No detail is too small in...
No detail is too small in OE Certified. Here one of the judges is checking for the proper date code on the mufflers and ensuring that the muffler clamps are correct for the car.
"Strictly trailer queens are a lot smaller percentage of the judged show arena than folks might think. That is until you get in the Senior Division, and those that often take First and Second in each class probably see more time on the street locally than they do on a trailer."
"Driven Cars Don't Stand A Chance"
One of the things that keeps the Mopar scene alive, healthy, and vibrant is the fact that we tend to drive our cars more than most. That's where the fun is, and, as such, the judges in the Modified, Stock, and Senior Division classes take into account cars that see road time.
"Judged showfield," says Rohm, "does not make a distinction between trailered-only and driven cars. For one reason, it's an impossibility to separate the two. The solution, therefore, is to make no distinctions. However, the judges are handed the responsibility of exercising discretion. For example, if a man has a stone chip that has been attempted to be properly repaired, [judges] do not count off or [are not] really critical because that man's car has some road scars. In theory, the judges can look at a trailered-only car and a driven car and, taking into account use, care, and maintenance, judge the two fairly and competitively.
"Judges take into consideration minor and mild shown usage. Once you get into cars that have been driven a while and the undercarriage needs to be repainted and all,those folks know their bad points, but are being judged to better evaluate the finer points of their car.
"In sum, judges give consideration to selectively driven cars and occasionally driven cars."
"Quality Cars Get More Judging Time" Human nature being what it is, it's understandable to realize that many folks think judged cars that are obviously not as far along in the restoration/rebuild process as others within their same class will get the short end of the judging time card. Not so.
According to Rohm, everybody is given equal judging time and consideration. All cars are judged by folks who appreciate that particular model, so there are no prejudices, as are evident at some shows. The judges may know going into a specific car that it will not be a First, Second, or even Third place finisher. Nevertheless, judges will not "blow by" this car in favor of spending more time on one that is obviously higher up the food chain. Instead, the judges will spend time to find all of the things that the owner is there to find out. After all, the Stock class competition is not an end, but rather a means to an end-that being to help you build your car to the level you desire. As such, few serious contenders are "too rough" to not benefit from the judging experience.
"It Takes Big Bucks"
Another part of the perceived split between the judged and the non-judged crowd is the erroneous assumption that money is the big separator between the two. Nothing could be less accurate. While it is true that the majority of cars participating in OE Certified competition are the necessary beneficiaries of serious financial investment, such level of perfection is not a prerequisite for Stock and Senior class judging. What is required is patience, tenacity, and thorough, quality work on the part of the owner. Interestingly enough, many of the cars which grace the fun field at the Mopar Nationals are as good or better than those in the judged showfield. Why they aren't competing depends on the owner. Some prefer the laid-back nature of the fun field, while others mistakenly believe that they "didn't spend enough money" to enter judged competition.
Remember, it's the quality that counts, not the quantity of money invested.