Author Topic: Prepping for GN  (Read 1399 times)

Online David Greenburg

  • CLC #3830
  • Posts: 1997
  • CLC Number: 3830
  • Name: David Greenburg
Prepping for GN
« on: March 05, 2016, 03:55:01 AM »
Although I've been to a few GN's over the years, I have only driven once, and that was an hour away, so detailing after arrival was not an issue.  But Las Vegas will be around 600 miles.  I'd be interested in hearing how GN vets deal with cleaning up after a long drive.  Seems like one could travel "dirty" and plan on doing a complete polish/wax after arrival, or  one could do most polishing and detailing beforehand, and then do a good wash and fresh coat of wax after arrival.  The latter approach seems preferable since it would leave more time for activities during the week.  I'm probably just going to display, but still want to put my best/shiniest foot forward. 
David Greenburg
'60 Eldorado Seville
'61 Fleetwood Sixty Special

Offline quadfins

  • Jim Eccleston
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  • Posts: 962
  • CLC Number: 16079
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 07:43:43 AM »
I prefer to clean and prepare the car  before departure, as if it was for a local show. I know it will accumulate dirt, road grime, maybe even some paint chips, but I feel it is easier to address whatever “decomposition” has occurred en-route than to start fresh upon arrival. Of course, it will also depend on the conditions you encounter along the way. Last year, driving from Virginia to Wisconsin, I encountered some nasty rainstorms, which resulted in the undoing of all of my exterior detailing. It is also much quicker to tidy up the engine compartment, rather than start from the beginning.
But…
I factor in a couple of blocks of time, usually toward the end of the week, for the final re-cleaning. There is always a wash station (or, certainly, a local Blast-O-La car wash nearby) for the final scrubbing. The road grime comes off more easily if the wax is fresh from the prior week. Leaks and seepage from engine orifices and components clean up more quickly. With good weather, the evenings can be used for detailing.

That also leads to some of the most enjoyment that I derive at the GNs. Some of my best memories are of the time I have spent chatting with other participants, while out in the parking lot cleaning the crevices. It is like stretching the show-day out over many more hours, rather than the one hectic day of the show. Also, since I have volunteered to judge for the past several shows, those hours out in the lot provide some of the best opportunities to look at the other cars, and is the perfect icebreaker, providing a conducive, non-pressured environment to share stories and details of each other’s cars. It is good for the spirit to help and be helped in preparing for the Big Day, so even if the car is clean and ready, I spend as much time as possible hanging out in the parking area.

Jim
Jim Eccleston
1961 Coupe de Ville
BATILAC
Senior Crown
DeCou Driving Award x 4

Offline Jason Edge

  • Posts: 1176
  • CLC Number: 14225
  • Name: Jason Edge
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 05:21:40 PM »
I agree with Jim that it is easier to do deep cleaning at home, then wash off road grime and detail at a car show.  In addition to cleaning the car beforehand, if you are having your car judged, you should go through and make sure everything is operational. Other than the 4 "Authenticity" Categories, over one dozen of the 40 categories includes operational items, each of which often spans several sub-categories.  I don't know how many times while judging, owners told me they forgot to see if the wiper washer jet was working, or if the right rear qtr window was working, or if the power seat works, or many of the other things we check for operation.  Take category 12 for example. Show up with a non working window, power seat, and power door lock and you are looking at a minimum of 3 points deducted from that category alone. Print off the judging sheet, and go through everything at least a couple times. I have seen some really nice cars get docked points because of some trivial operational items. 
Jason Edge
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Offline 57eldoking

  • Posts: 453
  • Oslo, Norway
  • CLC Number: 28662
  • Name: Henning Kjensli
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 05:57:49 PM »
I haven't been to a GN yet so forgive my ignorance. Do judges really spray down a nicely detailed car with the windshield washer at the show field?
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #906
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #1020 http://bit.ly/1kTvFlM
1957 Eldorado Seville  #1777 http://bit.ly/1T3Uo1c
1994 Seville STS http://bit.ly/1IaOT0c
1995 Fleetwood Brougham  http://bit.ly/20YwJV4

1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon (2)
1960 Chevy Apache 10 Stepside
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Offline quadfins

  • Jim Eccleston
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Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2016, 06:02:30 PM »
Judges don't spray down a nice car.

They check the operational capability of all the systems, including the windshield washers... A couple of squirts to make sure they work will not flood or destroy a car during judging.

 And the wipers, and the radio, and the Windows, and the horns, and the air conditioning, and the engine running, etc....

Jim
Jim Eccleston
1961 Coupe de Ville
BATILAC
Senior Crown
DeCou Driving Award x 4

Offline 57eldoking

  • Posts: 453
  • Oslo, Norway
  • CLC Number: 28662
  • Name: Henning Kjensli
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2016, 06:22:05 PM »
I'm a big fan of the operational testing and think more shows should do that. I guess I've gotten too used to the modern washers where even a slight tap will deliver a powerful jet of washer fluid. Don't think I've ever used the washer on the Eldorados, hardly use the wipers either, RainX takes care of the little rain they see  :)

I'm hoping I can make it to the GN this year so I can learn more about the judging process.
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #906
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #1020 http://bit.ly/1kTvFlM
1957 Eldorado Seville  #1777 http://bit.ly/1T3Uo1c
1994 Seville STS http://bit.ly/1IaOT0c
1995 Fleetwood Brougham  http://bit.ly/20YwJV4

1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon (2)
1960 Chevy Apache 10 Stepside
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Offline quadfins

  • Jim Eccleston
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  • CLC Number: 16079
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2016, 06:37:40 PM »
Surprising as it may sound, as a judge, I have had to show owners how to operate their systems in order for us to check the operational capability.

Sadly, most of the time, if the owners don't know enough about their cars to operate the systems, the systems themselves are in such a poor state of repair that they don't work.

As stated above, print off the judging sheet, act as your own judge, and determine what works or what needs attention, then address it. CLC judging is fair, but not overly ambitious, as I have seen in some other clubs, like the Mustang Club of America.

I also agree that checking operation of components is as important as appearance, especially since our Cadillacs wereoften the cutting edge of technology and convenience gadgetry.

If you volunteer to be a judge, it will be an excellent learning experience, too.

JIM
Jim Eccleston
1961 Coupe de Ville
BATILAC
Senior Crown
DeCou Driving Award x 4

Offline 57eldoking

  • Posts: 453
  • Oslo, Norway
  • CLC Number: 28662
  • Name: Henning Kjensli
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2016, 06:44:34 PM »
Do you have a method to check the operation of Autronic Eye and GuideMatic systems on the show field?
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #906
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #1020 http://bit.ly/1kTvFlM
1957 Eldorado Seville  #1777 http://bit.ly/1T3Uo1c
1994 Seville STS http://bit.ly/1IaOT0c
1995 Fleetwood Brougham  http://bit.ly/20YwJV4

1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon (2)
1960 Chevy Apache 10 Stepside
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2970
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2016, 07:02:41 PM »
Not really.  Autronic Eye can kinda be triggered with the foot switch.  If you trigger the high beams and they stay on, it doesn't work properly.  Wipers are a must; washers help but vacuum washers are a pain. 

What MUST work:  ALL lights, lighters, windows, seat, radio (manual and auto tuner), clock, seat, locks, trunk, antenna, parking brake and auto release, air conditioning, heat, air suspension or auto level control, convertible top, sunroof...  pretend you're buying it as a 2 year old used car.  Everything has to work. 

First GN--kick back, relax and get the feeling of the event and fellow club members.  Enjoy the trips, dinners and make friends.  Volunteer to judge if you feel comfortable enough.  Understand the process.  See what may need to be done to better your car then expose it to judging.

Always remember:  no matter how good your car is, somebody else's is better... it could be as simple as their speedometer needle lays closer to zero than yours...  or their whitewalls are brand new and yours may be a little yellowed or checked...
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Offline 57eldoking

  • Posts: 453
  • Oslo, Norway
  • CLC Number: 28662
  • Name: Henning Kjensli
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2016, 08:09:28 PM »
Or if your 57 Eldorado's single carb air filter and valve covers are gold or not...  ;)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 08:16:32 PM by 57eldoking »
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #906
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #1020 http://bit.ly/1kTvFlM
1957 Eldorado Seville  #1777 http://bit.ly/1T3Uo1c
1994 Seville STS http://bit.ly/1IaOT0c
1995 Fleetwood Brougham  http://bit.ly/20YwJV4

1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon (2)
1960 Chevy Apache 10 Stepside
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2970
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2016, 08:17:10 PM »
Um...  yeah...  that, too... 
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Online David Greenburg

  • CLC #3830
  • Posts: 1997
  • CLC Number: 3830
  • Name: David Greenburg
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2016, 08:56:45 PM »
Just wondering how often you judges see working clocks in 55 year old cars.  I feel like my accessories are in good order, but I'm doom doomed in the clock and lighters department!
David Greenburg
'60 Eldorado Seville
'61 Fleetwood Sixty Special

Offline David King (kz78hy)

  • Posts: 1643
  • Check out the Eldorado Brougham Chapter
  • CLC Number: 22014
  • Name: David King
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2016, 01:37:04 AM »
It is those details at matter...and regarding a clock, if it is converted to quartz, I take a point every time.

David
David King
CLC 22014  (life)
1958 Eldorado Brougham 615
1959 Eldorado Brougham 56- sold
1960 Eldorado Brougham 83- sold
1998 Deville d'Elegance
1955 Eldorado #277
1964 Studebaker Commander
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Director and Founder, Eldorado Brougham Chapter
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Offline quadfins

  • Jim Eccleston
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  • CLC Number: 16079
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2016, 06:36:56 AM »
The judging guidelines can be fickle. Practicality factors in. EG: Automatic headlight dimmers CAN be checked, but the reliability of the testing (trying to block the light with a cloth, as stated in the shop manual) may or may not be accurate. How can we test operation of Cruise Control? Mine works, so I feel that I should get credit for it, but I understand that it is impossible to check. How about a car that is loaded with optional equipment, all of which constitutes potential point deductions, as opposed to a basic car where there are fewer systems to fail? I have to make sure my 6-way seat, power trunk and power vents work, while the Series 62 next to me has crank windows and manual seat adjustment.

BTW, lighters are checked for being in place, but NOT for operation. I don't know why - it just the way it has always been done...

Last summer, my car missed a First Place by 1/2 point. I blame the washers. I tested them before I left home. After driving the car 1200 miles to Wisconsin, I tested them again and they worked. I tested them the night before the show - they still worked. I tested them again the morning of the show, and they worked fine. During the judging, they did not work - only a bare spittle. Points lost, 2nd place against the car that was trailered in (unveiled an hour before the show, packed up and hermetically sealed an hour after the show). It turned out, there was some foreign matter in my washer reservoir, and all those tests clogged the jets. My fault for not checking the quality of the fluid.

That's just the way it is - there are no "handicaps", as in golf. So we fix what we can, make sure as much works as possible (such as the clock), and take the points hits on the rest.

Judging can never be perfect, nor make everybody happy. But CLC judging, I think, strikes a good balance between appearance, operation, and presentation, without getting so strict as to take the fun out of bringing a car. If it gets too picky, owners will be discouraged from participating, and only the museum-quality "trophy-trollers" will want to trailer their cars in. I was at another marque national show, and witnessed judges deducting points for lint on the package shelf - with the explanation that "It was not that way from the factory". That is not the kind of car club, or show judging, that I want to be affiliated with.

Going back to the original post and inquiry - Use the judging sheet as a guide to critique your own car. Address the needs that you identify. Use the Authenticity Manual, if one is available for your year. Prep the car in advance, then detail it again, once you arrive at the GN. Allow extra time for Parking Lot Schmoozing. Go into it with an open mind, enjoying the week for all it has to offer, but not getting too uptight if you don't come home with a trophy. There is a lot more to a Grand National than a trophy. The greatest part is the interaction with your fellow Cadi-fans, and seeing the vast variety of awesome cars.

Jim



The Judging Committee is at work on this. Stay tuned

Jim Eccleston
1961 Coupe de Ville
BATILAC
Senior Crown
DeCou Driving Award x 4

Offline 57eldoking

  • Posts: 453
  • Oslo, Norway
  • CLC Number: 28662
  • Name: Henning Kjensli
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2016, 09:06:58 AM »
How about deductions for exhaust routed away from the bumper ends on 57 Cadillacs? After spending 5-6 grand replating the rear bumper ends on a 57 Eldorado it is heartbreaking to run exhaust through them. We did with ours and the the chrome was visibly damaged after less than 1000 miles. Considering Cadillac did away with the practice in 58 because of the problems it was causing I think leniency should be practiced. If you are forced to route the exhaust through the bumper ends to avoid deductions, you are also more or less forced to trailer your car everywhere to avoid degrading the chrome.
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #906
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #1020 http://bit.ly/1kTvFlM
1957 Eldorado Seville  #1777 http://bit.ly/1T3Uo1c
1994 Seville STS http://bit.ly/1IaOT0c
1995 Fleetwood Brougham  http://bit.ly/20YwJV4

1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon (2)
1960 Chevy Apache 10 Stepside
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2970
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2016, 10:18:09 AM »
That would be an authenticity deduction.
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Offline quadfins

  • Jim Eccleston
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  • Posts: 962
  • CLC Number: 16079
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2016, 11:04:54 AM »
I concur with Walter.

It is just one of those things that we, with cars that we drive, have to take into account when we voluntarily enter into shows that are judged according to factory-correct authenticity.

There is no perfect solution. If we demand accommodation, then a myriad of other "questions" arise - what about radial vs Bias-ply tires? (that one is a real Frankenstein, and rears its head every year). Some accommodations are accounted for - seatbelts and  turn signals as examples - but who can or should decide on all of the possible exceptions? It becomes that slippery slope.

Since 100 point perfection is NOT required to earn a First, we can sometimes pick and choose which areas we are willing to take our hits on. For me - I can spend $7,000 on new chrome, or I can remain married and look forward to my daughters attendance in college. How much is that trophy (and attendant bragging rights) worth?

I prefer to drive my car, even if it costs points. 4 DeCou driving awards attest to that. It is also possible, in our clubs realm, to do so and still earn a Senior Crown First. Check the Membership Roster and see which cars have earned them.

Don't despair, and don't become disillusioned. Bring your car, enter it, and enjoy the entire spectacle.

Jim
Jim Eccleston
1961 Coupe de Ville
BATILAC
Senior Crown
DeCou Driving Award x 4

Offline 57eldoking

  • Posts: 453
  • Oslo, Norway
  • CLC Number: 28662
  • Name: Henning Kjensli
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2016, 12:49:53 PM »
I'm far from being in despair or disillusioned, just curious  ;) After spending 16 years restoring our Biarritz in Norway we shipped it to the U.S in 2006 and spent 3 weeks driving all of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. It was an adventure of a lifetime and gave far greater bragging rights than any trophy can in my opinion. After that tour we did trailer it back east and spent 4 days in a parking lot before entering the AACA Hershey Fall Meet. There it won a First Junior alongside another 57 Biarritz that just came off the trailer from a well known restoration shop. I'll admit that was a cool feeling but enjoying these cars on the road will always come first for me.
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #906
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #1020 http://bit.ly/1kTvFlM
1957 Eldorado Seville  #1777 http://bit.ly/1T3Uo1c
1994 Seville STS http://bit.ly/1IaOT0c
1995 Fleetwood Brougham  http://bit.ly/20YwJV4

1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon (2)
1960 Chevy Apache 10 Stepside
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Offline 49 Convertible

  • Posts: 91
  • CLC Number: 19416
  • Name: Herman Desser
Re: Prepping for GN
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2016, 08:12:35 PM »
Having been a Concours judge for over 35 years I an always surprised at the obvious details owners do not catch.  The biggest offender is wiring ends being plastic and not even black but blue or red,  Boots on spark plug wires that did not have rubber boots.  Poor plating in the engine compartment or wrong plating.  Wrong type of bolts (starred head)  Fresh oil on the frame or engine.  Owner not making sure the engine will start at first crank. (make sure you start engine when judging is announced) Check all lights for operation.  Chassis not cleaned.  Trunk lining dirty or does not fit (shrunk).  Wrong use of screws, phillips where s/b slotted or vice versa.

I have judged at nearly every show on the Southern California circuit (no Pebble Beach) and have always tried to be fair and understanding.  :) I have only attended 3 GNs and judged at one and found the judges very understanding of owner issues.  Be pleasant, enjoy the day, and have a good time. It is always nice to receive recognition for your hard work (or money spent) but there maybe someone who had a deeper pocket or started out with a better car.  You know the flaws in your restoration but keep them to yourself lest you tell a competitor  who may be in your class or?

Herman
clc19416

Herman Desser
clc # 19416

 

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