"Fifty Shades of Stress" Diary of a Show Car From the Editor
anyone familiar with the the show circuit the following scenario may
ring a bell. You decide to mod your car and try your hand at the ultra
competitive sport of showing your car at local or regional shows. The
car you are showing must be in pristine condition. An errant
swirl or minute scratch will eliminate your car from any serious
consideration by the scrupulous eyes of the Judges.
preparation for the show you spend hours cleaning, clay baring,
polishing and waxing your pride and joy. After the paint is finished
you must ensure that the wheels, windows and undercarriage are clean
enough to eat off of. Every trace of road grim and dust must be
removed and the surface's must be coated with your own super secret
blend of polish. After finishing with the exterior you move on to the
engine bay. Every piece of stainless, chrome, paint or carbon fiber
must be prepped. You know you are close when you can see your
reflection in the darkest corner of that money pit.
day you have anticipated and sweated over is at hand. Your gently
move your show piece out of the garage and venture off onto the harsh
roads that lead to the show. Those lucky enough to enjoy the benefits
of a covered trailer are few and far between. Most of us show
contenders must cautiously navigate our way through the dangerously
dirty roads that lead to the show.
You progress to the show is
hampered by dump trucks and lawn maintenance vehicles spewing mass
quantities of of debris in your path. You find your self playing a real
world video game trying to anticipate the next pitfall that will render
all your previous efforts useless. Your car is only a few blocks away
from the goal and you are faced with one of the most feared threats
known to the show car, a lawn sprinkler that is aimed squarely at the
center of the road. You stop traffic and try to time your progress with
the rhythm of the impulse sprinkler. You go for it and and are forced
to stop in the middle of the road because a kid is playing catch and
the ball rolls into the street. All is lost, you take a direct
hit from the evil lawn sprinkler.
When you finally arrive at
the show gate the registration guy gives your once pristine car a
sorrowful look. You are assigned a spot and hope that they don't place
you next to the monster truck that is occupied by two hillbillies and
their eight children. The only way to avoid this is to always go to a
show with some of your other car buddies. The show attendants will
always try to find some spaces for you. Going with a friend or
group of friends also minimizes the risk of some idiot parking six
inches away from you in the adjacent spot.
The once perfectly
prepped car is now nestled in the safety of the assigned spot at the
show. Once parked the arduous task of re-clean up begins. The
veteran car show warrior carries a box loaded with every wax,
cleaner and polish known to modern science in the trunk of his
car. After selecting the appropriate chemical the show car
entrant will try his best to repolish all the surfaces that were
desecrated by the hazards of the trip. When the repairs are finalized
you can take out your lawn chair and try to relax, yea right.
next phase of your day at the car show is guard duty. As the spectators
arrive they will begin their wandering through the isles of show cars
that have positioned themselves for the event. This is where the guard
duty begins. Most spectators of these shows have no clue about
how much work goes into each vehicle. To them the cars are nice but
nothing special. The spectators usually know very little about
what it takes to own, maintain and customize a car and elevate it to
show worthiness. Add to that the bizarre fact that almost all
shows never charge a fee to the spectators. The financial burden ,an
entry fee, always falls on the people who are putting on the show, the
Most of the show car owners have small windshield
signs pleading spectators not to touch the car, good luck with that
one. To the uneducated in show car protocol touching a show
vehicle is part of the experience. Most spectators rarely see
cars that glisten with perfection in the mid day sun. It seems
that touching these gems is the spectators way of connecting with a
world that they have no chance of entering.
Aside from touching there are several dangers that your guard duty must protect against.
Most parents tend to control their children but some let the kids run
amok at these events. I was at a show recently where the kids
thought it was fun to run their toy cars over the fenders of the parked
show cars. When the irate show car owners confronted the parents
they were met with indignation. How dare someone ask our little angels
to stop having fun.
Womans Accessories: Some women play the dumb
card at car shows. The think nothing of leaning against a car
while dressed in studded jeans. Hand bags, adorned with steel and brass
protrusions are especially merciless o your paint job. At one show a
group of three women sat on a show cars hood posing for pictures. The
unlucky owner returned to find a scratched hood, ouch.
Their Keys; It's not only the women who play brain dead at these shows.
Some men, mostly idiot biker types, adorn their belts with all sorts of
keys, knives and chains. It seems that some of them go out of their way
to damage a nice car. Very honestly if you are a biker who is not
really into cars stick with the bike shows.
Senior Citizens; Get
out of the way the Seniors are coming! Equipped with walkers, wheel
chairs, some motorized, and steel canes they want to get up close and
personal with your car.
How about people who want to ride
their bicycles through the show and in between the parked show cars. I
could go on and on but I think that you get the picture. Yes the
pitfalls of the show car circuit is extreme. My advice is keep on
showing but don't be afraid to speak up and protect your investment.