This is all interesting and a pertinent topic for me. I spent four years restoring my ’69 RS Z28 back to as original as possible. We all love and know our 1st Gen Camaros very well. I often was disappointed if I did not score awards at some local shows but I now just have fun being at the show! I have come to realize that a so so day at show in the nice, warm and sunny weather is still better that a good day at work!!!
I don't know why I bother taking my collapsible lawn chair to shows because I hardly use it! It’s too much fun checking out all the other cars and "talking cars" with the owners. I really get a kick talking with owners, who either still have the car they dated in, or had in high school, or found another car just like the one they had many, many years ago. These people have great stories and share a common bond for our hobby! I also love to see and photo document the survivor cars that I find at shows, dirty or otherwise, and THEY never win at the local shows.
It’s true that certain colors and custom mods catch the judges’ eyes at local shows. These cars often catch mine eye also. As many of you have pointed out, many/most judges at local shows don't know our "hard-core" restored cars as well as we do, or what it takes to get our cars to be near perfect 1000 point cars. The show for those of us seeking this kind of judging, where the judging score sheets really count, are the Camaro National events with judges who do know our cars, and what it takes to restore a 1st Gen correctly. Not all national shows are perfect; judges do make mistakes and politics do play a part in decisions; however, these are the shows where everything from our ZL1's to base model L6 Camaros all stand out, and are judged on their own merit instead of against each other.
I scored a Gold Award (973 out of 1000 points) back in 2000 at the Camaro Nat's in Columbus, Ohio. I have made many improvements and corrections since then and hope to get my car judged again the next time when a Camaro National show is back in the Mid-West. Show plaques and trophies do boost my pride but it’s my Gold Award that I most proud of. Personally, I would rather have my one Gold Award than a dozen local show awards. With a several year old restoration, I now compete against many other very nice 69’s that are either fresh restorations or never driven. I DRIVE mine to local shows so my fun factor is just that much higher.
Keep the faith and try to enjoy those sunny days with all the other “car crazy” people (borrowing Mr. Barry Meguiar’s words, of the Meguiar’s Automotive Wax products fame) at our local shows and events.
Let see, ….. It’s February and only about 2 – 3 more months in Indiana before the car show season starts again…..and I can hardly wait to fire up that solid lifter 302!!!