometimes), you might discover many more things "out there" that you might not have ever known to exist.

And, looking at somebody else's car and wondering how they did something to make it look better (detailing tips, tricks, etc.), you might be motivated to make your own vehicle look a little nicer yet not harm its original content. Even things to make your car look better at a BCA National Meet, Regional BCA event, or a show which your BCA chapter might have locally. Whether you look past the people at the cars or vice versa can be a variable situation, whether you take your car or just go to look and talk can be another judgment call, but the key thing is to have fun in what you do at these events. These events can really expand your horizons . . .

Respectfully,

NTX5467

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I had a friend who used to preface every question with "stupid question here". Eventually I got fed up and told him that if he had a question and he thought I might know the answer, it wasn't a stupid question to ask. As NTX implies, how you ask a question may make the difference. It's late, so I'm having trouble coming up with anything as an example.

To go a step further, it can help with your own restoration as well. Some folks will have a sign about what shops may have done certain parts on the car. So, if you need upholstery work, there's a live advertisement. You can also ask the owner if he's happy with the work, thought the cost was reasonable, etc. which can lead to a more in depth conversation about the car.

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