Car Show Etiquette - Courtesy Bird Bits

While most people who attend car shows are kind and considerate, a small percentage are not. They will do things that annoy or insult car owners, belittle their hard work, or even damage their vehicles. No one wants scratches on the car they spent HOURS polishing to a high gloss. The trouble is, most of us have said or done something that qualifies as being rude without realizing it or meaning to. So give the following a look and make sure you're not "That Person."

Don't Touch the Cars! Seriously Ğdon't touch the cars. Just don't do it! Don't lean on it. Don't reach out and put your hands on it. Don't accidentally brush it with your coat or bag as you walk by. Don't back into it while you're trying to take a photo of another car. Don't rub against it as you're trying to squeeze between two cars. Just don't do it. Don't touch unless you're naked. Zippers, snaps, buckles, rivets, watches even fingernails can and will scratch paint. Seriously Ğdon't touch the cars.

Mind Your Children! Bringing a kid to a car show is wonderful thing, but your kids are your responsibility. They shouldn't ever touch cars, throw toys that hit cars, sit in cars, sneeze on cars, stick their heads into cars and drip snot on the seats, etc. Don't let them throw dirt, rocks, toys, etc. Some people don't mind if the kid gets in the car but make sure it is okay before your kid climbs on or in a car. Most people don't want finger prints or candy stuck all over their car.

Don't Talk Trash! You just spotted a terrible show car. It's sloppy. It's ugly. It's not even clean. You roll your eyes, make snide comments, chuckle, tell your buddy what's wrong with it, and move on. Here's the thing, someone in the world loves that car like a member of the family. They don't see the problems, the dirt, or the fact that it's downright hideous. They see a beautiful machine worthy of endless attention...and they don't need your disrespect. The same goes for the newer cars. It doesn't have to be 40+ years old to be beautiful, fast, expensive, have a lot of work into it. Not everyone can afford a show car and a driver or they love their car so much they prefer to drive it all the time. Unlike some, they made a big effort to come to the show, paid the entry fees, spent their time to do things to their ride, spent hours cleaning and polishing (or maybe not, you rat rod guys know what I mean) and subjected themselves to the public eye. They don't deserve to hear trash if you can't say anything nice, just don't say anything. Maybe they are just getting started and wanted to show what they have started with or the mods they have done so far. Not everyone has a $200,000+ show car build by so and so. We all start somewhere.

Watch for the Lenses! It is tough to shoot photos when there is always someone in the way. There are always automotive photographers at cars shows, always someone that wants to get a picture of some nice ride. Some are there for fun and some are earning a living, news paper, magazine, etc. Don't just ignore the photographers because you want a better look. Be polite and look around often and check that you aren't messing up someone's shot. Just as importantly, don't walk into someone else's shot. This is more true now with the high quality cameras built into phones, so pay attention to your surroundings. I see this a lot and deal with it a lot myself. It's not easy getting a clean shot.

Be considerate of others. If you're showing your car, don't crank your stereo. Some people enjoy the music already playing by the DJ or announcer. They also want to listen to any information, door prize give away, contests, problems etc. that might come across the loud system. If you're blaring your bazillion watt stereo, no one can hear it.

Pick up your trash. Don't just leave your nasty rags, empty cleaner or detail spray bottles, soda cans, water bottle etc. Someone has to clean up after the event. Most times it is the person that had to get there two hours before the show to set things up. They are hot, tired and ready to go home too.

Very important! No matter what you think of the other cars, remember that a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears have gone into them. Someone has spent their hard earned money, time away from family or with someone special that might not be around anymore. In the end, we all share a passion about cars, we are all the same at the core. A little common sense and courtesy goes a long way to helping everyone enjoy the show.