To put things in prospective - There is an older guy that lives close to me with a 1970 or 1972 Nova...He drives the car to the shows and it looks like the miles that he has on the car. Its not detailed, and could use a good waxing...He knows he is never going to win the best of show...He goes to the shows to meet people and he enjoys a simple conversation. He is the real hero of why car shows can be fun. That is until we add in the competitive edge...
I think all of us can identify with this person. The guy or gal that attends show after show and never wins an award. What you say is perhaps true, in that it doesn't seem to matter if this individual takes home an award or not. Just me, but I don't think this could be farther from the truth. Why else would car hobbyists enter a competition show. Perhaps its just that some people can hide their emotions better than others.
I have attended a total of 20 shows in the short time I have owned the Camaro. More often than not you will see the same owners and their cars at show, after show, after show. There is no question the disappointment is always on their faces for going home empty handed. I had the pleasure of judging a show last year for a club that is highly respected in New Mexico and attendance to these shows is quite large. Our rides could be displayed but were not in the competition. My position with the club gave me some leverage and the ear of the clubs president. Long story short, these owners and their cars were finally recognized. The look on their faces, and that of family members was priceless. I can honestly say this was by far the best time I have had at any car show.
Moral of the story...that "clunker"
over in the corner is just as important to that owner as a best of show.