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Are some AACA judges becoming too lenient?


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As I was browsing the show field at Hershey this year, I was surprised (maybe appalled) at a few of the vehicles which received, according to the grille badge, a First Junior in 2013. A casual walk-around in less time than the judges would spend revealed a torn half-missing hood pad, rusted inner fender wells, and an engine that was barely steam-cleaned. I didn't even look at the under carriage. I'm pretty sure the elder gent who owned this '80's vehicle was elated to receive the award last year. And as I read this year's result, believe this vehicle received a SENIOR!

Another early postwar vehicle 2013 Junior Award appeared totally original with patina to the max. Road-rash, scratches, and weather stripping so brittle, some had stuck to the opposing metal surface. Both of these vehicles are prime HPOF candidates. How can you explain to the guy who spent countless hours and $$ to restore (I didn't say over-restore) his vehicle, cars like these examples can receive the same award? And, yes I do understand the minimum points required and the 10 point spread for the First Junior Award. Doesn't condition and authenticity go hand-in hand?

What struck me later, while wandering HPOF, were several "modern antiques" which were SO NICE, they were wasting their time in that class! Each would have stood-up well to the restored cars in their respective judged class.

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One show field -even Hershey- cannot give a good overview of the level of AACA judging. Many of the classes this year at Hershey gave 2nd and 3rd Juniors.

I'd think you would need to go over the results for all the meets from the last few years.

As to HPOF many of those owners want that class and do not see it as a waste. This is true of some DPC cars, as well.

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Sorry, I didn't mean HPOF is a waste of time. One of my cars is certified. Because of it's originality, did not fare well in class judging. The few vehicles I was referring to quite possibly would have achieved a First Junior as they appeared at Saturday's show. To me, First Junior trumps HPOF, if you can get it. Why not try there first? As to my other examples achieving a First Junior, I just feel they slipped by due to a lenient judging team. A second or third would seem more fitting. They are cars of merit in their own right, but parked next to a deserving First Junior would cause even a casual observer to scratch their head.

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would seem more fitting. They are cars of merit in their own right, but parked next to a deserving First Junior would cause even a casual observer to scratch their head.

I will give you my 2 cents worth of opinion which I believe is objective. I have cars that have been judged by AACA and Org. that specify the brand. EX. of these

are NCRS,Bloomington Gold, ACA (Camaro's), Mopar Assoc. and etc. The bottom line is that the AACA judges are not in the same league as with the above mentioned. They are volunteers that do the best they can. Yes they know detail but do not know superior knowledge for the specific car. To get a car judged to

see exactly where you stand (original) you have to take it to one of the above mentioned. I find the AACA as far as judging to be a fun exercise; nothing more nothing less. It is what it is. Larry

Edited by llskis (see edit history)
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Guest my3buicks

I've always heard that if you have a substandard car pray for rain during judging, Cars that normally would not junior or senior can slide through when the weather is inclement. Many flaws and things and go I noticed when covered with rain

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I Have to agree there is some poorly judged vehicles on the show field as I noticed Saturday at Hershey that had there Junior,Senior,and Grand National even. I Seen one that stood out like a soar thumb it had more aftermarket parts on it than a J.C Whitney catalogue even stocks in it!!!! It hurts to see this happen to the Guy that go's the extra mile to compete on a high level as everyone else does on the show field and spent mega money to obtain these original parts and restore them back to there glory only to have Mr.Aftermarket obtain the same status...and it also had painted over parts that should have been cad plated and over spray and paint on parts that should not had any on them.I will agree with llskis who ever judged this vehicle had no clue to rite from wrong...:(

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I'm very new to judging (Hershey was my first). It's daunting to judge a vehicle as original when you aren't too familiar with it. Judges are able to request specific categories to judge, but if there are limited numbers for some classes then it's best judgement. We learn in judging school not to deduct without knowing it's wrong. We can have a captain ask the owner, but then it's mostly honor program/ best intentions/ good documentation. If you find yourself an expert then I would suggest you judging a section that you don't have your own car entered in, the entire club benefits from better judges and history is better preserved. There are continuing training classes, but subject matter experts on specific makes can be hard to find when it comes to volunteering time.

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Some of you are missing my point altogether. I am in no way critical of AACA judging as a whole. As a matter of fact I appreciate their efforts and dedication! And thank them for it! A casual walk-around of the 2 vehicles I am referring to by an AACA judge should have put them into the 2nd or 3rd category, even before pointing them up, on condition alone. They were just not up to the standard of what we consider First Junior material. This is where I question the leniency of SOME judges.

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I am more familiar with judging in another single marque club. There have been times when the Chief Judge has asked the Team Captains to go back out and look at some cars. As they were receiving 1 place awards with their first judging. After the judges took second looks the cars were fairly judged based on the judging form. They did not receive 1 place awards. Some times this is the process that needs to happen.

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I would say that AACA judges are human. Sometimes they will make mistakes. Every year some people complain that AACA Judges are too strict. Every year some people complain that AACA Judges are too lenient. That is generally what happens in any endeavor that uses human beings to "judge" anything.

I would suggest that anyone who feels there is a problem with judging should step up to the plate, attend judging school, and start judging. The only way to help influence it is to volunteer and work as a judge. Sitting on the sidelines and complaining does not help. Volunteering as a judge helps the club and is also fun.

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go to Pittsburgh and participate in the annual meeting. to address these issue, and as other have said, start judging. then you get a sense of what is acceptable. as originally delivered from the dealer for the period. Over restoring is acceptable. AACA doesn't penalize those that have to compete with over-restored cars in their judging class either. as received form the dealer.

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Not having specific knowledge for each car is understandable but there is no excuse IMHO for overlooking the quality of the restoration. Given the examples cited here, it does not take an experienced judge to see torn hood insulation, rust in fender wells, a dirty engine or aftermarket accessories.

Bob

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