HomeNews and EventsThings to consider when displaying your classic car at a local show

Things to consider when displaying your classic car at a local show

Observations from behind the camera and the reporter’s notebook

(Editors note: During the month of June, the ClassicCars.com Journal is publishing a series of stories about displaying your car at car shows and concours. Today, Larry Edsall offers his suggestions for displaying your vehicle at a local show. If you have a story about showing your classic, please send it to us at [email protected].)

Only once have I displayed a vehicle at a car show, and it was pretty much by accident. It was back in the 1990s when I was an editor at AutoWeek magazine and my test car for the weekend was a Nissan Figaro, a cute little convertible with right-hand drive.

There was a weekly cruise-in at the A&W restaurant not far from my home and as I drove through the parking lot, someone pointed to an open place and suggested I pull the Japanese-spec vehicle into that spot and take part in the show.

Needless to say, the car – one of the few of its kind in the entire country — drew a lot of attention. 

Hey, it’s a local show, so you don’t need to Q-tip every details and remove every blade of grass from the tire treads as you do to please the judges at Pebble Beach

While I have driven a lot of classic and collector cars, the closest I’ve ever come to actually owning one was back as I graduated from college and bought a spanking new 1969 Ford Mustang fastback. Cool car at the time, collector car now, but in my second year of ownership it was hit broadside by someone who ran a stoplight. 

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, except to my Mustang. 

My experience displaying a car at a local show, let alone at a prestigious concours d’elegance, might be limited, but as an auto writer I’ve attended probably hundreds of such events and, from my journalistic perspective, I have some ideas to share about displaying your vehicle.

An information sheet can help others appreciate your car and what you’ve put into it

For example, unless you’re going to be with the vehicle from show start to finish — which isn’t going to happen because you would want to see the other vehicles at the show, chat with friends, grab some food and use the rest room — be sure to put a card in the windshield identifying the year, make and model. It’s up to you if you want to add additional information, such as your name and contact information, and notes about the engine, changes you’ve made, etc. 

Some shows require such ID cards. I encourage it simply because when I’m at a show, I won’t photograph or write about a car unless the information is available. Besides, there might be someone at the show who loves your car even more than you do but you missed out on a sale because they couldn’t find you on the spot to make a ridiculous purchase offer.

While I like to see vehicles with period objects such as a picnic basket or portable record player in the trunk or truck bed or cargo floor of a station wagon, don’t overdo it. And never, ever display your vehicle with one of those silly child-sized stuffed dolls leaning up against a bumper, at least not if you want anyone to take your car seriously.

One more note regarding people photographing your vehicle at a show: When you park, be sure to properly center your steering wheel. This enhances not only the look of the dashboard, but the appearance of the entire interior, and shows that you really care how the car is presented.

An early edition of ‘Travels with Charley’ on the front seat of a car makes for a nice period-correct touch

Now this next suggestion may be more of a note for car-show hosts than for participants, but from time to time during the day, close the hoods on all vehicles for maybe half an hour. I know, there are those among us who love to see the engines, but there are those, including the people who designed the cars in the first place, who cringe at the way an open hood violates the styling they worked so hard to achieve.  

Count those of us who do car photography along with the designers. At least a couple of times during the day, please close the hoods and let the lines of your vehicle’s beautiful design be displayed and appreciated.

One more thing: Remove any “look but don’t touch” signs or stickers from your vehicle. What they say is “Keep away, I’m the only one who is entitled to appreciate my vehicle.” 

Instead, you should encourage people to experience the car up close, especially children for whom a brief seat behind the steering wheel might inspire a lifelong interest in automobiles.

Car Shows & Concours Series

Stories all about showing your car at car shows and concours.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. I say leave the “look but don’t touch” sticker in vehicle. Sorry, but I don’t want someone else’s body on my vehicle. Enjoy looking at it but don’t touch. It’s called RESPECT.




      • I go, I agree with some of what you say. I would guess you attend the large shows as Auto drama, world of wheels and such so that being said if you take such a vehicle as yours to a local show your just a glutton for punishment. In the end it’s just a car. Don’t mean to hurt your feelings but when your strength is failing and your time is near you won’t be so anal. Meantime enjoy your trailer queen as I do not have anything against a nice trailer queen.

      • Easy on the.caps lock there, mate. I’m reading these comments on my phone about 5 inches from my face. No need to yell.

      • Trailer Queen is a put down! FUSSING over every little everything, is NOT enjoying your car! How can you bring it ANYWHERE, when a speck of dust or – AHHH – a bird poop might fall on it? I drive my ’64 convertible deVille a couple times a week, during nice weather(drove it to work, today). It’s not worth 100K, but I enjoy it! It gets less than 300 miles per season, and runs just fine. The heading on the story does say ‘to your local car show’ – not concourse! Enjoyment is ‘in the eyes of the beholder’. Yours is in knowing the car is kept ‘perfect’, and retaining/increasing in value. . . . . . ENJOY!

        • 64 deville! The most beautiful piece of Detroit art crafted from Pittsburgh steel! I’m glad you enjoy her as she was meant to be enjoyed.

        • So now we’re going to categorize the shows? Does it matter if it’s a regular show or concourse show? It’s a freaking car show! I put my cars selectively into the shows of my choice. This writer talked in general about a car show-he didn’t define what type specific it was- regardless if its concourse or not. What right do you have to determine my choice to have a trailer queen or not and then tell me I’m not enjoying my car-seriously??? You have your idea or perception of how a car should be treated and I have mine! I enjoy a concourse trailer queen, and your preference is to drive it- That’s your choice and it’s my choice. I also have a couple other cars which are not trailer-queen cars including newer ones that are not at this level so I engage in cars shows at all levels. again my choice!

          I own this type of car because it’s because that’s what I like. If you don’t like my car because it’s not driven, comes out of a trailer and so perfect it’s not my problem, its your problem. Maybe you put down these types of cars because they are flawless, perfect, get lots of attention, and win multiple awards. If you don’t like this style of restoration then don’t look at it, and walk by and just ignore it, but there are those who will look at it, respect me for what I have decided to do to preserve it who will appreciate the hundreds hours spent to get it this way.

          A sign that says don’t touch should be observed, respected and never create a question why. When you look at the vehicle in this concourse condition you should not even need to see a sign to instruct you not to touch it, it should be assumed if your intelligent to understand why. It’s like you wife, your girlfriend, or whatever politically correct preference you want to label them in the days we live in; would you want someone touching your partner, or whatever you want to call them? Same thing as your car, look but don’t touch! And YES, Enjoyment is in the eyes of the beholder!

          I Enjoy this car no greater than you enjoy yours! I have my preference to enjoy mine you have your own. So, don’t sit behind your computer bashing someone who decides this is how they should or should not enjoy the car hobby having a concourse car to display. Concourse cars have a place in shows as pure preservation so why be so negative against those who like these type of cars and enjoy making them this way? I’m sure there are many others out like me who feel the same way. Could be your jealous of seeing a perfect car, which gets lots of attention while yours is being passed over?

      • Well said. The worst things I have seen at car shows are people with baby stroller not watching where they are going and run into your car. I agree, signs that tell people not to touch are okay.
        We must remember that lookers are not owner and they have no money invested in the car.

      • Man I have to say you take the fun out of what having a show car is all about. I get it you spend money to have what you have but the things you say about kids is beyond anything I’ve ever heard. We’re you ever a kid? You never saw a car as a kid that you just were infatuated with and perhaps that’s what grow your passion for the car scene? I hope you realize that often times just letting a kid sit nicely in your car is what changes the world for them. Sure there is respectful ways to handle letting a kid sit in your car for a picture. Not everyone is out there ready to mess up your museum piece. Take a step back for a second and look at your ridiculous post written all in caps. Wow just wow.

  2. Generally, I bring coffee from home with me to the car shows for a couple of reasons.

    One, it’s a lot better and cheaper than spending the money at some overpriced coffee shop.

    Two, it enables me to interact with my fellow enthusiasts who park near me as well as keep tabs on the people who are passing by while my car is at the show. It never ceases to amaze me at how rude, arrogant, and generally disrespectful some people can be to another person’s property.

    I’ve posted the “Look but don’t touch” signs and someone with their leaking soda or greasy cheeseburger will still try leaning over the engine and/or interior “just wanting to get a look.”

    Oh, and don’t get me started on children. I could write a book on how some people have absolutely no parenting abilities.

    • Great comments. Paying to show can be quite expensive just to try and get a trophy! I don’t pay. However, sometimes the money is actually donated to a charity. Are the attendees asked to donate? Don’t know. There is a truck show every year in Ashland Ohio that doesn’t charge the participants to show, but attendees make a donation of food or money to enter. It all goes to the food bank.
      I agree to don’t touch without permission. I have an unrestored truck and people assume it’s okay to use the hood as a lean on. I’ve also watched them try to use it as a desk and kitchen table! I don’t have a $10k paint job,,,, but some common sense please! BUT the interior is far from perfect. So kids sitting in it, have at it! Watching a little kid with that big ol grin is the best trophy there is. Just make sure to check the wheels!

    • Ronald: I’ve also wondered why people have to pay to show their cars but not spectators, except at the big concours for which people might pay several hundred dollars to be admitted. My assumption (which may be incorrect) is that the fee charged to those showing vehicles basically covers the costs of setting up the show, providing trophies, etc.

      • Most of the shows I attend are benefits for various charities or raising money to fight various diseases and the profits go to them. Cruise ins are usually free.

      • As for your “allowing interaction” with my vehicle and ignorrant people…
        I suspect that YOU have probably never paid THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for just your paintwork !?!
        After you do that…THEN maybe you’ll understanding the adage: “You shouldn’t judge your fellow being, until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins”.

    • My thoughts exactly…in sports, the athletes never pay to play, why should car owners pay to draw other people in? Biggest petpeve of my life…Grrrrrrrrr!

  3. Can confirm. I managed to trace my love for classic cars back to a video my dad filmed on an old film camera, where he put me, who was less than 1 year old at the time, behind the wheel of an early 60’s car.

  4. Apparently the editor has no idea of the labor or cost put into restoring a classic. Though I do not have display Look no touch sticker, but understand why some do.I don’t allow anyone to sit in my car, because everyone wants to try every knob to see what works. Most people respect your car,but there also others that don’t have a clue when leaning over look or take a picture that their purse,camera case,fanny pack or belt buckle rubs across the car.
    I will also display a book of the total rebuild of the car. And if someone really wants to make a ridiculous offer,they will wait for you or come back to your car. Majority people will be enthusiased with information you offer on your car. But there will someone that thinks they know more about your car than you do.Its nothing worth getting worked about.

  5. Leave the look dont touch signs. Growing up around classic cars my whole life I was taught to enjoy looking, but don’t touch things that are not yours and Dont stand on the running boards (we had a 34 buick lol) . As a owner now( 67 mustang) I believe it even more. That is my pride and joy sitting in that spot. Detailed every spot before showing so please keep your kid from inside my car unless you have my permission.

    • I have a 27 ford roadster w full fenders and running boards. And have come back to my car to see people standing on boards posing for pics. Many dings in the custom candy paint from 5 yeats af cruises and shows.

  6. I was very lucky as a 4 year. We had just moved to a house near the Lake in Oakland. I remember walking one evening to a place called the EXPO, there was a show called the Oakland roadsters show. I am 78 and still recall that evening. It was my first car show. Now it’s called the Grand National Roadster Show, no longer in Oakland.

  7. I think people need to watch their kids around these cars. I have seen them stand on the running boards of a car and slide down the fender of a car. When a person puts a lot of time and money in their car they want people to respect their property.

  8. I do agree with the hood down. I understand the time and money put into the engine bay is what owners want to show off, but most cars look much better with the hood down. A car show with” hoods down only “might become a cool thing!

  9. There is nothing I hate to see at a show more than bicycles. Please do not bring them near a car show!

    I take many pictures at car shows, some of which are published, but never of a vehicle with the hood open.

    • Have they made the “Flower Mound” into a parking lot, or a skateboard park yet? When I moved away from Flower Mound, about 30 years ago, you could actually SEE the mound. Last time I drove by I could barely see it!

  10. 100% correct let the kids in the car for a picture for the parent’s.
    Or that pretty gal for the dreaming owner. Style beats econo slush box can you call them car’s.

  11. Let me get this straight – I pay to attend a car show, the visitors don’t pay, I’m suppose to let some slobbering kid get inside my $50k+ car. F that.

  12. I never leave my bonnet up. It invites people to steal that hard to find bit that they need for their own car. I know. My friend lost parts from his including the petrol cap. I lock my car at all times because some people think it is their right to sit in the car as it is on display. I have had to turn some very rude people out of my car, complete with their lunch. Hot mugs of tea on my dashboard, no thank you. Kids kicking the seats and rubbing chocolate into my seats and carpet, no thank you. Helping themselves to the odd souvenir from my car, such as a magazine, my lunch or age related artifact. Again, it has happened to me, but now I lock it. Having said that, if I am near my car, I will allow people to look at the engine. Children are welcome to sit in and pretend to drive, pull up the back blind etc. My car is a 1935 Austin 10 Lichfield 10/4, and I also have a 1956 Austin A30 Hybrid. I am happy to share my car, but only under my supervision.

    • Cindy: I agree that it’s the car owner who should invite people as he or she selects them to experience a vehicle up close, which is another reason I encourage car owners to stay near their vehicles as much as possible during a show. I understand locking your vehicle when you’re not present and am also happy to read that you allow visitors inside when they are respectful. — Larry

      • In your first comment you were saying wander around and visit your friends and check out all the other cars you never encourage somebody to stay next to theirs and they should people are rude people are creeps and thieves I have a 46 Chevy halftime that I drive a lot I came out of the bank and somebody’s head the car door open and they’re still there looking at the inside of my truck been lots of places and came out in my door has been open one door or the other people have no respect for other people’s property I like to go to car shows but I’m not interested in putting anything I own in one I also have a beautiful 72 javelin SST I get plenty of comments without going to the car show

  13. Closing the hood is a challenge, shows that judge cars require the engine bay hood to be open, some shows want the trunk open as well. Keeping your hood closed is one way of saying “don’t judge my car”. Typically in Ohio when judging is over you will see a quarter of the cars close their hoods, that would be the optimal time to come and see the cars as they are intended to be seen, ready to move.

    This may be why I like the cars and coffee format without the judging, I usually keep the hood closed the first hour I show up at a cars and coffee.

    I wrote up an info sheet about my car and laminated it for setting in the front window., People ask about the modifications or are not aware my 78 Trans Am has fuel injection or why the brake booster looks like it’s from a truck (hydroboost), it is easier to show it on a sheet than explain.

    “Look but do not touch” is a fools way of thinking people care once they read it. The ones who care don’t need the message and those who don’t are going to ignore it. Ask a bouncer at a strip club how well the sign works there. LOL

  14. I am a female car enthusiast. I grew up in a car club and was taught early in life to respect ” the cars “. Today I own. ’68 deuce and show it often. I am sorry, but the world to day has little respect for anything, let alone My car. She is my pride and joy. Unfortunately, I do spend most of my time at the car at shows. Baby strollers, bikes, belt buckles, all scare me !!! Not to say that I don’t promote kids interest in classics, I very much do ! If dad’s talking to his kid about my car and they are interested, I’ll put the kid in for a picture, or even start her up for them. All I ask is for Respect, and it’s lacking in today’s society, and that’s just sad.

  15. Last weekend I showed my car, 1967 MGBGT… a guy spilled Coke on the passenger side exterior paint. Coke and paint DON’T mix. Be prepared!

    My Rules: (1) “Look But Don’t Touch” ! (2) If you have your kids with you and you want a photo of them in my car, ask… I’ll agree, if reasonable… but, no touching still. (3) I encourage viewers to ask questions, young adults especially, so we can pass our appreciation on to younger generations.

  16. I took my 69 Plymouth to car show and when I see a little kid with the look in eyes. I let them sit and act like they are driving it then parents take their picture .I think the purple is what draws them in .but I do think hoods down is a good idea show the curves

  17. What a fool! Anyone who encourages people to touch or get into your classic car should never presume to know anything about car shows! Owners spend thousands of dollars on their cars and you tell people to get behind the wheel! Find a subject you know something about to write on!

  18. He says take down any sign that says look but don’t touch what a fool you are, yeah that’s what I want people leaning on the car touching the car opening the doors getting inside get out of here you’re crazy pal

  19. I know what you are saying. However, I have been restoring these classic vehicles for over 40 years. I Hate seeing owners using a California car duster or equivalent to clean the vehicles when they get to there spot. You people are F…ing Crazy!! I have to ask Every person who brings their vehicles to me to do. And EVERYONE says they have one. ……AND it’s Black in color! I tell them “you came to me because of my reputation, I’m not going to let you scratch a 15k paint job!….Throw it away!!” Having the vehicle parked in your garage, lights on, you see a ton of “spider webs” all over the surface. It’s NOT spider webs folks, it’s fine scratches from your stupid dust mop! AND only wet sanding and polishing will remove them. Let’s hope you have enough clear coat on your vehicle to keep doing that!! I’m one of the Best at what I do, so Listen Up!

  20. Look but don’t touch signs are absolutely necessary!! Again, leading to the California car duster or spraying and wiping the paint. The minimal dust that settles onto the vehicles while people walk by or a slight breeze blowing, if people lightly touch or rub their hands/fingers over the surface, it causes fine scratches. Again, the only way to remove them is to polish it. A very good restoration job will cost a person an easy 30-50k. Why would I want to let some ignorant person/people damage it and not be financially responsible for it!!

  21. Most of these ideas I already knew since I ve been showing old cars since 1993
    Thanx for pointing out the hood thing and the weepy dolls!

  22. You know nothing of local car shows. And why would you begin commenting on local car shows and then talk about elite shows like Pebble Beach. All you want are eye balls on your article. Lame as it is.

  23. Saying he never owned a show car, then proceeding to criticize the ways of those who do exhibit says all we need to know. The thousands of dollars and hours of effort can be undone by one casual first-timer plopping their kid on the bumper for a picture. I suppose you’d also think it’s wrong for dog show exhibitors to stop kiddies from petting their “cute doggie” on the way to the ring after hours of bathing, brushing, blow drying, snipping, plucking, powdering, and spraying? Ignorance is no excuse. Flippant judgements are unacceptable and downright rude to those who’ve dedicated their lives to preserving rolling history.

  24. I never used -Look but don’t touch signs “until a non car person sat on the fender if my car and took out 5 huge chunks of paint with the rivets on their jeans.
    It isn’t the car folks that are the issue. It is the friends if the car folks who attend and haven’t been explained the common rules and courteous behavior of attendance who cause the damage. So for them I now have signs.

  25. I have to laugh at those disgusting car owners who put those the signs in the window depicting a child pissing on a blue oval of a Ford. Really shows their ignorance of appreciation for other car makes.

  26. Like Bill said. That dog doesn’t care about the cars, he’s just gonna put paws and claws on the paint or at the very least piss on the tire. I see dogs at classic boat shows and think the same thing. Leave the don’t touch sign on. Just don’t have a fit when someone does. You drove your vehicle on public roads to get to the show didn’t you? Food and drinks near a vehicle a no no also agreed. As are bikes and belt buckles. An information sign is a good idea. Basic info and then if they need additional info they’ll usually ask.

  27. This didn’t happen at a car show but I was driving my black 68 convertible corvette it was a Saturday morning and I stopped at a parts store and when I came out of the parts store there was a guy leaning and sitting on the front fender of my car. I couldn’t believe it and I went off on him and he thought I was a maniac. He said it’s just a car. It’s idiots like these that ruin it for everyone else. It might have been just a car to him but it was much more than that to me and that is total disrespect for other people’s property.

  28. Larry Edsall , sir I going to assume you have never had anything to do with cars other than take pictures of them or if you did you have forgotten that side of the camera lens , that’s just my opinion sir
    would you want a strangers kids with melted chocolate all over their hands and arms smearing it all over your car trying to get it off themselves before parents see them with melted chocolate all over themselves ?
    Or sum random drunk spilling beer inside your car on the seats you just spent 5 grand on , while leaning in the window to see that paper with all the cars info you were talking about ?
    How bout the little boy that just discovered he can pee outside and while his parents are admiring the car parked next to yours or talking on the phone not paying attention to the boy who is relieving himself on your rims and tires you just spent the last 10 hours polishing on ?
    How bout the crackheads that decided to eat a leaking melted taco bell lunch on your car hood ,,,,,while the mom is dragging her studded 45 pound purse across you hood spilling nail polish remover and whatever else in it trying to find sumthing to wipe the melted chocolate off the kid ,,, you just got back from paint that cost 9 grand , yes 9 grand + to paint just the hood and that’s cheap depending on how far you want to take your paint ,, meanwhile the kid it beating the side of you show car with a baby stroller cause he got caught with melted chocolate all over himself and trying to wipe it all off on your car ! Anyways while the mom is still digging for sumthing to wipe the melted goo all off her emotional support miniature dog gets loose runs across the car hood jumps inside your ride and takes a dump in your backseat ,, that you also just got back from getting reupholstered another five grand,,,,and we all know what dogs do after they poo they try to cover it up by digging up the surrounding area , your new back seat that you and your significant other haven’t even had a chance to make out in yet it’s so new.
    How bout sum dudes trophy wife that has no cares or responsible and don’t even want to be at a car show to being with her nose in the phone tweeting about God knows what and throws her empty wine bottle in the trunk of your car breaking it and denting and scratching the paint and shorting out the subwoofers and amplifiers and just walking off like nothing ever happened .
    Or the selfie chic wearing all those metal bracelets and the spiked belt and spikes running down her pant legs that climbs on the hood or roof of your car that you just got back from getting paint ,,, that you saved every penny to pay for for the last 5 years,,,, just to get that perfect selfie to post on Instagram and Facebook or Twitter with absolutely no respect or care about the car she just dented and scratched

    No, none of that has ever happened to me but I have seen sum of it happen and have heard horror stories about such things
    This isn’t a perfect world we live in unfortunately and stuff happens . If it was a perfect world we all would be driving our dream cars 24-7 what fun would that be ?

    The really sad part is people have forgotten how to be respectful of other peoples stuff

    I think I keep my ,,, you can look but don’t touch unless your naked ,,,, sticker and keep my windows closed and doors locked and my hood shut also the truck closed until a judge asked me to open them
    If sum random kid wants to check out whatever I happen to have at car show I will let them but I be rite there with them while they gripping the streering wheel fantasizing about driving off into the sunset or blasting down the dragstrip I may even help make the motor noises or burning burnout sounds with them

    Yall talking about those California duster things throw them in the trash or use them at home on the coffee table for the china cabinet
    8f your going to use anything to just get rid of the dust use a small battery powered blower a small version of a leaf blowers or a normal battery powered leaf blower if needed be

    Oh , Larry Edsall would you let that chocolate covered kid exam your camera?

  29. I let everyone sit in my car and get their pictures taken, that’s why I have it to share with people and put a smile on their face. Other wise people should just lock them away in your garage and look at it yourself, if you can afford to have the car you can afford to have it cleaned, I share mine with everyone.

  30. I have a 62 Chevy impala convertible it gets a lot of attention. When a family with kids come up to look and the parents want a picture with the kids standing by the car. I give them the chance to let the kids in the front seat and take the picture. It just made the kids and the parents day.

  31. It’s obvious he has never owned a classic car! Everybody knows the old story about the hot girl leaning up against the car is she’s talking to you next thing you know she takes her butt off the car and leaves nice deep scratches in the paint from the metal rivets on her Jean pockets!!!! Kids greasy, sticky, filthy fingers all over your interior!! Not to mention finger marks all over your beautiful glass!! Usually what I do when I have my car displayed at a show is I put signs up saying please touch me get in it rub up against it and put your hands with rings on your fingers so you can put deep gouges in my paint! What a fool!!!!

  32. Be careful if food trucks are around. I had my car at a show for about 5hrs and I got ready to leave you could see Grease splaters on my car. I wasn’t very happy

  33. I’m overwhelmed by the response to this article, and after reading through the comments, I’m wondering if the car show hosts are doing enough to inform visitors in regard to being respectful of the vehicles. There appears to be much more disrespect and even damage taking place at shows than I’ve observed in person. Are show organizers doing enough to remind visitors to look but don’t touch unless they ask and receive approval from the car owners?

    • You sure stirred some folks up! And they are very defensive of their bad attitudes. Maybe they’re going to the wrong car shows. Over the years we’ve had two Corvettes and only shared them at Corvette shows, never saw problems like these. 😉

  34. You sparked quite the debate in comments. 1. I always keep the hood down, makes for great pictures.. until someone shows interest.. 2. I’ve been to lots of car shows and have not suffered a scratch (although old guys in wheelchairs and walkers are starting to concern me). 3. I never register and don’t want votes (let the others get the trophy) , I’m just here to have a great time. (It’s not like I’d win anyway; I kept the hood shut and didn’t bring any stuffed animals)
    – 1969 R/T

    • Jeff This is my first ever year to show a car, I am learning a lot and don’t expect to win. I enjoy being around car people and having someplace to drive to since I don’t take it on errands.

  35. Don’t touch signs at car shows? We shouldn’t need them but people can be ignorant and selfish. NEVER touch someones display without permission. I am a aviation buff as well as classic car fan and had the privilege of visiting my favorite warbird at the Palm Springs museum. The Spitfire MK XIV was an extremely rare flight capable example. The ropes were very close to the plane and people could easily reach past and touch the airframe. I was able to carefully reach over with my camera and while touching nothing, get some great interior shots of this awesome plane. I noticed that the rudder was missing from the tail section and I asked the staff if the plane was still airworthy. “Oh yes” he replied ” the rudder must be removed for display. Unlike the rest of the airframe which is aluminium, the rudder is fabric covered and people poke holes in it! ” I was shocked to hear this and explained if I ever witnessed such an act it would be an instant fight. If you are ignorant enough to touch someone’s display without permission you better hope someone like me is not around to see it. I suppose some people would put their cotton candy hand prints on the Mona Lisa. Some people who attend car shows should only do so if they are on a leash.

  36. I took my Camaro to Camaro Superfest in Ypsilanti, Michigan a few years back and I was beside a guy who had a 1969 Indy 500 Camaro pace car replica, I was telling him that I was 11 years old when that came out and how bad I wanted one , and it was the Camaro that started my love affair with the Camaro, When he asked if I wanted to sit behind the wheel, I about fell over, it sure took this 50 something year old man back to the age of 11 for 5 minutes. I couldn’t thank him enough

  37. Ask questions, don’t touch is more appropriate. It’s good etiquette to the owners who have spent time and work on the car.

    I like the visitors who actually ask if i can open the door for them so they can take a peek or photograph. Or ask if I could open the hood.

    If it’s not yours, then don’t touch it. It’s that easy to respect. Of course if the guest has some sensory disability then I would be willing to help enhance their experience.

    This is what happens when touch goes out of hand:

  38. My CIA assigned vehicle with a host of goodies at an employee open house was abused by a punk so bad I had to lock it up. He was physically trying to break the lights and siren controllers. After a while. I opened the car again and within a few minutes, spotted him running straight for the car. He was told he was no longer welcome and he protested because a respectable child with his parents was in the vehicle.

  39. Many people, as someone pointed out earlier, are just (to be kind) blissfully ignorant. One day as I was about to drive away from a car show (‘64 Malibu SS) an older woman came walking toward me with a small dog on a leash. Soon I heard a whole series of clicks as it jumped up on the passenger side door. I got out, and as tactfully as possible, informed the lady that she should not bring a dog around those cars as many of them have $30,000 paint jobs (this was some 15 years ago).

  40. Another know-it-all writing an article about what to do with a classic car show, who owns a Nissan. Anybody else stopp reading after the first paragraph?

  41. I’m a London BLACK cab driver retired, after 35yrs in the job. And in my experience, on people coming up to the cab window to talk, often have an umbrella tucked under arm, which stabs the paintwork, keep your distance please, when talking, in this case looking, i am a enthusiastic classic car follower.

  42. Sorry but never get so close to the car that you spill your drink all over the inside. Had that happen to a friend of mine. I have had damage done to my car from someone leaning in, so to me that is a big no to be so close you touch the car.

  43. Interestingly enough the only place I’ve had an issue displaying any of my vehicles has been at one of the higher-end car shows. At the time I had an extremely nice 46,000 mile 1964 Fleetwood which I drove every day. I parked and opened the windows then walked through the show, got food and drinks as I always do. Upon returning to the car I found that someone had stolen the lighters from the back doors.

  44. My car is not really a trailer queen so-to-speak but it’s mine. Hands off and I really mean it. The stories I can tell you of intrusive idiots… I am sure everyone has stories.
    Can there be a rule at all car shows? NO DOGS. I know you love your dog. But the ones that have to bring their dog everywhere and they are not even a car owner.
    Three times in past car shows I had dogs lifter their leg on my tires. When I yelled at one the owners he shrugged his shoulders. I grabbed a rag and a spray bottle and said here clean it I just spent 4 hours cleaning this car.

  45. I admire these authors for their tremendous efforts and telling some of the best service providers in Chicago. They should be kind of an example for other companies. People should not miss the opportunity.


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