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Old 07-24-2014, 02:50 AM   #1
jw hash
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I have been a MAFCA member for thirty years. I became a master judge in 2011.I interred my A400 in fine point judging at the MAFCA national meet this month. I was sent a message loud and clear, that if Marco did not do your interior you are screwed. last year in Bend at the northwest regional I interred my A400 in fine point judging and received full points on my interior. this month at the MAFCA national meet I interred it again in fine point judging, Marco and team docked my interior 22 points with not even one stinking word writing why. 22 point will knock you so far out competition you can not recover.so if you are thinking of interring a vehicle in judging, you might want to think again. the system is broke and no one wants to fix it. I will not inter another vehicle in judging. and I will not renew my membership in 2015 with MAFCA John Hash
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:01 AM   #2
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Yes, there is indeed a VERY heavy point deduction in the interior trim and tops sections. I actually started a response under Barbara's post the other day in response to Peter Mendola's deductions and then deleted it as I felt it would detract from the positive mood of the thread.

For the moment, let's take Marco and Bill Sturm out of the equation because it really is a bigger issue than just Marco or Bill. You are correct in that it does seem that if those two do not do your interior, then you cannot recover however Hunter Fanney actually used a LeBaron-Bonney kit as a starting point on his award-winning Coupe but modified it under the direction of Bill's advice, ....and won, -so just in that one instance it disproves your comment above.

Where I feel the bigger issue with this comes in is many Team Captains use criteria that is NOT in the Standards to evaluate your car with. From an ethics point of view, this is totally wrong however they know it yet still continue to do so even though the Judge is instructed not to use information outside of what is printed in the Stds. In your situation, my opinion is the Stds. needs to be specific in description if there is something they want to see. If they want to see brown tanned leather with 10 pleats and two Nickle-plated grommets, ...then by golly it needs to have that printed. As it is right now, the restorer is at a distinct disadvantage not knowing what a Judge is going to evaluate on.

So as not to put Marco on trial here in this thread, Pete's 180-A had an Aries exhaust system on it at French Lick that received a deduction. Based on a couple of original mufflers I have seen, there are just a couple of VERY subtle differences (i.e. welds, etc.) between the original vs. the Aries that you must study the two for several minutes before those very minor differences even become apparent. More specifically in the Stds. it specifies the muffler was tapered and the pipe was uniform in size from front to rear, ....all of which the Aries has. Therefore the Aries meets the criteria specified in the Stds. yet Pete's gets a deduction because a Judge chooses to step outside of the judging rules and evaluate things his way. Adding additional frustration, some years a Team Captain (who is very versed on Exhaust systems and even given seminars on the topic) has accepted the Aries unit without deduction. Nothing is more frustrating than to build to a score only to have the rules altered on a Judge's whim or ego.

My personal feeling is that while the JSC groups have provided a HUGE service to the hobby through the research efforts and printing the Stds, they have performed an equally HUGE disservice to the hobby in their judging ways. The methods of competition in all facets of sports are different now than what we knew of several decades ago however the Fine-point judging methods often seen are likened to a 19th century Gentleman's Club complete with smoke-filled back room politics. Yes, the thought of that "stings" however this perception was prevalent before I ever became involved in F/P judging, and will likely continue until there is a changing of the guard.

The beginning way to correct all of this is the Judges need to put ethics in the forefront. A Judge should be so transparent with their judging that no one can ever make an allegation or suggest they have done something wrong. Yes, there are Team Captains that have been just as I have suggested where no one even questions their motives however there are others that taint the system for the Club(s).
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:22 AM   #3
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JW, I am with you all the way. I will not be renewing my membership in MAFCA next year as well. It is MY opinion that I have witnessed WAY to much ego BS. I have experienced more in my lifetime than most folks get an opportunity to even get exposed to. I figured one time that In my 26 year racing career alone, I have been face to face with about 2.8 million folks. I like people in general and spend a great deal of time studying their attitudes, aptitudes, appearance and approaches to 'situations', and I have become FED UP with the crowd of folks that take on areas of responsibilities only to further their reputation, their resumes and enhance their own inflated egos. I think I have actually seen sphincter burns around some of their ears! By that same token I have met an enormous group of GREAT folks and have amassed a huge group of friends that any man would be proud of, and I am proud of them all.

You can expect some areas of dispute when you enter a car in Fine Point Judging, but I have always maintained that the joy from building a Fine Point car is in the journey, not the destination. Unfortunately, some of the judges have assumed that because they know a LOT, they know EVERYTHING. It has been embarrassing to me to be in the presence of some of these guys that try to defend their decisions in the face of written proof to the contrary. I acquired over 1200 pages of documentation and every drawing in the Benson Archives for a recent restoration and their were still guys that wound tell me I was 'mistaken'. I have just gotten tired of arguing with 'loose sphincters'. It was judged in Oshkosh in some areas in accordance with the new standards, not by the fact that it was only the first meet after the changes and there is a two year 'window' for the old standards use. It was mostly done in an area that it is easy to assume the reason why.

Fine Point Judging should be the FIRST place a new restoration is taken and a field of COMPETANT and CARING judges should take the time to review the car and provide written comments and guidance to IMPROVE the restoration for whatever the owners intentions are. Judging sheets should be for three continuous years, so that an owner who brings his car back in successive continuous years is not deducted for unchanged items. Doing so would only indicate that one judge is calling the previous judge 'unskilled', etc. There are just too many folks that have built their own throne and expect you to bow down to them.

I have been shot once, stabbed twice and dragged behind a car for 75 yards at over 60 MPH. I have experienced personal darkness that I would not wish on my worst enemy, but at this age, I am finding it too stressful to step around these types of folks, and I am tired of trying to hold myself back from confronting those guys, so I am moving on.

I will be MOST HAPPY to help any restorer in any way that I can, because I have had great success in my own endeavors as a result of others that have helped me achieve my own goals, but you are NOT likely to see me at any event by MAFCA. I have some concerns about MARC as well.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:45 AM   #4
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My opinion on judging is it's not always what you know, it's who you know. You could have the most perfect restored car there ever was. If a judges friend is your competition, they'll find a way to knock your points down. Or not give you full points where it's deserved, like 9 out of 10 points in one area where it deserved 10. Little stuff like that Adds up. I'm not saying all judges do it intentionally, but there is the part of every human beings mind that wants to see their friends succeed. Sure some do it on purpose, but some might so it un-intentionally as well and not realizing they're judging one car harder than the next because it's not their buddies car or they didn't see the process of the car being restored so they have no emotional attachment to the car.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:45 AM   #5
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I have not ever entered in fine point judging, but have always suspected there were some areas where things like this happen. When I was building the rdstr pu for fine point judging I began to sense some of this on some 28 chassis parts. Since the rdstr pickup was likely a June of 28 built commercial vehicle there were some really Grey areas left up to the Judges to translate. June of 28 was a real transitional period and adding the fact it was a commercial vehicle which Ford likely was using up earlier parts on it was a real challange trying to determine what would pass with all of the judges. Needless to say I was in close contact with many judges and members of the committee. Very stressful at times as there were conflicting opinions. Rod
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:50 AM   #6
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IMHO... as a newbie and outsider with only the slightest knowledge of this topic... it seems there are several factors challenging blue ribbon judging. Arbitrary rulings are just one of many.

1. Cost. Back in the day, you could restore and judge a car for $5,000. Now, it's probably $30-40K.

2. Drivability. Spend $30K on a blue ribbon trailer queen, and you're not likely to drive it a million miles. You just own it.

3. Camaraderie. How many in your local club are actually still doing this? One or two? Big club, maybe ten. It's still a small crowd.

4. Politics. Every mature organization evolves into elitist classes. Common folk just can't break through. Clergy and laity. Politicians and taxpayers.

When I bought my car in 2010, I really wanted to be a purist and go to the judging meets. That dream seems too elusive now. But hey... I could hit the lottery.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:53 AM   #7
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I was frankly surprised that there were so few cars in judging in Puyallup. This story is probably an indication of why. I think Brent hits the nail on the head about the JS having more thoroughly described standards.


That being said, CCCA and AACA have many cars in judging, and the standards are a lot easier to meet, although they are even more subjective. Nevertheless, I also know from experience that in assessing a car for sale, I often take awards from those clubs with a grain of salt, as a really good looking and well awarded car from those judgings can often require a lot of work before its suited to driving more miles than a mandatory tour or a hop across the lawn from the trailer to the show.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newshirt View Post
IMHO... as a newbie and outsider with only the slightest knowledge of this topic... it seems there are several factors challenging blue ribbon judging. Arbitrary rulings are just one of many.

1. Cost. Back in the day, you could restore and judge a car for $5,000. Now, it's probably $30-40K. Yeah right!! To have an A400 interior & top professionally done to meet the fine-point expectations will cost ½ of your guesstimate alone!!

2. Drivability. Spend $30K on a blue ribbon trailer queen, and you're not likely to drive it a million miles. You just own it. No club member drives their car a million miles a year. Heck, most Model-A hobbyists struggle to log 2,000 miles a year on their Model-A. If truth were told, more Model-A hobbyists just own a Model-A that sits than hobbyists that actually use them with frequency.

3. Camaraderie. How many in your local club are actually still doing this? One or two? Big club, maybe ten. It's still a small crowd. I'm not sure this is accurate either. The crowd is not small who are striving for authenticity or bettering a vehicle. If your thoughts were actually true, then why do they sell as many Judging Stds. books a year? As far as Judging goes, the largest car club in the world has their main focus on Judging. Therefore it is NOT about judging as that side of the hobby is still very popular.

4. Politics. Every mature organization evolves into elitist classes. Common folk just can't break through. Clergy and laity. Politicians and taxpayers.

When I bought my car in 2010, I really wanted to be a purist and go to the judging meets. That dream seems too elusive now. But hey... I could hit the lottery.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:54 AM   #9
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I've never understood why anyone would want to enter their Model A Ford in "fine point judging". I suppose it is some kind of ego boost to out-point your fellow car owners but must hurt a lot to get beat out by some other guy who devotes his entire life to win some cheesy plastic trophy. I drive my old Ford because it's fun; not afraid to scratch it, get it dirty or wworry about something not being "factory". How many owners really give spits about "fine point" judging. Too bad you lost, too bad you entered in the first place. I wouldn't quit the club over this, it's just a Ford, not a Dusenberg.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:06 AM   #10
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Obviously I have to respond since the issue was raised.

The book says "Deep brown crush grain genuine leather" and then directs to a foot note further describing it as actually "fine colonial grain". While that doesn't paint a clear picture of what it looks like, it generally prompts an owner or restorer to find out what it looks like or study remaining original scraps in their car if there are any. Nowhere does the book suggest "the light or medium brown grainless leather of your choice".

Another issue that is becoming more common is the use of foam rubber. Sewing the seating surface pleats of over a solid cloth backed sheet of foam rubber is expedient and provides a nice modern look but is clearly has different characteristics than being individually stuffed with cotton as was done long before and continuing long after the Model A period. The use of foam rubber is also mentioned in the book although it clearly needs to be emphasized more since folks aren't paying attention to it.

I'm sure these issues don't matter to most folks as long as the workmanship is good but they are significant issues none the less.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:11 AM   #11
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:14 AM   #12
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JW by the looks of your car in your Avatar, I'd be darn proud of it. Heck with the Fine Points Judging. Drive it, have fun with it, and ignore the F.P. mentality you have one fine looking A-400.

After reading this thread and several like it in the past, I would run away from entering F.P. judging. It seems to zap the fun factor out of owning a Model A Ford, and when it's no longer fun it's not worth participating in the hobby.

On a second note, too bad for the National Clubs. I'm the only Model A owner that I know of that ever belonged to either in my area. I've given copies of The Restorer and MAN to many, many A owners and they could care less about belonging. Not one ever joined. I even bought memberships for two of my closer friends and they wouldn't renew.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:16 AM   #13
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I can clearly see that you do not understand. I don't think it is an ego thing and there is no "First Place", simlply a score and ribbons for hitting or exceeding a cerian score. It is possible for several Henrey Awards at any given meet. Many that have high scores also don't let the car simply sit between shos. I have been told several use the same car for Hill Climbs etc. At some point in the future I will try again to build one for fine points judging. Although alittle stressful it is a worthwhile learning experience. Rod
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:28 AM   #14
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Seems like Marco have a conflict of interest in judging cars where they have not done the interior. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:46 AM   #15
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I call it politics!!! I HATE politics, Very little is actually fair in this life and it seems to get worse as time goes on. I don't care about judging, fine point or otherwise. I do my model A's the way that I want for our enjoyment, improved performance and drivability. I dropped out of both clubs after being a member for many years. I really don't care about any club... l've learned how to keep my cars running after a lifetime of experience of doing them myself. Some po folks can't afford or even care about a fifty thousand dollar interior or whatever.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc Cruzer View Post
Seems like Marco have a conflict of interest in judging cars where they have not done the interior. Just my opinion.
How is Marcos response a conflict of interest?

Fine point cars are supposed to be as close to having left the factory as possible, period. If it isn't correct it isn't correct. It is what it is.

I will agree egos have no place in judging, but having never entered a car yet in fine point, I can't comment on what I have yet to witness.

JW, you have a great car, it still rates high in my book, regardless of the correct to the letter interior.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Seems like Marco have a conflict of interest in judging cars where they have not done the interior. Just my opinion.
I have two additional points. First, I quit doing that type of work over fifteen years ago so that just doesn't hold water. Second, I was just one of a five person team. In many if not most cases I was trying to push the scores up.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Seems like Marco have a conflict of interest in judging cars where they have not done the interior. Just my opinion.
I disagree,.....I think you dead wrong!


And speaking of "wrong", I take exception to the fact that no written
comments for the deductions,...I consider that wrong! I was instructed
by Bill Strum too write comments for the deductions, so the owner
understood the problem...
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:11 AM   #19
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At one point I suspected the same. However with digging into the details Marco has put in his time and leg work helping to write the standards and finding sources for the correct quality materials. Not an easy thing to do with styles colors and methods of manufacturing over the course of decades. He has volentarliy sent me valuable info and pic's over time with details you just can't get anywhere else. As stated above he no longer does interiors. Possibly just to avoid such accusations. With that being said it was the interior details thar made me change my mind about restoring the delivery sedan for fine pont juidging as it was going to be alot of money to have an interior color (darker brown imitation leather and painted cardboard)that I could not live with. Rod
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:52 AM   #20
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I think I agree with most of the people here when I say that the "Fine Point Judging" vehicles are wonder to behold but they are not for me.
In fact I am so far away from FPJing that I am in a different country because I want to enjoy a barn fresh or almost barn fresh vehicle over one that has been completely restored.

I am not even interested in long tours - All I want is to drive a piece of history and use the car to have fun with my family.

I have 1919 T and a 1930/31 A Town Sedan. My idea of fun is to take my grandkids to get ice cream and watch them explain the Model T to folks that stop to talk or get coffee with a friend and watch people look at the car. I also like to take the T to car shows and talk with people. I guess others like it because it has been awarded a trophy every time I have entered a car show (2 firsts, a second and a third)

I think I'll enter the A as in in FPJ and see what happens - After all it is a 31 Town sedan that has never been restored, was a daily driver until 1964, had been in storage for 50 years, and has a seized 30 motor. At least the dust is fine!

It is a good thing that there is room in the hobby for everyone.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:53 AM   #21
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So.....what I'm hearing is the if the seat upholstery isn't stuffed with cotton in the pleats it should receive deductions. My seats do not have pleats. Where can I find in the JS's how they should appear so no deductions are received? Also there's no reference to what the upholstery material should be. It can be assumed it should probably be similar to or exactly like a Station Wagon, but is it? I don't know.

It's not an ego boost at least for me to build a Blue Ribbon A. Both the A's I put up for judging were unique in some way, rare and had a long traceable history. I felt I owed it to the A's to bring them as far back to their assembly line departure as I was capable of. I'm proud of it but I don't think my head is any bigger than before I started. I competed against the "Book" not any other A. I'm happy for those that received higher scores.

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Old 07-24-2014, 12:02 PM   #22
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I sucks when you work your ass off on a restoration doing what you feel is correct. The work you have done is even "verified" by judges at a national event. Then when you tweek your work the rug is pulled out from under you for the "approved" work you have done.

The question now becomes which event is correct. Without the reason for deductions by the group how does one know?
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:10 PM   #23
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Default My Confusion

I have judged in several regional and one national meet. I have talked to many chief judges about this issue and as of yet I still have questions about the following excerpt from the JS.


In the past, judges may have used their technical knowledge of specific items that were not included in the Guidelines available at the time a vehicle was judged. Individual judges must not use their own ideas, knowledge, interpretations and/or opinions as this puts the owner at a disadvantage when his vehicle is judged against information not in the Guidelines. This practice shall be discontinued.


I usually pose the following. The JS specify the paint colors for each body style / year. However there are no examples of the colors in the JS. If a 1930 Cabriolet is painted yellow and brown how does a judge know if it is the correct yellow and brown. Is canary yellow and light brown acceptable? Most say no it has to be the correct yellow and brown. But there is nothing in the JS that describe the correct colors. If a judge "knows" what the correct shades are and uses that knowledge is that wrong based on the above statement? If you have three judges and one knows exactly what shade the colors are the second knows approximately what the color is, and the third does not know what the correct color of yellow then what information do you use. The first will deduct points for any color other than the "correct" yellow. The second will deduct points for yellows that are not close to the original color. The last will give full points for any yellow. My conclusion here is that the amount of deduction may depend on the "technical knowledge" of the judge making the deductions.

The above example of paint color is just one of many areas that I could have used.

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Old 07-24-2014, 12:19 PM   #24
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here is what the standards say and a copy of what they gave me.
" scoring should be done by deducting points from the area total. when two or more judges are selected to judge an area,((( the judge having the highest certification ))) shall enter the judging points on the score sheets after a consensus has been reached. point deductions that exceed 30% or more of the total for the area shall be explained in writing and initialed by the judge. such deductions shall be reviewed by the team captain. if the judge fails to explain deductions over 30% the judge sheets will be returned to him for completion.


well said Bob

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Old 07-24-2014, 12:23 PM   #25
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I was a team captain at Puyallup, my team judged three area (not interiors). Two members of my team were master judges & helped write & update the JS. They were very tough on the area they judged & they knew it well. On other other hand I have entered my 68C in fine point judging six times & not in the last six yrs. The points have varied from 352 at the lowest to two award of excellence's, 411 & 419. The restoration on this car was completed in 1972 so it's a 40+ yr. resto. I once got full pts.(15) in an area & the next time it was judged a red alert & received 7 pts. in that same area with only 50 miles diff. between the judging. Judging is subjective & depends how the judges feels, it shouldn't be that way but it is. I solved the problem by no longer having any of my Model A's judged.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:50 PM   #26
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All Dog and Pony shows are based upon who you know... Don't waste your time when the odds are with the house as it their game, their rules.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:00 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Seems like Marco have a conflict of interest in judging cars where they have not done the interior. Just my opinion.

Marco's comments above speaks for his perceived conflict of interest however please allow me to expound on this perception as it applies to the entire Judging process, and not him. What Bob said above is what I have preached over & over yet it continues to happen. l will drop that topic and address the conflict of interest issue...


Imagine the perception of a ‘conflict of interest’ if a Little League Baseball umpire had a sideline business where he was a pitching coach mentoring a few of the same kids he is calling a ballgame on! Could this cause any controversy? What would the public reaction be if a T-Shirt Shop business owner sold jerseys to a few of the football teams, AND was also a Referee during a few of their games? Imagine a local race track’s Tech Inspector going out for a few beers with a team after a race?? In each of these scenarios the individuals did not necessarily do anything unlawful or unethical …however the general perception of their behavior leaves room for doubt, speculation, and questions, ....and that is why each of these hypothetical officials should abstain from being placed in such a situation.

The same mindset can be applied for MARC/MAFCA judging practices. When you have a Team Captain making judgment calls in an area where they have a financial stake, it simply “looks bad” for everyone. I would venture a guess that maybe 50% of the recent 23 area Team Captains receive some sort of financial compensation for their items which are installed on vehicles in competition. Contrary to the way an 'insider' spins it, this just has the appearance of "looking bad" for the judging process. Therefore, if someone sells Model-A tools to the very hobbyist who will have them displayed in competition, then they ethically should not be a Team Captain. If someone is a Team Captain over Area 22, AND throughout the year they also sell restored hubcaps, valve stems, and other items pertaining to that area, then ethically they shouldn’t be a Team Captain over that area. If someone derives their living ( -receives compensation) making/installing interiors, tops, etc., then they should abstain from being a Team Captain over that area. This should also apply for Restoration Shop owners who have vehicles in competition at that show, and should apply for anything --no matter how small or insignificant (Horns, Wipers, Pinstriping, etc.) where compensation has been made in exchange for an item that is installed on the vehicle entered into that competition. Folks, this just looks bad when this happens!!

Now I am NOT saying, …suggesting, …nor implying anything unethical has happened by any person mentioned above, however it is the mere perception by the public's eye that it could happen which creates the image issue. We live in a day and time where transparency is expected by someone in a controlling situation and this is no different. As it stands right now with the way the judging process is being handled, it casts a dark shadow that sets a very negative tone to the public’s eye regarding judging, -most importantly including those hobbyists who have spent vast amounts of time & money on a vehicle entered into competition!

To me it is a simple fix to get headed in the right direction. A Team Captain needs to make a choice which is more important to them, selling goods/services in an area they want to judge, OR being a Team Captain. If they choose to continue selling goods/services, then they should step away from being a Team Captain and only be involved in the capacity as a team-member Judge. Then if the Team Captain is being moral and ethical in his/her duty, they will make sure the appearance of favoritism or partisanship does not occur. While that may not be the perfect solution, it is a huge step in the right direction in my view.

In addition to this, I believe Team Captains should be ‘judged’ on their performance by both team-member Judges AND the car owners of vehicles in competition. It is my view that a Team Captain has certain responsibilities to the car owner where only legitimate deductions need to be made, and clearly written & legible reasons for the deduction need to be listed on the sheet. If a Team Captain chooses to use unethical behavior (such as deducting for items not specified in the J/S book) or not writing reasons on the score sheet, then they should receive a poor grading score on their performance in that role, ...and as such are subject to being barred or placed on probation if their practices continue. The only ones that would feel this mindset being ludicrous are likely the very ones who are possibly guilty of that behavior.

For the ones that say it is difficult enough to find qualified Judges now, let me just offer this thought that if suitable Team Captains cannot be found, then it proves the system is flawed and needs immediate attention, --or it needs to be abolished until such a time where corrections to the system/process can be made. If that means that Fine-Point judging is dropped from the club curriculum, then so be it but understand the negative publicity generated by the actions of a few individuals damages what the rest of the club is trying to do for the betterment of the hobby.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:13 PM   #28
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I too have been a long-time member of both MARC (1965-2007) and MAFCA (1964-2014), and became a Master Judge in 1987. I too built and entered a car for 'Fine Point' judging. So I understand John Hash's frustration and disappointment.

It is always sad to hear about disappointing experiences. To have high expectations dashed is a traumatic and emotional (and even exasperating) thing to have to go through. Sometimes 'venting' can help one get through the emotional drama the rages through one's mind. So it is good to 'vent'.

However, for the person who is not 'hurt' by the 'injustice' , a somewhat clearer picture may emerge. In reading John Hash's post, I sense that "Winning is Everything"! And the most stringent game of all is entering into 'Fine Point' Judging. That is true whether it is ballet, or chess. Or cars.

The driving force behind 'winning', is the extreme attention to detail. That is what separates the the players in the game. And for 'Fine Point' judging 'extreme attention to detail' is both required and demanded, if one is to succeed to the top of the pile. That arena is NOT for very many people. Some don't have the money for it. Some don't have the desire or inclination for it. Some don't have the ability for it. But I suspect most just don't have an interest in such competition. And that is what 'Fine Point' judging is - competition.

However, when emotionalism takes over, we loose some of our objectivity. When John Hash riles with words like 'stinking', his lack of objectivity begins to creep into his argument. I mentioned earlier that 'extreme attention to detail' was needed to succeed in 'Fine Point' judging. I hope I was not the only one who noticed that John Hash's post may have given a clue as to why he did not fare as well as he expected. I am referring to his use of the word 'interred' and 'interring'. Attention to detail would have given us the correct 'entered' and 'entering'. If he lacked 'attention to detail' in such a simple task as writing a forum post, he may have also lacked some 'attention to detail' in his cars upholstery.

There is an old saying - "If you can't stand the heat - move away from the fire". But that does not mean that you have to move out of the building ! There are so many facets to our Model A hobby, and 'Fine Point' judging is - to my mind - the smallest part of it. There are so many fine people, so many fine events, so many fine social activities, and so much more. If John would avoid the 'corrupt' world of 'Fine Point' judging and instead enjoy all the other benefits of the warm camaraderie that make up the Model A family, I think he could 'have his cake and eat it too'.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:37 PM   #29
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Really, a spelling & grammar lesson? I caught the word use as well, but overlooked it as well as the use of "stinking".

But it is hard to look past the point deductions on the sheet offered up by John and wonder as to the explanation. And, to add to his frustration, to receive completely different scores for the interior finishes is hard to fathom when the standards are supposed to be across the board for both national groups.

I've never had any experiece in the Fine Point arena, so I don't know one way or the other.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:52 PM   #30
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Beyond such things as 'cronyism', 'corruption', 'good ol' boy', etc. is the real fact that, like all of life's trials and judgements, decisions are made by people. People make judgement calls on every aspect of their everyday living. Some decisions are good - others are not. People are fallible. People make errors. People have flaws. People are the weakest link in humanity. People are also the strongest link in humanity. People are NOT perfect. They just do the best they can. And that is something we all have to live with.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:53 PM   #31
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I signed up to be a judge at the MARC Nat'l Meet back in 1996. I don't know if things have changed in the judging since then but I certainly noticed the politics that were in play back then on how certain cars were judged. Certain cars were "pre-judged" by the team leaders before the team could even pick at them.

I also learned of the "Queen For A Day" cars that were being judged. The perfect wheels were from this club member's car. The battery from someone else's car. The NOS fan belt that had been on different fine point cars over the last 8 years, etc.. It was like an inside secret that only the "in crowd" knew.

That judging process (read politics) was such a disappointment to me that I scrapped my own plans for building my fine point car and I never signed up for National judging again.

With that being said, I really do enjoy going to the National Meets when I can and looking at the Fine Point cars. I enjoy it when I talk to the FP owners that say I did the restoration all by myself, then you compliment them on the quality of something. "Oh, that was done by this guy who is the best in the industry." I now know that they are a Contractor and know all the sources and have the check book ready.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:56 PM   #32
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Looking at the judging sheet you will see that for each area there were reasons given for the deductions. The circled abbreviations give the reasons for the deductions. In the first 2 areas the reason is IP (Improper part/material) and WS (workmanship). The third area it was IP. The last 2 areas it was WS. Granted there could have been additional information but to say there was no reasons given would be incorrect. When I judge I try to put down more specific information to help the owner know why points were lost.

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Old 07-24-2014, 02:04 PM   #33
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"If he lacked 'attention to detail' in such a simple task as writing a forum post, he may have also lacked some 'attention to detail' in his cars upholstery."

A bit of background - 40 years ago I was writing voluminous proposals for multimillion dollar projects to major corporations around the world. At that point in time one grammatical error would pretty much eliminate you from consideration. Twenty years ago I was teaching college and I stressed how important proper grammar and word usage was in every day business dealings - I took off substantial points for errors even if the answer itself was basically correct.

I fail to understand how you can correlate spelling errors in the informal environment found in this forum with an overall lack of "attention to detail" when restoring a car. As for "emotionalism" taking over while recounting the details of a perceived wrong - how does that correlate to the statements made being factual or not. Some people get emotional when they write - some don't. The ability to express facts without emotion has no bearing on the correctness of the facts themselves.

Frankly I am appalled that the "perception of conflict of interest" was ever allowed to occur, much less allowed to continue.

Reading Brent's excellent Post #28 certainly gives me pause to wonder whether or not I will join MAFCA, or renew my membership in MARC. It appears to be a very incestuous group if the facts are as inferred.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:05 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougVieyra View Post
However, for the person who is not 'hurt' by the 'injustice' , a somewhat clearer picture may emerge. In reading John Hash's post, I sense that "Winning is Everything"! And the most stringent game of all is entering into 'Fine Point' Judging. That is true whether it is ballet, or chess. Or cars.

The driving force behind 'winning', is the extreme attention to detail. That is what separates the the players in the game. And for 'Fine Point' judging 'extreme attention to detail' is both required and demanded, if one is to succeed to the top of the pile. That arena is NOT for very many people. Some don't have the money for it. Some don't have the desire or inclination for it. Some don't have the ability for it. But I suspect most just don't have an interest in such competition. And that is what 'Fine Point' judging is - competition.

However, when emotionalism takes over, we loose some of our objectivity. When John Hash riles with words like 'stinking', his lack of objectivity begins to creep into his argument. I mentioned earlier that 'extreme attention to detail' was needed to succeed in 'Fine Point' judging. I hope I was not the only one who noticed that John Hash's post may have given a clue as to why he did not fare as well as he expected. I am referring to his use of the word 'interred' and 'interring'. Attention to detail would have given us the correct 'entered' and 'entering'. If he lacked 'attention to detail' in such a simple task as writing a forum post, he may have also lacked some 'attention to detail' in his cars upholstery.

There is an old saying - "If you can't stand the heat - move away from the fire". But that does not mean that you have to move out of the building ! There are so many facets to our Model A hobby, and 'Fine Point' judging is - to my mind - the smallest part of it. There are so many fine people, so many fine events, so many fine social activities, and so much more. If John would avoid the 'corrupt' world of 'Fine Point' judging and instead enjoy all the other benefits of the warm camaraderie that make up the Model A family, I think he could 'have his cake and eat it too'.

Doug, asking it this way, does it take someone with a college degree to be able to be a fine craftsman?

As for John's initial post, the way I interpreted his thoughts, he received strong deductions but without explanation as to why. Would his reaction been different if there would have been an explanation and a reference to the J/S for the car owner to compare what is written to what the vehicle has? I definitely think so.

While Marco was just 1 of the 5 on the team, all 5 should share responsibility for Mr. Hash's frustration, however whomever the Team Captain was over that respective area is the person that has the ultimate responsibility to ensure all of his team members are following protocol. It is very apparent they did not do their job correctly. As you put it, their lack of 'attention to detail' by failure to make deduction notes (as instructed to do so) and the Team Captains failure to follow instruction by initialing the Red Alert scores (as instructed to do so) might have given an indication of their poor attention to detail in their evaluation process of Mr. Hash's vehicle. While I am not saying this did happen in this instance, surely you can see how these failures could create some turmoil in a car owner's mind after receiving a low score such as John did.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:21 PM   #35
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Only a tiny percentage of Model A fans really care about who "wins" a judging contest but no one wants to be associated with an individual who crys about not being "first" then says he's going to quit the club because of it. I surely wont miss him or his attitude.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:30 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougVieyra View Post
................ I am referring to his use of the word 'interred' and 'interring'. Attention to detail would have given us the correct 'entered' and 'entering'. If he lacked 'attention to detail' in such a simple task as writing a forum post, he may have also lacked some 'attention to detail' in his cars upholstery. ...........................................
Do not let ones typing ability and or proper English grammar lead you to believe that the individual does not have the ability to focus on detail.

John's memory and attention to detail and skills in body work, body alignment, paint, stainless steel restoration, door handle restoration , bumper clamp restoration, spark plug restoration, frame straightening, and all the facets of restoring a Model A Ford go far beyond the average restorer.

John is not upset about the fact that he did not have best of show; he clearly recognizes the best vehicle did get best of show. He is upset about a judging process that was not followed by a senior judge and a master judge who is on the Judging Standards Committee.

RG&JS page 12 Revised 2011 lower RH column states

“Scoring should be done by deducting points from the area total. When two or more judges are selected to judge an area, the judge having the highest certification shall enter the judging points on the score sheets after a consensus has been reached. Point deductions that exceed 30% or more of the total for the area shall be explained in writing and initialed by the judge. Such deductions shall be reviewed by the Team Captain. If the judge fails to explain deductions over 30%, the judging sheet shall be returned to him for completion. In addition to using the suggested codes, a judge can make specific comments. By doing so he will provide the owner with information by which to improve the vehicle or produce another higher point restoration.”


The Area 12 Judging sheet posted by John uses only scoring codes for deductions and provides no written detail, thus there is no specific basis for the deduction. The RG&JS state “Point deductions that exceed 30% or more of the total for the area shall be explained in writing and initialed by the judge”. Just using the codes allows the judge to hide his bias, use his tribal knowledge and not judge to the RG&JS.

Rather disappointing when a senior judge and a master judge who is a member of the MAFCA Judging Standards Committee cannot follow the RG&JS!!!!!


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Old 07-24-2014, 02:32 PM   #37
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My pre-2006 experiences with the people judging, writing the standards and building cars to judge did not show politics to the level of what it appears you are implying. It is just their application, importance and definition of some loose terms and when to apply them.
The "90 Day Rule" and "Carried Over on Commercial Vehicles" until supplies were depleted are not all terms weiged in the same terms by everyone and even nearly disregaurded by some. When discussing different, somewhat controvercial parts near or shortly after a major change I got varying opinions depending on who I talked to and how the question was asked.

One example of this was the carburetor (and I have several others). The carburetor that was with the pickup was the early version of the single venturi with the false boss. JS stated (as I remember it) the single V carb was introdiced in mid June. The prorated manufacturing date of the engine was May 23rd. which should have had the later Double V carburetor. Yes, it is possible it may have been changed over the years, but what are the chances it would have had the wrong carb by under a months worth of change. I feel like there was an error in the research as to the introduction of the change. I do not however think it was intentional and there may very well be some lost records. Just to get a sense of how frustrating it can be for someone building on for fine points.

I am however alittle curious, why does this regional meet almost always seem to have the most and most legitimate complaints about the judging? I have noticed this more and more thae last several years. Possibly that participation is higher than some of the others or that the participants are more passionate than other areas???

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Old 07-24-2014, 02:33 PM   #38
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I've never understood why anyone would want to enter their Model A Ford in "fine point judging". I suppose it is some kind of ego boost to out-point your fellow car owners but must hurt a lot to get beat out by some other guy who devotes his entire life to win some cheesy plastic trophy. I drive my old Ford because it's fun; not afraid to scratch it, get it dirty or wworry about something not being "factory". How many owners really give spits about "fine point" judging. Too bad you lost, too bad you entered in the first place. I wouldn't quit the club over this, it's just a Ford, not a Dusenberg.

Wonton, by your post it would appear that you have never pushed yourself to be the best at anything. Golfers play to get better, teams practice to get better. Fine Point Judging is not for everyone, but for those that do participate we enjoy the PERSONAL challenge of making something the best that we can do. I am building a fine point car because "I" want to. I want to make the car as accurate as my ability and my finances allow me to be able to do. Again because I want the personal satisfaction. It is not to impress anyone, or to show off a "plastic trophy". My friends won't care about my trophy but I am not building it for them or to impress anyone.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:37 PM   #39
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1wonton - "Only a tiny percentage of Model A fans really care about who "wins" a judging contest but no one wants to be associated with an individual who crys about not being "first" then says he's going to quit the club because of it. I surely wont miss him or his attitude."
____________________________________________

Well said, 1wonton. That IS the point. No one said 'Life is Fair'. Every aspect of our daily life risks some degree of disappointment or unfairness. It is what life is made up of. After awhile, we grow up and stop complaining. We pick up the pieces and move on.

My 1928 Phaeton won a First Place at the Portland National Meet in 1984. And while I too (few do not) suffered some 'inconsistencies' in the judging, it was NOT the cause that that was the last time I entered it into ANY kind of competition or judging. Focusing on the 'Fine Point', caused me to lose out of MUCH of the FUN that went along with socializing and 'car grazing'. I had reached the 'been there, done that' point. For the last thirty years my '28 Phaeton has been a constant companion, friend, mistress, and daily driver. The judging arena is a combat platform that I do not miss. Again as I said earlier, I understand and sympathize with John Hash's frustration and disappointment. Like me, it may be time for John to just enjoy the car and all the joy it brings to others, and not get involved in the judging world.

- And Brent, 160B, et.al. - 'If' and "may have" are an important part of the message that I don't think you give enough weight to. It does allow that the rest of the sentence may not be true.
- "vermontboy" - 'Emotion' does often time cloud 'facts'. And 'attention to detail' has nothing to do with a college education, as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford can attest.

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Old 07-24-2014, 02:39 PM   #40
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Wow, that is harsh 1wonton! Mr. Hash isn't crying about not being "first" or not winning, but rather the inconsistency in applying the "judging standards" to his particular car in two different instances. While I have never met John Hash, I have had some dealings with him and never found him to have an "attitude" He has posted often on this forum and offered valuable input. I certainly hope he does not quit the Barn!
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:42 PM   #41
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You're quite right, I have never "pushed" myself "to be the best at anything". I'm just a normal guy who owns an old Model A, that I like to drive. See, it's easier that way, I don't have snivel and whine when I can't have my way. Good thing you're leaving the club, you wouldn't be happy being second. Enjoy looking at your perfect, zero mileage, garage queen.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:49 PM   #42
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Take this with a grain of salt since I have never been a judge and I'm somewhat new to the hobby having only been to one regional meet and one national. Maybe I'm the kid who doesn't know what he's talking about but I'm a quick learner, love to hear how all this works and yes, my generation is the future of MAFCA so if I need to be enlightened feel free!

What I find amazing is how his interior can receive full points one year, and be docked to that degree the next. Having a code like workmanship or incorrect material does little to spell out what exactly is amiss especially when some of those categories cover many parts of the interior. You can get pretty subjective in those areas and in many ways that's unavoidable but you better put your name to your opinion and a detailed reason why. If you don't then that information will die with you, or when asked to tell how you know this either we all learn something or you might be called out for B.S. or playing politics. Information is key which is why we need to encourage participation and research in regards to judging, the judging standards, et al. The last thing we need is to push people away that know a thing or two and have talents and resources to contribute.

The inconsistency of one year to the next in that single area in my mind either stinks of incompetence or complacency one year, or an agenda the next. What kind of corrective measures are in place for judges (or groups of judges) who fail to be objective, or fail to know the nuance of how much of a grain the leather should show? Or fail to spot something like a different padding material used underneath the pleats? These are issues that should be considered by the Judging Standards Committee. This is where it is extremely beneficial to both the judges and the entrants to judge a car over multiple meets and years to bring some consistency to what is being decided on what is correct and what is not. In the case of a large disparity from one meet to the next within one club (i.e. MAFCA vs. MARC) maybe there should be a maximum point difference allowed for various categories in a certain time frame (1 year, 3 years, 5 years?) on cars that have a record of being judged to ensure all judges get the same information and follow the same rules? Kind of like grading on a curve. You shouldn't be able to go from an A+ to a C on the same test with the same answers in my mind. At least not in a year, under the same set of revisions.

Also - aren't some of the judges also on the judging standards committee? Maybe that is a conflict of interest? Maybe it should be proposed that one cannot serve both and there should be term limits for those serving the standards committee in order to ensure what goes on in judging stays impartial, procedures are followed CORRECTLY and an individuals philosophy doesn't control the direction of the group?

Just my uninformed 2 cents....
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:53 PM   #43
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1wonton - "Only a tiny percentage of Model A fans really care about who "wins" a judging contest but no one wants to be associated with an individual who crys about not being "first" then says he's going to quit the club because of it. I surely wont miss him or his attitude."
____________________________________________

Well said, 1wonton. That IS the point. No one said 'Life is Fair'. Every aspect of our daily life risks some degree of disappointment or unfairness. It is what life is made up of. After awhile, we grow up and stop complaining. We pick up the pieces and move on.

My 1928 Phaeton won a First Place at the Portland National Meet in 1984. And while I too (few do not) suffered some 'inconsistencies' in the judging, it was NOT the cause that that was the last time I entered it into ANY kind of competition or judging. Focusing on the 'Fine Point', caused me to lose out of MUCH of the FUN that went along with socializing and 'car grazing'. I had reached the 'been there, done that' point. For the last thirty years my '28 Phaeton has been a constant companion, friend, mistress, and daily driver. The judging arena is a combat zone that I do not miss. Again as I said earlier, I understand and sympathize with John Hash's frustration and disappointment. Like me, it may be time for John to just enjoy the car and all the joy it brings to others, and not get involved in the judging world.

- And Brent, 160B, et.al. - 'If' and "may have" are an important part of the message that I don't think you give enough weight to. It does allow that the rest of the sentence may not be true.
- "vermontboy" - 'Emotion' does often time cloud 'facts'. And 'attention to detail' has nothing to do with a college education, as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford can attest.

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Old 07-24-2014, 03:13 PM   #44
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Why be a quarterback when you can just be a fan? That does not make sense to me. My hats off to all who are willing to be high point contenders, and to those who judge, if it was easy we all would do it.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:55 PM   #45
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Hey!! No dog in this fight,Honest question,How nice were Model A's from the factory? The quality of craftsmanship is outstanding these days,so are the builds better than the originals? Pete
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:57 PM   #46
DougVieyra
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Default Re: message received loud and clear

Yeah - I suspect so. I doubt that Henry Ford or Charles Sorensen could qualify to be Master Judges today. Remember, the Ford Motor Company just had to satisfy a customer - Today's 'Fine Point' car must satisfy much harsher critics.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:05 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prpmmp View Post
Hey!! No dog in this fight,Honest question,How nice were Model A's from the factory? The quality of craftsmanship is outstanding these days,so are the builds better than the originals? Pete
By FAR, Originals came with Mixed & matched parts, Many paint runs all over Etc..
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