Jump to content

Non-running cars, clarification?


Recommended Posts

How strict are the rules for driving cars onto the show field at an AACA national meet? I show a car at another national club that is shown in a highly authentic class, no reproduction/aftermarket parts allowed. There are NOS/original tires, belts, hoses, exhaust, etc... on this car that I prefer not to taint by starting and driving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very strict. Here are the rules straight from the 2010 Judging Guidelines book.

This rule can be found on pages 16 and 17.


1. All vehicles must be driven on the judging

field under their own power, except

those vehicles entered in Classes 5a

through 5h, and Class 24a, 24b and 24c.

Motorcycles and race vehicles may be

driven onto the judging field if they can be

operated safely by the owner. Otherwise,

these vehicles may be pushed to their


on the judging

field, but will be

checked for operability,

under the direction

of the Chief Judge, at a predetermined


and location

off the show field. Owners will


push vehicles

for race vehicles.

Race vehicles must demonstrate

the ability

to be driven

under their own power.

Edited by Shop Rat (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The car is shown in a marquee club and yes, the show class that it was restored to does not require that the car be driven onto the show field. Cars do not compete head to head, they are given awards based on a percentage of points scored.

Was just asking for a clarification on the AACA rules and see that this car does not fit within the guidelines, which is fine by me. Not starting the car after restoration is simply a choice. There were efforts made to preserve internal engine/transmission components.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Even if you do not want to participate in AACA Meets, Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. I do not think that I have ever encountered anyone asking this question with your point of view before.

I am quite curious, What car do you have that you do not wish to start? We like discussing all sorts of Antique Cars, and it sounds like your car might be interesting to talk about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure I understand. The car and engine have been restored with all NOS parts but for some reason you choose not to start or drive it? Not criticizing you in any way just trying to understand. I might understand preserving an original never restored example as a museum/show piece but that's a bit different. Hopefully the engine has been fired at least once to verify the quality of the rebuild.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's just a different perspective. We want to preserve the vehicle in it's finished state and have no desire to drive it. Doesn't really matter what kind of car it is.

I thoroughly respect that others choose to drive their cars and do whatever they want with them. The choices that we make are influenced by many factors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, since you are not telling, I am going to guess it is a Mustang, as MCA is the only club that I am personally aware of that has a specific "trailered" class for cars.

I don't understand it, but I don't have to. It is your car. Enjoy not driving your car. I will still enjoy driving mine. Best of luck to you in your non-AACA competition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hope my request did not come across as negative, was simply asking a question about the rules, which I got a pointed answer and appreciate that. I usually attend the Charlotte Autofair and thought maybe I could bring the car. It was just finished this past August, so thought it would be nice to show it at some other venues.

Anyway, appreciate all the responses. Even though some of us may have varying opinions, the nice thing is there is room for everyone in the hobby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father knew a fellow in his late 80s who had a fine collection of about 30 Brass-era & Full Classics.

One car was a model "J" Duesenberg. Over the years he had spent a fortune restoring these cars to better than new condition.


They just sat in his mini-museum .

He never started them or ever drove them.

They never left his musuem buiding. He would often sit in a big chair and just look at all his cars in his collection.

Before he died he had several small strokes which made him unable to drive.

On Dad's last visit with him at his home this fellow told Dad that he only had one regret ...

You guessed it~

The regret was that he never drove any of his collection of great cars !

Sadly he is no longer with us.

His great cars were sold off and went to all parts of the world.

I hope the new owners do drive them & take them to shows so others too can enjoy them.

They will be around far longer than we all will be around !

We are really just caretakers for these machines.

They will be around until the very end of time.

Where will You be ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I usually attend Charlotte Autofair also and would love to see your car. The Autofair has many non-judged displays from marque and other clubs as well as the inside "featured car" displays. I'm sure there would be a place for your car.

Could you show it unjudged in the AACA show? I'm sure someone could answer that.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect that it could be entered as a "Do Not Judge" vehicle at Charlotte, and like you say, there are plenty of other displays other than the AACA Meet at the Autofair. My concerns about the Autofair would be that it would be a mighty long push from the trailer parking area to the area where the AACA Meet is and an even longer push to where the non-AACA Meet vehicles are located.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you show it unjudged in the AACA show? I'm sure someone could answer that.


Truthfully he might have to have it pushed a long distance to the area where the car would be. Many times the trailer area is not right beside the show field and as far as I know owners are not permitted to unload vehicles in the show field area at AACA meets.

I have heard of shows where the owners are permitted to roll the vehicles out of the trailers directly into the assigned spot but the AACA doesn't do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is a "Thoroughbred" in antique car speak? :confused: I know what that means in horse speak. :D

It's an MCA term as far as I know and it is a class where no reproduction or aftermarket parts are allowed.

I may consider a non-judged display area, so long as I could unload nearby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's an MCA term as far as I know and it is a class where no reproduction or aftermarket parts are allowed.

Thanks for the explanation. :)

I may consider a non-judged display area, so long as I could unload nearby.

Just a question since you are new here, are you a member of the AACA already? If not you would have to join to be able to participate in a national meet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many years ago I was a judge in the AACA, most of the cars then were brass. Some would bring their cars in on a trailer, unload it and have it judged. It was quite obvious that this car was not restored to run. No oil or grease on anything or in anything. Some didn't even have the internal parts in the engine. And yet we had to judge this car next to one that obviously had been driven but it too was a perfect restoration also. Unfortunatly the car that didn't have a spec of oil won. We decided that at the next judging meet the cars had to be driven from the show area to the judging area. WOW you should have heard the whining then. We even knocked off points on a Model T that was over restored. (A hand rubbed undercarriage).

After a few threats on my life I quit judging.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The gentleman asked a question and Susan gave him the correct answer. Everyone has a right to enjoy this hobby in his or her own way. However, the national rules are to be followed at all national meets. There have been occasions that a rule has been bent due to an accident while traveling like a broken wheel on a high-wheeler or some other unexpected legitimate reason. AACA does not deduct for over restoration (all cars today are over restored, including mine).

There are currently no threats on any one's life but mine so no worries!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the little I know, I would say it's a Mustang too (and the designation of Thorobred makes a little more sense in that context!)

The interesting thing to me is the level of restoration, in some cases, for a car that isn't meant to be driven. I'm aware of a case where a non-driving Mustang restoration had a brake master cylinder sleeved, and it leaked, ruining the paint on part of the firewall. To fix it was quite expensive, requiring complete removal of the engine and accessories for repaint.

Now, if you're not going to drive it, why sleeve a master cylinder? Just put in one that works, or don't put fluid in it (and use the emergency, mechanical, brake if you need to stop the car while pushing it).

And I agree that everyone should enjoy the hobby in their own way. I own a couple of non-driving cars too, although that's because they can't, not because I won't!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Non running fully restored cars at shows?,now I have heard it all as the usual non running cars I see are the projects in progress. Why a show that would have a class that has to have no reproduction parts causing this thinking is totally escaping me at this moment,you wont catch me joining any club or attending any show that does that and its going to make me scratch my head for a long time thinking about what I just read.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Re: Putting air in the tires~

I think you would be OK as long as you make sure you use original NOS air from the proper time period !

With a car like this that you won't run or drive you might as well put it in a plexiglass case in your living room !

And when you are dead and gone some young kid will buy it and beat the living daylights out of the car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I for one do not have a problem with what this man is doing with his own car. It' his money, his time, and his car. If a person wants to run a car off in the river as soon as they finish it thats not my business. If I had forked over money to help restore the car, then it would be my business. I do understand where the majority of you are comming from. Just because you have the RIGHT to do something does not mean it's the BEST thing to do. But he already stated in an earlier post he did'nt come here for those opinions.So; is this the BEST thing to do with a car---no. Is it his RIGHT to do this without harassment---absolutely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Billy: He sure does have every right to do what he wishes with HIS car.

I guess from the standpoint of most of us on this AACA forum~~~

We just find it a bit odd that there are such "Car Show" events around where a car is restored to new like condition and NEVER started, or Driven ~~~EVER ?

We are just having a hard time understanding this sort of "Car Show" display only concept ?

You would never in reality find any car at a new car dealer that was NEVER EVER started !

In fact they are started at the factory at the very end of the assembly line !

Most of us here believe that cars were made to be driven and enjoyed !

Driving an old car is more than half the fun of owning it in my view.

It would seem to me that cars in the above static display /push on to the show field only "car show "class have ceased to be REAL automobiles and have become someone's strange display works of art !

Peter Maxx has around 30+ corvettes , one from each model year that languish in a parking garage ~ His plan was to paint each one in some sort of his MAXX version of modern art expression ! The Corvette Collectors when they found out about this Maxx "Art Project" 20 years ago were livid and Maxx has put this project on hold as a result of their protests !

The cars have now been sitting for over 20 years going down-hill fast now in a lonely parking garage !

Restorer32 (Jeff) & I knew a old fellow that had a Springfield Rolls~Royce York Roadster that he semi-customised~~~

This is a very rare and valuable Full Classic !

Few were ever built~~~ Fewer still exist today ~~~

He displayed it at his home with flapper costume dressed female dummy mannequins sitting inside. He took great pleasure in sitting in his lawn chair looking at this car with his "Girls" sitting inside~~~

I was there at Jeff's (Restorer32) and his friend Dick's call that it was for sale~~~

I passed on this car because it was customized !

Dressed "Girl" flapper Dummys sitting in a car in a man's garage~~~

Strange~~~ YES !

But it was HIS CAR !

I have many driver cars~~~Both Antiques and Full Classics.

I never have any of my cars judged at any carshows~~~

Judged Shows ?

That's just not my thing !

I rather DRIVE them !

I will DRIVE them to shows and put them on the show field with a "Do Not Judge" sign on the windshield~~~

I am not going to win any trophy at any car show with my driver cars~~~

And that is MY choice.

A trophy or badge has little meaning to me~~

I enjoy the cars for what they really are~~~

Time Machines ~~~

If I get a few stone chips in my paint I am not going to have a stroke over it~~~

Been There~~~

Done that in the 1970s !

Sometimes I believe folks get too caught-up in this car show judging thing in my opinion.

They take car show judging too far~~~And WAY too seriously~~~

If judging is taken way too seriously it can take all the fun out of attending car shows~~~

This is MY opinion~~

Others may differ ~

You work your tail off to get a car~~~ show ready~~~ only to see some billionaire have a tractor trailer load of freshly restored trailer queen cars unloaded before your very eyes .

These typically are rare Classics & Antiques with a fresh $400 K restorations.

The owner never having ever driven them~~~

These cars are now in your same judging class and are your direct competition !

And YOU DROVE your car there, that you restored yourself in your own garage over a period of many years, with all the money you could afford to spend .

You DROVE your car to that very same show and must compete in the same judging class with the deep pockets billionaire who does not drive his cars ??? ~~~~

This to me is crazy ~~

I have been involved in this old car hobby all my life~~~ 55years. My Father for decades more before I was ever born~~~

In the 50s-60s "Trailer Queens" did not exist~~~

Everyone actually DROVE all their old cars to the AACA shows. Single Cylinder Brass-Era cars and all !

My My~~~ have things really changed ! ?

Folks on this forum often have a fit, myself included, when we get a question from a new forum poster that wishes to "hotrod" his sometimes rare Antique or Classic with a small block chevy, lowering it etc~~~

WE hate to hear these sorts of questions~~~


As far as the original poster's car is concerned~~

I agree that this is HIS car~~~

It was restored with HIS money~~~

He can do whatever makes him happy~~~

But NEVER EVER starting it does sound a bit odd~~~

And~~~to me~~~

Very Very Sad !

He is missing-out on at least half the fun of owning an old car.

I , and others here, are just having a hard time wrapping our minds around that sort of new "Car Show" display-only event?

But in the end~~~

It's his money & HIS car.

Different strokes for different folks !

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I went to see the York Roadster.

The owner claimed it ran~~

But WOULD NOT let me try to start it !

I suspect it did not run~~~! As you also believe~~~

This car had large JC Whitney chrome trumpet horns bolted-on. Incorrect bumpers & cheap aftermarket lighting bolted-on, 4 big Vents cut into the hood sides ~~~

And that Stick-On Chrome you spoke about !

The Convertible roadster top was in fact FIXED !

It did not drop down ?

Very Strange !

You would have had to make new top bows for me ~

The fellow just wanted too darn much for this car in this customized condition ~~~ So I gave him a realstic offer and we both passed !

I saw it a few years later listed by a noted US Antique & Classic dealer~~

Later I saw this car, still in this same exact condition listed For Sale in Europe on Prewarcar.com for three times the price WE could have bought it for at the time you & Dick P. contacted me !

I talked to my late friend John Webb De Campi the noted Springfield Rolls~Royce Expert and author of "Rolls~Royce In America" and he knew this car very well since the 1950s~~~

He said that it's aluminum head was all corroded in it's waterjacket areas and was in fact shot !

A bare reproduction head costs $ 15,000. !

Both John & my Father talked me out of buying this York Roadster !

I am somewhat sorry I did not buy it at that time !

It would have cost a bundle $$$ to restore correctly~

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Silver, that Rolls belonged to a high school friend of mine's father before being purchased by Mr Daryman for 22k at auction. I knew Mr Daryman quite well, he was quite a character. It did indeed have a a corroded aluminum head and was never run by Mr D. He claimed that it was originally built for the McCormick family of Chicago. Do you know if that was true? It was in fact originally a convertible, the original top hinges were still in the car when Mr D bought it. I gave him a price to reproduce the top assembly but he was satisfied with the top he cobbled up from 2x4s from the lumber yard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How strict are the rules for driving cars onto the show field at an AACA national meet? I show a car at another national club that is shown in a highly authentic class, no reproduction/aftermarket parts allowed. There are NOS/original tires, belts, hoses, exhaust, etc... on this car that I prefer not to taint by starting and driving.
I respect your concerns, but for the purposes of AACA have you ever thought about putting on reproduction tires, belts and hoses on your car for an AACA meet??

You could still keep the original items on hand for your other club, and you wouldn't be putting wear and tear on those items for an AACA meet. AACA judges things in accordance with authenticity and condition, so if it's original but not in perfect shape, you'd face a deduction. You won't keep those items that you've mentioned in perfect shape forever, so it might be better for you to put reproduction parts on your car and only put those items on the car when you're showing it with that other car club.

Please understand that I'm not trying to sound negative to you, your car, or to the other club that you belong to, but I know of people in AACA that totally despise the rule on radial tires. They still drive their cars with radial tires, but when they show up to a meet they take the radial tires off and put the correct tires and wheels on prior to judging.

I hope myself nor anyone else has not upset or disturbed you in a manner where you don't want to get involved with AACA, but AACA has rules about cars being driven on he show field. Perhaps there is a way where a compromise could be made where you could still show your car at both club venues without destroying OEM/NOS equipment on your car.

Please disregard the trailer queen remark made by a few others. We trailer our cars to some meets, while we drive them to others. It isn't that we're afraid to drive them, but when we're not within commuting distance, we keep the vehicle in an enclosed trailer to keep people from messing with it, stealing parts, and it helps keep the vehicle clean for judging. I understand and respect people's decision to trailer their cars, and some people who have fault with trailered cars may not have the money tied up into their cars as you, me or some others have, so they don't understand the concept. Don't let that get to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Trailer queen" is a descriptive, not a pejorative. A restored car that is never run would by definition be a trailer queen as would almost every car in most museums. A case could be made that antique cars are artifacts and SHOULDN'T be driven. Different strokes for different folks as the saying goes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading the original post set me off on a tangent that most people who own "show cars" are a few fries short of a happy meal and I was going to let loose on here venting but since I am not playing with a full deck myself I calmed down some. Since I dont own a trailer I dont think that kind of thinking will penetrate what brains I have left but if it does I hope someone will put me out of my misery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still like the tag line of " if you don't drive them, you might as well collect clocks"
I understand what you're saying, but there are others out there refer to trailer queens in a negative way.

First off you have to look at the age of the car that we're talking about, and where you're going with it. A 1950-1986 car might be fine to drive to a meet, but driving something from a brass car up through early postwar vehicles may not.

We've hauled cars from upstate New York to places such as Northglenn, Colorado, Melborne, Florida, Topeka, Kansas, and New Bern, North Carolina. When you're judging these cars at a Grand National Level you have to have them pretty good and extremely clean. It's one thing when you're talking about a tour, but how would you like to spend 4 days on the road taking an old car to a meet and have a mechanical failure 5 miles from the show field?? Now when or if that happens, you've wasted your time getting there, and now you have to find a way home.

In March, 2008 the Grand National took place in Melbourne, Florida. Are you saying that you'd have driven your restored car to a national meet with no snow tires through the snow and ice and drive it 1,400 miles to Melbourne?? In my area you'd of wrecked that car within 30 miles, let alone the damage to the car caused by the road salt if you didn't wreck it.

Are the cars in our collection trailer queens?? Yes and NO!!

We had 9 vehicles on the show field in Canandaigua. 8 of those 9 vehicles were driven to the meet. We trailered our oldest one, put meet supplies in the car trailer, and then we unhooked the truck and let our National President (Terry Bond) use the pickup instead of paying money out of his pocket for a rental car.

In 2009 we trailered a pre-war fire truck to Topeka, Kansas. Do you know how hard that is to do?? We couldn't have driven it. If we did, we'd have had absolutely no place to secure luggage as well as the items on the running boards of that truck. I have over $1,500 just in the fire extinguishers on that truck alone, let alone the rest of the equipment on that truck. I borrowed an open trailer to haul that truck to Kansas, and once we got out there, my dad and I spent a solid two days cleaning that truck trying to get it show ready(from stuff that we got on the truck hauling it to Kansas).

Some of these cars have parts that are irreplaceable. If you leave these cars unattended, you risk the chance of some of these irreplaceable parts growing legs. When you've spent several years and thousands of dollars restoring a car to near perfect conditions, you'll want to protect your investment.

Most of the anti-trailer people have not tried to show their vehicles, nor have they attained the award levels in AACA to understand the reasons why people use trailers. Most often the term "trailer queen" is uttered by the envious....

My own boss at work is one of them!!! He's always looking to make a buck, and he's never been content to keep a car long enough to have it nice enough, yet he hates anyone that uses a car trailer. We don't get along because he feels like he's been one upped, when in fact I could care less what he has, what he does, or how he does it.

I'd much rather have someone roll through a stop sign and hit them with my tow vehicle than I would one of my old cars...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...