Car Shows – Part 2 – Preparing

Once you’ve decided to enter your vehicle in a show, whether it is a car, truck, boat, RV, or something else, you’ll need to get ready. You need to prepare both the vehicle and yourself for the day (or days) at the show. By the way, for the sake of this article, we’ll refer to all vehicle shows as “car shows.”

Getting Entry Details

Once you’ve selected the right show (see Part 1 in this series), you will want to make sure you register as early as possible. This is important so you are sure you get a spot and it will be one less thing to worry about.

Another thing you’ll get after you register is an official copy of the rules and any other instructions. If you don’t receive this, be sure to contact the organizers. It is important to play by the rules when it comes to car shows. This is especially true for juried shows. You want to make sure the judges do not find anything wrong with your vehicle and thus deduct points.

Also, make sure you have all of the details necessary. This may include a map of the show, your booth or entry number, and any necessary directions. Some shows will send you a tag to display in your car window, or will ask you to visit a sign in booth when you get there.

Preparing Your Car

Now you’re ready to prepare your car. Make sure you follow all of the rules, if any, which may include any parameters for judging. How the judges evaluate your entry is really important. For example, some juried shows take away points for not wiping out the insides of the tailpipe. This is pretty extreme, but it happens.

Obviously, the usual washing and waxing of the car is really important. But keep in mind that no matter how clean you get it, you will need to touch up the car once you get to the show.  Every car will face dust, dirt, and possibly water on the way to the show; especially if you drive the car there.

Getting There

Depending on how far away the show is, and if your vehicle is street legal, you may be able to drive to the show. Just remember to start the car the night before to make sure you are ready to go to the show in the morning. Also, try to avoid puddles of water or mud, if possible.

If transporting the vehicle, give yourself extra time to load the vehicle properly. Sometimes this can take longer than you expect.

Preparing Yourself

In the next article in this series, we’ll cover the items you should take with you to the car show. However, beyond the typical things, you should prepare yourself mentally for the upcoming car show. Remember that you will need to be as patient as possible.  Also, remember that things will go wrong; at least they usually do. Expect to wait a lot and sit in the hot sun or pouring rain.

Yes, this seems pretty negative. However, if you prepare yourself and have the right mindset, you will be ready for the day(s) ahead. If everything goes perfectly – great!


You’re almost ready to go. You’ve prepared yourself and know what to expect. In the next article in this series, we’ll cover what to bring and what to do at the car show.


Written by Gary Pradel