Prep Your Car for Success at the Next Auto Show

As a car enthusiast and judge for many auto shows, I can tell you that for the car fanatic, prepping and entering your car can be a nerve-wracking experience; especially if you’re new to the world of auto shows. I’ve seen the best of the worst through out my 10 years of judging classic and vintage vehicles and I can safely say that preparation is a key element— at least to not appear foolish at your first show. Since there are a few car shows coming up that I’ll be attending as a writer, I thought that I’d give my readers a few tips that I’ve passed down over the years to friends and car show contestants. A few of these ideas were inspired by James Detmer of, a great resource that offers car care tips and free tutorials online.

Replacement Parts

A while back, I had a friend whose car needed a replacement piece two days before the car show that he was entering. He looked everywhere online for the part and finally, someone said that he should check a used car lot for the missing part. He went and found the part he was looking for, attached to a car that was marked down because the dealer was trying to move the junker out. If you’re planning on attending the Nashville Auto Fest, coming up in mid-January, and you’re looking for car parts or just a nice used car that you can fix up, used lots that are buy here pay here in Nashville can help you to get what you need fast.

Glowing With Success

After a good hand wash, you’ll want to give your car a nice buff down. Detmer says that a simple polish, applied by hand, will do nicely to remove any minor imperfections. After this, you can add a finishing glaze, which will enhance the color and dimension of the car’s paint. Once you’ve worked the glaze in, and filled in any scratches that might exist in the paint, you’ll want to follow up with a good coat of high-shine carnuba wax to really bring out your car’s shine. Detmer recommends you use DrBeasley’s products to get the most out of your car’s appearance, but I prefer Zaino car care products, because they are made for auto show cars and used by the professionals.


Check and Double Check

The next item to address, to make your car the belle of the auto show, is interior and exterior conditioning. Go over the tires, seats, dash and trim with a conditioning treatment that will bring back your car’s original interior and exterior brightness. I use Sonus Total Eclipse and it works great on most cars that need a new, healthy shine. A 12-ounce bottle is only $12.99 and it’s a small price to pay when you’re looking to stand out from the rest of the cars at the show. Make sure that you bring this little bottle with you to the show, along with a mini-vac and a microfiber towel, for final touch ups and minor detailing. As always, enjoy the show!

About Gerry Borgata
Originally from Hermosillo, Gerry has been working on sports cars and trucks for the past 20 years. After moving to the U.S. five years ago, he started writing reviews and sharing tips on how to care for Porches. He has a strong appreciation for AP style now that he's a freelance writer.

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