2023 ACT German car show

Today was the annual ACT German Car show.   I always enjoy this show and this year was no different.   The show is held at Queanbeyan Park, which is a great spot with plenty of shade.   As with the last couple of years, I went down to Canberra for the weekend.   Its a much better way to enjoy the show than getting up early and doing a day trip.

The night before the ACT club normally organize a dinner.   This year was a fun informal event, where we all had to guess some rare Mercedes parts, including a C107 glove box torch, fuse pliers, a wooden tool for pre-war radiator caps and more.   The one we couldn’t work out was why some compact (W114/W115) lug wrenches have a tab that means you can’t use it on alloy wheels.     And the same part number as lug wrenches that don’t have that tab.

This year I took my 560SEC and entered it the ‘Silver’ road class.    I figure it would be a good trial run for the road trip to Melbourne I am planning for November, especially after the recent transmission rebuild.    The car went very well and I didn’t notice anything I wasn’t already aware of.    The wheel wobble that I already knew about was quite annoying though.    I didn’t win anything, but I didn’t expect to.  My SEC is very much a driver, and would be lucky to even win Silver class.   As I have covered before, I think the Silver class is great and I wish the NSW event would do something similar.

This year one of the judges had to pull out, so I was asked to help.   I’ve never judged before and it was a good experience to do it for the first time.  I learned quite a lot and it also helped me really look carefully at the Gold class cars I was judging.  My allocation was exterior judging.   I think there were about 15 cars to judge.

2023 ACT German car show

The thing that became apparent was the need to separate the cars to make sure the excellent cars are separated from the really nice ones and the really nice ones from the good ones.    It meant that cars that looked quite nice on the surface in a particular category might get a score of 5 or 6, because there were a few grades of nicer cars in that category.     If I ever do again, my experience this year will be very helpful to do it better.

Having been involved in the judging,   I was keen to see the results, and the overall winner and runner up were very well deserved.   The winner was a 250SE coupe in amazing condition, and the runner up a 420SEL.     While these two were the clear winners my personal favourite was a green 220Sb fintail.   The owner had driven it up from Melbourne and it had an interesting and colour combination of a green exterior with a red interior.   It worked really well.    The paint wasn’t perfect, but it had a great patina to it.

2023 ACT German car show

The ACT show is always so well organized.   The event team had pre-painted lines on the grass for where all the cars should park.    The gold class cars were arranged in a circle around a circular flower bed.   Different models were parked together with signs explaining some details about the cars.    There were less cars from NSW than normal, as MBCNSW had a different event today.

Being focused on the judging, I didn’t spend as much time looking at the other marques as I usually would.   The BMW and Porsche clubs are more modern focused, but the BMW display had some nice older models.   The VW display is also quite varied, with plenty of beetles, Kombis and also more modern cars.

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