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Show Field Layout, Buick National Meets

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I'm not responsible for the layout of the show field at our upcoming Buick Nationals near Seattle, and I'm sure that those who are responsible already have all of this information. Members of the host chapter have been asked to provide input regarding layout of the show field, meeting rooms, etc., based on our "walk through" of the show site last Sunday.

I will say that I think the facility is excellent, and believe that the building and parking areas are well-suited for our meet. In fact, I think it will be a really fun show location.

Since I want to give some intelligent input to those who are laying out the show field, I'm hoping I can gain some understanding of how the cars are to be parked according to judging class. Most of the Nationals I've attended were during the late 1970's to early 1990's, and the BCA had not yet added the National Driven Award, Archival Award, and Modified Division.

I'd appreciate comments from those who are knowledgeable regarding the following questions. Perhaps the host chapter has some latitude in these areas, and it would be helpful to understand where that's the case. If the BCA has clear rules regarding the layout, please let me know.

1) Are the "Display Only" cars to be parked among the 400-point formal judging cars? This was my impression, based on a forum question last year related to the Rochester, Minnesota meet.

2) What about the "Archival" cars"? Are they also parked along with the 400-point formal judging cars, or are they segregated elsewhere?

3) What about the "National Driven Award" cars? It has been my impression that these cars are segregated from the formal judged cars, and are placed in a different area of the show field.

4) What about the "Modified Division" cars? Once again, I assume that these cars have a separate, designated area for display. Is this correct?

Thanks for your help.

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You are correct in all your questions. Display cars are parked amoung the 400 point judged cars, according to class. Modified, Driven, and Archival cars are all parked in their own separate classes. They don't have to be separated by distince, meaning you can have an Archival car parked immediately beside a 400 point car, but it is easier to identify them if there was a separate area in the show field for them.

While we are on the subject, I have always thought the show field was designed for the ease of the judging teams, and not necessarily for the ease of the spectator / show attendee. Now, before I get all the judges on my back about this, I understand why that is the case. Judges have enough to do already, and parking all the cars in the same class together makes it easier for them. But as a spectator, I would like to see all similar cars parked together, so all mid 60's Skylarks would be grouped together, no matter what judging class they were in. This would eliminate the spectator from walking over the entire show field looking for his favorite models, and it would be much more interesting to see an Archival car parked next to a Senior 400 point car, etc.

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Roy, I appreciate your reply.

I have always had the same preference as you regarding the layout of cars. I, too, would like to see all the cars of like models and years parked together, but can understand how this would complicate the judging process.

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If they were all parked together by year and model, how many cars in these other classes are we talking about that would be parked more than 200 feet apart?

Perhaps one of the qualifications for judges should be good walking shoes?

Show attendees walk around to see all the cars...not just one or two classes. In my opinion, the show should be set up for the convenience of the many...not just the few.

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Mark and Roy, you've given me some ideas. I think that there might be a way to accomplish a layout that works well for both judges and spectators. I'll pass along this input. Thanks for your perspectives.

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There is one definition I believe needs to be clarified, that being "display cars". When I first read that, I took it to mean "cars on display, not being judged" (which could include Buicks on loan from the GM Collection or other entities), but the way Roy describes it, a "display car" would be "a vehicle being judged under the BCA 400 Point System" rather than as I first interpreted it.

When we were getting the show field layout configured for the 2004 BCA National Meet in Plano, the issue of grouping all of similar model year vehicles (regardless of class designation) in particular areas of the show field was considered. The reply we got was that the 400 Point System-judged vehicles would be in their own designated show field, which could be adjacent to other show fields (archival, etc.), but not physically part of them. Therefore, each of the different show fields of the meet would be in their own unique location, although they could be adjacent to each other.

IF those attending the judged vehicle event are BCA members, who have been to other BCA National Meets and know a little about how things are done in the BCA National Meets, the concept of each show field being separate could be understood, but for somebody walking in as a pure spectator, it might be a little confusing (as their point of reference would be non-BCA National Meet shows, such as a weekend cruise show, an indoor car show situation, or similar), especially if there is not sufficient signage as to what's where . . . rather than just class designation signage on the show field.

As each of the respective show fields would have their own set of judges, if all of the vehicles were displayed purely by model year, it might make things a little crowded on the show field (just with the judging teams) AND might also result in some confusion as to what vehicle was in what class and could even result in the last minute discovery that some vehicles might have (somehow) missed being judged. Roy has make great strides in making sure all of the judging processes work as smoooothly and efficiently as possible, so something getting missed would be a rare situation.

One other consideration might be if there might be some questions of what's "right" on a particular vehicle, by a member of the judging team OR somebody else. With all of the 400 Point cars in one area, displayed by class, such comparisons would be pretty easy and simple to do . . . as all of the vehicles in that area are "stock, as-produced" vehicles. The only possible exception might be in the Archival class (which is supposed to be "correct", also)

Many of us have been to car shows where some spectator might come by and comment that such as such is not correct for that vehicle (although WE know it is), then they might point to a "modified" vehicle next to it and comment that THAT is correct (when it's not). Their point of reference is not OUR point of reference, obviously. In that orientation, having each of the different show fields makes for an educational experience of correctness for the spectators (IF they can absorb that, with all due respect).

Another similar situation might exist if an Archival class vehicle was parked next to an over-restored vehicle in the same class. Many people in the general public (and, unfortunately "the hobby") consider an over-restored vehicle to be correct when it's not . . . although an over-restored vehicle will typically show "better" than a completely correct stock, as-produced vehicle. Shiney black paint on the frame rails might show better, but it's not always correct for the vehicle. Having the sepaparate show fields can tend to level the playing field in that particular situation, especially for the judging teams who have to make informed judgments of correctness and execution in their judging activities.

I seem to recall a proposal being made that all of the Senior vehicles being parked in one designated area, to be in a "special display" sort of area on the 400 Point show field, but that was not approved either.

The issue of "whom" to please (judges or spectators) can be an item for extended discussions in the future, but I feel that a key issue would be that the vehicles be displayed in adequate spacing for viewing of EVERYBODY (judges AND spectators) and in enough lateral space that they can be looked at and their syling and "lines" be enjoyed by all in attendance. Not to forget some great pictures without a lot of other things being in the picture (other than the pictures which might be taken at pre-show field inspections).

In the earlier history of the BCA, there was only one show field and that was the judged-show field (where the vehicles were judged according to BCA rules). Since those earlier times, more show fields have been added. I feel it is good to maintain the exclusivity of the 400 Point System show field, but not to the detriment of the other diverse show fields for other Buicks at the BCA National Meet. In other words, it's a "Really Big Show . . . Something for EVERYBODY". If somebody might not be into totally original Buicks, they can check out the show fields devoted to their own personal preferences, but hopefully looking at ALL of the Buicks on display in the process. This is where signage to the location of the different show field areas would be important.

I can see both sides of the situation (segregated or all-inclusive show fields), but I feel the best situation is in the respective show fields for particular segments of the vehicle show (judged or otherwise). There are several logistical concerns involved, not to forget possible demographics issues too.

Locating and administering several smaller show fields can be easier to handle and deal with (spectators and participants) than one large show field entity. It might take a few more people to orchestrate, but I feel the quality of making it happen would be better (less strained "situations") that way.

Just some thoughts,

Willis Bell 20811

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This is where I came in on a post I made to a thread concerning judging which appeared immediately after the Rochester nationals. I drove down the first day in my daily driver to get the feel of what the show was all about. Getting the fever, I went to the registration desk, registered and asked where to enter the field and whether I could or should park with the group of vehicles of similar vintage (1941), that I had seen out back. No, I was told, I should pull up to the barriers on the main street, move the barrier, drive in, replace the barrier and park right there. The spot as described was about as far away from the action as you could get and had a variety of model years parked there. It was the back 40. Because of that I decided not to drive down the next day. A reply to my posting stated that should not have happened.

I fully intend to drive out to Seattle this summer and attend the nationals. I have made a significant investment in an engine rebuild to try to have this happen without a major incident. I have learned from various postings that because of chrome wheels and hubcaps, my '41, mod. 46 running on 6 Volts is a 248 cu. in. street rod. Because of that, I will be sending in a non judged entry form.

Based on what has been discussed in this thread so far, where will my car be parked?

John

BCA# 41635

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Willis, my question was whether the "Display Only" cars are to be shown among the 400-point judged cars, and Roy's answer appears to be "yes" to me. I trust that Roy or someone will correct me if I've misunderstood.

John, as I've said before, I'm very pleased that you're making this trip, and I'm really looking forward to seeing your fine '41 Buick. Based on this discussion -- and I've already made the point to our National Meet chairpersons -- your car should be parked among the 1941 Buick 400-point judged cars.

As noted above, I think that there is a way to set up the show field so that similar years and models can be grouped together, yet be clearly segregated by type of judging. I won't try to explain my thinking here, but the idea of keeping like years and models together appeals strongly to me, and I will lobby hard with the "powers that be" to consider the idea.

The bottom line is that no BCA member who is excited to bring his Buick to a National Meet should feel that his car is being relegated to the "back 40".

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As usual, good points Willis.

From my experience helping to park cars in Rochester, I must agree that signage could really help. Perhaps signs on either end of a class which show the letter class as well as what that letter means (for newbies or non-BCA spectators).

Also, one method, although labour-intensive, to put all the cars together could be to have the cars laid out, and the layout map be colour-coded for the judges. Colours of sheets for the windshield / dash are already specified in the judging manual (orange for Driven Class is the only one I remember off the top of my head though). Judges (and I will be one this year) could then essentially follow the map to get all the cars in their class. This wouldn't really affect the 400 point judges as they would be on just one portion of the field anyway - it would have more of an impact on the Driven and Archival class judges.

Just a thought.

Brian, I'm glad to hear you think it will be a good facility...I'm looking forward to it.

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Derek, great ideas and along the lines of what I've been thinking.

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I hate to post something after Willis because he seldom leaves a stone unturned.

First, the host club selected a site they think is large enough, lets say they can park 250 cars, but everyone wants to come and now they have 300 and must put 50 cars in some other location. It might be next door or around the building but we don't want the cars crammed together, so real estate often dictates where and how the cars are parked.

The host chapter must also round up the judges. For the 400 point BCA system it takes 5 judges per class, big classes can be split into more than one team.

Some teams judge more than one class when the cars are of similar vintage and the classes are small. Per the above example of 300 cars at a meet, we take out the non-judged cars and may still have 270 cars (divided by 5) that requires 54 judges Please remember the judges are also there to see ALL the cars but must spend time judging. The teams I have been on always have 10-11 cars. Ten cars at 15 minutes each (that is judging time, tabulation time, and time to find the next car) would require 2.5 hours. So while not mandentory that the cars all be grouped together, it sure save time in finding them and maybe the judges will have time to look at the other cars when they are finished judging.

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Well said Barney...good points. I forget the total number of cars in Rochester...I think it was either around 400 or 450...100 of those were in the Driven class. So, if the same sort of rates apply, you can figure 20-25% to be in that class. With reduced judging for that class, that may help to plan.

If Tom or Kevin jumped in here, it may be helpful - Tom was Head Judge for Rochester, and Kevin dealt with the parking...I'm not sure if he laid out the field or not though.

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I concur, good points, Barney.

On the issue of show field parking . . . show field parking is an integral part of the event planning, right from the start. Viable estimates (using historical data and "corrected" some for gut suspiciions) must be made several years in advance. As the meets move around significantly each year, it is pretty hard to plan or estimate just how many vehicles will show up for what displays or judged classes.

It is also at the host group's discretion to allow show date entries--which can further complicate space planning issues. One reason that many car show events either have a cap on the number of vehicles that can participate and/or have an entry cut-off date a few weeks in advance of the actual show event is so that adequate parking can be secured and arranged AND have all of those things nailed down in advance of the show's openning. This is one aspect of a BCA National Meet which would not follow what many are used to with smaller local shows, where they show up, enter their vehicle, and become a participant on a moment's notice.

It would NOT be my intent that ANY show field would be situation on the "back 40", but that would not mean that there might be some distance between the show fields themselves. I feel that ALL show fields should receive even "weight" and all be equally accessible and "nice" so that no entrant might feel slighted for any reason.

Another reason to have an entry cut-off date a few weeks prior to the meet's openning is so that all mailed entries will have time to travel through the respective countries' mail services. This way, when somebody shows up and claims their entry was sent in, if it's going to have been delivered, it will have time to either be delivered or returned (hopefully) to the sender (for various reasons . . . postage, address accuracy, etc.) before they leave for the event. If there might be any extenuating circumstances, a phone call to a meet operative might be in order (change of last minute plans which will allow for attendance, etc.) so the late entrant might have made some advance notice to the meet operatives.

When the parking configuration was brought up in one of our meet planning sessions for the 2004 BCA National Meet in Plano, I could see a depth of emotion about it (especially the "park like model vehicles together). I could see where it might have advantages, but I could also see other issues which could evolve, too. Issues other than just "change".

As Derek mentioned, signage of the classes (with short explanations of what the alpha-numberic class designation means) can be important for all involved. Plus adequate signage and maps to each of the show fields.

On the issue of color-coded dash cards . . . as mentioned, some of this is already being done. Only thing is that dash cards tend to have a problem staying in the vehicle, sometimes . . . especially if they are displayed well in advance of the actual judging activities. They can blow out, fall out, or many other perils can affect them and their integrity. End result, a new dash card would be sought to replace the "lost" one. Depending on how things transpire, the replacement card might not be on the same color of paper as the original, which could throw some things out of whack real quick. Therefore, I might propose (if it's not already being done this way, as a backup situation of sorts) that each dash card have the name of the class and the method of judging printed on it just as the name of the owner and entry number would be. For example, "John Doe Entry #______ BCA 400 Point System Class _-_" or "James Jones Entry #____ Modified Division Judging System". Of course, the year and model of the vehicle, plus the owner's hometown could also be listed. Just some thoughts on that subject.

I might also make another proposal on this parking configuration subject. I would propose that this issue not be decided by this forum per se, but this subject be put on each of the BCA Board of Director's Agendas for their quarterly meetings in the immediate future and all the way to the 2008 Meet in Flint, plus being a discussion/input item at the 2007 and 2008 General Membership meetings (possibly with a printed survey in the 2007 and 2008 meets' goody bags AND a workshop for interested members at the 2008 meet in Flint). This way, people who might not be aware of this forum could attend their nearby BOD meetings (across the countryside) and offer input in person during a designated part of the meeting. After the input's finalization at the 2008 meet, a group could sift through the surveys and comments to put together an article (with any possible changes to existing procedures and standards included) for "The Bugle", with ultimate implementation for the 2010 meet. The article for "The Bugle" could be timed to coincide with the 2008 Board of Director elections, with the vote on the changes being on the same card as the vote for the candidates for the BCA Board of Directors (might increase the participation in the BCA election?)--might have to be for the 2009 elections, though, depending upon how the timing issues happen.

I know that many participants and monitors of this forum are used to regularly using electronic media for communications, but I also feel there is an equally large (or larger) number of BCA members who do not own computers and rely upon "The Bugle" for their BCA and vintage Buick-related information. I feel that both groups are equally important and should be involved in any decisions on BCA National Meets which might need input in the future (timing, configuration, etc.).

I also feel that we should be working for the total good of the BCA entity rather than otherwise. Although there are several distinct orientations within the membership, I would hope that all could coexist under the BCA umbrella as one (generally) happy family.

Over the years, I have observed that each marque's followers/enthusiasts can be totally exclusive groups with unique demographics from each other. Some of these same differences can also exist within one marque's enthusiasts, too. In other words, just because one "thing" works for one club does not mean it will universally work for other similar groups (including BCA chapters!). Every group has to find it's own "balance" and seek to maintain it, but also look for ways to grow and strengthen itself for the future.

As I've said before, I can see compelling discussions for both sides of the parking configuration issue, but there is ONE reason to not have all of the cars parked together--friction between the various groups. I've observed many BCA members who consider anything newer than 25 years old a "used car" and have no interest in looking at them. I've obseved many BCA members who are "as-produced, only" oriented, which is fine too, who would seemingly prefer an older (and somewhat rare) Buick to rust away rather than find new life in another configuration of automobile (i.e., "modified" rather than "restored"), but this is not limited to the Buick marque only. I've observed some BCA members who take great pride in their modified Buicks (especially if they are also Buick-powered!), which can be even better looking than the original vehicles (with wider appeal to "the masses" at the same time). ALL of these are valid and viable orientations, but some of these owner demographics might not mix too well on the BCA show fields. I suspect the inevitable "That would have been a great car to restore . . ." comments might happen, plus the "I didn't like it like it was, so I did something different as it was less expensive to do it that way, all things considered" comments. One thing I would NOT want at a BCA National Meet (or any other similar evnet) is vehicle owners claiming they will not come back if they have to be on the same show field as ________, which can be much more detrimental than any benefits from parking similar year/model vehicles together on the same physical show field. I have seen meet participants get cross-threaded about their vehicle having to show against (or with) another vehicle, although it would take similar $$$$ for either vehicle to get to the point they were at that time. This would be my only concern about having all of the BCA National Meet show vehicles on the same physical unified show field. I DO intend to maintain my "neutral" status on this subject, though.

Regarding different show field locations . . . in the show event planning stages, where and how many vehicles might be registered for each show event are estimated. Smaller groups can have more flexibility of placement than larger groups (including the 400 Point show field). Having a unified show field concept in place could still result in the show field being split between two or more locations . . . one of which could be "the back 40". Depending upon where the class split of what was where was, some could still feel slighted as they were not with the main group (which allegedly would be the "best" group). End result could be that nothing would be solved with a unified show field orientation if the show field had to be split between different locations at the event--it could just as well be one of the unique show fields that was separate from the 400 Point show field.

I feel there are several things on the horizon regarding future BCA National Meets, of which the show field parking configuration is just one. How these observed issues are dealt with could mean some changes from what many are used to at BCA National Meets, but could well be necessary for the events to continue into the future. These are decisions which I feel that all BCA members should be involved in making and having input on. Researching how other similar groups do their national-level meets can help, but the end result should be "What's best for the BCA and its membership".

Many thoughts, observations, and comments. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Respectfully,

Willis Bell 20811

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Willis makes some very good points about the the owners of cars in different classes close together may cause friction. In my humble opinion, segregating cars by judging groups will serve to further polarize people with different interests in this hobby.

I think it is better to bring everyone together. I like to compare the cars side by side to appreciate both the original, restored, and customized cars. This could also help de-polarize some who never took the time to get to know how and why these cars end up as they do. Again, I suggest the different judged classes should be grouped together within one area for that year and model.

Another issue briefly memtioned, was getting the general membership's input. I think it surprised several BOD members when the results of last year's Bugle survey revealed a more significant interest in prewar articles than previously expected. Perhaps we should conduct another Bugle survey about how the BCA shows should be laid out? Not everyone can attend BOD meetings or even local chapter meetings on a regular basis, but I believe everyone gets The Bugle.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

If Tom or Kevin jumped in here, it may be helpful - Tom was Head Judge for Rochester, and Kevin dealt with the parking...I'm not sure if he laid out the field or not though. </div></div>

Derek, I'm at work right now so don't have time to comment, but I helped Kevin and a few others lay out the show field in Rochester. When I get some time in the next few days, I'll make some comments about the issues we had in laying out the show field.

Just a quick comment regarding unclefogeys experience in Rochester. Unfortunately the night before the event actually started, we got a heavy rain. (wasn't supposed to rain all week). Since the majority of the show field was on the grass, the convention center would not allow us to park cars on the grass until about 11:00 A.M to allow the grass to dry out a little so it didn't get torn up. We were asking everyone to park out in front on the main street that had been blocked off for the event until they would allow cars to be parked on the grass. Many people didn't want to do that regardless of our request and left their cars in the back of the convention center where the pre-qual was being done and pictures were being taken. That is where unclefogey probably saw the other cars of his vintage parked. The 40's cars were supposed to be parked in the center of the oval on the grass right out in front of the convention center which we thought was a place of distinction and not the "Back 40". The main street that was blocked off was intended for modifieds, some 50's, 60's and 70's cars. My own 59 Invicta was parked out there, but our 63 Electra was in back on the grass.

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Tom, I look forward to your thoughts on the subject, and appreciate that you've responded to unclefogey's comments.

Thanks, all, for your perspectives on this subject. There are clearly pros and cons to both approaches to laying out the show, and I think that we might see different ways of handling this depending upon the configuration of the National Meet show site.

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Brian, Just do your best and you find 99.9% of the people will just fine with the layout you provide. I was responsible for the parking in Rochester and with Tom's help we tried to make it as easy as possible for people to find their parking spot with a minimum of fuss. Just realize there will be probably one or two owners that will put your blood pressure to the test, but you will also have a chance to see the cars in action ( I loved the sounds of the straight 8's and the burble of the dual exhaust cars ) and a chance to chat ( briefly ) with the owners. I also met a lot of new friends including Derek ( Thriller ) and his family ( the Thrillette's ? ) who were very helpful and a lot of fun too. The main thing to know Brian, is to have fun and don't sweat the small stuff, You're going to do fine.

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Mark, I concur that it would be great if we could all appreciate everybody else's cars, whether they are to our taste or not. By observation, though, there will always be a certain amount of polarization as to what models and model year ranges that we might place our emphasis on (mid-century, pre-war, modified, stock, variations thereof, etc.). One of the orientations for parking all similar model year vehicles together (in all variations) is so that if somebody's interested in that model year and model range, they can go directly to that area (and no where else) on the unified show field. This has it's "plusses".

The downside is that IF that's the only place they go on the show field, they're missing a whole lot of other cars and related history. Ideally, a spectator would start with the Brass Era cars and progress upward in model years until they reach the most recent-produced Buicks on the show field. This way, you can watch the evolution of the marque's products AND also observe how the automobile industry has evolved from the earlier days, with "intermissions" for World Wars and such, until more modern times. An "enjoyable education" for many, possibly . . . especially the younger people the BCA desires to attract, provided they have a system of "guides" might be arranged to "show and tell" them about particular eras of Buicks (as presented on the 400 Point show field). Be that as it may.

For the past week, I've been reading "StreetRodder" magazine. LOTS of neat stuff in there, plus adaptations of many current technologies to earlier vehicles. Yep, some of these require "cut and weld" operations, but they result in a more modern situation while retaining many of the original styling features (in varying degrees).

As for possible "friction", I recall the heated comments regarding the BCA Modified Division (before it was approved), plus "halogen headlights and radial tires". Over the years, I've seen many nice cars made into race cars and such, too . . . generally ALL perfectly straight and rust-free cars that were cut up and modified into non-stock vehicles. Naturally, everybody wants "the best" car they can find to do that with, as a general rule. I've also seen some "rust buckets" transformed into striking show vehicles (both stock and modified) with appropriate infusions of funding.

I remember, back in the 1980s, when you could still find a steel-bodied Ford for a street rod (rather than buying a fiberglass replica body), that many of the "good guys" would seek out these steel cars to restore back to original . . . but a street rod person would also seek these out to "cut up" to their discretion (i.e., chop the top) to make a neat car. One of these proud owners had a t-shirt on at a weekend cruise I attended. It stated . . . "Anybody can restore a car, but it takes a MAN to cut one up" (implying into a street rod-type vehicle). Think that would not cause friction in some venues? Just an observation.

One reason I check out the street rod magazines every so often, not to mention several BUICK articles in them too, is to see what's new out there that might benefit the restored-vehicle segment of the hobby. A new place to get add-on a/c, for example, or updated "retro look" tires. Even a few custom touches that would enhance an otherwise stock vehicle.

In the current issue, there's a '56 Buick that has a Eaton Detroit Spring "low rider" rear leaf spring suspension under it (and a Camaro or Nova front clip, too). I know that several have inquired about doing away with the torque-tube situation on those Buicks, to modernize the drivetrain, so that might be of interest to those people. I need to check out their website to see how it all works, just so I'll know.

I feel that, in a perfect world, we can all learn from each other's automotive activities (restoration-orientations sharing knowledge with modified-oriented people, "hot rods" with "stocks", vice-versa, etc.) whether we might like their vehicles or not. Key thing is that we all learn from each other, whether a minor thing or a major thing, such that the level of execution of our hobby activities is raised and enhanced---AND a legacy (and knowledge base) is passed on to future generations of automotive enthusiasts.

But, I also know that in a "real world", some people are somewhat focused in their orientations. Hence, not too much in the way of "expanded horizons", with all due respect. These might be the "polarized" individuals? Everybody has thei own respective comfort level on these things.

We all have certain models and model years of vehicles that we have a soft spot for, which is normal, but that does not mean that others are not equally important to other enthusiasts. We all don't like the same things, which has its own side issues.

On the variabilities of each year's show field, compared to other prior show fields . . . no two will be identical. It's up to the host chapter(s) to detemine what's going to be where, which can be related to how many in each classification or division is registered for the meet. Planning for a particular vehicle mix at each year's meet is a total crap-shoot . . . until registration closes (prior to the meet) and the parking locations can be finalized. Even if there was a National Meet Coordinator that handled these functions, the result would be the same. Each BCA National Meet is totally unique from prior meets as to vehicle mix and awards generated from the show activities.

One way to test new show field strategies would be to do "simulations" of these proposed changes and then evaluate (with possible fine-tuning via diagnostics of what went right and what was suboptimal) each way of doing things. Whether we end up with a different configuration or improve what is currently being used, the end result should be better for all involved (i.e., spectators, judges, participants, meet workers). When and if an improved "model" is configured, then it can be finalized and used for about 5 years, then re-evaluated and more finessed or enhanced situations might be added for further improvements. That 'ol "continuous improvement" situation.

As one of my college courses mentioned . . . "A good plan can fail due to inadequate or poor implementation, but a poor plan can succeed with effective implementation." This might be making this whole subject a little too serious, but in observation of how intense some member's orientations tend to be, there needs to be a definite road map that will lead toward positive change/improvements in the future . . . whatever they might be . . . even if some mid-course corrections might be needed.

Have a great weekend!

Willis Bell 20811

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I agree with Willis about the "modified Buicks" teaching the old school a few things. I have been in the BCA since 1969 , and there were some things done that far back that would be frowned on today. The first BCA meets had everyone driving their Buicks , and trailers were not even thought of. Changes to make the trip easier were just looked on as good ideas , and often copied by members for their next trip.

I also have a modified Buick (37 coupe with 455 Buick power) and did something that I wish more modified builders would do. I started with a body that looked like lace, and would never have made a good restoration. I hate to see good Buicks changed, but I understand why it is done. It is much more economical to start with a good body.

Every meet has its own logistical problems, and through the years the host chapters have handled them well. I am sure that the layout will be acceptable by 99.9% , and the complainers would not be happy if they were parked center stage in the banquet hall!!

Joe Taubitz BCA 1308 BDE 001 BMD 004

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