Judging Guidelines

Judging Guidelines

The Texas Tour guidelines follow, for the most part, Official Judging Guidelines for the Antique Automobile Club of America.

The Texas Tour uses a “Team Judging” approach, headed by a Chief Judge who is the final authority on all matters relating to judging.  If any doubt occurs during the judging process, all questions should be referred to the appropriate Deputy Judge who may further refer the matter to the Chief Judge.  Since all Texas Tours have their own unique requirements, the Chief Judge is empowered to dispense with any item or combination of items in this guideline if he or she deems it necessary or convenient for the benefit of the event.

Each judging team will be made up of a Team Captain and at least two independent judges.  Each Team will judge all the vehicles within the class (or classes) to which they are assigned.  In the interest of obtaining consistency in judging, individual classes should never be split between two (or more) judging teams.  No one is allowed to judge in a class in which he or a family member has a vehicle exhibited.  Under the direction of the Team captain, all members of a team will conduct their inspection of each vehicle simultaneously and in the presence of each other.  The Team Captain will direct the field judges to conclude their inspection of a vehicle and request them to move on to the next vehicle as a group.  For the purpose of the Texas Tour, about ten (10) minutes per vehicle should generally be sufficient time.

Each judge, including the Team Captain, is expected to evaluate his or her assigned area of the vehicle independently; therefore, each team member will derive his or her own score for his or her area of each vehicle.  It is not necessary, or even desirable, that all judges agree on each and every item.  Upon completion of the judging of a particular vehicle, the Team Captain will input the results from his or her team, check the results for legibility and completeness, and turn the results over to the appropriate Deputy Judge.

While it is recognized that the members of the judging team will have practical need for talking during the judging process, they should never discuss judging scores with the vehicle owner or anyone else other than their judging team.  Judging can be an educational experience for both the vehicle owner and the judging team.  In order to be as enlightening as possible without upsetting anyone, the following guidelines regarding conversations should be adhered to:

    1. If a judge has a specific question about a point of judging, it should be addressed to the Team Captain, who may either answer the question directly or ask the owner for documentation or clarification.
    2. All conversation with the vehicle owner that pertains to any judging question should be addressed through the Team Captain.
    3. Any discussion between judges should be conducted out of ear-shot of the vehicle’s owner or his or her representative.
    4. In all cases where there is a question about the vehicle, the owner should be given the benefit of the doubt.
    5. If a question cannot be resolved by the Team Captain, then the matter should be referred to the Deputy Judge who may desire further discussion with the Chief Judge whose word is final in this competition.
    6. Under no circumstance should a judge be drawn into a position of justifying any part of his or her judging with anyone, nor should a judge reveal the score to anyone who is not a team member.
    7. Favoritism shall be avoided, and each vehicle shall be judged on its own merits.
    8. The vehicle should be driven under its own power to and from the judging field.

All vehicles start out with 100 points, from which deductions may be made.  Deductions will be noted on the form, the total of which will be subtracted from the original 100 points to result in the score for a vehicle.  If no deduction is to be made for a particular category, the judge should place a zero or a slash mark in the appropriate blank on the form so that the Deputy Judge can tell that the judge actually evaluated that particular item.  In tabulating the scores, all forms will be checked for accuracy and mathematical errors.  Vehicles in each class will be ranked for place with the first place going to the highest scoring vehicle in its class, second place awarded to the second highest score, and their place awarded to the third highest score.  For purposes of a “general” Texas Tour, only first, second, and third place award may be made; however, if a sponsoring club wishes, it may elect to award multiple place awards at its discretion.  If only two vehicles are judged in a class, no third place award will be made.  At the discretion of the sponsoring club, minimum point scores may be established for an award level.

All judges are to refrain from eating, smoking, or drinking while evaluating the vehicles.  Judges should never sit or stand in or on a vehicle.  From the outside, lean in to observe the interior of the vehicle from each side.  Never stand on the running board or step plates.  Judging is to be done visually only.  Do not touch the vehicle in any manner.  When judging the chassis, judges should not crawl under the vehicle.  Simply lean down and look under the vehicle.

The owner is encouraged to be available at the time of judging.  If the owner cannot be located, the Team Captain is authorized to open the hood and doors of the vehicle.  He or she should do so with the utmost care only after every effort has been made to locate the owner or his or her representative.  If a public address system is available, please have the owner paged because it is possible he or she may be judging other vehicles.

Auto Requirement:

To be eligible for judging on a Texas Tour, vehicle must be a least 25 years of age.  All entered vehicles must display a fully charged fire extinguisher in order to be judged.   All vehicles must be equipped with safety glass windshields (if a windshield exists.)  Any vehicle that does not successfully finish the required portion of the driving tour shall be disqualified from judging.

Vehicles are to be judged on the premise that they are being shown “as the vehicle could have left the factory.”  Accessories that were available as original equipment from the manufacturer are allowed even if they were not original equipment on that particular vehicle.  Frequently vehicles were shipped to the dealer “stripped down”, and the dealer later installed factory authorized accessories as an additional cost item before the vehicle was delivered to the customer.  If accessories are found to be non-authentic, they should be subject to a possible deduction under “authenticity.”  If the accessories were also in poor condition, a deduction would be appropriate as well.

Judges should be careful not to deduct twice for the same fault.  An example would be a deduction for a dent in a headlight under “bright work” and again under “lights.”

Trunks should be opened by the owner and will be judged.  The owner may leave tools, fire extinguishers, etc. in the trunk.  Accessory trunks or tool boxes will not be opened.  They are appropriate places for the owner to store tools and other personal effects.  Rumble seats will be judged and must be opened and available for viewing.  Add-on trunks must be of correct size and construction and be aesthetically proper and in keeping with the rest of the vehicle.  It will not be necessary to authenticate this item.

Some concession should be made where replacement items are used in place of original equipment that is no longer available, but look or perform as well or better than original equipment.  Examples include, but are not limited to:  multi-ply windshield wiper blades, filters, and tires if of the same style and type as the original.  Points are not to be deducted where modern safety glass has been used to replace original glass.

Since it is a requirement that the vehicle complete the required portion of the tour, engines will not be started for judging, nor will lights, horn, or other accessories be checked for operation.  For purposes of judging, all items will be evaluated solely on the basis of appearance and authenticity.

Tires should be matched unless the vehicle was originally fitted with different size front and rear, in which case they must be matched in pairs.  While some wear is acceptable, all tires should appear to have a safe amount of tread and not showing unusual or hazardous wear patterns.  Only if visible, spare tires should be judged and should match the tires on the ground in size and style, although it is recognized that they may be different manufacturer, as the vehicles involved in the Texas Tour are typically “drivers.”  Tires should have appropriate valve cover caps for the era of the vehicle.  Plastic valve covers first appeared in 1951, and some later vehicles had metal caps.

Batteries may be of modern manufacture, but must look correct for the era of the vehicle.  It is not necessary to have authentic “script” types, I.E. “Delco” or “FoMoCo”; however, fluid refill caps are required.  Batteries on vehicles built prior to 1954 should be black.  Seats should not be removed, battery boxes should not be opened, nor should inspection covers be removed for battery judging purposes.  Battery cut off switches are acceptable.

Good quality vinyl, if the grain matches the original will be an acceptable substitute for “leatherette” or “panasote.”  Vinyl is not an acceptable substitute for leather.

A vehicle may be painted any authentic color available for the model year of that vehicle.  Any type of finish may be used if the final finish simulates the original finish.  The first use of metallic paint was November 1, 1927, and would be judged under “authenticity” if used on an earlier vehicle.

Chrome plate first appeared in 1928 on most makes, and in 1925 on Oldsmobile.  Phillips head screws were not used before 1935.

The following items are accepted for judging without penalty:

    1. Whitewall tires of proper size and style for the era.  The last use of double whitewalls was in 1941.
    2. Trippe and Pilot Ray driving lights on Classic and certain pre-WWII vehicles.
    3. Safety turn and stop signals installed neatly and inconspicuously using materials authentic to the era where visible and practical.
    4. Seat belts, if neatly installed.
    5. Add on fuel pumps are considered non-authentic, but will receive no penalty in this category when placed inconspicuously.
    6. After market air conditioning if of a type that could have been installed by the dealer when the vehicle was purchased new, provided the installation is done in a workman-like manner.
    7. Outside rear view mirrors, if of the correct vintage.
    8. Auxiliary assist devices for handicapped drivers will be accepted.
    9. Sealed beam headlights on 1940 vehicle and later.

Pickup trucks with wood bed floors and skid strips should be painted flat black or body color unless factory documentation from the owner proves differently.

Non-authentic fiberglass components are subject to maximum deduction shown for each part on the judging form.  This is not applicable to vehicles originally constructed of fiberglass, such as Corvettes.

Repairs that use lead, plastic, or other material for surface fillers will be judged on workmanship only.  No testing will take place to determine the types of material used.

After-market seat covers are not acceptable on any vehicle exhibited, and will be subject to appropriate point deduction.

Modern radiator core material used in lieu of honeycomb or early core material is non-authentic and will receive a deduction.

The addition of hydraulic brakes to vehicles not so equipped originally will result in a non-authentic deduction.

Touring / roadster / convertible tops must be displayed up.  Early vehicles fitted with top irons must have tops unless owner can authenticate the vehicle was available without a top but with top irons.  Rear windows must be of the correct type and construction.

Side curtains and factory supplies tool kits should be judged.  Side curtains do not need to be installed, and they may remain in their carry bag, but on the field accessible to judges viewing their availability.

Nylon carpet is an acceptable substitute for wool if the pile, binding, and color are the same as the original.

Painted exhaust systems will receive no deduction, nor will slight surface rust on unfinished steel systems.  Porcelainized manifolds will be judged.

Radiator hose clamps should be of the original type and match each other.  Aircraft type stainless steel clamps are not acceptable unless used as original equipment on some racecars.  Some Pre-WWII British makes used a work gear driven hose clamp marked “Jubilee” which were original equipment and therefore acceptable.

Bolts, nuts, and fasteners should be of the appropriate types originally used on the vehicle.  Stress marks were not used on bolts prior to 1946; however, some earlier years could have had letter or number markings on the heads.

Electric starters are accepted for early brass era vehicles up to 1915.

Rubber valve stems may be used on any vehicle prior to 1935 that was originally equipped with metal stem, if covered by authentic valve covers.

There will be no deduction for the use of aluminum or stainless steel paint to simulate cadmium plating as long as the final appearance simulates the appearance of cadmium plating.

Electrical wiring, connectors, fuel lines, brake lines, and fittings shall be of original design and appearance.

Club badges will not be subject to a deduction if they are appropriate to the vehicle and are displayed in good taste.

Unauthorized accessories, non-authentic license plate frames, advertising badges, stickers, bicycle reflectors, flags, curb feelers, stuffed animals, rubber chickens, etc. were not original equipment on any vehicle and should receive appropriate deductions under “Authenticity.”

For sale signs are not to be placed on vehicles subject to judging.

And finally:

When judging is completed, the Team Captain should place a “Judged” sticker on the Texas Tour Dash Card that is displayed on the vehicle.  NEVER apply the sticker directly to the vehicle.

Judges are reminded that it is their responsibility to be businesslike, accurate, and courteous.  Above all, be fair.  Remember this is a hobby, and we are all here to have a good time.