Concours Advise

Here are some tips we have learned in 20+ years preparing automobiles for concours.If you have questions, give us a call or an e-mail and we'll do our best to answer your query.

Some do’s and don’ts for concours presentation

Do start planning well ahead of time. Last minute rushing is stressful, and will take away from the enjoyment of the day.

Do not waste time (and money) looking for the “silver bullet” product (wax polish etc.). Most of these products (with some exceptions) are basically the same—it’s all in how you use them. Spend that time instead, learning how to better use the product you are already used to. The best polish in the world is called elbow grease, and it doesn’t come in a bottle.

Do take your car outside, and inspect it carefully and thoroughly in the direct sun well before the show. No matter how good your garage lights are, the sun will always bring out things you missed.

Do use products that you are familiar with. Showtime on the field is not the place for experimentation. Test unfamiliar or new products on your driver car(s) well before hand, looking out for things like streaking or fogging in the direct sun.

Do not use dressings or leather conditioners on the interior of your car for at least two weeks before the show. These products will off-gas or evaporate in the sun making an ugly mess of your clean windows you worked so hard on.

Do show your car on the field with the windows open a couple of inches or so in to allow said gasses to escape with minimal fouling to windows in warm weather.

Do Not use products that contain silicone anywhere on, or in, the car, with the possible exception of properly used, high quality, water-based tire dressings on perfectly clean, non-vintage tires.

Do be sure that—if your car is being judged—you take the time and carefully clean every inch of the car including the engine, and engine compartment, fender-well edges, jams, wheels etc. This seems obvious, but I’ve judged many cars that weren’t cleaned very well and, deduction or not, this can leave a bad impression, or have an effect on tie breaking.

Do go easy on the detail spray. If you have properly prepared your car, there should plenty of glaze or wax on the surface. Just a spritzer of water should be fine. Detail sprays can streak or haze in the sun.

Do bring plenty of supplies with you so as to be prepared for any eventually.

Do understand that—if your car is being judged—the judges are not your adversaries, we are all trying our best to preserve automotive history, which is the main purpose of judging. Be open, honest and friendly when they come, and your experience will be enjoyable and rewarding


What to bring to the Concourse

  • A duffle type bag for the following supplies:  2                                                   

  • Plenty of microfiber towels.  Keep these in their own separate bag to prevent picking up contaminates from inside the duffel bag.  1

  • Some good terry towels for windows. (Ditto with the separate bag)  1

  • Rag type towels for dirty things like wheels and tires  2

  • Spray bottle of water  1

  • Spray bottle of a good all purpose surface cleaner  3

  • Small bottle of lighter fluid, or Goof-Off, or Goo-Gone type product  3

  • Small bottle of kerosene  3

  • Glass cleaner  1

  • Good detail spray  2

  • Small bottle of fine polish  3

  • Small bottle liquid wax  3

  • Small bottle all purpose cleaner wax  1

  • Toothbrush  3

  • Top quality paint brush with ferrule taped  3

  • Brush for debris on carpet and upholstery (lint tape roll is helpful too)  3

  • Super-glue  3

  • Good tape  3

  • Touch up paint   2

  • Fire extinguisher! (Some venues have substantial point deductions (or worse) for this omission)  1

  • General tools (Swiss army knife, etc.)  2

  • Fold up chair(s)  1

  • Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen,   1

  • Comfortable shoes  1

  • Camera  2


1   definitely

2   probably

3    optional