Use of the International Chief Judge Advisory Group (ICJAG) Judging Process

The use of the ICJAG forms and guidelines are most effective when supported by an experienced chief judge and knowledgeable chief class judges. However, the first step is the introductory use of the ICJAG basic judging form which provides for fair and consistent judging of all concours entries.

The ICJAG established in 2015 is led by a council of nine experienced chief judges from five countries supported by an international crew of over fifty other experienced chief judges and senior chief class judges. We also conduct ICJAG training seminars and maintain an international roster of young judges with potential. The members and supporters of ICJAG are currently providing voluntary assistance to over 50 shows in fourteen countries. Our purpose is to provide fair and consistent judging which promotes proper preservation and correct restoration for the benefit of future generations. The NAACC, National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada fully supports the ICJAG judging process.

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General Judging Guidelines & Hints for Club Judging Success

By John Carlson, Chief Judge

Part 1 – Background

In 1984 the NAACC initiated a set of judging guidelines that were used to judge the Expo 86 Vintage International Antique Auto Show held in Vancouver BC. July 6-10th 1986. These guidelines were then expanded and modified in 1989 and were recommended to all car clubs across Canada. In 1995 the (VCCC) Vintage Car Club of Canada began to use these guidelines and adopted the philosophy that vehicles that won their class should not be judged in the same class again. This would give other new or older restorations a chance to compete against a score sheet for top awards. The guidelines emphasized that the vehicles were competing against a score sheet and NOT each other. Twenty-five years later (2020) the VCCC is still using the same format. The judging guidelines are broken into areas that have ‘specific’ classes. Only cars that conform to a specific class are judged together in that class. All vehicles are judged using a 1000 point deduction system. Every single vehicle in a ‘specific’ class that scores 900 points or more is awarded a first place and receives an award.

The highest point vehicle in the Class that scores 940 points or more is also awarded a Best of Class Trophy, and is moved into a Senior Class. This gives those vehicles that did not win Best of Class a chance to compete the following year. Every vehicle that scores 825 to 899 receives a second-place award and every vehicle that scores 750 to 824 receives a third-place award. All of the Best of Class winners also receive a ‘keeper’ trophy and have their name and their cars information inscribed on a permanent perpetual trophy that is displayed at most future Judging events for all to enjoy. Some of these perpetual trophies date back 60 years for the Vintage Car Club of Canada.

To have your name inscribed on a perpetual award is a significant achievement. At each judging event there is a dedicated group of judges who not only view the vehicles but they also make recommendations on the back of their score sheets as to how one might improve their vehicle or in some cases correct a safety issue. These score sheets are returned to the vehicle owners upon request.

Having a car judged at a designated judging event is an experience that helps many restorers /owners to improve their vehicles and receive recognition for a job well done.

Part 2 – How to obtain a great score! (Its all about the details)

The NAACC judging format emphasizes that a vehicle be judged on its own merits. It should make absolutely no difference, where, how or who restored or constructed the vehicle. The vehicle must stand entirely alone separate from its owner or restorer. The vehicle must be viewed as an object aside from personalities, cash outlay, or professional vs. amateur restoration. Hobbyists have tired of the political maneuvering and one-upmanship that sometimes creeps into the judging arena. It seems hardly fair that a car is a second-place vehicle because it scores a half point less than its competition, especially when its competition has received a perfect score. Obviously, there will be some controversy at this point, but please examine the category point allocations and consider this approach. NAACC winners have a 100-point range to achieve a first place. Participants compete against the score sheet. Please refer to the NAACC Judging Guidelines for clarification of the point system and the various Classes.

Helpful Hints & Clarification: Add-on fuel pumps (electrical or mechanical) which replace or supplement original type pumps or fuel supply devices are considered non authentic, but will receive no deduction provided they have been neatly installed out of plain view.

One of the key components that many owners overlook is the battery. Correct original style working batteries are available. For those that do not want to spend the extra money to have an actual correct working battery there are reproduction battery tops available that simulate the proper look of an original battery top. 1960’s-1970’s vehicles and older should display a removable vented tar top style battery. The reproduction simulated tar top is available for less than $50 and it never wears out! If you use a modern battery make sure you purchase a battery with top mounted battery posts and that has the proper original case dimensions and then simply display a simulated top. This also really cleans up the look of the engine compartment.

How to achieve good scores. Car owners/restorers have choices as to whether they research a proper fastener or spend more time polishing. An extra shiny fender receives no more or less points for what it is. Non authentic style nuts and bolts do receive dreaded point deductions. A quick fix, if a bolt is required to be Cadmium plated one easy inexpensive way to achieve the proper look or finish is select a stainless bolt of the proper size, grind off the grade markings on the bolt head, then polish the bolt head smooth removing all grinding marks. The last step is to glass bead the entire bolt giving it Cadmium plated looking flat finish. The bolt resembles the original, will never rust and also has the proper strength required. Window Glass edges (in particular Model A Fords) that are required to be black may be easily blackened by using a waterproof permanent ‘Sharpie’ laundry marker drawn along the side of the pen felt. This makes the glass edge black and there is no point deduction. NAACC rules require safety glass be used in all windshields.

Part 3 – Tires

Selecting the correct type of tires for your restoration is always a serious consideration. Judges look for the correct type and size of tires in true Concours judging. Many owners that show and drive their cars have two sets of tires and wheels. One set are radial tires. If the car originally came with bias ply tires the owner is faced with decision; should I spend the extra money and have two sets of tires or will one set do. The number of miles the car is driven will often determine your choice. Radial tires are more forgiving and certainly provide a better ride. They also run cooler and do not get flat spots from sitting. Bias ply tires do flat spot from long time sitting. From a judging perspective always check the maximum deduction for displaying an incorrect tire.

The VCCC tire judging point deductions have been waved for the use of radial tires providing they conform in size to the original components. The reasoning is that most VCCC members drive their cars longer distances to May Tours and therefore need to be safe and have a comfortable ride. There used to be a two-point deduction for each non authentic type of tire that is displayed including the spare. The VCCC judging format is out of 1000 points. In my opinion, losing ten points is nothing in the overall scheme of things. However, today there is no deduction. If you were to have your Corvette judged in NCRS judging the wrong tires would be a serious deduction. Always find out what the deductions are in the events you are participating in to avoid disappointment.

The appearance of the tire is very important. Clean and apply a flat tire UV finish to the rubber. The proper valve stems and valve caps are very important. If you were displaying a pre-1935 Ford you would need all metal valve stems and stem caps. All Model A Fords used metal valve stems and metal stem covers. In 1932 to 1934 the valve stems did not have a fully enclosed removable metal cover but all valve stems and caps were metal. Do your homework to see what your valve stems and stem caps were when they came from the factory. Usually the first things judges look at are wheels, tires, valve stems and valve stem caps. Costly deductions are easily avoided.

Setting up the tire when it is being mounted is also important and makes your vehicle stand out. This is especially important if you have side mounted or rear mounted spare tires.

Step one is to have the tire installer center the lettering of the tire directly over the value stem. By doing this you can locate the hubcap so that the tire lettering, valve stem and hubcap are all on the same viewing plain.

Side mounted tires should be installed on the vehicle so that the valve stem is on the top facing down. This prevents the wheel rim from accepting water and the valve stem will not rust out. As an example, all Model A and 1932 to 1934 Fords with mounted spares are required to have their valve stems facing down. Also, if you had a flat tire your spare tire change would then conform to the information above. If you own a 1950’s through 1970’s vehicle I would still recommend mounting your tire lettering above the valve stem and mount the balancing weights on the back side of the rim if possible. Make sure your valve stem caps are era correct. Yes, I am aware that most tires do have a balancing spot. There are many manufacturers that can supply the correct style and type of tires for your car.

Coker Tire makes era correct tires but did you know that Diamond Back Tire will take the tire brand of your choice and insert any width of whitewall you want. Whitewall width and correct tire size is important. Tip: If you have a wheel size more than one inch over the original size ICBC in British Columbia deems that as a non-authentic part if you have ‘stock’ collector plates.