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Guest my3buicks

National Meet Judging Yes or No Survey

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As backround, I am a Buick owner and a BCA memmber for about a year and a half. Although I don't believe I would ever enter my '41, mod. 46 for judging because I didn't restore the car, I can see the desire of those who have worked for years on a car to have some feedback on their efforts. Also, judging is foreign to me since my only experience with car events over the past 25 years has been attending the Minnesota Street Rod Assoc's Back to the 50's event. I have owned stock '38 and 40 Fords and have now moved up to a Buick. Entry into the MSRA event was very easy, "What is your car"? (Must be '64 or older) and "Send in entrance fee".

Based on this simplicity, I found the BCA National meet entrance application daunting. I picked up and set down the form a couple of times until it was too late to send it in. But since I live in St. Paul, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to attend the meet so I drove down on Thursday in my economical 4cyl Ford Ranger. I was there about 6 hours and had a great time.

While I was talking to Larry Dunn about his '20's Buick Ambulance, a woman came by and the conversation turned to her and her husband's Wildcat which they had not brought to Rochester and now regretted it because if they had it judged this year they would have gained an exemption. I smiled and nodded knowingly even though I had no clue as to what she was talking about. I am sure that she knew exactly what she was saying. This convinced me that making out an application to the BCA Nats with a focus on your car needed planning and was no easy feat.

After spending so much time walking around, I resolved to try to take on the late reservation procedures and if possible, bring my car down on Friday. I went to the reservation area and was helped with the form by one of the volunteers. It was explained that I could only enter as "Display Only", which was fine with me.

I then asked how I could enter into the show area on Fri. morning becuz I noticed cars going to the back of the civic center and then being escourted by a person on a golf cart to a parking spot. I asked if I should do the same because I noticed similar year Buicks parked behind the civic center under the trees. I was told display only cars were limited to the display only area which was as far away from the main show area as you could get, on the street in front of the NW corner of the civic center.

I then asked if I should check in, in the rear of the civic center before going to the display only area. I was told that I should just drive up to the barriers which closed off the street, park, move the barriers, drive through, replace the barriers and then park if I could find a space.

Talk about feeling like a second class citizen. Is this the way all entrants who choose display only are shunted off to the side and cannot park with their like years and models, or was it just because I registered late? Anyway, with the heat on Fri., the long route I had mapped out on back county roads, and the fact that I had rec'd both an email and voicemail from a local blood bank pleading for a donation, I didn't make it back. And Saturday, I had to work.

After all of this, I am more convinced, that for me, going to the Nats to just kick back is for me.

John

BCA# 41635

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John,

I was working the registration desk. Apparently, you received some bad information. First of all, the reason your car was not allowed in the judged portion of the show is because by the time you showed up at the show, the judging classes had already been determined. After the registration cut off date of June 15, the number of cars registered were put in classes according to year and model. We tried not to have more than 10 cars in each class because the judges for that class physically could not judge more than that in the heat and time. Also, the awards had to be ordered in advance of the show. And the amount of space on the show grounds had to be determined based on that number as well. Any cars showing up late were allowed into the show, but could not be judged due to the limitations described above. However, as a displayed car, you are allowed to park in the same class as all judged vehicles. You should have been told this at the time of registration and directed to the proper class to park. I don't know who you talked to, but you definately misinformed. I apologize.

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Roy,

I have no problem with the rules for latecomers, and had no intention or desire to enter as a judged vehicle. As far as the person who helped me fill out the registration form and who provided the information about where the "Display Only" cars were to park, he was working from a hand drawn schematic of the front of the civic center which plainly showed a section for display only cars. Bottom line is that I had fun and good conversations in my short six hour stay at the Civic Center. I wish I would have stayed longer.

As for judging, I believe the Flint people have the right idea. Park it, pull out the lawn chairs and kick back.

John

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I was on the fence before...I believe I have come down now. I don't know whether or not I'll ever enter a car into 400 point judging or not, but I think it should be available. I attended the judging school this year along with my daughter who did the junior judging. When they couldn't locate the '66 Wildcat convertible lined up for the junior judges, I offered my hardtop. I learned a lot about the judging process over the past week and I think it should be available as an option for anyone who wants it.

There are some things to note from Rochester...I may have the numbers slightly off, but they are close - 463 Buicks registered, 100 for the driven class. There was only one judging team for the driven class. Granted, they only needed to verify a couple of things, but some of the resources available could still be devoted to this class, which made up about 1/4 of the total cars being judged in some manner.

There was about 180 Buicks that received awards in the 400 point system. Many owners I spoke with were surprised at getting an award, or perhaps getting a higher award than expected. That could point to a number of things, including better quality of cars, but it could also point toward more lenient judging...should half the cars get awards? I don't know.

I do like the idea of moving judging forward to Friday though. The folks in judging administration barely made it to the banquet, let alone getting a Powerpoint presentation put together (so I hope everyone excuses the few errors that were in it). Tom had his wife fetching his clothes at 5:00 Saturday while he was trying to wrap things up.

As for feeling put down, it happened to many people. Unfortunately, when dealing with volunteers, mistakes can happen. Also, in the heat and with trying to get everything right, people may say things unintentionally. The photo area was the first area people came to when bringing their cars in - many were put off by the phrase "just a driver" and I can certainly understand why. Photos were not being taken of Driver class cars and Archival class until someone made a stink.

On another judging-related note, I don't mean to pick on the Reatta folks, but there were 40 registered...there seemed to be almost that many that got awards. Quite frankly, how hard is it to keep a 17 year old car to the standard of original and clean compared to something that is 50 or 100 years old? And yet, they are judged to the same standard. The older cars would have a lot more pieces that you can't just get off the shelf these days. I don't know that we need an overhaul, but to me a 50 or 60 year old car that looks nice and runs is considerably more impressive than an almost new car. Maybe if I win the lottery, I'll just put the Rainier away in a garage for 12 years until it can be judged.

By all means, knowledgeable judges are important. I'd much rather have folks who know them inside and out judge them than people who just study the Judge's Handbook. However, we'd need to keep track of the cars / awards / judges to then try to ensure everyone is judging ethically and not colluding (i.e. 3 judges on a team each have a car in that class - while each can't judge their own car, there could be a temptation to scratch each other's backs). That would be a slippery slope. I'm not saying members who are judges aren't ethical - I'm just saying what if.

Anyway, more than enough blathering on that...I need to get some sleep so I can edit and upload photos from Rochester to share with you all.

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On the issue of keeping a 17 year old car "nice" when compared to a 50+ age vehicle, when each of those cars was new, it was "just a car", although some considered them "special" at that time also. Yet, in the case of the newer vehicle, it is generally tougher to keep them nice AND have the motivation to do so due to . . . parts availability. As for the Reattas, which were the closest thing (if not the ONLY one) to a purely hand-built USA Vehicle since some of the coachbuider vehicles of prior decades. Parts availability from GM of things like weatherstrips is pretty much nil, not to mention discontinued items that make the care "work". Sure, it has mechanical items that cross with normal Rivieras, but finding some of the things when the cars were in production was hard enough then, much less now. This I know from experience. Therefore, finding some of the things to "keep it nice" are just as hard as, if not moreso, than something 50+ years old which now has the benefit of the reproduction parts industry behind it. The fact that our Reatta associates have a network from which to draw to get many of these things is a testament of their love of the vehicles! Want to try to duplicate a door trim panel for one of those vehicles? Ask about rebuilding the brake system anti-lock components on a Reatta (especially for the few things you can still get from the dealership--which usually motivate the existing owners, who bought them as 'cars' in the first place, to sell the vehicles, yet our Reatta folks are keyed into rebuilders that can supply most of the parts needed at lesser prices).

In the 1980s, there were many antique vehicle parts vendors that sought out stocks of dealerships' obsolete parts for the older cars. This was BEFORE the current restoration parts industry had expanded to where it is now. Therefore, many NOS parts were unearthed from the dust laden dealership parts bins, accumulated from a time when inventory management was much more "hands on" than it now is in our "let the computer do it" era. Trying to do the same thing in a modern time (after GM has had several dealership parts return initiates to clean out their inventories at the dealership and parts warehouse locations). Therefore, FEW non-mechanical items exist at dealerships as they might have in prior decades or centuries. Plus, as with the trim items of instrument panels and door soft trim, it takes a highly specialized facility to even attempt to restore these things much less luck into finding one in the back shelves of a dealership parts department--in other words, getting them redone at a trim shop is not part of the equation as it might have been from something built in the 1950s.

To me, the issues with judging a newer vehicle would be the maintenance of correct items--even date coded items which some aspects of the hobby get highly "concerned" with--as there would be many motivations to put "other" stuff on there which would be incorrect or inappropriate--plus making sure the complexities of modern underhood emissions hardware, for example, were still accurate for when the vehicle was produced. And don't forget the many newer decals in the underhood area too! Many of these things are becoming just as hard to find (and be correct) as finding parts for older vehicles. Salvage yard parts are typically "gone" as when the parts deteriorated, they left few that were worth having in the salvage yards too. In either case, older or newer, being networked with appropriate individuals/vendors AND finding somebody that wants to credibly work on the vehicle can determine whether or not the vehicle is kept or sold.

Therefore, it's something of a "give and take" situation in what's "easier" to keep up or restore, just depends upon which aspect of the vehicle you desire to look at. In other cases, you spend your money where you desire and receive the rewards of ownership and possibly show evnets (i.e., newer or older)--in some cases, the costs can be pretty similar.

From my experiences over the years, if you don't start getting the "special" orientation of ANY vehicle cultivated while the vehicle is still newer, it won't happen until after it hits 25+ years old. By that time, many of the possible restoration/maintenance sources from normal channels are pretty much gone. Even now, go to the auto supply and seek something for a Reatta and the counterperson could well as "Huh?" when you tell them which car you are working on. Hopefully, they'll look at their computer database before that reaction happens. The issue of the person behind the parts counter being too young to have known about the car is just as operative now as it would have been 50 years ago, much less knowing anything about the vehicle. So, if we don't get that "special" orientation operative earlier in the life of a modern vehicle, finding an accurate vehicle in 25 years will most probably be relegated to the realm of "estate" vehicles rather than what you might find as a generally deteriorated vehicle.

Recently, I saw a middle 1980s Electra sedan. Other than paint deterioration fro the west Texas sun, the car was in really nice condition and correctness. Only thing was that it was in the hands of a younger family that either inherited it or found it "cheap" on a "note" lot. Getting the message to those particular Buick owners before the car became too much more expesive to restore might not happen, so it becomes a great Buick memory in many cases. To me, it was a reminder of the great interiors those cars had. In their case, a very good value for "something to be used as transportation", possibly.

Many ways to look at the "older vs. newer" vehicle situation and judging.

Thanks for your time and consideration,

NTX5467

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Our car has been judged in every National Buick Meet that it has been entered in. It first took gold in Lisle, Illinois and since that time has been senior preservation 4 times. We have never trailered it to any show. We are average middle class people and had the good fortune of having a friend who could advise us of any work needed. I would hate to see the judging done away with although I realize that some are more knowledgeable than others. Example was in Rochester where we had nitty gritty points deducted for a spot in the trunk (1) and dirty carpeting (1). Not sure what that judge was looking at. Perhaps he needed to clean his glasses. Since we do drive our car and live in a rural area where there are lots of deer, etc., we had better head lights put in and bought tires that would hold up better than radial. We knew that we would have deductions for those but since this is the last time we will be showing the car in a 400 point class, it didn't matter that much. Guess my point is that you don't need a trailer queen or a fat checkbook to enjoy your car and to show it.

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Guest 2827buick

I believe all national meets should be judged.

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National Meets should be judged nomatter who has them or how many cars show.If you can't make the proper arrangements to take care of this detail,then don't have the National.Plain and simple. Tom

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The 2008 national meet in Flint will be a NON- judged meet. If the board wants to implement judging ,it is up to them to do it. The Buicktown Chapter has stated that they will not do the judging! It is amazing to me that so many people want thair cars judged, and they have a hard time getting judges! A friend of mine in the Auburn -Cord-Duesenberg club informed me that in order to pay the costs of judging (seminars-breakfasts- hats-manuals etc.) that judged cars pay $40 more at registration. It has always appeared to me that the $5 we charge doesn't even come close to paying the bill. That means that every Buick on the field ,whether for display -driven whatever, is paying for the judging. Everyone has their own ideas on this, and we can beat it to death, but the fact remains that the 2008 BCA National meet in flint will NOT be judged! The board still has time to find someone else, because as thay were told in Rochester, " If you want a judged meet, we will have a Great Lakes Regional

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You know . . . this is a really OLD subject now. Keith has stated that he did not intend this survey to be for the 2008 meet, but it certainly appears that most everybody is responding to it that way.

Some alternatives to the judged event have already been mentioned and concurred on by previous posts. We CAN make something positive out of the non-judged situation--and I certainly hope that it happens that way!!!!!

The BCA Board has made their decision, voted on it and everything. THAT's what we have to deal with and we should make the best of it--period!!!!!! I don't see any guns being held to anybody's body to make them attend, but I'll bet that those who might say they are staying away as a boycott of sorts of the non-judged meet could very well end up wishing that they'd been there.

If EVERYBODY that is so gung ho about having to have a 2008 BCA National Meet "with 400 Point System judging" really feels that strong about it, then get YOUR chapter together and get an alternative bid together and petition the BCA Board for your presentation (although the fact that Buicktown was going to propose a non-judged meet was known many months in ADVANCE of the Rochester Board Meeting). You've got time to "fast track" a proposal, if you desire, but considering how hotels and such get booked at least 1 year in advance for these things, you'd better start looking around NOW--lots of side issues can be involved too, so time is of the essence IF you desire to act.

It DOES disappoint me that tempers have flared so much on this one subject. As I mentioned earlier, this one issue does NOT need to be divisive of the BCA--for ANY reason--but it appears that some seem to want it to be.

Everyone has their own orientation on this subject, which we should all (hopefully) respect, but the 2008 BCA National Meet in Flint is an "approved" situation at this time. Hopefully, the many beautiful Buicks that will be there will be appreciated by those that make the effort to attend.

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

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Thank You NTX5467,

You are much more tactful than I am. It really disturbs me that so many members of this forum are adamant about the judging, but won't step up and get their chapter to commit. Everyone knew 'WELL IN ADVANCE' that the Buicktown chapter bid was for a non- judged meet. It is disturbing that the simple solution ( have your chapter do the 2008 meet) has not been mentioned by the naysayers.

The BCA board had no choice in the matter as Buicktown was the only group willing to step up for 2008.

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Guest BJM

I agree that this subject has run it's course and is not applicable to Flint 2008. It should be discussed - and has been - but should not be divisive from here on out. But, it is a public forum and we can't stop the comments.

I look forward to going to Flint for the National meet in 2008. A National meet is still better then no National at all. Certainly isn't worth burning bridges over, for cars we all love.

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The 2009 National meet is looking for a chapter to host it.

Some of you who want a judged meet put together a proposal for presentation to the board. It would be nice if the board had a choice of locations.

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