Display at car shows hood up or closed

I dislike when the hood (bonnet) is open at car shows all day. (same for trunks (boot). I dislke placards on the windshield with car number or similar. It ruins the view of the design and flow of the car, ruins photos of such that many like to take. I will often have a small sign near the car on an easel, out of the way of photographers shots, , with car info…and a note…owner nearby-ask if you want to see engine etc. Hood does not to be up ALL day…maybe now and then…and open for judging IF needed. I know…sort of a Concours topic…but…for the local show-shine of which there are many more…what say you.


(soft chuckle)
When I go to cruise nights and hang out with the street rods and muscle cars I usually open the hood for awhile to let the heat out. Of those who have hoods, most of them do too. Some have LED lighting and set up mirrors.
I get comments like “Is that a V12?” and “Lucas electrics, never any good.” and “Those goofy carbs, my uncle had an Astun Harly and it would never run right.”
Then I close it for pictures and I get comments like “Is that a kit car?” and “Whatcha got under the hood, a small block shebby?”
I’ve heard F-Pace owners say “Is that really a Jaguar?”
For display, I have a magazine ad for Champion spark plugs with a picture of LWK 707 at night on the Montlhery circuit going 100 mph for a week on their plugs; and one of Al Keller after he won a Nascar race in a 120FHC, the last time foreign cars were allowed.
I tell Corvette owners, “If it wasn’t for this car, there might never have been a Corvette.”


I share in your chucklage…:grimacing:

I gotta remember that one!

I don’t share your extreme dislike about hoods up/hoods down, but I do not like cars parked on grass.

In my humble opinion, and as a photographer, very few cars appear proper on grass: that’s because grass is not a car’s natural environment. I would much rather take it with grass in the background, where the car sits upon dirt or pavement.

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(with a chuckle)…I do not share your extreme dislike of cars on grass.

yin yang, open or not open…potAto, potahhhto.

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properly on gravel, not grass.

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A Corvair Concours (including my '63) one year was in Houston (hot) so they conned the hotel into providing its air conditioned, carpeted exhibit hall for the event. Hahaha! After an hour on the first day the hotel suggested plastic sheets under the cars. But by the time that was even begun, the carpet was totaled. Was nice and cool, though.

NO car guy made that decision probably got reassigned like out the door

Beautiful, either way!


When I do a car show, like Potomac Day here in Maryland, I leave the hood down unless someone is interested in seeing the engine. The appreciation of the beauty of the car really comes out when I ask the parents of small children, who come over to see the car, if they would like to let their child sit in the driver’s seat. My satisfaction comes from seeing the radiant smile from the enthralled child as they pretend to be driving and the beaming parents taking pictures of their child in my car. I believe that is when my 120 is most beautiful.


Nice cars anywhere. Plus 20

I am 75. My dad took a picture of me, age 5 or so, in a 120 at the Syracuse Auto Show. Just as you describe. He loved 120s and 356s (also a photo of me in that) but never managed to own either.

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Some years ago @Clive_Wilkinson, whose stunning ‘62 FHC took many awards, stopped by my spot at the Bronte Park British Car Day - (SW of Toronto and the biggest event of its kind in North America) - my cleaned and polished ‘68 OTS’s bonnet raised, and advised it would do better in participant’s choice voting if the bonnet was left closed. I left it open. The car did not place at all in the ‘61-‘68 Series 1 E-type category.

So, the next year I kept the bonnet closed except when momentarily showing the engine on request, and then it was re-closed. The car took second place in the ‘61-‘68 Series 1 E-type category.

Thinking Clive might be onto something, the next year I did the same thing, and took first place.

Conclusion: leave the bonnet closed, except when showing the engine bay.

(Thanks, Clive.)


When showing the Jee Type at this year’s Conclave, I’ll keep in mind.


Well, given its unique power plant you may actually generate a lot more conversation with the hood up …. I’d definitely do that.

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I took “Barn Queen” to an open car show in NJ several years ago. A vendor was there touting a product that he guaranteed would make any paint shine like new. I offered up my car to see if the product was as good as he said. He worked for half an hour before giving up! When ever we go to a show my car always has a sign stating you can touch and get in for photos. Seems to drive some of the cocours folks nuts…

Ditto, and… snicker!


Just for Nick, I left my hood closed today.

The cars on either side of me had just over twice the cubic inches, 426 Fury & 427 Galaxy.


for cars built with the exterior design elements of a Triscuit cracker box…display with hood up or down makes little difference…Your XK is automotive art…and looks like it…nice.