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As I've learned, you can NEVER know what to expect at most car shows - especially charity shows. You go for the cause and the camaraderie.
As you found, once in a while, you end up the pigeon instead of the statue!!!
The 1st time our 65 took "Best of Show", we also took home 2nd in our class...
The ONLY time my stock 86 Saleen took Best of Show was at a Hot Rod Show with over 400 REALLY nice modified cars, and about 10 "stock" cars. You never know who's judging what or what they're looking for.
It's a bit easier with the Saleen at MCA National shows - judging is more consistent, but not always. 5 shows, 700 points possible, and it's lost 2, 3, 6, 23, and 4 points. Mostly consistent, but not completely! (the 23 point was "payback" for disagreeing - same judge who took 6 at the previous show)
I've never won anything at a car show except from a drawing were I bought a ticket (won a Holley Carb!). But as you both stated, I also do not go to "win" anything. I rarely even go to "shows". I prefer cruise nights were they usually don't judge the cars and just hang out. Sometimes our local cruise night has door prizes. I won some cheap screw drivers once! Lately I have been going to car shows geared toward rusty cars/trucks and 50's period correct cars. I HATE Goodguys snobs with all the pro built SEMA show trailer queens. I took my 67 one time to a car show and it was filthy from driving in the rain and I didn't even wash it. It was in the early spring and was full of trailer queens. It was still pretty cold outside. I got lots of looks from the show car guys, like what is a street driven car doing here? But anyway, you deserve the recognition and you know all the car show BS that goes on so it's especially nice when you win and you are not "connected"
Had yesterday pretty much free so I decided to take the car out to another show in the same Hooters series. This one was held in a different area and drew a much different collection of cars. Only a handful of the same guys form the last one I attended. I posted pics of some of the cars over on the new "Cruise Night/Show" thread.