TOURING CLASS JUDGING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The following is an accumulation of common questions regarding Touring Class Judging that have been received over several years and their answers. The intention of these Q & A pages is to provide the prospective Touring Class participant with some general information about the Touring Class process and philosophy. The Touring Class process is unlike any other judging process known to the antique car hobby. The Touring Class Committee has worked very hard to establish a process that is fair, equitable, and enjoyable for the participants while maintaining a standard that will collectively raise the quality of the membership’s Model As. MARC’s Touring Class Judging has enjoyed a steady increase in participation and quality of the vehicles over the years. It is believed this increase is due in part to the publishing and use of the Touring Class Standards by the participants and conducting seminars.
What is the intent of Touring Class Judging? The intent of Touring Class is to give national recognition to those authentic appearing and well maintained Model As that are regularly driven to shows, club events, public interest, and for the general pleasure of the owner.
What does authentic appearing mean? The item judged may be an original part or good quality reproduction part that has the same basic appearance as that of the original part.
What is meant by well maintained? Well maintained has a dual meaning, first and most obvious pertaining to appearance and second and most important the function of selected items that could affect the overall operability or drivability of the vehicle. This includes items such as play in the steering wheel, condition and tread depth of the tires, brakes, leaking fluids, etc.
If the intent of Touring Class Judging involves Model As that are regularly driven, is there a requirement for participants to drive their car to the summer national meet? There is no standard established for restricting trailered vehicles nor is there a standard requiring a minimum driven mileage. The Touring Class Committee has expended considerable time and effort to develop a type of judging with the intent to be inclusive and fair to all sectors of the hobby while still maintaining a minimum standard. In Touring Class the cars are judged against a standard that is published and available to all participants. The cars are not judged against each other but against the standard. There are always a number of vehicles trailered to the national meet for a variety of reasons such as; time, distance, schedule, age and/or health of the owner, etc. Because a vehicle is trailered to the national meet, it does not mean that the car is not a “driver” at home. Considering the manner in which Touring Class judging is conducted, whether a vehicle is driven or trailered to the national meet will make no difference in the vehicle’s total score.
Are there any entry criteria for Touring Class Judging? Yes. There are eleven entry criterion identified in the Touring Class Judging Standards. The criteria are very basic, straightforward, and well defined. 1) Model “A” Type Four Cylinder engine; 2) Model “A” Front Axle and Suspension; 3) Model “A” Rear Axle and Suspension; 4) Model “A” Frame; 5) Model “A” production type body and custom commercial bodies using Model A hood, cowl, and fenders; 6) Model “A” production type fenders without alterations; 7) No alterations such as chopped top or other body alterations; 8) Must complete the mandatory tour; 9) Must complete an “Equipment Functional Check”; 10) Owners are required to judge (unless judging in fine point judging going on at the same time); 11) Vehicle must not be entered in Fine Point Judging during the same meet.
Have there ever been any Model As turned away from Touring Class Judging for failure to meet the entry criteria? Yes. In the years MARC has conducted Touring Class Judging the only Model As turned away were for failure to meet criterion #10. NOTE: Criterion #10 “to judge” includes to participate in judging activities, which is not limited to the act of judging, but may include other activities such as reviewing score sheets, tallying score sheets, sorting, or generally helping wherever needed. Judging also includes attendance of a mandatory meeting on Tuesday of the meet.
Criterion 1 states, “Model “A” Type Four Cylinder engine”. What is meant by the word “type”? With regard to the word “type” as it specifically applies to Entry Criterion #1. Criterion #1 is intended to exclude Pinto, V8, 6, and 4 cylinder engines not of the Model A “type”. Model A “type” was intended to include Model “B” engines, since from a visual aspect there is very little difference between the Model A and Model B engine. Model B engines are installed in some long distance drivers. Area 2 of the TC score sheets checks for the engine number. The use of a Model B engine would result in the lost of 5 points for the engine number but would not disqualify the vehicle from participation in Touring Class Judging. If other “B” parts are used on the engine such as carburetor, distributor, manifolds, etc., additional points would be lost but the car would not be excluded from Touring Class Judging.
The Touring Class “Entry Criteria” listed in the Touring Class standards does not specifically eliminate “speedsters”. May I enter my speedster in Touring Class Judging? While the Touring Class Entry Criteria does not specifically exclude “speedsters”, the intent of criterion 1 through 7 was to exclude any vehicle that is not a Model A production or commercial type vehicle such as: speedsters, hot rods, and after market Model As such as Shay. Model A “commercial” vehicles may include Ford built trucks, vans, service vehicles, etc. and vehicles where Ford supplied the chassis hood and cowl, (they may also include parts of a Model A body), this may include vehicles such as: buses, fire engines, dump trucks, specially designed service vehicles, etc. Other than “speedsters”, with very few exceptions, most of the Model As that are registered for the national meet will meet Touring Class Entry Criteria criterion 1 through 7.
What is the connection between the MARC Judging Standards Committee and the Touring Class Committee? Each is a separate committee within MARC, there are no organizational responsibilities or connections between the committees.
MARC and MAFCA fine point judging are similar. Are MARC and MAFCA Touring Class Judging similar and do they use the same Judging Standards? MARC and MAFCA Touring Class Judging are similar in name only. The Touring Class Judging Standards were developed for and used exclusively by MARC.
MAFCA Touring Class cars are judged along with the fine point cars, why aren’t MARC Touring Class cars judged with the fine point cars? In 1994 during exploration of the Touring Class idea the JSC was consulted for their input. The response was that Touring Class would be acceptable so long as the fine point judges did not have to judge them. Further the JSC explained that the quality of MARC’s Fine Point Judging cannot be compromised. It was then suggested a system could be developed where the drivers themselves did the judging, whereas the Board of Directors gave approval to investigate the idea and subsequently approved the Touring Class Judging process.
What was philosophy in developing the Touring Class Judging Standards? In general, a well restored Model “A” meeting the MARC Blue Ribbon qualifications would score high, only missing or wrong parts and excessive wear and tear would lower the score.
Is it necessary to meet the MARC Blue Ribbon qualifications in order to receive a Touring Class Award of Excellence plaque? No. There are many items that go into judging the Touring Class Model A. While the higher point items listed in the Touring Class Judging Standards are based on the MARC Blue Ribbon qualifications, qualifying for a “Blue Ribbon” is no assurance that a “Touring Class Award of Excellence” plaque will be received. Likewise not qualifying for a “Blue Ribbon” is does not mean that a “Touring Class Award of Excellence” plaque will not be received.
Is there any information that I need to provide regarding my Model A the morning of Judging? Yes. The owner will need to provide the correct name and number of the body style as Ford listed them, such as: 35-A for a 28/29 Phaeton; 55-B for a 30/31 Tudor Sedan; 190-A for a Victoria; and etc. Additionally the owner will need to provide the engine number and the specific Ford name for the body and stripe colors.
Do the Touring Class Judging Standards tell me all that I need to know in order to prepare my Model A for Touring Class Judging? Not completely. While the TC Standards include all the items judged and their point value they are not an all inclusive document. The TC Standards are augmented by the “Model A Judging Standards and Restoration Guidelines” with information such as paint colors, interior fabric, and other component specific information.
How may the Touring Class Judging Standards be used? The intended use of the TC Standards is two fold. First, the TC Standards provide the prospective TC participant with information in order to prepare their Model A for judging. Second the TC Standards provide information to prepare the participant for the days judging activities in order that the judging process is more efficient. If used correctly and judged fairly the participant may judge his/her own Model A at home, make changes if desired and know within a few points what score should be received at the MARC national meet.
How is a Model A judged in Touring Class? Within Touring Class, judging is generally a misnomer. Judging generally implies a “subjective assessment”. The Touring Class Committee expended considerable effort to develop a system that regardless of the touring class participants Model A knowledge the participant could fairly, equitably and consistently “judge” the participating Model As. Upon close examination, Touring Class Judging actually takes more of a form of an “objective verification”. That is, most the line items of the Touring Class Judging Standards could take the form of a question that may be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No.” Using the items listed in the Touring Class Judging Standards the Model A is judged on authentic appearance (500 points possible). Since the Touring Class cars are expected to be “drivers” heavy focus is placed on the functionality of selected items (25 point penalty loss for each failure of a category of the Functional Check). Finally the participating vehicles must complete the mandatory tour.
What is the purpose of the Equipment Functional Check? The committee has established a standard, which encompasses the complete Model A, that includes not only the authentic appearance, but the function and reliability of selected components. It is expected that the vehicles entered in Touring Class Judging are routinely driven, therefore it is imperative that certain components are in good working condition and function as originally intended. As an example, if the windshield wiper is complete, the car will be awarded 5 points in Area 5. However, if the wiper does not work, then it serves no useful purpose to the driver and furthermore does not operate as originally intended, which will result in a 25-point deduction in the functional check area.
If I have a failure in the Equipment Functional Check, am I allowed to repair it so I do not loose the points? Generally, the answer is no. It is the owners responsibility to ensure all items of the functional check are functional and in good operating condition. However, it is a well known fact that at the most inopportune time a light bulb will burn out or perhaps a wiper motor will hang up on a high point. If the fix is minor (such as a burned out bulb), will only take a few minutes to repair, the owner has the tools and parts with him/her to fix the failure without leaving the judging area, then it is permissible for the owner to make the repair and have the item rechecked.
When judging an item listed in the Touring Class Judging Standards, can the item receive partial credit, specifically, split points for the items judged? No. As previously stated most line items are an “objective verification” that can either be answered with a “yes” or “no”. If the answer is “yes” then the vehicle will receive the appropriate number of points assigned to the line item. If “no” the line item will receive “0” points. There a few line items generally dealing with the design or condition of a component that may have 2 or more different point levels associated with the line item such as the fan blade, which has 4 different possible level of points. In these cases the judge(s) are to select the line item that best describes the design or condition of the component and assign those points as designated.
If one of my tires has a rubber valve stem but all the other tires have metal stems will I receive partial credit? No. As previously stated, points are not split. A line item will either receive all or none of the points. Where there are multiple components associated with a line item judged the Model A must have all of the items or no points are awarded. The only exception to this involves the shocks. Generally 28/29 heavy commercial vehicles only had shocks on the front whereas they will receive full points. Generally, 30/31 heavy commercial vehicles had no shocks, whereas they will receive full points. Additionally regarding shock links some owners will put the proper links on the front and dogbone links on the rear, these cars will receive 2 points as if dogbone links were used completely.
What is the policy on entering Touring Class Judging more than one time? There is no limit to the number of times a vehicle may enter Touring Class Judging. In 2004 the Touring Class Committee implemented the “Touring Class Preservation Award” plaque intended to recognize those vehicles that have scored 460 or more points two or more times at the national meet. In fact, generally approximately 25% of the participants at any given meet have previously entered Touring Class. Many of the participants that have previously entered Touring Class have indicated they enter again because they enjoy the activities, getting up close to many very nice Model As that they many otherwise not have gotten that close of a look at, meeting and working with new people and/or to correct some previous deficiencies in order to raise their score.
What is the purpose of the Touring Class Committee? The purpose of TCC is to establish and administrate a process that is fair, equitable, and enjoyable for the participants while maintaining a standard that will collectively raise the quality of the membership’s Model As. To this end, over the past seven years where the TCC has used basically the same system, the average score has risen from 417 points at the 1996 Rochester meet to 464 points for the 2002 Green Bay meet. It is felt the reason for this rise is due to the establishment of an equitable system augmented by seminars and use of the Touring Class Judging Standards by the participants to prepare their Model A for participation.
Why is the horn checked twice? The horn is first checked during the Functional Check, at this time only the function of a “horn” is checked, that is, that the vehicle is equipped with a functioning horn, regardless of the sound. Most Model A horns will function well when the engine is running, additionally, the “Model A” tone and the original type horn button is not checked at this time. Testing the horn with the engine off serves several purposes specifically, that the horn is in good operating condition with a good Model A tone and to verify the original type horn button and wiring is intact with good connections. During the Area 6 horn check the judge will not be asked or expected to insert the fuse or close the disconnect switch in order to operate the horn. If your Model A is equipped with a disconnect switch or fuse to open the electrical circuit, as the owner you may choose to leave the electrical system connected to test the horn during judging or disconnect the system and lose the points, the choice is yours. Consider however, if the electrical system on your Model A must be disconnected for a few hours to prevent the battery from discharging during judging, then there exists an electrical problem that needs some attention.
Area 6 question #13 addresses license plate clamps. Are license plate clamps required for a 1930 Model a with the pressed steel headlight bar? No. Since by design there was no License Plate Clamps, then the 3 points for the clamps are awarded. This is consistent with other line items such as Area 6 #21 where 28 open cars had no outside door handles by design, the vehicle is not penalize for design, the vehicle will receive the 8 points in order to keep the total point base consistent.
Tools are judged in fine point, why aren’t tools judged in Touring Class? Touring Class is not fine point judging. The TCC encourages the participants to drive their Model A to the meet, if possible. In order to be fair to all participants, if an individual drives their Model A to the national meet they may need the space the tool display would require in order to carry tools and parts they may need to make a repair on the road and/or luggage. The last thing a driver needs to carry in his Model A are show tools.
What type of vehicles participate in Touring Class Judging? Virtually all Model As that attend the MARC National Meet are qualified to enter Touring Class Judging. Each year we have a small percentage of previous fine point winners and a couple of vehicles that probably should enter fine point judging however, about 90% of the participant’s vehicles are “drivers.” The following are three examples of recent Touring Class vehicles that exemplify the TC philosophy: 1) At the 2001 summer meet in Cincinnati Touring Class had three 500 point Model As, one of these vehicles was a 1931 Closed Cab Pickup restored by the owner in the late 70’s and has been driven over 22,000 miles; 2) At Green Bay the high point car with 499 points, a 1930 Tudor, was restored by the owner in 1980 and has been driven over 25,000 miles; 3) Also at the Green Bay Meet a 1929 Coupe, restored by the owner as a high school graduation project for 2002 and driven 250 miles from Joliet, IL to Green Bay received 493 points.
Should I enter Touring Class Judging or Fine Point Judging? Of course that choice is yours, however the following is offered as consideration to help you make your choice. Using the Touring Class Judging Standards judge your own vehicle, if your vehicle’s score is high, then consider the following: 1) What changes you can or are willing to make to improve your vehicle’s score; 2) Your vehicle has no modifications; 3) Your Model A meets the 14 points for a Blue Ribbon as listed in the “Model A Judging Standards and Restoration Guidelines”. Fine point judging is of course more critical with many more items judged that with Touring Class, however there have been several high point Touring Class vehicles enter fine point judging in the past and do quite well, all things considered.
Area 1 question #14 addresses the “ORIGINAL HEAD”. Many owners are changing the original Model A head to one of the high compression heads that are available to increase the performance of their Model A. Are these Model A design high compression heads, police heads, or after market heads acceptable? Yes. So long as the head appears similar in profile and appearance to the original Model A head, uses an original Model A type water pump casting, and will accept the original Model A diameter spark plugs. Specifically, a high compression head with small diameter spark plug holes for modern spark plugs; Model B head; aluminum head; finned head; overhead valves; and etc. are not acceptable and “0” points will be awarded for this line item.
Area 1 question #29 addresses the Zenith carburetor. Is a Holley or Ford carburetor acceptable? Yes. The term “ZENITH” refers to a style/design not necessarily a manufacture. There were 3 manufactures of the zenith style/design Model A carburetor, Zenith, Holley, and Ford. Early castings may be marked “ZENITH” (for Zenith), “H” (for Holley), or were plain (i.e., no markings for Holley). Later castings may be marked “ZENITH-1” (for Zenith), “ZENITH-2” (for Holley), or “ZENITH-3” (for Ford). Touring Class Judging makes no distinction between the Zenith, Holley, or Ford carburetors. According to the “Model A Judging Standards and Restoration Guidelines” there are approximately 19 different variations of the “zenith” style/design Model A carburetor, any of these are considered acceptable for Touring Class judging purposes.
Is the substitution of some Model “B” or modern design components for Model “A” components acceptable? Generally no. Touring Class judging is intended to recognize those authentic appearing Model As. Where the Model “B” or modern component appears very similar to the “original” issued Model “A” component for the year of the vehicle, is hidden, or is not included as a judged line item they are acceptable. Substituting a Model “B” or modern component that does not have the same basic appearance as the Model “A” component will not disqualify a vehicle from entry into Touring Class Judging. However, where judged, these non-authentic Model “A” appearing components will receive “0” points. Some examples of Model “B” components include: engine, head, water pump, carburetor, manifolds, and distributor. Some examples of modern components include: stamped steel 2 or 4 blade or plastic fan, alternator, electronic ignition, non-stock transmission, overdrive, and sealed beam or halogen headlamps.