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This past weekend I went to the Saturday judged portion of the Mustang Round-up show in Bellevue, Washington to look at the cars. What did I see of the 80-90 cars that were there over half of them were late model 89 and up mustangs (Half of them looked like they were going for the ricerized look also) . For comparision 3 years ago I think there were around 150 or so cars and 85% were pre 73 cars. I can see in the near distant future of going to a judged show and there being no pre 73 Mustangs at all. In my opinion this is not a good sign for our hobby. What do you think?
 

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I couldn't agree more. Around here, our Mustang club is pretty much all late model. A few have some appreciation of the vintage cars, but for the most part, the club is late model cars. I'd join the club, but in all honesty, if I wanted to see late model Mustangs, I can go to the local Ford dealership or just about any large parking lot. I owned a 1994 Mustang GT for a couple of years - so don't get me wrong. I like the new Mustangs. However, I never even considered SHOWING the car at ANY time. Most of the guys in the local Mustang club are at least into driving the new cars on autocross and road tracks - so I respect that. That's what those cars are really good at, particularly if you throw a few suspension mods and such at them.

But show cars? I dunno. I'm pretty finicky about that. I don't like seeing late model ANYTHING at cruise nights or shows - maybe it's just me. I know there's a ton of vintage cars around even our area, but VERY few come out very often - it's depressing. I hope we see more and more vintage clubs sprout up. It'll bring out more of the classics, promote the hobby, and insure that the cars are seen as often as possible to perpetuate the hobby (and the values of our cars, at the end of the day btw).

Just my $.02

-bob
 

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True judged shows are already extinct in California. That doesn't seem to effect the numbers at the shows I go to, though. There were more vintage Mustangs than you could even look at in a day at Knotts. I've been to several decent sized shows already this year that are striclty Vintage Mustangs. Mustangs Plus filled every knook and cranny of their Parking lot and then started turning tons of others away that wanted to show their cars.

BAMA, I beleive at this point has sold out all 90 available spaces in their show, and we're registering people daily for ours (Mustangs and Fords in the Park in Sacramento).

I heard there was quite a turnout last month in Reno for the Reno Stampede as well.

I don't think the hobby is dwindling any.
 
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Well... here's my $.10 ( $.08 added for inflation) I love all Fords... That doesn't mean I need to be innundated with late model cars. I hate people bringing new cars to shows, hell anyone can do that. A friend used to brag about all his trophys with his new cars... hated it! As for the numbers shrinking... sign of the times. I remember when you always saw pre-war iron & not too many muscle cars. Things change, I too must agree that there will always be early cars in shows. As for the judging... it seems to be going away. Everyone wants to draw a crowd & some people complain if they don't win... seems like work & it's easier just to show & shine with no trophies. Our club gives one to as many people as they can, sometimes everyone! Not such a bad way to go.
 

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At the request of the local shopping mall, our club was invited to display some of our cars. Twelve people volunteered. There was a mix of two '99 Saleens (one convertible, one coupe), an '03 Cobra coupe, '64.5, '66, '69 convertibles, '69 Shelby GT350, '01 V6 coupe, etc. All of the cars were excellent in appearance and the public loved seeing them. One of the Saleens got most of the attention and the '69 Grabber Orange GT350 the next most envied car. The Saleen getting everyone's eyes was a chamelion painted blue car with matching interior, supercharged SOHC V8 with the engine compartment detailed in matching blue powdercoat and chrome. It also has 2000 watts of music power and the stereo system was as beautifully detailed as the rest of the car. Perhaps it isn't a vintage show car but its a show car nonetheless.
 

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Well, as I was leaving the show, I went by the gas station right outside of BCC. There was a nice "older" man putting gas in his 89 Saleen. I made the comment of how "nice" I thought his car looked, but his reply was that it (and all late models) were nothing but "plastic junk". Those were his words, not mine (Im not looking to start any trouble). But The way that I do feel is that it takes 100% more to care for and contend with a pre 73 car than it does a late model. A lot of people simply don't have the time or the place (or the knowledge) to keep up with the upkeep of a "classic". For them a late model makes sence.

It would be nice to have two shows, not judged/peoples choice, but pre 73 and everything afterwords. We all know that a 69 Mach 1 and a 95 cobra don't share much more than the name Ford, so why should they be at the same show? Just my humble opinion.
 

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I have to agree that what I see at shows bothers me. Seeing a '99 Cobra with 1200 miles, all polished up, winning the Mustang class over pre-'73 cars doesn't seem right. My '01 Cobra is factory correct in every aspect, but that doesn't mean I think I should show it.
That said, however, I think some of the early "Late Models" are getting to the show status. In addition to the Boss, I'm working on an '85 SVO. Finding parts for it is every bit as challenging as finding them for the Boss. The car is now 17 years old, and the restoration process is about the same as restoring a vintage Mustang.
I've been to a couple of shows that had age limits, 15-25 years, and these shows have shown that although the bodies have changed, the restoration work is still the story of the show. In three more years, the SVO will be 20, and I won't have any problem showing it, even though its a late model. The car hobby lives, but the subjects are moving on as vintage cars become more expensive, and harder to find. I'm not sure that that is a bad thing.

Carl
 

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Great, Dean... on what day do you think a 1975 Mustang II is going to win over a 1995 Cobra? /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif At least it's classy to lose to a Classic.

Steve
 

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I suspect what you are witnessing is actually an expansion of the hobby.

In order for new folks to be able to afford the car hobby, they've got to be able to buy what is plentiful and affordable. IMO, vintage Mustangs are neither, any longer. While looking at Fox body cars generally bores me to tears, it is what the typical young person can afford.

The cars we love to restore, drive and show haven't been produced in 30 years. Because there are fewer and fewer project cars, their prices have risen (simple market dynamics) and fewer folks can afford to buy them.

These new hobbyists are buying what they can afford, however, which is largely fox body cars and to a lesser extent SN95s. Quite often, the cars also have to serve as daily transportation (economics at work again) - so that is more incentive to do a later-model car for a project.

I think the hobby is OK - it is just running out of older cars to restore. Just be thankful you own one of the originals!
 

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Have you ever thought about what happened to all those Model T's that were around 15 years ago?

That's what's happening....generations come and go.

It's the same deal at opentrack events too. This year, at the Texas SHELBY Nationals I was the ONLY Shelby on the track many times when there were 25 cars out there. Go figure.....

That's why it's so important to get these cars out and Show Them or Drive Them. Whatever makes ya' happy!
 

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Judging is overrated (can you tell I am NOT a concours guy?). Many shows play favorites in judging... heck I've heard tales (tall tales?) of MCA judges (who are supposed to judge based on the merits of the car and its "correctness") rigging competitions for a buddy or against a foe.

Point being, judging sucks. THe only judgement worthy of recognition is you and your buddies walking around the car (beers in hand) saying "Ain't she a beut?" and "Wow... I think I am gonna do THAT too!"

Ther is a reason they are called SHOWS, and not TRIALS... cause showing the cars is the important thing, not judging them.
 

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They do come and go, times and people change. I take my father to a few car shows now and then and he doesn't care for the recent cars (1960 - present day). He's more into the older cars.
Check out this car show I was at last year, I am on the right. The newer 'stang pulled up and I thought 'huh!?!'
http://www.sphosting.com/jrkish/stangpics/dsc00005.jpg
 

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Like BOB was saying about the local club being late model cars. I ran into a guy who was looking at my car and he started to tell me about his 01. He told me it was "all stock". Heck with a 2001 he may even have the original oil. How many of you guys can say that?
 

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The dominance of the late models has become a fact of life here as well, although there are generally very few of the "grocery getter" late models (defined as unmodified SN95's). Most of the late models at our shows have been customized Fox's or SN95's, Cobras, or nicely restored Fox's.

I consider the Fox models to be old enough now, for the most part, to warrant inclusion in the shows. Since they have their own class, it takes nothing away from the classics.

The modified Cobra's and SN95's have a place as well, but I agree with the idea of an age limit for judged classes of unmodified cars. At our show this past Sunday, my boss brought his modified 2002(?) Cobra convertible. He's had it supercharged, lowered, and dyno'd. The car is putting out over 400 hp at the rear wheels, 500+ at the flywheel. He lost out to a completely stock 2003 Cobra and two stock Cobra R's. That doesn't seem quite fair.

In my class, it's the politics of judging that come into play. Although I've only shown twice, I've been beaten by the same two cars twice and the third cars in the winning trio each time have been different but both apparently belonged to active club members.

On Sunday, the car that won first place was a '68 convertible with a beautiful black paint job but also some glaring flaws, such as the 69-73 Mustang script on the fenders behind the running horse 289 emblem, quarter panels with no side marker lights, plus a boot with waves in it that looked like you could surf on it. The top was down and the boot in place when the custom is to have the top up.

The '70 convertible that has beaten me twice is a nice car, but it has a Cobra emblem on the hood scoop and a 302 F-code underneath.

Sound like sour grapes? Not really, because I enjoy showing my car and I don't go with any expectation of winning. But a newcomer to the hobby could easily get discouraged and decide that the prep work and full day spent at the show isn't worthwhile to see the same people collecting the trophies show after show when they are in a class with solid competition.

So, short story, for judged shows to remain relevant (and therefor, to survive) they have to become more focused (age restrictions, for example, with newer cars allowed in a display-only area) and fairer (perhaps with rules that limit number of wins within a specified time period).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have never entered my car in a judged class at any of the shows I have attendend. To many politics and good old boy network involved up here in the Seattle area clubs. I was just a little stunned at the lack of turnout overall and of pre 73 Mustangs that were in the judged show. The overall attendence of the show including peoples choice was about 1000 cars with about 20% of them being late models cars. In over 3 years the total turnout has dropped by about 50%. Even though I may not enter my car in judged, still like to look at them.
 

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The judging aspect had a lot to do with my decision on the direction of finishing the car. ( I tend to be a little anal ) if It couldn't compete cause I didn't have the right color bolt,hose, or wire. Cause then It would be considerd somewhat modified....But not modified enough to compete with those cars either? So I figure If your gonna modify, then the skys the limit.... think its been more fun anyway..... And when some "know-it-all" walks up and says "well that's not stock" they "didn't come that way" I can say "yep" by golly your right!
 

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I don't see judged shows disappearing here in the Southwest, in fact, many of our judged classes are growing in size at our show here in Tucson. Why is that, you may ask. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif I believe it's because we set up a lot of judged classes that do not put dissimilar years, body styles, and types in competition with one another. IMHO it is absolutely wrong in a judged class to have a pre-1974 Mustang competing with a later year car. The same with stock versus modified and lightly modified versus highly modified. They're apples and oranges and they need to be in their own classes. As show chairman for the last several years (and again next year, I think it's a permanent position now) I am adamant that the classes be sufficiently split to keep the judging or voting fair and the participants happy. After all, isn't that what a car show is mostly about--enjoyment?

We have to face facts as everyone else is saying, the newer cars outnumber the vintage models, and that trend can only continue. We need to welcome the newer models--who typically have newer and younger owners--if we want to keep our hobby alive. Not everyone can afford a concours vintage Mustang or even a highly modified one, so what? There are some great daily drivers out there, many of which could knock the socks off a concours car. We need them all at our shows!
 

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Well, may as well chime in here. I've read some very good opinions on this subject and many valid points have been made. I have to agree most with Glenn & Laurie's observations, though.

The next time you're at a show, take a look around at the owners of the cars. I've noticed that the show people are generally either young or fit into the 45-60+ age bracket. My point is that many of us have been involved in the hobby for the past 25 years. Many of us have also acquired (due to improved financial status) cool late-model 'Stangs like Cobras, Saleens, Roush's, etc., over the years. I see a lot of "old-timers" showing late-models while leaving the vintage 'Stang at home. Why? In my case, the things like no power steering, air, cruise, decent sound system just don't seem as trivial as they did 20 years ago, especially on a 90+ degree day. I've owned Mustangs all of my driving life and can tell you that the new versions are just as much fun to drive as the originals.

To add to Glenn's message, we need and should encourage the younger generation to get involved in the hobby. A Mustang is still a Mustang, whether new or old. Who is going to carry on when all the "old farts" are gone?
 

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The biggest problem I had at a judge show was as follows:

A local show gave out rewards to the top 75 cars. Only 115 cars showed up. Cars of all makes and years were there. The cars were judged according to catagory and the top people in each catagory won an award. Well, the lady who judged my car was the damn secretary from the local Buick dealership. Well, come award time, I watched as some POS cars were awarded prizes because they were in the "club." Then my uncle won with an decent 80 Corvette. I'm thinking, "I'm definitely going to win a top 75 award, these other cars suck." Well they proceded to name the cars, 99 (stock) Dodge Durango, 99 Neon with lots of decals, 00 Camaro SS, 67 Ford Mustang (It had nylon tape on it for pete's sake!), and rusted out 89 Buick with gold daytons. That's it folks thanks for coming! I'm thinking, "What, you forgot me!" I felt demoralized even though my car wasn't the best there, it was better than half the cars that won. I've sworn off judged shows from now on that don't use qualilfied judges. I think what happens is many people become so mad they lose, but the real reason they lost is the judge was not qualified. I would consider an MCA type show though. At least most of them know what they are looking at. Except Charles Turner! hehe /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
 

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That wasn't a judged show, that was a joke! Really, that's the type of show that turns people off to the hobby.
 
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