I think it varies show to show. I do well in all Mustang shows. For one thing, my car follows a '69 Mach 1 theme. I haven't just started adding parts for the hell of it. If it was on the Mach 1, I'll try to emulate it. I'm not trying to make the car something it isn't, but that's where my inspiration comes from. Since it's not a daily driver and has never seen rain, my car, including the engine bay, is spotless. It also helps that my car is very unique. It really stands out among the field of rally stripes. The judges seem to appreciate this.
Other judges seem to pick what they like. I took 3rd place at a show where the judge picked a car that was literally 3 days old (a new Dodge Charger Hemi). The second place winner told me he felt guilty because he thought my car deserved to do better. Oh well, I had fun anyway.
Participant choice is dicey. Sometimes I do well, other times I fail to place. One gripe (a harsh word, I know) is that the car clubs would get together and vote for each other's cars. My car, while unique, isn't as flashy as some of the others. Again, oh well, I had fun anyway.
I've got 1 or 2 shows yet this year. I've taken 5 trophies and a Top 25 plaque. (That one amazed me - participant choice out of about 100 cars in my class) I've failed to place at 3. But I had fun at all of them. And let's not forget that most of these shows raise money for charitable purposes. It's the people who really make it all worthwhile and why I'll be looking forward to next year's shows.
'05 Sonic Blue GT w/ '07 V8 engine, 5-sp, IUP, Beige leather interior, nothing else -
just the way I wanted it.
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OK, so I've added a few things to it. Check my Profile - too many to list here.