Judging Changes

Event information, news of current or recent events, and judging questions.
Dave Czirr
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Re: Judging Changes

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:56 pm

Comment received by email from Joel Ray and posted with his permission:

The club needs to rethink this decision they have made. If we are dedicated to preserving these cars in their original condition, then don't encourage hot rodding them with a judging class. I say welcome these Packards to club functions just don't reward the butchering of the cars.

John Harley
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Re: Judging Changes

Post by John Harley » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:23 pm

Friends

in the '70's I owned a 2 stroke Saab 96 for about 6 months. I had do to a little work on it and it was a fun car. The engine seized up on the Massachusetts Turnpike, which is what they did, and I got a $4 discount off the towing charge for the remains-it had a new battery. The car was different, but I thought it was a brilliant design for the needs of postwar Europe, light and very fun to drive and quite peppy.

About 4 years ago I was at a local cruise night and a gentleman brought a Saab 95 wagon. I spent a lot of time looking at it closely and speaking to the owner. Someone came up to me and said it would make a killer rod with a crate 350. I said to him "After you people put crate 350's, Turbo Hydramatics and tilt steering wheels in all the old cars no one will csre about cars anymore" He saw the point quickly and disappeared.

I really don't understand getting car and making into a different experience. People try to tell me that straight eights never ran right and I should put a V8 in my car. If I wanted that, I would buy a different car. There is a doctrine floated about that the modifiers are anti snobs and we are elitists. If they think that only one sort of power train can effectively move a vehicle, who is being close minded?

I think that principle that modified cars will get younger people into the hobby is another canard. The people I see with modified cars at events are not noticeably younger that I am as a class. This has become an expensive hobby for many cars, and the people one or two generations being us have trouble making ends meet with daily expenses in this economy. The emotional connection with automobiles we have may have been broken.

I think our best plan is use out vehicles more often so the public can see them and can discuss them with us. They will have difficulty understanding their efficacy and heritage if their builders wouldn't recognize them

Regards

John Harley
Last edited by John Harley on Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Dave Czirr
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Re: Judging Changes

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:52 pm

Comment received in my email from Bob Teller and posted with his permission:

You can add my name to the list of those opposed to this new class and the whole idea of encouraging modified Packards. I seriously doubt it will have any positive influence on membership growth, and defeats PAC's major tenet of authentic preservation. Just my opinion for what it's worth.

dmdelavan
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Re: Judging Changes

Post by dmdelavan » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:57 pm

Back in the days when my first vintage car was a 1935 3 1/2 litre Bentley I recall a RROC member of long standing remarking that " we do not own these cars in the strict sense. We have custody of them for a period of time." His thoughts being that history and preservation are important. This may be a little strong language, but I believe it is on the mark. Shakespeare could perhaps stand some updating to make his works more readily comprehensible to today's student but what I have seen of such attempts are ineffective and revolting. Hot rodding is anathema to me and the notion that I have spent so much time and effort to keep my Packard as authentic as possible is completely at odds with this.

Here in St. Louis there has been an annual antique car show Easter Sunday for over fifty years and altered cars are not admitted. Several years ago the local hotrod enthusiasts protested and set up their own display nearby (this still being a free country) and call it "the real Easter car show". It did not make a dent in the original show attendance . There are plenty of venues for that.

So if this club is to let the hotrod camel put his nose into the tent I will include myself out. Part of a Packard body on a Mercury frame with a Camero rear end and a chrysler 300 engine along with a pleated satin interior and a dozen or so hi-fi speakers are not something I wish to be a part. I am therefore NOT renewing my membership. This is not what I have worked long and hard for and I will not be part of it.
Don Gutting

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Re: Judging Changes

Post by Don R's Cars » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:40 am

I like all kinds of cars including hot rods and have modified many newer cars in my day. That said, when it comes to cars as historically important as Packards preservation must be the prime directive. I recently saw an ad for a 34 Packard which had been "improved" with a 350 chevy, automatic, disc brakes, A/C, etc. and it made my skin crawl. My goal with the original 34 I own is strict preservation and I agree with Dave and others that the club needs to leave the judging rules as they are.
Don Rundgren
McKinney, Texas
1934 1100 Eight Sedan

GTO
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Re: Judging Changes

Post by GTO » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:42 am

I guess it depends on the definition of "Modified". Two of the Pather Daytona's and one of the Pan Americans are in my opinion Modified cars as that was not the way they were built. That said, I believe they belong at any Packard event and deserve to be judged. I am also a fan of many of the Packups and creations made by Ross Miller out of cars that might otherwise have ended up in the scrap yard. This said, I am totally opposed to Hot Rods .At least Ross's cars are truly Packard.

Prudence
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Re: Judging Changes

Post by Prudence » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:11 am

Good Morning all...

I too, agree that Packard Automobiles should be judged as to how original they are. I agree that points should be deducted for radial tires and other minor modifications such as 12 volt or electric fuel pumps.

Packards that still have the original engines, transmissions and rear ends, are essentially still Packards. It seems to me that those of us who drive our Packards on a daily or weekly basis, might be more into the radial tires and other minor changes that make them slightly more user friendly.

Packards that have different engines, transmissions and rear ends are not really Packards anymore. They are hot rods. They are better than if they were in the junk yard, but not in the same class as the rest of the cars. If we made a separate classification for them, at least we know where they are, and many of them could be returned to original down the road.

Ernie

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Re: Judging Changes

Post by tommlinar » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:43 pm

I am a die hard, I am all for restored or all original PACKARDS. I don't care what others do with other makes of cars. I am an orignal only person. I sometimes see Packards restored to perfect Packard specs, then will have some paint scheme that Packard never used. We have some in our club, the has the body of a 1930s Packard, but that is all, the car has a total built suspension and frame, drive train is corvette, with modern chromed wheels. The owner wears a huge god chain around his neck, with the Packard name. He gets upset with me when I tell him, thats not a Packard, thats a restorod and nothing on it is Packard except the body. I have an all original never restored 40 120 1392, and the only thing that isn't stock is the Ampmeter and Temperature gauges, which I have after market in place. Only because, when finanaces allow, I will have those two original gauges repaired.

Dave Czirr
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Re: Judging Changes

Post by Dave Czirr » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:29 pm

Comment received by email from Leon Dixon and posted with his permission.

My only comment has more to do with judging than a critique of decision, although there are a myriad of directions one could go with this.

Too many single marque car clubs have tried to be all things to all people. And yes it does seem to be that a communal-be-everything-for-everybody approach does appear to draw larger numbers. But by definition, shouldn't it? However in the meantime, what is sacrificed? Is the aim quality? Or quantity?

The raison d'etre of one-marque clubs–at least to me–ought to be preservation and honor of the products and history. The job of such a club (aside from camaraderie) is to do the very best to educate the next generation and those following about what the particular car of honor is or was all about! This means drawing out the best, most accurate examples and honoring not just the cars and the maker, but the person who has been the caretaker of all of this mechanical history on wheels. This aspect only grows in importance as time passes on and there are fewer and fewer of us who actually remember these cars when they were new. And, for that matter, a decreasing number of available cars as well.

Today there are so many people attending be-all vintage automobile events, reading flawed magazines, watching "classic car auctions" on TV and getting their information from the wild rodeo of the Internet. Thus it ought to be up to (in this case) The Packard Club to have the best judging and criteria and expertise on Packard automobiles. I would suggest that this also means having some very clear purpose in judging classes.

Once the door is opened even slightly for "judging" of modified cars, who and what stops that door from being kicked wide open? When and where does the slippery slide down stop being slippery? As the preacher said in the western story, "Brimstone," there aren't any grab handles on your way down. Where does this all start and stop? And what is the rationale behind it?

RE: modifications...The auction companies got the ball rolling with muddying the terminologies and classes of cars so far that even THEY no longer can keep up with this craziness. Watch their announcers on TV struggling now to try and make sense with all the silly meaningless terms they, themselves invented! "Restified"..."Resto-Mod"... "Tribute"..."Rat-Rod." What does this mean and do we really want to surrender to this? Reinforce it? Even the guys saying this stuff can't define it... or won't.

And already so much has been forgotten about our beloved Packards, despite some very fine books on the market and a great club magazine and newsletter. Even the last years of Packard have information gaps that very well could and should be filled. For instance, where is the book or magazine article that actually shows real V8 factory air and all of its aspects and versions (there are lots of books and articles showing aftermarket stuff and calling it "factory")? Where is the judging criteria and clear examples for underhood/engine compartment appearance for postwar models? These are just a couple of examples of areas where issues in judging exist.

While I realize every attendee to meets and every casual observer cannot possibly be (or want to be) an expert on Packards, we can at least point them in the right directions. AND, meanwhile (if modding is so vitally important) there is always the option of giving a "people's choice modified" award rather than an official judged class. After all, how does one judge a modified Packard in a way that levels the playing field even to other modified Packards? Next then there would be a demand for sub-categories in the sub-category.

If someone wants to use computer-controlled electric fans on their radiator because they work better, I say, bully for them! But don't roll this into a meet and expect to have it judged along side a car that is stock, unmolested original. If someone thinks dropping a 350 Chevy crate engine with EFI and ECM running it because it will perform "better"... then do your thing... but don't expect it to be judged, especially along side a car that has the original lovingly preserved engine and carburetor! A person wants to use an electronic automatic transmission out of a Lexus because they think is will "work way better than a Packard Ultramatic"... then by all means–go do that... but don't expect to have it judged. Or a guy wants to install new Mercedes seats in his prewar Twelve because they are more comfy, have lumbar support and have heaters in them... wow... but why? And why do you want it judged? If someone chooses to run radials because they believe the tires perform better on the interstate, I say, have at it. But don't give this modern modification the very same standing as the poor devil who rolls in with original size and bias-ply tires on his or her unaltered vehicle!

An event for a one-marque car club is not a custom car show. After all, once standards are dropped, muddied and mystified, what possible incentive can there be to strive for, preserve and honor our beloved Packards?

Sincerely and strictly a comment,

Leon Dixon

Dave Czirr
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Re: Judging Changes

Post by Dave Czirr » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:29 pm

I thank everyone who provided their thoughts. I also received about 50 email opinions from folks who did not wish to have their comments made public and all but two were consistent with what's been said here. That has helped me realize that I wasn't alone in my thoughts and it's helped me think further on the subject.

TIRES. It seems to me irrational that radial tires can be acceptable (no point deduction) on one car, but not acceptable on another. They either are correct, or they are not. I think we should return to the prior judging criteria and if it's felt the penalty (2 points per tire?) is excessive, then give thought to reducing the penalty to a lesser amount.

MODIFIED. The rat-rodding of Packard seems to be in the increase and I don't think we should be encouraging this by giving them a venue with judging class/awards. Yet on the other hand I do very much enjoy seeing certain modified cars on display, for example Ross Miller's wonderful creations. But to me what differentiates Ross' creations is that they are a mix of almost all Packard parts, engines, transmissions, dash panels, frames, suspensions, etc. I suggest two routes for PAC to go: (1) continue the Modified Class as it was, a place to display but no judging or awards to encourage more rat rods and the like, or (2) try to come up a definition of what modifications are acceptable for the class and what are not. I had a phone conversion with our PAC president on this today and I'm confident the rule changes will be revisited in light of the comments presented.

Again, thanks to all who contributed. At this point I'm going to "lock" the thread as it has served the need. If you feel you have something really important to exchange, just send me a PM or email and we can discuss it.

Locked