Final Preparation at Concours Event Site
The first Concours of the 2014 Season is coming up on Saturday May 3rd. This article is follow-on to the February article which covered concours preparation before leaving home for the event. As you leave for the event on May 3rd your Porsche should be in “ready to show condition”. By the time you get to the show field you have driven through the environment even if it is only a few miles and there will be brake dust on the wheels, bugs on the windshield, and maybe some tree sap on the paint. None of this is hard to deal with, but if you don’t plan for it, and leave time before the start of judging to address it, you may be disappointed with your score.
Plan to arrive at the Show Field about two hours before the announced start of judging. Usually there will be workers to guide you to a position for your Porsche. Go immediately to the registration table, sign-in, and pickup your score sheets. Be sure to fill in the top section of each page of the score sheet package. At this time read through the scoring factors on each score sheet to have a complete understanding of how your Porsche will be judged.Â This will be your guide for your final preparation activities. The scoring factors may be adjusted from one event to another. Normal NNJR concours scoring is based on 225 total available points divided amongst the Exterior, Interior, and Storage areas of the Porsche. Generally deductions are taken in tenths of points for each defect noted.
Return to your Porsche and unload everything that you have brought, and stage it behind your position. Your Porsche should be presented with only what was part of the car as delivered from the factory. Remove things like garage door opener transmitters, EZ-Pass transducers, accessory GPS units, road maps, etc. Remove accessory floor mats, and put the top up on Cabriolets, Targas, and Speedsters. Close all windows and sunroofs. Remove everything from the luggage compartment except factory tool kits, compressors, and spare tires as appropriate for your model Porsche.
It is now time to do the final cleaning and polishing in each of the areas to be judged.Â Recheck the condition of anything that you noted while reviewing the event score sheets.
Interior: Clean the interior glass one more time, and ask someone to assist from outside to make sure there are no smudges left on the inside of the glass. At the same time give the dash area a final cleaning and check the brake, clutch, and gas pedals. Once you are finished inside the Porsche, do one final vacuuming of the floors and upholstery. Now stay out of the car.
Storage: Take the spare tire, tool kit, etc. out of the luggage compartment and thoroughly vacuum the area. Do one final check of the hinge, latch areas, and underside of the luggage compartment lid. If appropriate, make one final check of the battery and terminals, and replace the spare tire and tool kit. Also this is a good time to check the passenger door hinges and latches for any dirty grease. Open the fuel filler door and do a final check out of that area. Now close the doors and luggage compartment.
Exterior: A well prepared body exterior is the best way to a good first impression among the judging team members as they approach your Porsche. At this point get your quick detailer and the light weight cotton bath towel and go over all of the exterior surfaces of the Porsche one panel at a time. Start with the top and work down to the bumpers and rocker panels.This will remove any bugs and dust accumulated since you left home. Quick detailers usually work best by applying a light spray on a panel and immediately wiping with the towel folded in quarters. After the initial wiping, flip the towel to a dry side and wipe again until the surface is dry and shinny. Then move on to the next panel, and do the same thing. When all of the painted surfaces have been detailed, then move onto the wheels and tires. For NNJR events only the outside surface of the wheels are evaluated. Using the quick detailer and cotton towel go over all four wheels, and make sure all brake dust is cleaned off. If your Porsche has black anodized wheel nuts you can use a black magic marker to them touch up. Apply a very light coat of vinyl & rubber dressing to the tires. The purpose is to make the tires have a satin black appearance. They should not look shinny or wet. Now clean the exterior glass one final time using your glass cleaner. Some folks also have luck using their quick detailer as final glass cleaner.
The above work needs to be completed before the officials announce that judging will commence. Once judging has started, you normally limited doing only light dusting of the exterior. This can be done using a California Duster or your favorite polishing cloth.
When the judging team approaches your Porsche, you should have your properly filled out score sheet package ready to hand to lead judge. The lead judge will introduce the judging team, and tell you how they plan to do the judging.
Normally there will be three judges. One is for each of the areas to be judged. There will also be a time keeper. To maintain fairness, the judging process is timed. Normally there is 1 minute allowed for a walk around.Â This is done with the Porsche closed up so the panel fit and overall finish can be evaluated.Â The time keeper announces the end of the walk around period, and then the lead judge will ask the owner to open the doors, the luggage compartment, and the gas filler door. The time keeper will then announce the start of the detailed judging period which is usually between 3 and 5 minutes. As the judges work their way through their areas, the time keeper will periodically announce the remaining time.Â When the time keeper calls time is up, the judges finish filling out their score sheets and turn them in to the lead judge who does a quick review and forwards them to the scoring table. At this point the judging team may give the owner some pointers for future events.
Once all cars are judged and scoring is completed awards will be announced.Â At most events the individual score sheets are given back to the owners at this point. These are very useful for future events because they will include comments relating to any point deductions which you may be able to correct for the next event.
This guide is based on what happens at a normal NNJR regional level event. At other events such as PCA Zone 1 events, New Hope Multi Marque events, and PCA national Porsche Parade events, other areas may be scored. These include engine, engine compartments, undercarriage, and suspension. The other thing that happens occasionally, is that it might rain on the day of the event. Usually concours are held rain or shine. That is why several large well worn cotton bath towels should be in you event kit to wipe down a wet car.
- Following is a list of supplies that you should consider bringing with you to the concours site:
- 2 or 3 old 100% Cotton Bath Towels
- 1 large light weight Cotton Bath Towel
- 1 Roll of Paper Towels
- 5 or 6 Shop Towels
- 2 or 3 old cotton Tee Shirts
- A Small Bottle of Citrus Degreaser (Wurth)
- Spray Bottle of your favorite Quick Detailer
- Spray Bottle of PH neutral cleaner (P21s Total Autowash)
- Spray Bottle of your favorite Automotive Glass Cleaner
- Spray bottle of a non-silicone vinyl & rubber dressing
- Tube of metal polish (Blue Magic)
- Your favorite paintwork polish
- Your favorite wax
- A black Magic Marker
- Body Color touch-up paint
- Battery or Cigarette Lighter Powered Vacuum Cleaner if you have one.