MyStarCollectorCar has spent plenty of time at car shows over many years and we have heard a lot of different things during that long time frame.
So have the car guys and girls who have brought their vehicles and entered them in a show.
One of the topics that pops up at every show is a comment about a relative (direct, shirttail, or otherwise) who owned a vintage vehicle “just like that” at some point in the spontaneous speaker’s history. The person is anxious to provide some semblance of a link with the owner’s car and steers right down memory lane with his ramblings about a long-lost car.
The car from his distant past might not even been the same make, model or year in reality- but it’s “just like that car”. We at MSCC are sometimes guilty of the same reaction-but our impressions are more accurate, so our memories are actually “just like that car”.
Most vintage car show entrants have heard this reaction many times over the years and are pretty polite about the experience when it inevitably climbs into a conversation at a show.
The second comment that is better left unsaid is any statement about the condition of the vehicle in the show. Every car owner sets his or her personal goals about how much they want to invest in a vintage vehicle and are understandably proud of their entry in a show.
An unrestored vehicle is their choice and does not deserve unwarranted criticism about its condition. The owners have saved a vehicle from a date with the crusher, given it a place in their lives, and have plenty of fun with the vehicle. For the really lucky ones, a family legacy vehicle now in their possession is that exact car from their past memories.
The third comment often heard at shows is a highly inaccurate one made by people who have no knowledge about years, makes, models, power trains, or any relevant details about the vehicle in question. The self-appointed experts are more than prepared to fill in the blanks about the vintage vehicles in any distorted fashion they choose at car shows.
Some of their misinformation borders on the comical, but we doubt they are intentionally pursuing a stand up career. It just works out that way for them.
The fourth comment that should never have to be said at a car show actually comes from the owners: “Get your kid (or kids) off my car”. Our readers can throw in a proper blend of profanity with this basic statement in cases where a tougher language tone is highly necessary to get their attention. This command is usually delivered at loud levels and also applies to pets and their owners.
The fifth and final addition to MyStarCollectorCar’s list of things best left unsaid at car shows is any unwanted criticism of the quality of the build. We mentioned earlier in this piece that unrestored vehicles have a place at very show and deserve our respect- so do restored vehicles.
Every incredibly thoughtless person who makes an ignorant comment about the restored or customized rides at a car show have not walked a mile in the owner’s shoes. In fact, they have applied an insulting value system to the vehicle; one that fails to account for the emotional, physical, or financial investment the owner has applied to the process.
There are some basic rules to every car show: have fun, enjoy yourself, learn the real story from the owners and, above all, keep your urge to insult the owners and their vehicles under a tight wrap. Unfortunately, the last part will be the toughest for some pinheads.
BY: Jim Sutherland
Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.