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Judging standards/awards


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I was looking through the Buick Bugle showing the winners at this year's Grand National meet in Kokomo. The awards are Gold, Gold New Senior, Silver and Bronze. I have some questions.

1) Is it accurate to assume that a Gold award/designation signifies a car that is of superior quality to a Silver & Bronze? Likewise, is a Silver superior to a Bronze?

2) What's the Gold New Senior award signify?

3) I suspect there are some subjective issues at play here, but what criteria separates a Gold from a Silver and a Silver from a Bronze and a Bronze from a non-winner? Is there a checklist an owner can use in order to determine what award he's going for? In other words, is it common knowledge that if I have completed X, Y and Z (etc.) that I'll win a Gold and a Silver if I only have X and Y?

4) Is it possible for two cars in the class (even the same year, make and model) to both win a Gold award?

5) I know it's given in the Unrestored class, but what's the Archival Preservation award? Is it given to anyone who shows up with an unrestored car regardless of it's condition? Or, is it reserved for those rare cars that were shrink wrapped in plastic the minute they were driven off the showroom floor and kept in a vacuum sealed time capsule for the last 30 +/- years?

I know I've asked a lot of questions and I don't want to go down the path of total subjectivity here (ie., I don't mean to open a can of worms). I just want a cursory overview on what's what.


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It's like the Olympics - gold is above silver, which is above bronze.

Senior is the highest point category, which I think is 390 out the BCA 400 point system.

Points separate the awards. You need to get a BCA Judge's Guide, which spells out what is evaluated for how many points.

If every car entered is worth 385 points, then all those cars get Gold awards.

Archival cars are unrestored cars. Drive in your old beater. You lose points for items that have been replaced since new.

Cars shrinked wrapped when new can compete in either archival or regular classes. Buicks are rarely kept that way.

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Good points, Yellow Lark. Parm, the key thing to remember is that the awards are based on point totals, not specifically a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so forth ranking. As mentioned, if all cars score above the point break between gold and silver, they ALL get gold awards and similar with the two lower point groups.

Such a judging system might sound a little unconventional when compared to what we might normally see at other car show events, but having the point breaks as the determining factor of which award is received gives continuity from year to year and maintains a certain level that must be obtained to receive a particular level award. This prevents cars that are not "gold level" from getting a gold award just because the nicer cars didn't show up that year, for example. It also leads into the Senior Preservation Award and maintenance thereof from year to year. There is a "method to the madness".

Getting a Judges Handbook is something that everyone who considers judging and/or showing a car at the BCA National Meet (or other regional meets which use the 400 point system) needs to have a copy of. There's a lot of good information in it and it details how the BCA juding system works. Contact the BCA Office to see about obtaining your own copy.

As the 2003 BCA National Meet is a non-judged meet, just as the previous Flint-hosted BCA National Meet was, everyone will have plenty of time to get a copy of the Judges Handbook and be well versed by the time the 2004 BCA National Meet comes along.

Thanks for posing those questions, Parm, as you probably aren't the only one with those concerns.



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Judges are BCA members who volunteer to spend a good part of the Saturday show event looking over a small number of cars in great detail, while non-judges are free to flit about the entire event and peruse all the car classes.

There are usually two training sessions (one for beginners) the day before and a judges' breakfast on Saturday before the event.

There are some folks who know certain cars in incredible detail and own every shred of documentation on them, and others who know much less but heed the call for needed volunteers. Fairness and common sense and examples of evaluating certain items are taught at the classes. If you want to understand judging, you need to volunteer a few times.

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