How my 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger stands above competition at car shows

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

(Editor’s note: During the month of June, the ClassicCars.com Journal is publishing a series of stories all about show your car at car shows and concours. Today, guest contributor Giles Fronce shares tips and tricks on preparing your car for judging events. If you have a story about your showing your car at shows or concours, please send it to us at journal@classiccars.com.)

I’ve entered my car, a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger, in a number of judging shows. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years on how to stand out above the competition:

  • Look where the judges look and not where the everyday spectator looks and then clean these places. These include seams where wax can build up, leaf springs where dirt and rust might accumulate, door jambs where water spots can manifest themselves, polish swirls, tire condition, grease on engine, sill plate condition, dirty weather stripping, condition of the engine compartment, undercarriage detailing, condition of exhaust tips and dirty trunk lid hinge pockets. Any defects in these areas will cost you points.
  • Leave anything that can be left open, open. This includes under the dash vents, jockey boxes, hood, trunk and console. These should be as clean as the rest of the car.
  • Window scratches will cost you points, no matter how minor.
  • Look for oxidation around body screws and in general nuts and bolts.
  • Have a good supply of clean microfiber towels and cleaners ready. For the body and interior, I prefer Meguiar’s detailer, interior detail and mirror glaze for swirls. Glass Renu is good for refurbishing car glass. I prefer not to use Tire Wet as sometimes to0 shiny of tires is detrimental. Clean but not being able to see your reflection in the tire is preferred.
  • Round end toothpicks for cleaning wax out of seams come in handy as does a couple of toothbrushes for those hard-to-reach places. Carry some rubbing compound, it comes in handy for removing last-minute trouble spots such as minor oxidation and minor rust.
  • Show your car off with special awards, national recognition, etc. You’ve worked hard to get your ride ready, be proud of it.

Proper preparation has earned me a national first prize from the AACA, first place in an all Mopar show, cover car for Mopar magazine and numerous other first prize and best of show awards.

-Giles Fronce

The post How my 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger stands above competition at car shows appeared first on ClassicCars.com Journal.