DR Car Care top 10 tips

Top Ten Tips from a Concours Judge

DR Car Care top 10 tips

DR Car Care is lucky enough to be a Concours Judge for the Aston Martin Owners Club. As a car detailing and valeting business, we get to see a lot of cars everyday but there is something extra special about spending time with pristine Aston Martins, all lovingly cared for by their owners (other cars are available).

The Concours is a mix of original Aston Martins, lovingly restored, as well as those that have been professionally rebuilt and those that the owner has rebuilt themselves. There are also cars that are used frequently alongside those that are never driven. Concours Judges have to use discretion and only a car that is judged to have zero defects will receive top marks. Anyone not involved in Concours events might think the Judges are nit-picking, but rules are rules. Anyway, to Cut A Story Short, here are just ten areas that we look at. Some sound obvious, others less so. These will also apply to other car clubs’ Concours events, always worth checking before you enter.

Rule 1. Tyres

Tyres must match the make and model of the car. Check the tyres that were fitted at manufacture are the same as those you have now. We also look into each tyre groove to check for any mud or grass fall out.

Rule 2. Wheels

Did you know you cannot have fancy dust caps? For example, with Aston Martins, no AM logo. They need to be the factory spec ‘Alligator’ type dust caps.

Rule 3. Engine Bay

All aluminium bright works should be original and look original – not too over polished or shined. And not under polished and dull ether. Again, you’re looking for factory standard. You might be tempted to over polish, but that takes away the original effect and you’re in danger of pimping your car. That’s a big no!

Rule 4. Interior

All mats in the car need to be standard factory fitted. Anything else must be removed. Only show mat and carpets that came with the original car. In an Aston Martin Concours, we also look to see that the original manual is in the glove box.

Rule 5. Stone Chips

These show the car has been driven and are not necessarily penalised, but if they have caused damage, that needs to be rectified.

Rule 6. Body Work

We do not want to see any dirt or dust – fingerprints, light dusting of pollution, etc. This must all be removed.

Rule 7. Clean Interior

Carpets and front foot wells should all be original with nothing after market. No signs of rot or damage. Try lifting the mats and carpets and hoovering, even the area by the chassis. Make sure it’s all carefully put back in position.

Rule 8. Restorations

When judging a restored car, it’s not initially down to perfection. We judge original cars with imperfections against freshly restored models. The imperfections give a car its patina which is an appealing factor – personality vs originality. It’s about the character of the car rather than shiny perfection.

Rule 9. Badges

All badges to be correct. This goes for any car. Just as your dust caps need to be right, so do your badges. No stickers or plaques. (Handy tip – if you’re in the Aston Martin Owners Club, you can buy a badge to display which might earn you some points…)

Rule 10. Roof Lining

Check your roof lining. It needs to be as factory standard with no sagging or damage.
The judging process looks at four sections, engine, chassis, interior and exterior and there is a maximum of 100 points to be awarded. Some aspects are objective – is a part original or not – and some are subjective – cleanliness, for example. If you do show your car, the most important thing is to enjoy it. At the end of the day, it’s your car.
DR Car Care have years of experience with the Aston Martin Heritage Trust and the Aston Martin Owners Club. If we can help keep your car in pristine order, or get it ready for a Concours event, we’d love to. Drop us a line today.