Wow, it must be car show season. I’ve posted more about cars than about anything else over the last few months. Which isn’t saying much, given the frequency of my posts…
Anyway, yesterday was the All Corvette Show at the XXX. We went, of course, and entered just the red ’71. We got up waaaaaay early to get there in time to get a good spot. It was dreary and drizzly for most of the morning, but started to clear up in the afternoon. It was a decent turnout, but probably not as big as it would’ve been had it not rained. Everyone knows Corvettes melt in water! It was a good time, lots of beautiful cars, and lots of nice people.
Something happened at the show that’s been weighing on my mind, though. There are lots of great cars at these shows. Cars that people have loved and cared for and made spotless just so we, the public, can gaze upon their glory. But there’s something about shows sponsored by car clubs: the winners are usually from the club, even if their cars aren’t as nice as non-club cars. Why is this? Because winners are determined by vote, and club members vote for their own.
This is really pretty unfair. Let’s say 100 cars arrive at the show, divided up into several classes. Every entrant is given a ballot, to vote for their favorite car in each class. If half the entrants are in the club, that’s a ton of votes locked up for their own members. The odds are stacked against those who aren’t in the club.
This is a fact of life for these car shows. When we go to a show with the ’71, the car is generally well-received. It’s always among the cleanest C3s at the show, inside and out. (C3 = 3rd generation Corvette, 1968-1982, usually divided into ’68-’72 and ’73-’82 subclasses.) Almost everything about the car is as it was from the factory. And it’s got the cool factor, because it’s a big block. I can honestly, objectively say that you won’t find many more desirable C3s locally. This isn’t a knock on other C3s, or on the dedication and love of other owners; it’s just that this one just has had the money and time put into it. However, if it’s a car club’s show with voting, we know we’re pretty much out of the running for an award, unless no one from the club has a car in the same class.
And that’s what happened this weekend. Except this time, the car wasn’t just bumped down to 2nd or 3rd place. The early C3 class had about a dozen entries, maybe half in the club and half not, and the organizers decided to give out 5 awards instead of the standard 3. Our ’71 didn’t place at all. Who did? Club members. The first place C3 was a very nice car. However, the 2nd-5th place C3s weren’t really in the same league. Mostly small blocks, many with dirty engine compartments, disconnected hoses, poor paint, ratty interiors… and they still placed, because the club members decided they should win. It just doesn’t seem right.
And it’s not just the C3 class. The same thing happened with C5s and C6s. An ordinary, plain-jane Anniversary Edition won the C5 convertible class, even though there were other, better examples of that generation at the show. It’s a shame. It makes me feel like we attended an award show just for club members, with everyone else paying their $20 entry fee just to watch.
This isn’t sour grapes, honest. It’s just disappointment that we and others were invited to participate only to be shut out of part of the fun. It’s still a good show, and we’ll go again. After all, it’s not really about winning awards. It truly is about celebrating an American icon and sharing the love we have for these cars.
And with that, more pics!