Over the next several months, we will dedicate a column in the magazine to a series of articles that outline the Classic Chevy judging system. Developed in the late 1970’s, the Classic Chevy Club 1000 Point Judging System has evolved into an internationally recognized method of properly judging 1955-72 Chevys and 1967-2002 Camaros.
Originally introduced to judge 1955-57 Chevys at early club events, the system has grown to include all 1955-72 passenger cars (including Chevelle, Nova, Corvair, full size, etc. . .), trucks and Corvettes and all Camaros 1967-02. In addition to the 1000 Point Show ‘n Shine category, we include a “Cruiser” division, which allows owners to bring and display their cars or trucks and compete for Best Of Show and 10 “Picks”, but not go through the stringent judging process. With the input of many Chevy “experts” and members, this system has become what we feel is the best system of its kind anywhere.
How important and credible is our system? Many times when a classic Chevy or Camaro is advertised for sale in Hemmings Motor News or similar classified ads or put up for auction, the owner will state “. . . scored 985 points and a Platinum certificate at CCI. . .” in order to certify the car and drive up the price to potential buyers. More importantly, after having a car judged, owners know how their car stacks up to the competition and what improvements, if any, need to be made to score higher. Some are satisfied to reach Bronze or Silver status while others strive for Gold or Platinum. Once a car achieves Platinum (970+ points out of 1000), it is instantly recognized as one of the finest Chevrolets in the world.
Suppose you’ve decided to enter your car in one of our events. Upon or before arrival, you will be asked if you wish to show your car in either Cruisers or the 1000 point category. Here’s how to decide which category to enter:
Cruisers: Not ready to show your car, but still want to come and enjoy the event? This category is for you. No real cleanup or strenuous preparation is needed. You may display the car doors open or closed, hood open or closed. . . anything goes! A “Best Of Show” vehicle is chosen from the Cruiser category for both Chevy and Camaro. In addition, 10 “Picks” are chosen from all entries. These Picks are not necessarily the best cars in the group, but are often the most unique. Cars in progress and primer are just as likely to win as a shiny showpiece! The Best Of Show and Picks awards are presented along with the Show ‘n Shine trophies on awards day. Cruiser winners appear in the magazine coverage along with Show ‘n Shine winners.
1000 Point Show ‘n Shine: This category is for car owners who wish to see how their car really stacks up against a 1000 point judging sheet. A fair amount of preparation is required to do well in Show ‘n Shine because you are subjecting your car to perhaps 30-40 minutes of scrutiny by a panel of three participant judges.
Here are the items we will cover in our upcoming issues as they relate to Show ‘n Shine:
In this Judging 101 series, we will outline in some detail our entire system in order to educate and hopefully entice you to bring your car to one or more of our events. While this series will just focus on judging, this is only a small part of our events. Tours, meals, live music, hundreds of classic cars, cruises, swap meet and the camaraderié of hundreds of other enthusiasts and families just like you accounts for 95% of the fun!
This is the second in a series of articles that outlines the Classic Chevy 1000 point judging system. Developed in the late 1970’s, the Classic Chevy Club 1000 point judging system has evolved into an internationally recognized method of properly judging 1955-72 Chevys and 1967-2002 Camaros. This month we will cover Tech Check and Classification.
This is the first step in the classification process once you have registered and received your window card and registration number.
A team of 2-3 individuals will approach you and ask you to operate 25 different items on your car:
- High/Low Beam Headlights
- High-Beam Dash Indicator
- Parking Lights
- Brake Lights
- Rear License Light(s)
- Turn Signal Lights
- Turn Signal Dash Indicators
- Glove Box Light
- Heater Motor
- Windshield Washers
- Window Operation
- Neutral Safety Switch
- Cigarette Lighter
- Courtesy (Dome) Light(s)
- Convertible Top
- Power Seat
- Air Conditioning
- Emergency Brake
- Back-Up Lights
For each item that does not work properly, 1 point is deducted from your 1000 point total. For items like brake lights, gauges and turn signals, both sides and front and rears must work. If for example, the turn signals all blink except for the left rear, 1 full point is taken off. If the item is not on the car/does not apply (power seat, glove box light, convertible top), no points are deducted. If the item is present but does not work, a point is deducted. On custom cars that have been extensively modified and certain items like the wipers and horns have been fully eliminated, no points are deducted. All vehicles, custom or restored, must have an operable emergency brake as this is a major safety item!
Once tech check is completed, the next step is classification. For passenger cars there are 8 possible classes:
- Factory Original – less than 20% restoration on entire car and no changes from original.
- Unrestored – less than 35% restoration on entire car and no changes from original.
- Restored – 36% to 100% restoration on car and no changes from original.
- Contemporary – 1 or 2 major changes from original.
- Modified – 3 to 5 major changes from original.
- Custom – 6 or more changes from original.
- Full Custom – 4+ minor body cuts or a major body cut.
- Special Interest – police cars, race cars, taxis, etc. . .
There are similar class breakdowns for trucks, Corvettes, Chevelles, etc. . . all within this same system. Our system has sheets and categories for any 1955-1972 Chevy. Our sister organization Worldwide Camaro Club has similar classes for all 1967-2002 Camaros. In addition, each of the above categories is broken down into driven and trailered. A car is put in trailered if it is trailered or towed any part of the way to the event. If your car is normally driven around at home to local shows but you decide to travel 500 miles to one of our events and elect to trailer your car, it is in trailered class. So, cars that are driven to our events do not show against cars that are trailered to the event.
The first 3 classes are easy enough to understand. These are cars that have no modifications (changes) whatsoever and are painted the original colors, wheels are original, no aftermarket accessories added, etc. . . But what about the other classes with changes? Possible changes fit into 14 categories:
Engine– anything other than the original engine called for on the VIN plate (no V=6-cyl, V=V8) and year. A 1955 with a 1956 engine would constitute a change. A 6-cylinder VIN car with a V8 engine would be a change. A correct year engine stamped as a 2-barrel, but equipped with a 4-barrel is a change. An original engine with a later air cleaner is a change. A non-original exhaust system constitutes an engine change.
Engine Compartment– chroming, dual master cylinder, fan shroud, aftermarket horn, aluminum radiator; any items not 100% stock in the engine bay would count as a change.
Transmission– anything other than the original transmission type called for on the engine stamping. If the engine stamping calls for a 3-speed, but the car has a Powerglide is a change. A 4-speed or a TH transmission in a ’55-’57 would be a change. A 5-speed manual in a 1964 is a change.
Rear End– a rear end of a different year (a ’64 in a ’57) or a 9″ Ford, a 12-bolt; anything other than the original rear.
Interior– any part of the interior (seats, carpet and headliner) that does not match the trim number on the cowl tag is a change. Also, a non-original radio, speakers, wrong color dash or steering wheel all result in a change. Seat belts are considered a safety item and will not result in a change.
Wheels & Tires– any wheel or tire combination that is not correct is a change. All chrome or aluminum aftermarket wheels and white lettered radials are changes. A tire that is grossly incorrect as to size or whitewall width is a change. Radial tires are allowed as long as the size of the tire and whitewall or lettering is similar to the original.
Paint– a paint color or combination that does not match the cowl tag is a change. Other paint types (single or 2-stage urethane, enamel) are accepted as long as they are original colors. Cars that were originally solid color per the trim code, but have had the top painted white would be considered to have a non-original paint scheme.
Body Metal & Exterior– any cuts, filling, chopping to body sheetmetal is a change. Glass modifications are included in this category as well (etching, tint film).
Trunk & Cargo Area– any trunk or cargo area (wagons, trucks) changes such as carpet or non-original paint results in a change. This area includes the spare and jack.
Suspension & Undercarriage– this includes springs, brakes, shocks, traction bars and anti-sway bars. Any non-original item under the car in suspension areas is considered a change.
Chrome & Stainless– any additional exterior emblems, trim, and louvers are a change. Also any original items removed (nosed, decked) is a change.
Air Conditioning– any air unit not installed at the factory or Chevy dealer is a change. Any components on an original air unit that are not correct (late model compressor, non-original vents) results in a change.
VIN– the VIN plate must match the year and series of the vehicle. If the VIN designates Bel Air but the car is a 150 it is a change. The VIN may also determine correct engine type. If a car has a 6-cylinder VIN but has a V8 installed an engine change would result.
Knick-Knack– most common items like blue-dot lenses, non-stock license plate frames or antennas would result in a change.
The changes within each area do not add up to create more changes. For example if the engine compartment includes chromed hood hinges, an aluminum fan shroud, air horns, dual master cylinder and stainless braided heater hoses; this is still only one change engine compartment. The only time that changes do add up is in Body Metal & Exterior. Four or more minor body cuts (radiused quarters, louvers, etc. . .) pushes a car from Custom to Full Custom class. All “pro-street” or tubbed cars are in Full Custom class. Cars with a major body part removed (hood) are considered full custom.
We are often asked before an event over the phone “what class will my car be in?” This question is impossible to answer over the phone. The above guidelines will help you determine what class your car might show in at one of our events. But, owners often overlook a change or 2 and wind up in a class much different than they anticipated! I always tell folks: “. . . don’t worry. There is a class for every car out there. Just come to the event and let us handle the classification.” Build/finish your car just how you like it and let it fall in which ever class the changes determine.
This is the third in a series of articles that outlines the Classic Chevy 1000 point judging system. Developed in the late 1970’s, the Classic Chevy Club 1000 point judging system has evolved into an internationally recognized method of properly judging 1955-72 Chevys and 1967-2002 Camaros. This month we will cover parking, judges & display meetings, clean-up and selecting judges.
At one time, we organized the parking lot/show field by year and class of car. This required a tremendous and unnecessary amount of planning and marking of spaces. In addition, we were always wrong. We had to guess how many of each year and class were coming to the show and mark the lot off accordingly. In addition, the Cruisers class cars were usually stuck off somewhere in a remote corner. Somewhere along the way, one of our more observant employees (I can’t claim credit) suggested we just let cars park where they wanted. This allows friends/clubs to park together and the show cars and Crusiers are mixed with each other. The earlier you arrive, the better your parking space! One might think this makes judging more difficult since all cars in one class are not parked together. It does require a bit more walking, but 350 cars in one parking lot are not that difficult to go over until the judging teams find the cars they have been assigned. The day before Show-n-Shine judging, we hold a mandatory (for judges and car owners) meeting called the Judges & Display (Drivers) meeting. In this meeting we explain how the judging process works, what time to show up and the general do’s and don’ts when judging show cars. This meeting is particularly important to those that have never judged before as they receive a quick education on how our 1000 point system works. Naturally we cannot teach you everything about how to judge during this meeting; but we can arm you with enough information to get you off to a good start. We always assign beginners to a team with one or two experienced judges so they are not lost. Very often, beginners make the best judges since they are overly cautious and not willing to judge too harshly! We also explain to show car owners how their car should be displayed for the show. Hood open, doors open, no displays, etc. . . to make the judging process go smoothly and equitably. Cars in Crusiers may be displayed any way the owner wishes, there are no rules.
Clean up. This is perhaps the most time consuming and tedious part when trying to ready your car for judging. In the “old” days, nearly 150 of the 1000 points was allocated to how clean the car was. This resulted in folks taking cleaning to an extreme: wheels off, up on jack stands, 2 or 3 solid days of cleaning. We woke up and realized how ridiculous it was for our show participants to arrive at the event and spend all of their time before the show judging laying on the ground cleaning their car. So, we reduced the total cleanliness points to just 75/1000 and greatly reduced the points allocated to the hard to clean areas like undercarriage and engine compartment. This immediately improved the whole show experience for our registrants since they didn’t need to be quite so fussy about cleaning. That said, a clean car will always score higher than a dirty one. If your car is dirty (water spots, brown tires, mud on the springs, oil on the engine, smudges on the carpet) not only will the judges take off points in the cleanliness sections, their overall impression of your car will be negative resulting in a lower score. The bottom line? Once you are at the show, they way you can most influence the outcome of your score is via how clean your car is. Perfectly white glove-test clean? No, just reasonably clean and sparkly.
If car clean up is the hardest part of the show for you, the participant, then the hardest part for us is selecting judges. We take multiple pages of raw recruits, organize them into piles sorted by experience, the class of their car and their judging preferences and hopefully assign them to capable and fair judging teams. The teams are made up of 3 individuals so that each person has one sheet on each car. The ideal team would have one very experienced judge that has judged our system 5 or more times, a less experienced judge that may have judged just 1 or 2 times and a beginner that has never judged. Do we always have ideal teams? No, but we usually come very close to our goal. Each team is assigned no more than 6 cars to judge. So what happens if one class has 8 or 10 cars? We do what’s called “splitting the class”. Two teams are assigned to the larger classes with 7 or more cars and one team of 3 is assigned the “left”side of the sheet to judge with the other team judging the “right” side. Once each team is done with their section, they trade sheets with the other team so each may complete their section. This reduces the amount of work the judging teams must do yet assures equity across the class. If one team of 3 people has to judge 8 cars, it may take 5-6 hours which is too much to ask of a team.
What happens to the classes with only 1 or 2 cars? Very often the 6 cars assigned to a regular judging team (not judging split classes) may be made up of several classes.
A common grouping of cars for a 3 person team may be:
1956 Special Interest
If the team spends 20-30 minutes per car, judging the 6 cars will take 2-3 hours. If judging begins at 8 am, the team would be finished and ready to relax by 11am!
This is the fourth and final in a series of articles that outlines the Classic Chevy 1000 point judging system. Developed in the late 1970’s, the Classic Chevy Club 1000 point judging system has evolved into an internationally recognized method of properly judging 1955-72 Chevys and 1967-2002 Camaros. This month we will cover judging, judging sheets, tally, awards and certificates.
Once the judges are chosen, given their sheets and turned loose to judge, the real fun begins! Since there are 1000 points per sheet, there are lots of areas on the car to look at and lots of lines to write numbers on! see inset complete sheet diagram reduced). Below is a sample section from an actual sheet. The area we will illustrate is from the first category on the sheet Body Exterior. This section counts for 345 points out of 1000, so it is a very important section!
Notice the information that has been recorded by the 2 judges. Judge 1 has taken off 10 total points and added some notes about why he took off the points. This is what we like to see! Judge 2 has taken off 40 points (40/345 is over 10%) and recorded no notes. Both examples are from the same car on the same day at the same show. The method used by judge 2 is not what we like to see. As a matter of fact, there are at least 3 major problems here. One is taking off so many points without offering any explanation. How frustrated do you think the car owner will be when he/she gets his sheets back and can’t figure out why judge 2 did what he did? The next major mistake made by both judges is lack of communication. If these judges had been talking things over and comparing scores and notes, then sheets with scores this far apart would he never have been turned in. And third, judge 2’s handwriting is so poor that our tally crew could hardly read the numbers. While this rarely happens, we wanted to use it as an example of how not to work as a team. Once all three sheets are completed on one car, the farthest apart the scores should be is about 10-20 points or so. If the sheets are a total of 30+ points apart, something is wrong and the judging team needs to re-evaluate their process.
Once the judges are all done and all sheets are turned back in, the tally process then begins. Each and every sheet must be examined and totaled. The totals of all three sheets are then added together and divided by 3. This gives the final score which is an average of what each judge recorded as their final score. This is the score used to award place and certificate. Let’s use a hypothetical set of scores from a 1955 Custom class.
There are 7 cars in this group all judged at the same show.
Cars 2, 4 and 5 are Senior 1955 Customs. This means they have shown at a CCC/WCC event before and scored 900 points plus. Cars 1, 3, 6 and 7 are Junior 1955 Customs meaning they have either not shown before or if they have shown, scored under 900 points. Given the above scores and Junior/Senior breakdown, here is how the cars will place and which certificates they will receive:
1955 Custom Junior
Car 6 First Place 991 Points Platinum Certificate
Car 1 Second Place 981 Points Platinum Certificate
Car 7 Third Place 899 Points Bronze Certificate
Car 3 No Place 845 Points No Certificate
1955 Custom Senior
Car 5 First Place 945 Points Silver Certificate
Car 2 Second Place 922 Points Silver Certificate
Car 4 Third Place 901 Points Silver Certificate
Cars 6 and 1 will be seniors the next time they show as they scored 900 points plus. You can see that even though all 7 cars were judged in the same class, the Junior and Senior cars are broken out when it comes time to present awards. In the Junior division, if car 6, 1 or 7 had not been at the show, car 3 would have placed third with 845 points but still no certificate since it scored under 850 points. All cars that place first, second or third place receive an award plaque or trophy. All cars that score 850 plus points receive a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum certificate. The two are not directly related. So, a car can place but get no certificate (as with car 3 example above) or a car can get a certificate but not place (if there are 3 cars in the class with higher scores). Once the results are recorded for the event coverage in the magazines, the original judging sheets are then returned to the car owners for their use. These sheets are extremely helpful to the owner so that he/she can make changes/improvements in their car based upon the information recorded by the judges. And with any kind of luck, they will score higher the next time after improvements are made!