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Discussion Starter #1
In response to Midlifes mentioning the possiblity of the MCA only judging Thoroughbred and Concours cars in the future I promised a response to the forum after my meeting this Saturday at the Pensacola national show with MCA president Bill Johnson.

The answer is no...period. MCA recognizes the importance of creating and maintaining an organization the gives something to everyone at every level in the hobby. After all, what we are talking about is COMMON INTERESTS", not just who has the most "perfect" car. That's why they have classes from daily driver on up to Thoroughbred. If you don't want you car objectively judged, don't enter in a class where it will be!

Remember, above all else,...it's supposed to be fun!

Give the MCA a chance, it's trying to become an organization that has something for everyone. It's even hosting some track events this year in concert with shows. I don't think anyone should confuse the desire to hold high "standards" with a desire to become an eliteist organization. If you haven't joined this year, do it!

You can find them at: http://www.mustang.org/

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there typically is a lot of MCA badmouthing on this forum, but i think it has to do with people thinking it is for the elitists only. goes way back to there being a separation between the 'concours' guys and the 'driver' guys. everybody enjoys their car in their own way and I think the MCA does a good job at catering to everyone. Normally at an MCA show the ratio is like 80/20 or 90/10 of driver grade cars compared to concours/thoroughbred.

anyway, thanks for the post. i thought it was ridiculous that someone would even conjur up an idea that MCA would get rid of driven classes at National shows.

Charles Turner
MCA Gold Card Judge(64.5-65, 66)
'65 Fastback
'00 GT Conv, triple black


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I've only been to a couple events so my question may only pertain to those local events. My observation first: There seems to be a plethora of classes for 1965 to 66 cars and only three combined classes for 1967 to 68 cars. My question: Shouldn't there be a similar number of classes for each year of manufacture?

Thanks,

Russ

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Thanks, Charlie, for setting the rumor straight.

Pensacola was my first show at a MCA event, and to tell the truth (you can stop reading now, CT!), I was quite disappointed in many respects. First, the venue was fine, but there was no bathroom facilities and just one soft-drink sales place for $1/can. Very inhumane. No trash cans, either.

I observed the judges going over Laurie_S' car, and they were snots. They insulted her to her face, and placed hands, elbows, and wrists all over her car. Not good.

They insisted on placing me in Street Driven, rather than Daily Driver. The MCA rule book says "Daily Driven Class MUST be the owners primary transportation in order to qualify for this class." At tech inspection, this got turned around to being sole source of transportation. I explained that my car is driven daily, so long as there is no rain. Nope, not good enough. Well, I arrived shortly before judging, and had not detailed the engine nor trunk in anticipation of DD class (hood, deck lid down), but in SD class, they must be up. Of the seven entries in my class, only six got awards (guess who didn't get anything?). Many others complained that the judges were marking off points for unoriginality in SD class, rather than workmanship and cleanliness. I'm sure I got hammered for that as well.

My impression, right or wrong, is that MCA shows are for those cars (non-modified) that appear to look exactly as they came off the factory showroom, not those cars that are driven for enjoyment and are shown as the owner's pride and joy. The game appears to get these gold awards, rather than enjoying driving and tinkering on the cars. One guy in concours class got a Mustang Times photoshoot, and while talking to him, I found out he just paid someone $30k to completely restore the car. He didn't lay a single hand on it during that time. He won a gold. In my mind, the impression left with me is "just buy the gold, baby" and forget about enjoyment of driving, repairs, and learning about how the cars function.

This is must my opinion, yes, I am ranting, but if this is the impression I get, then surely others are getting the same impression. I'll probably never enter Midlife again at an MCA event, but I'll likely go as a spectator: I did learn quite a bit.

http://clubs.hemmings.com/baymustang/platesmall.jpgLet me check your shorts! My multimeter is just a-waiting! Formerly known as Midlife in the old VMF.
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As an owner of 10 Mustangs including a 70 Boss 302 that I have owned for over 20 years, I echo what Randy (Midlife) says. I have seen the Mustang hobby evolve into something very similar to the older Corvette crowd. If your car isn't perfectly detailed according to a rule book, then you suffer and unfortunately, a lot of the "judges" aren't very diplomatic about pointing out "errors" - and this to an individual that bought the car brand new 25 to 30 years ago!!! I find it absurd to think that someone (a judge) who has been doing Mustangs for 5 or 10 (or whatever) years can tell someone like Laurie something "wrong" with her car, even though she has owned it since new. For my money, give me a down home people's choice car show (if judging is your thing). More fun than that, give me a "driving" car show where crusing, open header, burnout contests and such are the rule. The upcoming Fabulous Fords Forever event is a non-competitive event with no judging but lots of magnificent cars, both concours and street driven (plus they have lots of porta-potties to boot!). I get more of a kick these days talking to the owner of an "in progress restoration" than a car that has a perfect paint job, an interior you can't sit in and an engine that doesn't run right because of all the "NOS" parts on it..

It would be nice to go back 20 years or so when EVERYONE was truly interested in Mustangs and more importantly, the interpersonal relationships (ie friendships) that developed over the common interests we share. There is no clear answer - if you go to a show like one of the MCA events, then be ready for finger-nail biting anxiety over what will be found wrong with your car, and believe me, they WILL find something wrong. If you are interested in true FUN, seek out the cars shows (usually multimake) that encourage driving your car as part of the agenda (cruises, poker runs, etc). After all, that is what the designers and builders of the Mustang intended - to get out there and ENJOY driving your car......

randy

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I have to admit that I have first-handed witnessed all of the things you are complaining about. I will say that you will always find that no 2 MCA shows are run the exact same way. Every one that I have been to had some type of problem and people upset over it.

In your case with your fastback, I think it was just a simple misinterpretation of the rules and your first show. I guarantee that if you had had someone who attended MCA shows previously look at your car you would have been better prepared. I see a lot of first-timers get killed and get a sour taste in their mouth. In your case you went for the fun of it which made it worse, but if you had went for it to be a learning experience and a chance to get help on making your car bettter(for showing) then it would have been a different experience.

Typically, the judges are not out to 'get' you, but the newest judges will be trying to show off what they know and get a little carried away sometimes. I used to be a pretty tough judge but have since slacked off some and stick to the rules, not things outside the rules that I know are right or wrong. The judges that treat the cars and owners with respect are the ones that enjoy the hobby more than the judges out there 'tearing apart' the cars.

Last, I have to make a final point. The MCA is a national club and with that comes a national 'standard' that the club must uphold. As much as we'd like to, we can't give everyone a Gold or First place award. The judging rules have evolved after many years and in my opinion are very fair. With that said, if you receive a Gold or First, you have earned it and your car is recognized as being at a national standard.



Charles Turner
MCA Gold Card Judge(64.5-65, 66)
'65 Fastback
'00 GT Conv, triple black


Check out my 65 [color:blue]fastback!</font color=blue>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey everyone! Why are we fighting? don't we have a common interest? The modified class exists for those that want to modify,...it's OK to do that. Look at all the "restomods" and once Thoroughbred cars that are now being driven.

This is EXACTLY what I am trying to convey in my message...the MCA REALIZES this perception and is looking for ways to make the Association more than just a show for "perfect" cars. Randy is exactly on point in his 2nd para and is expressing it very well. The MCA evolved to that and needs to change. While still maintaining the ultimate standard for restoration originality the MCA needs to grow in other ways by:

1) Online restoration explanations (with pics) for each year car.

2) Online feedback forms for event suggestions.

3) Combined events where cars are judged not just for how they look but ARE DRIVEN! (Combined).

4) Guaranteed (dedicated, not changing yearly) site for annual gathering.

We need IDEAS...not complaining, about how to make it better for all. We should not be trying to divide and conquer...we should be trying to unite and grow.

This should not be an Us/Them deal.....someone needs to extend an olive branch. The point is the MCA is ready with the new president!


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I hear what you are saying and unfortunately, you are the exception to the rule. The plain fact of the matter is, judged shows by a rule book can be a very harsh, eye awakening experience, especially if your pride and joy has been restored on a budget. Whether you like it or not, a show such as the MCA type breeds the "my car is better than your car" climate and is usually based on not so much the knowledge of the owner of the car in question, but how much money was spent in obtaining "perfection".

I notice in your posts that you drive your Shelby - you are in the group of the elite that drive their "very valuable" collector cars. I know several individuals that own Bosses/Shelbys/CobraJets et al that have NEVER driven their cars due to show duty. I think it is safe to say that the majority of the crowd that frequents this forum are true DRIVING enthusiasts, albeit trying to maintain some type of "original look" to perpetuate the classic Mustang theme. The majority of "judged" shows here in SoCal are of the "people's choice" type, meaning the particpants choose which is the best convertible, fastback, Boss, Shelby, etc. I have personally beat out Boss9's and other trailered Boss302s for first place at shows like this because I show up with the Boss rumbling away and the solid lifters clattering that cause goose bumps on ANY Mustang nut. Many times throughout a show, I am asked to start the Boss up - why, because that is part of the total BITCHIN car theme - The Look, The Performance AND The sound.

In a previous post you described running your Shelby with a state trooper at SPEED on the highway - most Shelby purists would cringe at the thought of what you did to a piece of history. You only confirm what I maintain - car shows that include demonstrating the DRIVEABILITY of your collector car along with static display are the ones that exude enthusiastic participation. I personally would much rather see your Shelby come roaring into the car show site then see it carefully taken off a trailer and have a swarm of guys, rulebook in hand, proceed to shred your car to ribbons.

Keep in mind this is my .02. That is what this forum is all about. We aren't fighting - we may disagree on a point here and a point there, but that's what makes life exciting. Just because I choose not to attend MCA-type events doesn't necessarily make them bad - they just aren't for me and obviously not for Midlife. Midlife (the car) belongs to a guy that is having a love affair with his car and for him (Randy) to take Midlife to a show only to have it criticized for this, that and the other is a slap in the face. We all display pics of our cars on this site because we are proud "parents" of something that is very close to use. It may "only be a car" but the car allows us the opportunity to share (in a positive light) our excitement with others and in return, listen to those same folks about the car that gives them the same excitement........

randy

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All that you and roadracer say is correct. I did go basically just to show off Midlife, meet a bunch of friends, and have a good time. 2 out of 3 is not bad, and I'm pretty happy. Midlife doesn't qualify for Modified Class, but is basically a quality driver. Maybe what MCA needs is a display area like at Carlisle: no judging, but display of the car with plaques, pictures, diagrams, whatever for people to come and look at.

I'm not saying I deserved an award, but it is interesting: I believe there was about 240 cars out there, and at least 140 awards. That's a very high percentage. For those not intimately familiar with how MCA works, one could either assume most entrants will get an award (whether they deserve it or not), or (if the awards are based upon numerical merit and no competition), then only those folks with high quality concours cars participate. Either way, the impression one gets is bad. JMHO.

I'm not ready to castigate MCA, or drop from membership, but simply outlining thoughts and impressions from a reasonably intelligent first-time show participant. First impressions can make or break a club, and MCA somehow needs to find a way to make that first impression all the more favorable. To me, it was unforgivable not to allow me to participate in DD class, when, according to the rule book, I should have been allowed to. If, after a true tech inspection, I did not qualify, then that is fair. However, it was a young lady who simply asked the question "Is this your sole source of transportation?" prior to any inspection I had to say no, since I have Haggerty Insurance, and the two are incompatible. Midlife is my primary source of transportation, and the rules say that I should be in DD class. Her decision put me in an untenable situation of having to detail an entire engine bay with no real supplies and insufficient time. I also had an expensive computer and camera that I wanted to lock in the trunk. I knew what I was getting into, was prepared to what I thought the rules were, but the rules were changed on me. That's unfair.

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i hear ya.

i keep to my opinion that everyone enjoys their cars in different ways and if we could all just accept this I think we would all get along better.

in my case, i do drive my former concours trailered 65 fastback. put about 5k miles on it since the resto was finished in '98. i used to drive it inbetween shows too which made it a bitch to clean for a National. i find it amusing to defy the protocol of trailering to the shows since I don't have a trailer anymore. I'll drive it to the shows and still enter it in concours trailered /forums/images/icons/smile.gif. irks the hell out of some of the guys when i can still get a gold award by doing this. at the grand national last year i only lost one point and at the Va National(drove from Cary, NC to Virginia Beach) I only lost 5 points.

anyway, money can buy just about anything, but the best cars are not always about money. i know guys who have spent $50k on their restorations and my $25k restoration puts them to shame. and then to make it worse, i drive mine. they also cringe when they see me driving with an NOS 65 woodgrain steering wheel! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif.. guess it's not NOS anymore/forums/images/icons/wink.gif

the worst part about all of this is when people see my car entered in a trailer class they automatically think that i can't be enjoying it because i don't drive it. this is what is irritating about showing the car. even if i did trailer it back and forth to shows, it's my car and i can do what i want with it. and even at the local shows, people sorta turn up their noses, almost like they are jealous or something and blow me off. at least at a national show the car is proven come judging time.

been seriously thinking of swapping out the bias ply's for some radials and some nicer shocks(oil filled NOS are horrible). at 110mph the bias plys are a little scary /forums/images/icons/wink.gif




Charles Turner
MCA Gold Card Judge(64.5-65, 66)
'65 Fastback
'00 GT Conv, triple black


Check out my 65 [color:blue]fastback!</font color=blue>
 

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Charles,

Aha! you are sucumbing to the need to DRIVE your pride and joy. I applaud the fact that you drive your car and can STILL compete with the "big boys". That is probably my whole point - whether or not your car is trailered or driven OR whether or not it is a 20k resto or a 120k resto, ARE YOU ENJOYING IT?? Competing just for the sake of a hunk of simulated woodgrain and plastic with a bit of chrome thrown in is sad in many ways. I have recently given rides to friends that own trailered Bosses so they can experience what being in a Boss at speed is like. A few, not many, have like you, succumbed to the "need for speed" and have decided to start driving their car (after, of course, upgrading the tires, belts, hoses, etc to make it safe). I don't want anyone to think I am throwing rocks at the MCA - it just isn't my cup of tea. The whole thing that ticked me off was the incident with Laurie who is truly in love with her Mustangs. I like this forum more than anything I have done with Mustangs in well over 25 years - it gives me a chance to deal directly with "grass roots" car enthusiasts, like yourself on a national and sometimes international level. I know that the "mustang snobs" in this hobby constitute a very small portion of the group as a whole, but, like other groups in society, they seem to get more than their fair share of attention. Thanks to Bob Dooley for this website, we can take comfort in the fact that WE are the majority demonstrating we can have FUN with our cars while still maintaining a "piece of history".....

randy <==========steps off his soap box....



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Discussion Starter #12
And I think that is fantastic! The "goosebump" factor needs to be recognized. I've never gotton goosebumps watching a trailered car get pushed into the show area.

Thanks for the response

What I'm saying is the MCA needs to recognize the type of car your BOSS is!
regards,

Charles Jones


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Let me state up front that I've never shown in an MCA event. But with my Mach 1 nearing completion, I hope to someday. I'd like to win, too! But I'll also drive it whenever I can.

When I see/hear a debate like this, there is always an element of bias that comes through from the advocates of the various positions being put forth. What all of these folks seem to forget is that equally valid but different objectives are clustered around a common marque.

The "trailer queen" owners view their cars as works of art, an example of automotive history at its finest. The originality and state of perfection is so primary in their value proposition that there can be no consideration given to risking it for the sake of driving the car. They may also be caught up in the resale value that attaches to some of these cars, but first and foremost they are curators of automotive history.

The driver, on the other hand, is focused primarily on the visceral feeling of vintage motoring. Letting the car sit on a trailer feels like a waste and, often, these folks can't understand how anyone else could see it differently.

The reality is there is room (and a need) for both. We need people who will preserve pristine examples of the cars we love so much. We should thank them for keeping theirs as museum pieces to preserve the history of the species. We also need people who feel these cars should be driven. Without them, there is no such thing as seeing (or riding in) one on the open road and being transported back in time. No sound of the dual exhaust emitting the V-8 burble (or whatever sight or sound of a vintage car being run brings to mind).

I know this is long-winded but the real issue is the assumption that differences equal rightness vs. wrongness when maybe it just equals apples vs. oranges.

All organizations that wish to be broad-based and that involve standards of judging have this same problem. In too many of them, those who judge may see themselves as arbiters of correctness and project that conceit towards those they are judging. The judges that viewed Laurie's car are just plain jerks. They are not representative of MCA or Florida or those of us willing to engage in debates on VMF. They are just jerks who happen to be MCA judges. If the MCA has a responsibility here, it is to establish a standard of conduct and hold judges to it. But these are also volunteers and any organization that depends on volunteers also learns pretty quickly that very few will offer the time and commitment needed, so often the beggar cannot choose.

I would be angry if I were Laurie, as are all of us for her, because we recognize the emotional investment we have in our classic Mustangs. Attack the car, attack us. It's a natural reaction, but we need to overcome that and keep things in perspective.

So whether we agree with the idea of judging to a standard or not, we should at least agree that it doesn't matter as long as everyone has the option to participate in their chosen format. The MCA provides that for people who want to measure their cars against an objective standard. It is an organization made up of people and so will sometimes (often!) be imperfect. But it has a valuable role and should be appreciated for what it does well, while being encouraged to improve what it could be doing better.

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The first MCA show I entered was in 1986. I drove my '65 Coupe 200 miles to Greenville, SC and was placed in the concours class. I won a 3rd place award(only 3 cars in the class!). Even though I was not prepared for the concours class, I'll always remember that show because I found out what was wrong and right about my car. My point is MCA has added many new "driver" oriented classes since the early days. They are trying to appeal to all levels of the hobby. Every MCA show is different because of the host club's planning(or lack of).

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