[concours] JCNA AGM Item

For those of you involved in JCNA concours activities, I would
appreciate comments on the following judging change proposal. I offered
a similar one to the AGM two years ago but it was turned down on a minor
technicality. I would like to propose it again this year.

The recommendation is to delete the current “Mechanical” section of the
score sheet and replace it with a section titled “Engine Operation”.
Basically, cars in both the Champion and Driven divisions would be
required to start their engines and operate them at idle.

The rationale for the change is that:

  • the current “Mechanical” section is not a mechanical check at all.
  • the deduction made for even a single bulb filament or horn not working
    is disproportionately high.
  • light, horn and wiper operation is subject to unpredictable failure
    and not necessarily a measure of how well a car has been maintained or
    restored.
  • newer Jags have a multitude of electrical accessories which are not
    checked and which would be impractical to check.
  • the basic function of the (costly-to-restore/major component) engine
    is not judged at all.
  • most other marque national concours judge engine operation.

Total deductions for Mechanical are now 70 pts.

It is proposed that Engine Operation be evaluated and scored as follows:

  1. Starting
    No start (60 pts)
    Hard start (max 15pts)
  2. Idle quality- (with or without starting carb or choke) (max 10pts)
  3. Mechanical noise (max 10pts)
  4. Exhaust system integrity (max 5pts)
  5. Exhaust smoke (max 5pts)
  6. Fluid leaks (max 5pts)

New requirements would include the availability of a fire extinguisher
and positioning a judge at the rear of the car to make certain no one is
hazarded by the exhaust.

Thanks for your input.

Dick Cavicke

I have a problem with any arbitrary system to judge subjective items. A
mechanical noise in your opinion may not be a mechanical noise in my
opinion. A light that doesn’t work , doesn’t work in your opinion or my
opinion.

Starting, yes; Idle quality, maybe; Exhaust system integrity, yes
Objective) Exhaust smoke, yes (objective) Fluid leaks, yes (objective.

But judging mechanical noise? in a running Jaguar engine? No.

Bob K, OJOA
63E ots

I like the idea of a mechanical check and agree that there can be too much
subjectivity in some items, engine noise for example.

Visually I also think the fire extinguisher is a bit extreme.

Deduct for leaks, goodby 100 point cars. :o) :o)

Regards, John Walker

Thanks for the comments thus far regarding changing the Mechanical
portion of the JCNA concours to actually running the engine.

I agree with your concerns over items that could be too subjective. I
intended the “Mechanical Noise” line to provide a place to deduct for
obvious loud worn/knocking bearings, loose timing chains, etc; not valve
noise or other common racket. This item could be deleted.

The “Idle Quality” was a line where the judge would basically validate
that the engine could sustain a reasonable idle. It could be changed to
a “yes” or “no” answer.

Steve’s concern that some smoke at start-up might be a deduction could
be accommodated by instructing that exhaust smoke would have to be
continuous to be a deduction.

A fire extinguisher (at each car) is commonly required at the majority
of other (non-JCNA) concours I have attended. I’m fairly certain it’s an
insurance liability requirement but it doesn’t need to be included as
part of this change if it will cause problems.

The last time this proposal was submitted it also included checking the
operation of the engine instruments, including the water temperature
gauge. At the AGM, someone correctly protested that the water gauge
would probably not move for some time and the whole idea was thrown out.
I wasn’t in attendance to defend it in person. I still think that
checking the operation of the tach and oil pressure would be OK but I
intend to leave the instrument check out altogether this time.

Your further comment is welcomed.

Dick Cavicke

The recommendation is to delete the current “Mechanical” section of the
score sheet and replace it with a section titled “Engine Operation”.

  • light, horn and wiper operation is subject to unpredictable failure
    and not necessarily a measure of how well a car has been maintained or
    restored.
  • newer Jags have a multitude of electrical accessories which are not
    checked and which would be impractical to check.

I would oppose deletion of the electrical checks. The car should be able
to pass a basic safety inspection for its lights, horn and wipers. These
items are quite reliable if they are properly restored and the wiring
is well maintained. Sure, a bulb can blow at any time, but for someone
who is serious about their restoration, having a few spare bulbs on hand
is no big expense. Checking them when parking on the field is easy, and
most problems can be corrected in minutes. There is no more excuse for
showing a car with flaky electricals than for having a car that won’t
start or that sprays oil.

Chip

Chip:
Most responsible owners maintain their lights, horn and wipers in
working order for their own safety and peace of mind. And, yes, all
cars on display should be able to pass basic safety tests but that
doesn’t mean that such tests belong as part of the concours’ evaluation.
Token safety checks are not what concours are all about.

In my opinion, checking the operation of the exterior lights, horns,

wipers, etc. is very superficial in view of the other major electrical
components which are not examined. (i.e… charging system, heater fan,
A/C, sunroof, seat adjust, windows, radio, etc.)

I find additional fault with the existing "Mechanicals" as follows:
    -  The point deductions are disproportionately high. An entrant

can lose more points for having one filament of a bulb or one horn not
operating (5.0) than for missing both spats (3.6) or a bumper (3.0).
- Clubs currently do not insist that entrants demonstrate
operation of the wipers due to the windshield scratch hazard and the
fact that not all wiper arms will stay in a raised position off the
glass.
- Parking lights for many models now involve at least 8 separate
lamps.
- Few judges know how many individual bulbs are involved in the
exterior lights of the XK8 or other new models.

Thanks for your input,

Dick Cavicke

In my opinion, checking the operation of the exterior lights, horns,
wipers, etc. is very superficial in view of the other major electrical
components which are not examined. (i.e… charging system, heater fan,
A/C, sunroof, seat adjust, windows, radio, etc.)

In my opinion, the 15 minute judging limit makes the whole inspection
process superficial. I agree that the deductions for non-working
electrical items are a bit high, but I still think that the electricals
should be tested. It seems silly to require that the engine work (and
work well) but allow cars to reach the 100 point level with dead
lights, horns and wipers.

There are many mechanically oriented owners/restorers who keep their
engines purring, but seem to be afraid to touch anything electrical.
I’ve judged beautiful cars with spotless engine bays that have
one dead horn or brake lights so weak that you have to cover the
lens with your hands to see that they glow a little brighter (and
we pass those!). If there is no deduction for dead electricals, many
of these people will just let those problems go unattended. As the
shabby undersides of some otherwise perfectly prepared cars demonstrate,
what isn’t judged isn’t necessarily maintained.

It’s not a valid argument to say that we shouldn’t judge the basics
because we don’t judge every electrical accessory. That’s like saying
we shouldn’t have them turn on the engine because we can’t run an
emissions test to check that the catalytic converter is working,
or because we can’t drive it around a track to check that the
rest of the drive train and the suspension and brakes are functional.

If anything, requiring that the cars be driven onto the field and/or
into place addresses the mechanical requirements better than a
simple engine turn-on test. But that process doesn’t reveal the
state of the basic electrical safety items. Thus, it is more important
to verify the electricals than to have them turn the engine on in front
of the judges.

Chip

I wholeheartedly side with Chip on this.

SK
62 OTS

Chip Weems wrote:> >The recommendation is to delete the current “Mechanical” section of the

score sheet and replace it with a section titled “Engine Operation”.

  • light, horn and wiper operation is subject to unpredictable failure
    and not necessarily a measure of how well a car has been maintained or
    restored.
  • newer Jags have a multitude of electrical accessories which are not
    checked and which would be impractical to check.

I would oppose deletion of the electrical checks. The car should be able
to pass a basic safety inspection for its lights, horn and wipers. These
items are quite reliable if they are properly restored and the wiring
is well maintained. Sure, a bulb can blow at any time, but for someone
who is serious about their restoration, having a few spare bulbs on hand
is no big expense. Checking them when parking on the field is easy, and
most problems can be corrected in minutes. There is no more excuse for
showing a car with flaky electricals than for having a car that won’t
start or that sprays oil.

Chip

Dick Cavicke wrote:

Most responsible owners maintain their lights, horn and wipers in

working order for their own safety and peace of mind.

Dick,

You wouldn’t know this by the number of cars that can’t pass these basic
tests.

SK
62 OTS

Personally I don’t know why they bother with even the Mechanical (functional)
test as it described on the JCNA scoresheet.

Lets think about what a “100point car” can have that might work either poorly
or not at all. None of the guages need to work, no interior lights except the
one that comes on when the door is opened, the brakes need only stop a car
from a speed of five miles per hour, the emergency brake need not be
functional, the steering can have all sorts of slop, front end alignment need
not be correct. etc.

Now I know the odds of a truely restored car having any of the above flaws is
pretty slim but it is possible and does illustrate that concours is pretty
much a beauty contest and really does not judge the mechanical condition of a
car. That is the reason for my first statement. Why bother with a test of
the lights and horn and pass it off as a basic mechanical system check if the
major mechanical items are ignored.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy concours, but when you think about it it is kind
of silly to deduct 5 points if one of my two horns fails to function and
deduct nothing because my brakes are shot.

I would support either deleting the mechanical section in its entirity or
imposing a real mechanical check.

Regards, John Walker

John is definitely on target again.

SK

J1J2WALKER@aol.com wrote:> Personally I don’t know why they bother with even the Mechanical (functional)

test as it described on the JCNA scoresheet.

Lets think about what a “100point car” can have that might work either poorly
or not at all. None of the guages need to work, no interior lights except the
one that comes on when the door is opened, the brakes need only stop a car
from a speed of five miles per hour, the emergency brake need not be
functional, the steering can have all sorts of slop, front end alignment need
not be correct. etc.

Now I know the odds of a truely restored car having any of the above flaws is
pretty slim but it is possible and does illustrate that concours is pretty
much a beauty contest and really does not judge the mechanical condition of a
car. That is the reason for my first statement. Why bother with a test of
the lights and horn and pass it off as a basic mechanical system check if the
major mechanical items are ignored.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy concours, but when you think about it it is kind
of silly to deduct 5 points if one of my two horns fails to function and
deduct nothing because my brakes are shot.

I would support either deleting the mechanical section in its entirity or
imposing a real mechanical check.

Regards, John Walker

John Walker has described the problem quite accurately. It makes little
sense to be deducting for inoperative horns and light bulbs when other
major components such as brakes, steering and transmissions, for
example, are not checked. While there are only so many systems whose
operation can be demonstrated with the car stationary, I think JCNA can
do better, both in what is operated and how the items are scored.

The JCNA rules don’t specifically address “operability” standards,
however, it seems reasonable that the “judged condition” of the car
include not only the stated Chapter IV, par. A. requirement that an item
“must be as it was specified and intended to leave the factory by Jaguar
Cars” but that it a system should operate “as it was specified and
intended to leave the factory by Jaguar Cars”.

I appreciate Dick Howe’s “corporate knowledge” and the recollection that
cars were at one time driven to a central judging area. Back in those
days, the horns, wipers and lights comprised about 80% of the electrical
systems. In the current venue, performing true “safety” checks would
likely put us into prohibitive space and time requirements. Conversely,
eliminating all reasonable electrical and mechanical checks would limit
any demonstration of operability to the sole requirement that cars be
driven into position on the field (not always observed by judges).

From the responses thus far, I may try for a change recommendation which
would involve demonstrating headlights, brake lights and horns plus
running the engine at idle. Light or horn failures would bring a maximum
1.0 pt deduction each. Any takers?

In spite of a few differences of opinion, I welcome your comments. I
truly believe that there’s all sorts of room for improvement in the way
we’re doing it now.

Continued thanks,

Dick Cavicke