Jump to content

Ten Point Rule


quadfins
 Share

Recommended Posts

At the risk of opening an acrimonious debate, I would request that a knowledgeable member provide a rational defense of the ?Ten Point Rule? in the judging categories. I have my opinion on the matter, but I would like to hear from those of you who support the system. What is the reasoning behind it, and why has it been adopted and retained?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A restoration shop I know restored several cars for the same customer, all Grand national winners. He would have been perfectly happy to steal the trophies if he could have. While obsessed with collecting a mantle full of trophies, he would not spend 1 cent more than the absolute minimun necessary win the awards. Without the 10 point rule, his cars, all rare, seldom seen vehicles, would not have been restored to the level they were. To my way of thinking the 10 point rule encourages owners to better restore their cars and leads to higher quality and more authentic restorations over time. It also make the competition more interesting. Just my opinion of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you saying that your friend would only restore to that level of quality because some else MIGHT enter an equal or near quality car in the same category, and he would not settle for someone else also being awarded a First Junior at the same time? Why must this be done with the ten point rule? Why not simply raise the standard for specific awards, such as from 365 up to 375 for First Junior, etc...? As you say, the ten point rule makes the COMPETITION more interesting, but I thought that we were NOT competing against each other? All it seems to do is encourage those with the economic means to trample everyone else on their way to the trophy display mantle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I'll try, please keep in mind though this rule was in effect long before I began in the judging system and that was long time ago. AACA works on a 400 point system. 400 is the standard of perfection. Truthfully most vehicles (no, not all of them) that score 400 points are over restored. Meaning that they look better than what you would have expected when the dealer received them from the factory. Nevertheless we cannot deduct for over restoration because it is possible that on any given day a vehicle COULD have left the factory looking that good. Likely=probably not, Possible=absolutely. Keep in mind that over restoration is different than non-authentic restoration. Now it is the job of the AACA National judge to judge the cars and deduct points accordingly when the car is in a condition lesser than when it left the factory headed for the dealer. AACA also recognized that judges are human beings and may from time to time be overwhelmed by the beauty of the over restored car. Newer inexperienced judges often, in their minds, make this over restored vehicle their standard of perfection as opposed to using the "How could it have looked when it left the factory" rule. Thus sitting next to the over restored car is a plain jane sedan, not as shiny, not as well optioned, no pizzaz so to speak but just as it could of looked when it left the factory. This car will not score as high, in some cases as the shiny, sparkling, over restored car. It will score well but usually not as good until the newer judges become more experienced. It is a common mistake. We have all made it at one time or another. The ten point spread in this situation becomes the equalizer. Thus both vehicles will receive the award they deserve. The flashy over restored car really didnt have faults and theoretically could have looked that good, though unlikely. The plain jane had no faults but in the eye of the newer judge, incorrectly, was not quite as good.

Secondly, AACA, truly has always intended to give the vehicle owner the benefit of the doubt when a question arises. Yes, I know you often hear of the bad mistakes here on the forum. That is mainly because this is the forum and people can raise these issues. Rarely do you see any of the 86% of winners, the average from most National Meets come on here and say, "Oh yes and we got the award we were going for"? sometimes perhaps, but rarely. Good news seldom makes for good conversation. So the second reason for the spread is because AACA recognizes that since judges are human they may make mistakes or miss things. Again this is primarilly the newer judge but not always. The spread compensates in many cases for these minor oversights. It allows a car that missed by less than ten to also receive the award. Personally, I like the rule. I have been involved with the judging systems of several of the marque clubs and other national organizations. I have even played a part in writing portions of others programs. The AACA system, whether you like it or not, is without question the fairest system used today for the vehicle owner.

These are the reasons that come first to mind to me as to why this rule is in place. Your judging committee will always listen to new ideas and thoughts from any member. Simply write the VP Class Judging. Not all idea will happen, but some will, So I hope this helps a little with the reasoning. If not it was free! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Meaning that they look better than what you would have expected when the dealer received them from the factory.</div></div>

And to prove this very point they parked a brand-new, right-off-the-lot car out in front of the host hotel where the judging school was at New Bern. We were asked to walk around and judge it after class was over. There was a little confusion <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> over that request but then people "got it" <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> and understood that many times cars don't come out of the factory perfect. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> And not to expect absolute perfection of the cars on the judging field.

As for the ten point rule it has it's merits as far as people doing their best on restorations or keeping the cars extra nice if original.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply, Dave, and the explanation, but I still don't understand the ten point rule, as it applies to DISQUALIFY high scoring cars if they are not within ten points of the HIGHEST score. Your considerate response explains why cars can score 365 to 400 and still be awarded a First Junior. I agree, there is much disparitry, even with new cars, and there will always be some points off. My wife's new car had a dent in the front fender, just sitting on the lot even before we bought it. I understand all of this. But my hangup with the rule is just the opposite of what you explained (to which I agree completely). If the decision is that any car scoring 365 points is worthy of a First, then why would a 389 point car be denied that First just because a 400 point car (over-restored or not) is parked next to it? Should they not BOTH be awarded Firsts? Just because one car trails the other by a magical eleven points, it is automatically relegated to second, even though it may score more points that the First car in the next class over.

For example, cars A and B are in class 1A. Car A scores 380, and SHOULD get a First Junior. But car B scores 391, so it gets first, and car A gets second. Meanwhile, next row over, in class 1B, car C, the only one in the class, scores 370, and gets a first Junior in its class, while higher scoring car A still has a second. Why is this? This does not reward anyone for restoring a car, but rather, discourages those who do a good job, but always are in a class in which there is one car just a little better. The ten point rule serves no purpose except to hold back every car but the best one or two. I just want to know WHY this is set as policy. How does favoring over-restored cars encourage the rest of us to bring ours to meets?

I have no quarrel with setting the points scale at whatever number the majority feels appropriate. And truly, I do not want to imply any criticism of the judges or judging in general. I have been a judge at MANY car shows (though not AACA, yet). At every AACA meet that I have been to, I feel that they have done an exceptional job, especially considering the time they devote. I don't at all mind getting points deducted, especially when they are deserved. But think back to when you were in school. You knew what the grading scale was to get an A, B, or C. So it is the day of the big test, and you are told that if you score a 90% or better, you earn an A. Oh, except that if any kid gets a 98 - 100, no one under 98 earns an A anymore - you only get a B. So what is the point, then, of having a stated grading scale? If only the highest scores get the best grades, then you ARE competing against each other, not against a mean or norm. And it is so uncertain. If a 365 point car goes to a sparsely attended meet, where there are no others in the class, then it will begin it's journey to First Junior, Senior, etc... But when a 389 point car continues to attend meets where there is always one more newly-restored cars in the class, it continues to languish at second or third Junior. Why is this? There must be some reason for this rule to have been established. This is what I am curious about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me put it right out front. I some what agree with quadfins. Im on a fixed income,retired and never worked at million doller jobs. AS such I do my own work. I replace my own parts fix my own problems and damm proud of anything I win, but my favorate frase is Im a poor man in a rich mans club. I cant afford to just take my car in to the shop and tell the man to powder coat it. I went to Buffalow for grand nat. jr. Got a second. Sent for my judge slip and was told , you had anough points for a first, but the 5 pt. rule got ya. Spent over 3000 bucks on the car and went to Dover Got a 3ed. I know threr where or I think there where 2 cars there with more money spent on over restoration than the average guy makes in a mo. Guess I was lucky, there where outher cars in the class that came home empty. See you in MI.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quadfins, I totally agree with what you have said on this subject. I have said the EXACT same things before. It is kind of erie-you sound just like me.

I have been told the same things about people only restoring their cars to a level that is enough to win the award they are going for.Maybe so, maybe not.I do my own work and have been on both sides of the 10 point spread. One of the problems I see is that people keep saying that you are not competing with the other cars in your class, only the judging sheet.As long as a point spread is used ,you ARE competing with the other cars.If 365 is the mark for a first junior, then give the award to everyone who reaches that level.They deserve it.If in fact people only restore their cars to a level of 365 points then I guess everything will even out when they so for a senior.Good luck with your car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am no expert. I am a rookie regarding national competition and judging.

Quadfins, I cannot disagree with your points.

As I see it, The 10 point spread is simply designed to allow for the fact that human beings are not perfect, the 10 point spread is simply a way to generously make sure that human error does not incorrectly deny a car an award. Contrary to common belief, and as you have correctly pointed out, with the 10 point rule a car does in fact compete against other cars in its class. The best car in that class, wins 1st, the 2nd best car wins 2nd (with 10 points leeway to "tie" in case of human error in the judging), & etc.

If the desire is to only compete against the rulebook, instead of against the other cars in your class, then as you point out, the 10 point rule is unnecessary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, all, for taking the time to read and reply. Please keep those replies and opinions coming.

This is a question that I would like to bring to the directors, but before I do, in a formal way, I wanted to get a general feeling of the membership, and find out some of the arguments FOR the rule. I expect opposition to change, so I want to anticipate any arguments in favor of the ten point rule. So far, the only one I see is to favor perfectly restored cars and create an atmosphere of competition. I don't see this as a positive reason. I only see a measure of hypocrisy in claiming that cars only compete against a set level of factory correctness, while at the same time creating a rule that sets them against each other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quadfins,

The 10 point rule also helps out the orphan vehicles. At the AGNM last year, in the truck class that we were in you had a Dover, an REO Speedwagon and several Fords in the class. Of course the Dover and REO didn't win, the point spread also makes allowances for the less common vehicles. You can buy a lot of NOS and reproduction parts for a Ford, that you'll never find for a Dover or a REO. A lot of the orphan vehicles don't have the NOS and reproduction parts available so the owners are forced to try to salvage what they have and quite often aren't able to get their vehicles as nice as a person who owns a more common made vehicle. The point spread helps the owners of the less common vehicles to keep the playing field somewhat level.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew this part would come up and actually began to address it in my first response but ran out of room. The argument for all cars scoring the 365 minimum be awarded a First Junior has come up on a few occasions and judging committee has addressed it and no doubt will do so again in the future. The suggestion is not without good points. Though I must admit it would not be my first choice. Here is why and this is basically what judging committee has determined as well:

As said earlier, our standard of perfection is 400 points. 400 points or as close to it as possible is the goal of the restorer and/or car owner. If we change the program and allow all cars 365 or more to win the First Junior then our standard of perfection is no longer 400, it is now 365. This would no longer reward the owner who went the extra mile to correctly restore his/her vehicle. In fact it may well reward the owner who shortcutted his/her restoration. Most people dont realize it but I would think I would be pretty accurate to say that 90% of all the junior cars at a meet score at least 365 points. You would need to lose 36 points to not get your First Junior. 365 is merely the bare minimum permitted. This was established so that something that really sttod out as a non authentic or so couldnt ride in, have the luck to catch a low populated class and ride out with a 1st Junior badge. I assure you I feel for the person who scores 389 when a 400 pointer sits in the class. 389 is a pretty sharp car. However, looking at it the other way, 400 is pretty rare. It happens of course but it is rare. The owner that did that car to such perfection deserves to be awarded the First Junior on that day. He/She now moves on to the Senior class and in all probability the 389 car will get his/her 1st Junior the next time out. Whether it be for improvements made or simply not another 400 point pace setter in the class. Actually receiving a 2nd Junior with a very high point car is usually a great incentive to going the rest of the way and improving what is already a pretty great car.

You know, having the honor of being your President gives me a number of jobs to perform for AACA. One of them is presenting the Junior trophies to the winners at the awards banquet. I wish I could describe in words the looks on the winners faces when they come up to get that First Junior trophy, and frankly most of the time with the 2nds and 3rds as well. They are simply thrilled. At that moment they are feeling a rush of sense of accomplishment, victory, recognition of both hard and expensive work. I have actually seen grown men cry. In my opinion to lower the standard of perfection 10%, a great deal of this would be lost. The value of the award would be less (no, I dont mean money) although probably that too. With all this said there is still merit for the argument. Some have suggested raising the minimum to say 380, some have said 390, and a myriad of other possibilities have come before judging committee over the years and will continue to do so. Again I do understand the plight of the 389 car in your scenario. Though I know that it is an extremely rare scenario. Not enough in my opinion to change the system. However, you are always welcome to write the VP Class Judging with your suggestions. You dont need to be a judge to do so. You only need be a member. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please let me clarify...

I do NOT object to the points scale for First, Second, Third, etc... In fact, 35 points is quite generous, and DOES allow cars wil certain flaws and deductions to be recognized. Believe me, I can sympathize with orphan owners and rarer cars, for which parts and service are hard to locate. How many of us have attempted, for example, to get a 45+ year old cruise control system operational? I have, so I know what work and effort goes into finding and refurbishing hard to find parts. It is all in the details, and the satisfaction of having every system working as designed is priceless. Allowing a 35 point deduction and still being in the running for a First Junior is very accomodating, equating to scoring a 92% and still getting an "A".

What I object to is the rule that states that any car, regardless of points score, that does not score within 10 points of the top scoring car, is automatically relegated to second place (in both Junior and Senior categories). I just don't see how this encourages owners to show their cars. Conversly, I don't see how holding back a potential 389 point car adds to the glory of a 400 point car. The 400 point car STILL is recognized, and certainly then progresses through Senior, Preservation, and AGNM. The 365 point car would be encouraged to make improvenments, in order to make the 375 point cut for senior, while the 400 point car progresses as is. But what about the potential 389 point car, that should progress on to First Junior, First Senior, etc... but is continuously hamstrung by competing - and I will use that word - with a new 400 point car at consecutive meets? The rule that top cars must be within 10 points of each other contradicts the contention that cars only compete against a scale of factory perfection. We set expectations and hopes in owners minds, and then set them up for disappointment and disillusionment, even resentment, when that perfect car parks next door and, essentiually, shatters any hope of recognition.What good is restoring up to 389 points, when you are denied the recognition of your efforts. You might as well have stayed at 330.

First Junior winners (and First Seniors, too), would you have felt "cheated" if the other cars scoring the minimum points required, but not within 10 points of your car had also been recognized with a First?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A way to look at things is this...

If you have a 400 point car, and I have a 389 point car, and we bring our vehicles to the same meets, you're only going to beat me twice at the very most.

If your vehicle beats my vehicle out of a First Junior, the next time we both show up at a meet, you'll be going for a Senior, while I'm still trying to win a First Junior. From the first time that you beat me, it never becomes an issue again until we both show up at an AGNM to go for a First AGNM award.

If we were competing at a show on a local level, you could beat me every time for 10 years, and it would never change. I would think that would keep people from coming to shows because they'd get sick of getting beat by the same car every time they came out. The beauty of AACA National meets is you'll only have to compete against another car for a First Junior, Senior, and First AGNM. All of the other awards are based on points that youre vehicles earn.

Understand that you could have a vehicle parked next to you at a meet that appears compleley flawless but loses because of having the wrong grease fittings, wrong caps on the valve stems on the tires, and stress marks on the bolts at a time when they didn't use bolts with stress marks. In those cases, you could lose 25 points with those three things, while the rest of the vehicle could appear to be showroom perfect.

Your best bet about understanding the system is to learn the system. Go to judging school, attend some CJE's, and do some judging and you will quickly learn and understand the system. There are some things with the current judging program that I don't like, but I've argued my point before, I've put it to rest, and my dislike for certain things isn't great enough to not want to get involved.

As for your 10 point spread issue, if a vehicle scored a 390 or above, do you just hand them a Senior Grand National Award and send the owners out the door or do you make them earn it?? I really don't have any issues with the required points for the awards. The biggest thing with the awards is that some classes are more difficult to win because these cars are in the larger classes (1957 Chevys, 1965 Ford Mustangs, etc.).

What I would like to see is the point spread eliminated for vehicles that are still original. You may very well have a vehicle that is all original that is capable of winning the awards based on points, but would lose because of the point spread. My justification is that isn't this club based on the preservation of historic vehicles?? I feel that an untouched original vehicle that scores a 365 deserves the award regardless of what any restored vehicle in that same class scores.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If one 365 point car is good enough for a First Junior, then all should be. It becomes a matter of chance, how many cars are in a particular class at a given show. Some meets have few cars in each class. Awarding a First to a lone 365 point car does not lower the bar any less than awarding third Junior to a car that scored 379 points in a class with many cars - Car A, 400 point First Junior, Car B minus 10 points = 389, Second Junior, car C minus 10 more points = 377, Third Junior. If we want to raise the bar of excellence, then raise the points needed to earn each level. Requiring cars to be within 10 points of each other does not accomplish this.

As I see it, anyway, AACA really has three levels of judging. In the BIG PICTURE, Junior level at 365 points minimum, is actually a national third place. Senior, at an improved 375 points, merits second place, and AGNM, at 380 or above, is a true national first place, 390 for AGNM Senior Preservation. This, to me, is the proper national hierarchy, that adequately recognizes those cars (and owners) that are truly outstanding. These cars (and owners), should be recognized, appreciated, and revered for what they are. However, when cars are at that level (or at any of the other levels, as well), is there REALLY that much difference between a 400 point car and a 394 point car? So much that the 394 should be denied First Place recognition, even though it has made the grade on the established points scale? After all, those 394 points would have merited a First if the car had been in another class, with no competitors, or at a meet in which it was the only car in its class. The national system of Junior, Senior, Preservation, and AGNM is what serves to motivate owners to continue to improve their cars. Many of us aspire to higher levels of perfection, but we recognize the reality that we will never achieve it. That does not bother me. I can easily accept the fact that my car, with its flaws, will never be as good as XYZ. But I do resent it when I have a high scoring car, that should be recognized, but never is because another car is moving up the scale. Perhaps it is a glimpse of the pettiness of my human nature, but when I am told that points level 365 rates X award, but only if no other car in the category scores 10 points higher, then I find it hard to appreciate and celebrate the beauty and perfection of those 100% cars. I feel that all of my efforts have been in vain, and that I am just a rung on the ladder, to be trampled by others on their way to the top. I simply do not agree with the rule that cars must be within 10 (or five) points of each other, regardless of how high they scored above the minimum required, in order to be considered equals. I will state again that this requirement serves only to discourage those of us who continuously find ourselves scoring above the minimum points needed for a certain level, but in competition (there is that word again...) with another car in the same category. It happens, perhaps more often than we realize. Perhaps the judging statistics can be studied, to see how many cars were affected by the ten point cutoff. I know of many. Either a car IS good enough, and scores high enough, to be recognized, or it IS NOT. It should have nothing to do with how it compares with other cars, unless we acknowledge the reality, and state that cars DO compete against each other. I can fully accept the fact that other cars are better than mine. But don't give me false hopes of recognition, and then continue to shatter them. That is a cruel joke. And that is why I am reluctant to register for future meets ?I don?t like to set myself up for disappointment, for reasons that are beyond my control (such as, who else registers in the same class).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you didn't win an award, did you contact the Vice President of class judging to get the areas where you lost points identified?? They will do that upon your request, but if you don't ask, they're not going to give it to you.

My father and I have several orphan vehicles, so I understand your frustrations. We've been there, done that, and gotten the T-shirt as well.

At this point, ask for the areas listed that were wrong with your vehicle, go to the AACA Library and research your vehicle, go to Judging School, Attend some CJE's, do some judging, and try to make the corrections on your vehicle based on what you've learned. If you can do those things, you will most likely be successfull in winning the awards that you want to win. With some time and effort, it can be done, but if you give up, or if you don't apply yourself, it'll never happen. In the meantime, keep trying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you.

My concern has not been competing with the same cars at consecutive meets. My experience has been that there has always been a NEW, different, Fresh-From-The-Restoration-Shop car in my class at every meet that I have attended. So even though my car has scored high enough to merit First Junior, and potentailly move on, it has always missed out due to the ten point rule. My new nickname is "Three Time Loser". Am I so stupid as to fool myself with the hope that some day, I'll attend a meet and there will not be such a car competing? Or do I acknowledge reality, and stop wasting the time and money to go. And by the way, I actually (gasp) DRIVE my car to the meets (210 miles each way to New Bern, 350 plus each way to Asheville), so even with the wear and tear, I am able to maintain a high level. And since AACA judging is all about appearance, not operation, each paint chip counts against the car, but no credit is given for the fact that every system on this "loaded" car works according to factory specifications. I can't afford to send the car to a restoration shop, and then hire a "minder" to hover over the car, dust it off, and give me real-time cell phone reports during the judging process. I am NOT joking, I watched this happen two cars away from mine. I am proud of what I have done with my limited means, but the car is not getting any younger, and I am getting discouraged about attending future meets. It is too far and time consuming to drive it to Texas, or one of the western meets, that traditionally have fewer entrants. That is still a matter of chance, anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand your frustration. My father and I have been there. In our case we're able to do it because we pool our resources. I know Peter Heizmann has his Triumph, he went through the same problems, threw a paint job on the car, and walked his way up through a Senior Grand National Award.

I will say that although Hershey is "the greatest show on earth," there is a lot of competition at that meet, and it is tough to win there. We hauled one of our vehicles to Northglenn, Colorado to get our First Grand National Award, and paid money to put all new glass through the entire vehicle.

Perhaps the best advice that I could give you is to go to one of your local regions, and see if there is someone who has done a lot of judging on the national level, and have them go over your vehicle, point out its' downfalls, and go from there. I would still get in contact with the Vice President of Class Judging to see the areas where you lost points. Between the sheet that you get back, and with what a local person looking over the car finds, you might be able to figure it out.

By the way, we lost at the AGNM in Buffalo in 2004. At a later time we were told that we got beat by a vehicle that scored a 400, and the person who scored that 400 had over $100,000 invested in his vehicle. My dad and I did all of our own work for a little more than $20,000 and to be honest with you, I don't feel bad losing to someone who spent that much money.

But we turn our own wrenches, spread out the paint ourselves, and have been able to do it, so it isn't that it can't be done. I've got more money in the pickup (a 2004 Chevy) that we use to pull the car trailer than what we've got in any one of our vehicles.

I would still get into a judging school. You may be missing it over something very minute and stupid that you don't realize that it's costing you the award, you aren't aware of it, and no one has told you. It may be something that could be fixed for $50. As I said in an earlier post, you could easily be there, but lose 10 points on your engine or chassis and you end up walking out empty handed.

DON'T GIVE UP!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, you could improve your car so it could compete with that 400 point car. If the minimum were raised (and you stated that you had no objection to such a change) this is what you would have to do anyway. Are you sure your car would in fact receive the First if the 10 point rule were not in effect? It is commendable that you drive your car and that everything works as it should but, for better or worse, AACA judging does favor the trailered car and is a beauty contest, no doubt about it. It's a simple matter of deciding if that trophy means enough to put forth the effort required to take one home. I've been in the same situation, I showed a car 3 times against a nearly 400 point car in a very tough class and took home the Second each time. Yes I was disappointed but I also knew that my car was not as well restored as the car that set the standard that day. To me , a trophy won against stiff competition is more meaningful than a trophy won with just the minimum number of points. I guess I'm funny that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was mentioned above that the key to understanding the system is by learning the system. I couldnt agree more. I would strongly suggest that you get involved with our judging program if you are not already. Looking at it from that perspective may give you new feelings about this issue. As I said before there are merits to it. I cannot deny that. I would suggest that you make your best argument for whatever change you seek, write it out and send it to the VP Class Judging. Mr. Hulon McCraw, his address is in your AA magazine. He will present it to judging committee and who knows. I have seen many rules amended over the years.

To everyone who has responded to this thread I thank you. You have made interesting suggestions and showed some of the good and bad regarding the issue, as most any issue would have. You have done it in a fair and professional manner which says a lot for the credibility of our judging system, the judges in it and the non-judge members interested in it. I used to be fairly active on this forum but did not care for the fighting and arguing of some. However every once in awhile I would see a subject or be asked to enter into a topic and try to offer a meaningful opinion. There has not been a single comment made on this subject that has not been interesting, rational and understandable, regardless of whether I agreed with it or not. I will step aside now and let you add to the subject however you see fit but I wanted you all to know that I am thrilled with the way you have addressed it and handled the issues. I look forward to getting to know each of you better at the upcoming AACA events. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been to regional meets. I have had friends in different regions critique the car. I have attended Judging School. I have obtained the judging sheets from each meet. I know where the flaws are. I have addressed many of them. When I self-judge the car, I am much harsher than the judges at any meet I have been to. After all, we all know out own cars FAR better than a stranger with 10 minutes to spare...

Different deductions are made each meet. There are some problems that I will not be able to, or am unwilling to fix -which relates to an altogether different topic, but has little bearing on this one. Each judging sheet tells me that the car scored 365+, but did not make the ten points spread rule (This is true of several friends, as well). What more can I do?

1) I can spend $100.000 on the car. (Those are certainly EXPENSIVE trophies, aren't they?)

2) I can try to change a rule that I think is unnecessary and counterproductive.

3) I can give up on AACA and just drive the car and be happy.

At least I have the rational of this: As I drive 5 hours to a meet, I lose track of the numbers of honks, waves, and thumbs up passing cars give. The most gratifying are the faces of the kids, smooshed backwards in the side window, trying to get one last look as they drive past. That IS satisfying, as is the one man car show at every fuel stop and restroom break. Those are MY First Place trophies. A trailered car never gets that. But I will get it whether I am driving to an AACA meet or to work in the morning. What I don't need are the false hopes and expectations that never are realized, solely due to the requirement that all cars must come within ten points of each other. I never expect to progress on to AGNM. At this point, I don't even know if the car would score high enough for senior. But at this rate I will never have the opportunity to find out.

So far, I have not read one meritorious reason for keeping the ten point rule. Besides "We have always done it that way", what could possibly the the reason for keeping it? It has no apparent benefit, while having a harmful effect on many of us. When the judging committee meets to consider my suggestion, what will they say in defense of keeping the rule?

A frequent refrain here, and in other car clubs to which I belong is, "How can we attract more (younger) members?" I am NOT suggesting lowering the bar of standards. But I am saying that setting up a contradictory system is can lead to frustration, disillusionment, and apathy. I have always been one of the youngest members in our region and at every meet I have been to. My 5 year old daughter is a "car show girl". The last thing the hobby needs is to drive away (pun intended) people like ourselves.

I certainly agree with Mr. Berg, that the level of discussion on this potentially flammable thread has been rational and positive. No hint of personal invective or flaming! I am glad to see it as such, and hope that more contributors will chime in with their ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote; "After all, we all know out own cars FAR better than a stranger with 10 minutes to spare..."

That can also be a hindrance. You pass over the same deduction / problem /issue that in your eyes is fine however something is incorrect. Having knowledgeable car people give your car a good look over prior to a national meet will generally bring up some areas that need improvement.

The quality level of AACA vehicles has increased dramatically within the past 5 years. So much so that a car winning a 1st junior back then would probably at best be a 3rd today.

It is difficult to drive and put a lot of miles on a car that you are attempting to win a 1st junior, in my opinion. It certainly can be done as I have seen several who have won a AACA grand national award, however they spent 18 hours plus cleaning their cars that they drove to the meet.

Even though it gets frustrating don't give up yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave has jumped in this thread with more years of judging background than the vast majority of us. He has held numerous positions in the AACA judging system and unquestionably is an expert. I will give a bit of background from just the last few years on the committee.

This subject continues to be brought up by members including some who consistently have very high point cars. In the last three years I can think of at least three times the committee has discussed the 10 point rule. <span style="font-weight: bold">I can state unequivocally that it has never been reviewed in a manner that suggested to not change it because it is how we have always done things.</span> If you look at our judging manual you will find tremendous changes that have been made in the last 5 years alone. Compare manuals and you will be shocked!

Our own former VP of Class Judging lost his award in several meets due to the 10 point spread with his Kaiser. If you look at the amount of trophies we give out (by the way, if you think these are inexpensive you are wrong, wrong, wrong) and look at the percentage of firsts, seconds and thirds it does seem "reasonable". I think one of the reasons <span style="font-weight: bold">some</span> people are still in favor of the spread rule is that it does encourage members to bring their car up to a very high standard of restoration. Usually, when a member loses out on the 10 point rule it is not expensive to correct the minor point deductions as they are matters of detail. I am also sure running in to a car that scores 400 points is a very frustrating.

The discussion of raising the standard and not having the spread is interesting. Does that really benefit our members? Will the majority of members now feel it just takes way too much for the average restorer to compete? Tough topics that the committee and board have to deal with on a consistent basis. Over the 25 plus years I have been a member I have never seen a huge outcry over this system but maybe their is a silent majority that agrees that they do not like the rule.

As Dave said,the committee is always willing to look into this matter again. Also, the board has charged our office with surveying the membership on a host of topics, this will be one of them. The survey is late in happening thanks to yours truly but it hopefully will happen this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quadfins, You say you can tell from the judging sheets that your car scored at least the minimum 365? I have never requested a judging sheet so I am wondering how you can determine that you scored at least 365. Only way I can see to do this would be to add up the total maximum deductions for the areas checked and subtract from 400. Is this how you are able to tell or does the sheet actually say you scored at least 365? Just curious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me give you take on the 10 point spread.

Take my case

I have a 1955 Thunderbird that I drive to all national shows I attend, sometime as far as 600 miles. The bird is a nice mostly original car and as a judge I think it could score 365 points, it has a lot of one or two point deductions as any driven car has but nothing major or incorrect. True a single car can only beat you twice at most. But I have never been to a National show that didn?t have a fresh professional restored 55-57 Thunderbird pulled out of a trailer going for a junior. So basically if you drive your 55-57 thunderbirds you are not going to win a national first place.

So In my case and I am sure in other the only thing the 10 point spread does is discourage us from driving our cars and I hate to see AACA do that.

I would guess that is why AACA set a first at 365 in the first place so a driven and enjoyed car could still win a first.

On the other side I have a whole bunch of Second place trophies, if I ever won a First and didn?t win Senior I wouldn?t get anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do I know the car scored over 365? I was curious, so I asked directly when I sent in for the score sheet. I quote the reply:

"As is sometimes the case, your vehicle scored above the minimum number of points to receive a First Junior, but was not within the ten point spread of the top scoring vehicle".

Same the second time.

Etc...

And I am not advocating raising the points bar. 92% is pretty high. I am only advocating consistency. A car either DOES or DOES NOT meet the minimum points necessary to be recognized. To qualify it with IT DOES, except, if, maybe, at this meet, or in that class, some other car arrives that is ten points better... is inconsistent, and misleading. Twice and it becomes frustrating. Three times and it appears to be a permanent trend.

The judging sheets have been very helpful, in drawing attention to areas that need work. I have benefited from their clues. Another unbiased eye is also very helpful in spotting those items that otherwise seem so "normal". I am also willing to accept a certain number of points deducted. Deduct 100 points, if the car deserves it, and I will know what to work on. But since I do not store the car in a climate controlled cocoon in between trailering it to national meets, it will never be a 390 point car. It is not a museum piece. I just don't want to fool myself into attempting First Junior level again, knowing that, even though it SHOULD make the grade, it is all dependent upon the chance of who else might show up at a given meet. I don't mind coming in second, third, or way below someone else - Lord knows, that has happened all the time. But don?t explain to me, when that happens, that we are not competing against each other. We are, or we are not. It is one, or the other. It can not be both. At least, it should not be both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay,

You make the point perfectly. The ten point rule discourages us from driving our cars to meets, and by default, favors those who can professionally restore, and then trailer them. I find that concept anathema to the hobby. It is why younger kids gravitate toward Civics and preludes, because they no longer see the older Detroit Iron on the road. Does anybody remember the thread, some months ago, about where have all the Brass Era Cars gone? It sparks no interest in the next generations if they are locked up in a garage.

Now, certainly, no one expects a 100 year old Rambler to drive to a meet. And I truly respect those who drive cars older than my own, since I have the benefit of power this and automatic that. Mine is a luxury marque (NOT Marquee!!!) that has all the options to make it a thoroughly modern car to drive to a meet. But because I do drive it, there are certain things that will always get at least ten points deducted. (THAT brings up another pet peeve of mine, but I will save it for another thread.) So as long as there is a ten point rule, it is pointless to attempt a First Junior, unless one knows in advance that no new, fresh restoration will also be there. But then that concept brings up the specter, again, that the cars ARE actually competing against each other. Perhaps the answer would be (insert tongue in cheek) to add a five point bonus to each car, for every 100 miles that it is driven to get to a meet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can relate to this as well...having an original car that has received multiple 2nd & 3rd Junior awards and any original car struggles to compete with restored cars. Getting 2nd's and 3rd has become a trend for me. I have never requested a judge sheet...I have little confidence in any event that is judged (dog shows, car shows, gymnastics, diving etc..) I bet the 10 point rule has "saved" me and I bet it has "hurt" me. I think knowing that your car met the requirement to win a 1st Jr, but was bumped out by the 10 pt rule....that would really hurt! I can certainly see where it could get discouraging for someone....maybe it should be looked at?? Set benchmarks for the cars...that you can improve your car and not worry about the big money resto cars that steal the shows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So even though my car has scored high enough to merit First Junior, and potentailly move on, it has always missed out due to the ten point rule.</div></div>

My question is, how could you possibly know how your car scored? No one in the judging system (which includes people working in administration) is allowed to reveal scores to the owners, [color:"red"] <span style="font-weight: bold">ever</span> . So unless the rules are being broken you are assuming that your car is that good.

Ex gave good advice to you. Go to a judging school, go to some CJE classes and go out with an apprentice team and see what our judging system is all about. Ask for a highlighted copy of your score sheet. It will not show how many points were taken off but it will tell you where you need to correct areas with problems. ONE point can make the difference. Ask members that are in your club that judge at the national level to look the car over and tell you what they think.

We know a guy that was very impressed with the paint job on his Mustang. He spent several thousand dollars on it. I wouldn't have put that car in a show with the poor workmanship that he paid for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve,

I apologize for implying that the reason for keeping the rule is because it has always been done that way. I had no basis for implying that, except for my experience in other matters - you know how committee work goes, and when someone comes up with a new idea, everyone jumps on him and points out why it can NOT work, rather than seeing the possibilities if it DOES work.

My purpose in raising this issue is exactly as you perceive, namely, is there a silent majority out there that is fed up with the rule? Or, conversely, is there a majority that can express a rational reason WHY the rule is perpetuated, and what benefits it brings. It MAY encourage some to do more to improve their cars. It IS discouraging some of us from bringing them to meets. Where is the cost-benefit balance? Speak up, Oh Silent Majority!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please see above posts, # 467440 and 467405.

And I am not at all criticizing the judges or the judging system, as they do their jobs. They have always been polite, welcoming, accommodating, and more than generous in their observations. I think that the system traps them, too. They may think, Oh, that car SHOULD be awarded a First Junior (or senior, or whatever), but will lose out due to the unavoidable circumstance that this next car is ten points better. That must be terribly difficult for a judge to have to deal with, looking into the eyes of the "lesser" owner, and knowing the disappointment that waits later that evening. It is NOT the judge?s fault. It is a Catch 22.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did go back and read them. I had been gone for a week and a half so I skimmed through the longer posts to try to catch up. I was unaware that owners were told anything about how they scored, so that was a surprise.

One thing did bother me. Your comment about judges being people having ten minutes to spare. We are instructed to not spend more than that per car because when you add four people looking at a car that adds up to forty minutes per car. Sometimes we spend less on a car that is perfect or nearly so, there is just no reason to stand there killing time (especially if there are a lot of cars to be judged, it is raining or the temperature is in the 80's or 90's on a paved lot). Other times we spend more than that to be fair and document all deductions even though we know the car is not going to win anything, even if they were the only car in the class.

Judges drive hundreds of miles in a year and spend a lot of money to do this. We attend a judging school and usually at least one CJE per year(we can only get one credit each for a class and a CJE, unless it we take a mandatory CJE for special levels of points.) Many of us don't bring cars (our car is not ready yet), we just make the trip to help the hobby survive. We get a brass colored "chip" to recognize what we do.

And you admit that there are items that you know about but are unwilling to fix. That is your choice. But it may take fixing at least some of them to put you on the First Junior winner list.

Trust me, we want to award trophies. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I expressed myself poorly.

The 'ten minutes to spare" comment was perhaps too flippant. What I meant, in the context of the thought, was that I live with the car all year, and know in intimate detail every good and bad point about it. I realize that it is impossible for judges to spend enough time on each car to thoroughly analyze it, and therefore, they give it the benefit of the doubt. They must move on, to cover the other 400 cars at the meet. I neither meant, expressed, nor implied any criticism of the judges. I have never disputed any of the points that I have been deducted. I admire the judges for the sacrifice they make. In fact, that is why I have not yet volunteered to judge - I have not yet gotten my fill of the cars to see and drool over. I know that they hardly get to see any except those they judge. It is a great gift they provide to club members. I do not want this thread to warp into an inappropriate discussion about judges or their procedures.

But I will emphasize again, that it is not the points deducted, nor the points level that I disagree with. It is the dual standard of claiming that the cars do not compete against each other, while at the same time retaining a rule that requires them to score within ten points to be awarded the same level of recognition, creating a de facto competition within the judging classes..

As for the things I need fixing... regardless of what they are, it does not affect the heart of my objection. If 365 or 375 or 380 points is the cutoff for a specific award, it should be the cutoff, regardless of how other cars score.

I do NOT want to open another tangential discussion about an issue that I also feel passionate about. Suffice to say that I will always lose 12 points off the top, therefore I will never reach First Junior as long as there are newly restored 99+ point cars in the class. As a result my car IS competing against those cars, regardless of what we claim. But the same car, with the same points deductions WILL reach First Junior, maybe even Senior status, if it is ever so fortunate to be in a meet with no other cars in the same category. Again, this proves that the cars DO compete against each other, and it is simply a matter of fortune that determines the outcome. So the question for me, and others, is how often can we gamble before we get too frustrated and give up. It is this lingering bitterness that deters us from becoming long term, active members.

I believe that you want to award trophies. I think the ten point rule artificially prevents you from doing so, for deserving cars. That is why I object to it. I still have yet to read a reasonable defense of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You see Jay, I agree with the current point system, but in the case for people such as yourself, that's where I don't agree with it. I have a cousin who has a 1955 Thunderbird that is completely original (right down to the tires even) that has 18,000 miles on the car. This car would easily win a First Junior but would never make the point spread.

I feel that if a vehicle owner has been able to get a car that has been maintained all of these years and is still able to score their required points, they've earned the award. That's where I feel that HPOF should be used as a "proving ground" for original vehicles.

In simpler terms, a restored car goes into its' class and gets the awards within the point spread, where the unrestored cars get their HPOF Certification, then advance to the appropriate class at the next show that they go to, and be given the award sought as long as it scores the points regardless of what anyone else scores.

Once the car earns its' HPOF certification, then the car should go into its' respective class. If the car scores high enough to win a First Junior, or a Senior Award, it gets the award. If not, then it should get an HPOF participation Award. I feel that the HPOF cars being "put out to pasture" like a herd of cattle with everything else is wrong. I am a firm believe that the Packards should be with the Packards, the Mustangs should be with their Mustangs, and the Model 'A's should be with Model 'A's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the history of the AACA judging system.

Some of the older members will have to correct me if I?m wrong here. This in what I?ve found from old judging manuals, AACA films, etc

AACA was started by a group of disgruntled antique automobile derby participants that wanted better prizes and treatment from derby officials. By the 40s, interest turned away from reliability runs and shifted to appearance, authenticity and judging.

The first points system was used in 1936. Take the number of years the cars is older than the minimum set for entrant, multiply by miles traveled then divide by the number of cylinders. Highest point car won.

In 1954: cut-off 1929. no newer years accepted.

In 1955:

1. Smoothness of operation, silence, condition of brakes, general mechanical condition and transportation ability? max 20 pts.

2. Condition of engine?????..max 5

3. Cleanliness of under chassis and lubricators???.max 5 pts

4. Evidence of ?tight? steering gear, king pins, etc., and lubrication???max 10 pts

5. Condition of finish, bright work, woodwork, upholstery and mats???? max 10 pts

6 condition of top or ?hood?????max 5 pts

7. Condition of tires???????.max 5 pts

A all things being equal preference will be given to vehicle restored by owner over purchased already restored or had professionally restored.

B. No additional points or consideration shall be given for finishing to a higher degree than was original or for superior performance due to installation of non-original equipment. Inappropriate accessories or equipment may be items to reduce the points of scoring allowed, at the discretion of the judges. This does not mean that there be any penalties for superior work of restoration of for contemporary accessories.

C. during judging driver should be available to start engines so that their operation may be appraised. Judges must not start the engine unless authorized to do so by the driver.

D. Unless in case of a tie, the newness or condition of tires shall for the most part be disregarded in judging. The car should be equipped with suitable tires, preferably of original size. This consideration is made due to the extreme difficulty in obtaining tires of certain sizes, and also the expense involved in securing new tires, especially so when the owner has old tires that are wholly suitable for reliable transportation.

1957 reinstated 25 year rule

1960 cutoff set at 1935

1960: 100 point system with sections Paint & finish, Wheels& ties, Engine & radiator, etc. Points assigned on a 10 point scale with 10 as maximum. Deductions for non-authentic parts. Minimum of 75 points required to receive any award. Only ONE senior award permitted per class and only ONE junior award permitted per class. No tie provisions.

1963 commercial vehicles except hearses added

1968 production cars cut-off advance on year during each even numbered year until 1940 are accepted then stop.

1970 added fire truck class

In 1970 the judging system was revised to a 1,000 point system with each vehicle entering the field with 1,000 points and deduction in group 1 ? exterior and underside finish, group 2- chassis, wheels and tires, group 3- bright work, group 4 interior and group 5- engine compartment being taken. Deduction for each group would be added and subtracted from 1,000. Minimum points were set Senior-875, 1st JR-875, 2nd jr-750, 3rd Jr-625. First the first time multiple awards were permitted when vehicle scores within 25 points of the highest in each award category

1971 add competition car (race cars)

1973: Point system revised to 400 point system with area being the current, exterior, interior, engine, and chassis. And the minimum points set for senior 365, 1st Jr. 365, 2nd jr 330, 3rd Jr. 295

1975 reinstated the 25 year cut-off rule

1980 the AGNM was approved and the scoring for those meets had a minimum point of 1st (380) 2nd (365) 3rd and preservation (350). Ties were not permitted. That was changed quickly as it was apparent some very well restored vehicles failed to win at the AGNM meets. After several changes, the within 5 points of the highest vehicle was settled on.

1988 HPOF class added

I've got some more comments but it will take some time to make the understandable and it's getting late, I need to be heading for working in 4 hours. in to catch a wink or two.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Work?

How can you let something as frivolous and insignificant as work interfere what are really important - classic cars???

Novaman, thanks for the enlightenment. This is most interesting. I especially like A, B, C, & D. Where have all THOSE flowers gone? I guess that was the good old days, when cars actually drove to meets.

It looks like the 5 or 10 point rule was originally designed to add flexibility, when at the time the cars absolutely competed against each other. That change was commendable. If that is the current rationale, and we want to keep it so, I will be happy to accept it. But I feel that we should then clarify those guidelines, and specifically state that the cars in each class DO compete against each other, with the proviso that close ties will be considered equals. Such a clarification would eliminate the ambiguity of the current guidelines, and make it clear to the rest of us so that we will know what we are really up against. Then we can decide if we really stand a chance, and if we want to attempt to compete. Right now, we don?t know until we see what parks next to us. I perceive that as competition.

As I have stated before, I don't mind losing, I just do mind being fooled into a competition that I otherwise would have known was pointless. If AACA is all about professional restorations and perfect cars, and the rest of us can never penetrate to the upper ranks, so be it. I can then enjoy the meets as a spectator.

None of this would matter if a car is entered in a class with few competitors. I did not see anyone in class 05C at New Bern, but plenty in 28C. So the key to success is to choose the right type of vehicle, and get it to the right meet. The same car, in the same condition, might score Third Junior or First Junior (even senior, later), depending on what was parked next to it. That IS competing against each other. I just want to know where I stand before entering a meet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I just want to know where I stand before entering a meet. </div></div>

Right now where you stand is to decide whether you are willing, or un-willing, to take a chance on a trophy based on how the judging system is as of now and how your car is now.

If you don't want to take the chance, but want to share your car with others <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />, ask for it to be entered as a "Do Not Judge" entry. There are always plenty of those. There was one in the class I judged (27e) at New Bern. A 1963 1/2 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible. It's like the one we have in our garage that Bill is restoring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right now where you stand is to decide whether you are willing, or un-willing, to take a chance on a trophy based on how the judging system is as of now and how your car is now.

Yep. And that is why I am bringing up this entire topic now, while there is still plenty of time to plan for Cumberland and Charlotte, next May.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...