Car Show Assignment and Helpful Judging Tips

Placing your vehicle in the proper class for Judging is probably the most important aspect of entering any Judged competition. It is up to the entrant to review the available classes, and decide which class their vehicle best fits. We have listed the basic classes below, with a brief description of requirements that should eliminate any potential for errors. If you are in doubt, just e-mail us at, and we help you out. Judging is open to all Chrysler and AMC vehicles, but some classes have vehicle age requirements. The judges will be willing to discuss your deductions “briefly” after they have completed the judging of your vehicle. With the number of vehicles to be judged, unfortunately there is not enough time to do a detailed discussion on each item.

Cars are broken down into classes based on the model (body style) first, depending on the number of entries. First Place will be awarded in each class that contains a minimum of three vehicles. Five vehicles are required for a Second Place, 8 for a Third Place, and 10 for a Fourth Place. If classes have more than 12 cars, they may be divided up by year, make, or model. Competing cars will be judged on a 100-point system. First Place usually requires 90 points or more; Second Place, 80 points or more; Third and Fourth Place require at least 70 points or more. No positions are awarded to vehicles receiving less than 70 points. If there is a tie between two or more vehicles, the judging sheets are reviewed for point totals in the body exterior section, and the car with the higher point total is awarded the higher place position. The Body/Exterior section was chosen for the deciding factor, because it is one of the more important factors in the vehicles in overall appearance. Note: For a copy of your judging sheet, send a S.A.S.E. to The Nationals, P.O. Box 2303, Dearborn, MI. 48123. Please include your name, year make model of car, and which classification it was judged in.

The Nationals judging categories listed below start from a 100-percent original car, then each class listed below represents a categorization of the modifications made to the vehicle that moves it away from original. It should be noted, that the vehicle may fall in between categories, requiring the owner to pick one. If in doubt, the usual rule is to go one step closer to original. As an example, if you have a few modifications that are slight, the vehicle doesn’t meet Street Class. But then again it’s not original. The proper choice would be to pick the original class.


This classification is for original vehicles only that took First place at a previous Mopar Nationals. (Required if a last year winner, optional for prior years). Once an original classed vehicle is awarded a first place in their class, the next year, if the vehicle is entered into the show, it has to go into the Senior classification. This serves a number of purposes. It allows the other cars in the class the chance to move up in rankings, especially if they have corrected items that had deductions from the previous year, and it offers the winner the next level in competition. The Senior class employs a higher level of scrutiny by the judges, in regards to additional areas of the vehicle and originality of the parts. Obviously the related point totals are higher. Items that are not judged in the Original category are looked at in this classification. This adds to the time required to judge this class and thereby the increase in registration fees. This class also offers the ability of the owner to discuss with the judge all the aspects of the vehicle that lost points after the judging process is completed.


This is the easiest class for an owner to categorize their vehicle. This class is for vehicles that are 100-percent, or close to the way the car came from the factory. Everything from paint color, interior color and trim level should match the body tag. This would NOT include maintenance items like tires, battery, headlamps, belts, hoses and clamps. Obviously non-original ones will lose points, but these changes would not place the car in a modified class. The closer the vehicle is to original condition, the lesser amount of points will be deducted. Special attention is paid to components that are normally replaced due to wear or breakage. A percentage of total points for that component will be awarded as compared to the original part. For example; tires; full points are awarded for OEM tires; 75 percent for reproduction; 50 percent for reproduction non-OEM brand having correct size and whitewall/letter specifications; 25 percent for current service replacement size tires with correct whitewall width, and so on, or zero percent for all other tires. This standard is set for the engine block, battery, tires, glass, headlights, shocks, and other under hood and undercarriage components. As part of the judging process, all vehicles will go through a functional check-out procedure to see if items are functioning properly; taillights, turn signals, horn, wipers, radio and dash lights, among other things.


This category is also easy for the owner to decide on. This is a vehicle that looks 100-percent like an original car, but is not a “numbers matching” or a model matching vehicle. An example would be a Dodge Challenger 318 that has been restored into a 440 Challenger R/T. The vehicle looks identical to a production version of the car, but its VIN, body code tag, and other documentation do not support that model. Vehicle power train changes, paint color and interior color/trim level changes are allowed as sometimes those are actually required to 100-percent duplicate the model.


The Street category is taking a 100-percent original vehicle as produced from the factory, and adding “bolt on” modifications that were or are popular. This includes; mag rims, alternate tire size or manufacturer, chrome components under hood (i.e. valve covers, air cleaner, hood springs, brackets), headers and exhaust system, and/or exhaust tips. Interior changes could be tachometer on steering column, additional gauges, aftermarket radio and/or speakers, and chromed items. This just lists some of the items that would move an original vehicle into this category. Obviously having one or two of these changes is not sufficient to move from original to this category. It would be like a combination of 5 or more items. This category was formed due to the high number of vehicles that are not restored to factory appearance, but are more reflective of what the owner desires. The amount of modifications to the vehicle would increase point deductions in an Original Category to a level that would not allow a vehicle to score well within that category. Besides, there are many original vehicles that look much more “era” correct with these modifications. The addition of a hood scoop or wing would move the car out of Street and into Modified.


This category is for vehicles that have been modified beyond simple bolt-ons. They have paint color or style changes (flames, paint graphics, stripes), addition of hood scoops or spoilers, wide rim/tire combinations in the rear and skinny in front. Other mods such as engine/transmission changes, intake manifolds (tunnel rams/blowers may cause vehicle to move to Pro-Street), heads, exhaust, braided lines classify a car as modified. Points are awarded based on the execution of modifications, creativity and quality.

Pro Street

This category is for vehicles that have been modified to an extreme level. This would include widening of the rear wheel wells or tubing, frame changes, suspension changes, turboand/or super charging, tunnel rams through the hood, graphic paint schemes and paint colors, roll cage.

Street Rod

This category is self-explaining. The vehicle is an older model (1920’s – 1950’s) with a newer drive train. Open wheel or closed. Rat Roadsters would be classified here and depending on the number of entries might be broken out into a separate classification under this category.

Young Gun

This is a category for the young Mopar enthusiast. There is an Original and Modified category. The age group is for those 15 – 25 years old. Vehicles entered in the Original classification must be restored, and be at least 20 years old. Modified vehicles can be current or older. The restoration or modifications must have been mainly done by the “Young Gun” with only some help from the parent(s)/guardian. Note: The Original Class is for restoring a classic Mopar (20 years or older), not entering a new car. New cars must be in the modified class and as such, must be modified from stock appearance (tuner look, etc.) A special area will be reserved for these entrants.

OEM Certification™

Prior approval is required, 100-percent original vehicles only. This is the GOLD Standard of vehicle judging. The vehicle is judged against a set specific standards for all components. Vehicle documentation can add additional points. Every part of the vehicle is evaluated for originality, condition and cleanliness. Build dates of components must be in line with build date of vehicle—numbers matching. Vehicle appears like it drove off the production line. There is a common theme to “over-restore” a vehicle when completing a restoration. Surface gloss should match that of production components. Paint spray/coverage should be production level. We do not deduct points for improved paint finish on body, but will deduct points for areas painted that should not be or gloss surfaces that do not match that of original. Paint markings should be based off what is found on the vehicle during restoration and not based on other vehicles seen.