Preparing a car for top-level concours d’elegance display has been described as the most excruciating form of masochism ever devised.
To onlookers, the cars so perfectly presented for judging are in ‘showroom’ condition. In reality they take even the most exacting of manufacturers’ standards to new heights.
Some concours exponents will say that the best way to win is by beginning with a complete but totally neglected vehicle, replacing or rebuilding absolutely every component to an extreme standard of presentation.
Buying a car prepared by someone else will very often not satisfy the exacting standards demanded by the true perfectionist. There are tales of chrome plating being attempted several times over and by different suppliers before owners were satisfied with the results.
In years gone by it was common for show-winning vehicles to be restored almost in their entirety by owners. Standards of excellence have risen so far, and some models are so complex that owners without professional qualifications struggle with anything more difficult than dismantling and peripheral re-assembly tasks.
The issue then becomes how much do you invest and in which model. Remembering that restoring scarce or common versions of the same model (a basic Falcon compared to its GT counterpart, for example) can cost quite similar amounts of money. However, one car will be worth significantly more when finished than the other.
The most worrying issue for today’s concours d’elegance newcomers is ‘authenticity’. This should not be confused with ‘originality’. This is where not only the paint and trim would need to be unrestored but items fitted from new like tyres, the battery and spark plugs would need to still be in place.
After-market suppliers today produce literally millions of parts that help keep older vehicles going and rebuild them after being damaged. Professional restorers and body repairers know which parts are going to avoid the big points deductions that occur when a Display Day judge identifies a sub-standard ‘reproduction’ part.
Acquiring a car which has already earned its stripes in the automotive show world can be less costly than building one, but comes with its own set of risks.
First comes the brutal business of verifying how and where the pile of trophies being offered in evidence were acquired. Most owners will have all of the car’s ‘provenance’ assembled for inspection (photographs, copies of judging sheets, club magazines and other documents) but the one who doesn’t and gets offended when you ask might be saving you from making a big financial blunder.
Other concerns when buying someone else’s very well-known vehicle is that it will be forever after known as ‘XXXX’s car’. It will never truly be yours and changing colour, registration plates and other identifiers will probably do nothing but cost you some judging points.
Show cars are bread and butter to Enthusiast Insurance. These cars by their very nature are rarely driven and never left exposed to the elements if the owner can possibly avoid it.
Enthusiast’s ‘Drive Less, Spend Less’ cover is perfect for show vehicles and even those in storage that, when they do go out, will be carried by truck or trailer.
To check the benefits available through Enthusiast, click on the link www.enthusiast.com.au and spend a couple of minutes generating an Instant Quote for your special car.