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Tar Topper battery cover


Bhigdog
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I'm looking for a credible answer regarding judging and use of a  "Tar Topper" battery cover. An observant person (judge) can tell if one is in use. Is there an "official" answer as to a deduction for using one with a modern battery stripped of graphics (plain black case) hiding under it or would it be considered "close enough"..............Bob

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The judging guidelines say that a battery can be of modern manufacture but have to appear visually "of the era". On some cars the battery compartment is made such that it is almost impossible to tell if a such a top is being used. On others, it is very easy to see that the battery is covered by such a top. If I can't easily tell that it is a top, I think it is OK. If it is obvious that the battery is covered by such a top, I would personally be inclined to take the points.  Essentially, if it looks right it is, if it obviously does not look right, it is not.

 

I don't think that there is an "official" answer at this time. Perhaps a letter to the VP of Judging could result in an official answer that could be added to the judging guidelines. 

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Yeah, I think it's one those gray areas like allowing safety mods as long as they are done in a correct for the era manner . I'm guessing the points question is left to the judging captain as to the battery looking "right", much as the safety mod issue would be. Thanks Matt....................Bob

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You could also keep a correct battery just for the show field. It doesn't have to work, so you just have to maintain the visual condition. Heck, you could even (safely) hollow it out so it doesn't weigh so much. Then just store the working battery while it's on the field. It's an extra step, but it wouldn't raise the question. Since you won't know how the car is judged, you'd never know if you lost point for the topper or not and it could be judged discretion, though I think most would let it go if it looked right.

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Yes I'm familiar with that ploy. Of course that does smack of hypocrisy but so does the tar topper and dummy filler caps and a "correct" case that hides a gel cell. I'm tempted to change a battery in front of the judging team to illustrate that point. Were it up to me I would allow a modern battery as long as it was plain black and stripped of non period graphics. But there are a few things that are not up to me in this here club................Bob 

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Modern batteries are accepted as long as they appear more or less correct and have filler caps if appropriate to the age of the vehicle. Find a black battery with caps ( hopefully not red or yellow) strip off the graphics and you are good to go. No issue with changing a battery in view of a judging team as long as they are not actively judging your car at the time. I have occasionally pointed out easy fixes to owners before judging begins ( incorrect valve caps, cad plated spark plugs etc) so as to give them a chance to correct these issues before actual judging.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎5‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 6:56 AM, Restorer32 said:

Modern batteries are accepted as long as they appear more or less correct and have filler caps if appropriate to the age of the vehicle. Find a black battery with caps ( hopefully not red or yellow) strip off the graphics and you are good to go. No issue with changing a battery in view of a judging team as long as they are not actively judging your car at the time. I have occasionally pointed out easy fixes to owners before judging begins ( incorrect valve caps, cad plated spark plugs etc) so as to give them a chance to correct these issues before actual judging.

 

 I seems you are correct. or at least I didn't lose more than 5 points..................Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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I have to say the replacement/reproduction tar tops really last a long time and are well worth it. The one I have in my 62 Biscayne I purchased in 2006 and it started my car up and drove on the field at Williamsport last week, Add the price of a topper and at least 3 batteries in that time the reproduction was a better deal in the long run if you ask me. Well worth it and no sweating about a few points, I can't say enough about the longevity, they have gotten really good over the past 25 years. They are gel batteries so no acid spewing on your under hood area. they look pretty good except the 'tar' area looks a little too shiney

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We have put 14 cars through the AACA 6 to Sr Grand National status and have either used "dummy" batteries once on the show field or toppers.  A properly fit topper looks excellent on a black battery case.  Of course all the talk of batteries but the AACA allows non-authentic headlights, go figure. Burns me when my car sits there with proper T3 or other brand depending on make and the car beside me has modern non T3's and go though without deduction. That is a major oversite in AACA judging to me. 

Edited by ShadowES (see edit history)
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As far as the Tar Toppers go, I have one on my Triumph TR4 and the fit is nice and it is difficult to tell it is not the real thing unless you tap on the top.  I have no problems with them as long as they look like the real thing.   But I have also seen some Optima batteries in fake tar top battery cases at the Fall Hershey show in the last few years that did not look good at all.  If it is a fake and it looks good then I have no problems with it, but if it looks like it came from the land of not quite right then I give it a thumbs down.

 

As far as the headlights go, some brands / styles like the T-3 and others are easy to find for a reasonable amount, while others are a lot more difficult to find and the cost is ridiculous.  So where does the AACA draw the line in the sand, require some that are reasonably priced and exempt others that cost an outragous amount of money.  

 

I personally like both the battery and headlight rules as they currently exist.

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