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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:
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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. Yeah right!! To have an A400 interior & top professionally done to meet the fine-point expectations will cost 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:
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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.
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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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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