Scrutiny of Champion vs Driver

Curious if cars in a Driven division end up getting more scrutiny of their exterior and interiors than the Champion division given the judging time period is the same for both. Without having to inspect all the complications under the bonnet and deal with the boot, judges would have a lot more time to pick apart the details on a driver. Has this been others’ experience?

Um - separate judges? Same time for a topic, but some judges missing.

As the Champion division uses a seperate judge for the engine area there is no difference in the time spent on interior and exterior between the two classes.

My 2+2 was judged for years and I was also a judge. At the risk of starting a war I’ll give my impressions.

If anything, it was my experience that Driven was often less rigorously judged than Championship because Driven was looked at as a lesser class. A common refrain I head from fellow judges and participants was “Step up to Championship Class” as if Driven was less worthy; a second tier of competition. Even the names make it sound that way; Championship crowns Champions. Driven? Who knows.

As for Judging, Robert is correct. For both classes the same set of rules govern judging the exterior and interior. Any variance depends on how stringently the judges compare the car being judged to the published standards.

The Driven class differs in that the engine compartment and boot is not judged. There is one less judge on the team for Driven as such. The exterior judge is still there and the interior judge is still there but does not have to judge the boot so a small amount more time. Judging is supposed to be to the same standards although some Champion items are passed on such as original radios, shift knobs, tire size and others listed in the JCNA judging guides for Driven. If you drive the car, it is a nice class for those that do not have the time to clean the engine or have luggage in the trunk.

As a spectator at an event last year it looked like the same team of judges rolled from one car to another (in different divisions). Sounds like it was just that event and not the norm?

I feel that’s actually a very fair conclusion. There is a whole different level of effort needed to make a car competitive in Champions class. It should be considered a more prestigious division.

I’ve read up pretty thoroughly on the things that are allowed in Driven, and it does seem a good compromise for those that like to improve their cars with an eye to originality but also want to regularly enjoy the wind in one’s hair (I have an OTS) and the sound of that glorious engine while carving around the mountain roads without feeling like they’ve just wasted 3 weeks of Concours prep work.

I’d also say it’s not just for those without time to clean those areas - it’s nice for those who have made upgrades under the bonnet that improve drivability and reliability. My car has SS headers, upgraded radiator and header tank, upgraded alternator, upgraded distributor, spin-on oil filter, larger wheels/tires, and other upgrades that wouldn’t pass muster in Champions division.

I think I’m a bit schizophrenic with my car, as part of me enjoys researching originality and making changes accordingly. I’m swapping out to Cheney clamps, have changed ignition wires and plug caps, moved the rubber strapping on the wire harness, swapped out to proper screws in the headlamp trim and other light fixtures, and more. I also have a lot more authenticity projects planned, some trivial like finding white buttons for the cable strapping instead of black, proper battery hold-downs and period-style battery, etc. But I’m not going to pull the headers, cooling system, and other items mentioned above or do things like swap out all the yellow zinc Grade 8 chassis bolts for proper authenticity. So my car will likely be a blend of things done towards authentic perfection and things that are completely out of line for Champions.

Thanks for the various inputs. My main question seems to be answered by the division of judging team labors, and it sounds like the time I followed a judge team a bit was not the way it should normally be done.

There are various judging teams and they will have various classes to judge. Some might be Champion and others Driven. If the teams do both, the Champion ones are usually judged first and then the Engine judge can be excused for the Driven classes.

Sounds like Modified, SO3, might be of interest to you.

I used to run a car in that class. As long as you meet the minimum of deductions for modifications, you are good to go. At that point, it is a cleanliness with fit & finish judging. Allows for some real personalization.

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I did as well. It’s not hard to achieve the minimum of 40 points worth of deductions.

I just looked at the JCNA site. I misstated, it’s class S2. I recall it as SO3. Did JCNA revise the Special Classes?

They did rearrange the class names a few years ago.


The intensity of the judging does vary, but this variance doesn’t specifically or intentionally derive from champion class versus driver class.

I’ve been out of the concours thing (both judging and competing) for quite a few years. I’m not sure how things may have changed.

In my experience and observation there are large disparities in quality, dedication, and knowledge of the judges. What’s more, different clubs have different over-arching philosophies regarding how their concours programs will be run.

This is not a condemnation of anyone or anything, mind you. I enjoyed the concours program a lot. Maybe one day I’ll jump back in.


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