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AACA's Fixation on Tires - a Tire-ade


Bob Stein
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I just came back from Charlotte, where my team judged a car with aftermarket mag wheels. These obviously incorrect items dramatically changed the appearance of the vehicle, especially with a similar car next to it that had the correct wheels. Yet the total deduction for the mags was 8 points, and both cars got the same award. In a time when you have to read the fine print on the tires (sometimes on the back side only) to tell that a tire is incorrect, why does AACA continue to force owners to spend ridiculous amounts of money on 'correct' tires? Paint can be modern multi-stage clear-coat, upholstery materials only have to match original appearance, numerous modifications can be made for 'safety,' and as already mentioned, the penalties for major items such as wheels are relatively minor. The appearance of a modern number-series radial can be nearly identical to that of a period letter-series radial, with only the embossed letters/numbers being different. Recent advances have even provided radial tires that look exactly like bias-ply tires. So, WHY does AACA put such a disproportionate penalty on tires?

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I don't have an answer to your question but I do have an observation. If the car received an 8 point deduction for four incorrect wheels, the two cars must have been very closely matched otherwise to both get the same award. The 10 point rule would have turned the car's award into a second if that car also had 3 more deductions. It does not matter where the total deductions came from, over 10 points difference would have resulted in a different award. The car with the wrong wheels had to be otherwise about the same or better than the other car in the class.

I personally think that a car that originally had bias ply tires looks better with those tires. My 1937 Buick had Radial tires on it when I bought it and I changed it to bias ply tires as soon as possible. The car looks much better with the correct tires. I will personally agree with you that if they appear the same as the original tires, I don't see much of a problem. I would have to see the radials that look like bias ply tires in person before passing judgment on them.

Maybe you should contact the VP of class judging to petition for a review of the tire rules. As judges, we have to judge by the rules as they are, and not as we might wish them to be.

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Interesting... So, was the wheel (for the spare) correct in the trunk?

Our team had two sets of very similar cars. In each case the 25 point total deduction (including the spare) for improper tires (radials) certainly resulted in different awards.

Maybe we ought to be looking at "an apples for apples" deduction for both wheels and tires....

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Bob,

How did you arrive at a 8 point deduction for 4 after market mag wheels?

There is a 5 point max deduction for rims/wheels, I would certainly think after market mag wheels would warrant the max deduction. That's a 20 point deduction if the spare was correct.

Now, those mag wheels were most likely held on by after market lug nuts, that's 3 points per lug nut. Depending on the car having either 4 or 5 lug nuts per wheel you are looking at either a 12 or a 15 point deduction per wheel. I agree somewhat on the tire issue but that car should not have recieved any award

Edited by real61ss (see edit history)
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I also agree aftermarket mag wheels should have received the max because you cannot deviate farther than aftermarket mags. Had the car had incorrect sized steel wheels that were correct type for the car then I think that would be where two points per wheel would apply. Yes, I observed some other aftermarket items easily rectified but not knowledgeable how those were scored. Tires and batteries are appearing to be a more common aftermarket item I have seen.

Robert

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Tires are 5 each.

Rims/Wheels are only 2 each.

Hub Caps/Wheel Covers are 3 each.

Phillip,

You are correct, I was trying to read the rule book on line using my phone. I bet the lug nut deduction could have come into play and perhaps should have. The owner, in my opinion should be asked to correct the car to conform to AACA standards.

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Phillip,

You are correct, I was trying to read the rule book on line using my phone. I bet the lug nut deduction could have come into play and perhaps should have. The owner, in my opinion should be asked to correct the car to conform to AACA standards.

Tommy, your point is well made. Actually, I listed the point deductions to show how different they are. Not "apples for apples" like I said above.

I hope the team captain did ask for documentation.

BTW, I love Bob's title, "Tire-ade", but this one looks more like a "Wheel-tastrophe".

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I normally do not spend much time on the forum but I felt I had to jump in on this one and respond particularly to the statements by Mr. Stein. Yes, AACA has a fixation and it is on authenticity and preservation. We have even documented it in the AACA General Policy which in brief says the vehicle should be displayed as a manufactured vehicle intended for road use that left the dealer with factory authorized accessories. Over time we have had to stray from original content, most often due to availability. Examples would be Paint - Not much lacquer left, seat belts - I wouldn't want to drive far without them, safety glass - sure beats plate glass, tires - we can only buy tubeless bias ply and mount them with tubes inside. Each meet that I attend, I observe vehicles (mostly from the 60's and 70's) that have been restored to the factory documentation and the owner can talk about upholstery right down to the feature code, give me the minute details on the fuel system, tell me the paint code for the metallic finish, etc. When I ask about the tires I find they called an 800 number and were sold what was in inventory and they are "dimensionally correct".

I just bought six tires for my 1931 and had few choices when looking for a source. When restoring a 60's or 70's vehicle we have more choices and should do the due diligence.

The judges are trying to judge vehicles from 2800+ manufacturers. The owner is restoring one vehicle. That is why the weight of authenticity in AACA is on the shoulders of the vehicle owner, not the judge. Most of our members understand that and embrace the effort required to restore a vehicle to match the factory documentation. Maybe 2% would rather lobby for a deviation and they keep us busy with their constant drumbeat.

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My issue is not with the attempt to keep cars authentic, but the disparity with which penalties are assigned. I have correct tires on all but one of my antique cars, and it will never see a show field. However, when I see a car with 4 mag wheels win a first junior where a car that was otherwise totally correct but had incorrect tires would possibly not even get a third, I see a big problem. As a judge I always follow the rules set down by AACA, but I think the club Is way off base when it comes to tire deductions. There is no other judging item that is so inflexible.

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Guest Mark McAlpine

To clarify, per the judging guidelines rims/wheels are a max of 2 points each and lug nuts are 1* point each (* max of 10 points).

Personally, I agree with Bob Stein that tires and wheels should be consistent in scoring, but I would opt for the deduction for non-authentic wheels being increased to match that for non-authentic tires: 5 points each.

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Looking at the 2015 Judges Guidelines:

Rims 2 each

Lug nuts 2 each max 10

Hub caps 3 each

Tires 5 each

I just verified these from the on line edition

This would mean that a car with mags, incorrect tires, 5 wheel lug nuts including a matching spare should receive the following deductions:

Tires=5x5=25

Rims=2x5=10

Lug nuts = 1x5x4 = 10 (maximum of 10)

Missing Hubcaps = 3x4 =12

Total deduction = 57

If these are the only deductions the car would score 343 and could receive a 2nd Junior since the minimum for a 1st Junior is 365. All of our judges should look closely at this. Cars with these issues should receive the correct deduction at the Junior level to prevent these issues from arising on a car that has made it to the Grand National level. Note that the deduction for the incorrect rim plus the missing correct hubcap equals the tire deduction per wheel.

Edited by 61polara
error correction (see edit history)
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61Polara,

I have not checked the online version yet but in my 2015 Judging Guidelines the judging form in the Appendix fold out page 3-5 shows rims as 2 points each max. Where are you finding rims as a 5 point item?

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Matt,

I corrected the math at the bottom of the post but not the points comment at the top. It's correct now. An incorrect rim at 2 points and a missing factory correct hub cap at 3 points is 5 points which is the same as an incorrect tire at 5 points. Thanks for pointing out my error.

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OK.

I hope the following makes sense. It is sometimes difficult to explain these subtle distinctions and opinions using only the typed word...

Maybe an incorrect rim in place of the correct wheel and hubcap should be a 5 point deduction, but I would personally take the 2 points for the rim but think that also taking the 3 points for a missing hubcap (which would not be needed for the rim for which you have already taken the maximum deduction) falls under the definition of nitpicking.

Rather than using that reasoning to take a total of 5 points, I would rather see someone make the request to the VP of Class Judging to change the Wheel or Rim to a 5 point item.

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