I recently attended a car show near Lakeland which seemed to be very disorganized. I helped with the judging process and when we approached most cars to judge them, the owners would tell us their car had been put in the wrong class. Even the awards presentation process seemed a bit disjointed.
This was a large show and it is a good example of how difficult it can be running car shows.
As a member of several car clubs, I have been involved in running a number of car shows over the past few years and, I can tell you, it is challenging and takes a lot of work. Like they say in the military, you should never “volunteer” for anything but I must be a glutton for punishment because I continually volunteer to take a major role in running the car shows. It takes a lot of time to organize the advertising and communication for the events. There’s also the registration, the parking and the judging/awards, along with other aspects of the show such as vendors, door prizes, 50/50, etc.
One of the real challenging areas of the show is the judging process. You need to decide what classes to use for the vehicles and what criteria to use in judging. Most shows judge on the basis of condition, preparation and cleanliness of the cars but you must be consistent in how each car is judged. If you have teams judging entire cars, each team may have different opinions on just what the condition, preparation and cleanliness should be. To avoid this problem, we generally have the teams assigned to one area of the car, such as the exterior or the interior and they judge all cars at the show for their assigned area. Using this process, at least the judging will be consistent in each of the areas being judged.
I must admit, though, I do enjoy playing a key role in running the shows and it is a lot of fun. There’s always lots of help from active members of the car club and, of course, they’re usually the same people who help with a lot of the club events. The local dealerships that sponsor the clubs are always very generous in helping financially and providing the facilities to run the show, particularly the Crystal Automotive and Nick Nicholas dealerships. A very rewarding benefit of the shows is that most of the proceeds are contributed to local Citrus County charities which can always use financial help and are very appreciative of the contributions.
When I attend a car show that I am not involved in running, I can appreciate the amount of effort that goes into the event. Most car enthusiasts who attend these shows only see the end result of all the planning and work involved. They just enjoy the show and all the related activities that generally run very smoothly and efficiently, except for the one I mentioned above. Although, I must say, some of the attendees at our shows thank us for putting on the event as they know there is a lot of planning and work they don’t see the day of the show. So, the next time you go to a car show, step back and observe those running the show and you’ll see just how busy they are all during the event.
July 18: Friday Night Thunder cruise-in at 5 p.m. in Courthouse Square in downtown Inverness.
Ken McNally is a car enthusiast from Citrus County and his Car Corner columns appear twice each month in the Hernando Today. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 341-1165.