Hypocritically, I have in the past judged a couple of local mixed mark events and have been more than aware of my limited detail knowledge, in spite of being immersed in the classic car scene for something approaching half a century. I would have to add that some of my fellow judges were perhaps even less knowledgeable, which is a bit of a worry.
Given my competitive streak, and the aforementioned potential vagaries of adjudication, I am not sure that I could live with the maxim that 'discretion is the better part of valour' upon coming second. Coming third doesn't bear thinking about.
Concours related decisions for me, are mainly centred around the conflict of ideally using a car almost as a daily driver for around eight months of the year. Compromises in favour of both ideals will have to be made. Specifically:
The paint finish for the chassis. Originally, I believe a very thin coat of semi gloss black, possibly bitumen based paint. No primer or undercoat.
|Remnants of paint provide a clue to original finish|
|Chassis now finished for maximum protection.|
|Picture clearly shows black paint in boot area, but not on hinge panel.|
|Undisturbed black (now with blue tinge) paint. Brush marks |
Another particular aversion are seats with immaculate marbled leather, so perfect that it looks unnatural, almost plastic, no variations, creases or faults, to me, this is not a good look. I am told that the leather is specially sourced from Germany where they don't use barbed wire, so no cuts or scratches. Surly this should not be seen as a positive feature in any competition where originality is prized!
Spats and wheels are an even more contentious subject. I quite dislike the look of XK's with spats. A view I think shared by all but a few die hard purists. I do like wire wheels, painted, not chrome. In 1950 all XK's came with steel wheels and spats. Wire wheels weren't even an option until March 1951. Never the less, this is one aspect of the project not open to discussion. Body colour wires will be fitted.
|KRU600 - photo courtesy of first owner Vernon Maitland|
Spats - love em or hate em!
In all other respects, KRU600 should be indistinguishable from new. There will be a good many upgrades as detailed previously, but hidden away, out of sight from even the most hair-splitting concours judge. The summer of 2013 should be interesting.