"HE'S GOING TO LEAN ON YOUR CAR"-NIGHTMARES FROM THE FRONTLINES OF CAR SHOWS
There’s a TV ad from a prominent collector car insurance company that shows a giant sized guy at a car show. This humanoid mega-monster comes complete with a menacing large chain dangling from his pants.
He circles the bait–a classic 1957 Chevy. Then, after a suspense-filled pause … Tiny parks his 300-pound carcass on the hood of this classic car. The owner is close enough to see this madness but powerless to stop it. The ad ends with “Jumbo” leaning back on the hood of the victim and the poor car sagging under the weight.
Non-car people might see this ad as exaggeration for effect, but most car guys have witnessed antics just like that and worse at virtually every car show on the planet.
The complete lack of remorse shown by the large chain-wearing gorilla in the ad is also depressingly accurate.
Car show folk are generally the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet. The kind of people who welcome visitors with an honest friendliness. Car guys that aren’t that keen on the public rarely, if ever, bring their cars to shows, so the odds are solid that the typical owner at a show is going to be a good guy.
A “people person”-for lack of a better term.
But a people person has limits and those limits are pushed to the breaking point far too often at car shows by idiots like the fat guy in the TV ad. And this XXXX sized moron isn’t the only threat to your car at a show. In fact, he might not even be the worst threat-he’s just the most visible.
Car show idiots come in many shapes and sizes because callous disregard for somebody else’s property can come from any age or gender. The simple explanation is this.
Nature likes to paint the “ common sense gene” over a big canvas. So anybody between the age of 2 to 92, male or female, can be a serious threat to your $10,000 paint job basically because they lack this thinly spread, basic common sense gene.
The simplest way to describe this car show horror is to think of a collector car as a really nice flower garden-and the owner is a really good gardener who likes to show his or her garden to the public. In most cases, people are happy to stay on the sidewalk and simply take in the beauty of the flowers.
But every now and then you get some thoughtless idiot who thinks that it’s okay to wade into the garden- and stomp over the petunias and/or chrysanthemums and grab a fist full of roses for the “missus”. That’s the potential nightmare for every car owner at a car show.
And the worst thing is that these clueless morons are often offended by the repercussions that arise from this incredibly arrogant disregard for somebody else’s property. Throw kids into the mix and you have the potential for a fatality.
No parent likes to admit that they flunked the mandatory “Make sure your kid doesn’t climb on a $100,000 Car” course-because admitting to that failure would be far worse than actually taking the lead on a 7-year-old kid in the common sense department.
So instead of doing the right thing they’ll choose the wrong thing-they’ll start ripping on the poor guy (the victim) who invested a decade of his life and lots more money than he planned on a collector car.
He’s going to lean on your car?
That might be best-case scenario.
DENNIS:Even with the obligatiory and often necessary "DO NOT TOUCH" signs, Common sense can be an uncommon quality. Classic and Muscle cars are one thing, Antique cars are something completely different. With the open bodies, large fenders and running boards, they have the attraction of an amusement park ride.
BEN:"If you have the time to listen to them, I have 35 years worth of A-Holes at Car Shows 'Horror Stories' I could tell you. If you have the time, I have the stories to tell.
GARY:"its important to keep reminding people.My car is a member of my family. If you disrespect my car, you are disrespecting my family and that could be dangerous !! "
-"Thats why you bring a taser"
-"I was in a local car show for charity and this huge redneck guy with the big wallet chain and keys on his belt loop leaned right up against my car talking to another guy about it while i stepped into the shop to get some food, i come out he's leaning right up against my passenger door and guess what he left...a giant gash in my door panel paint.
I was pretty pissed once I saw what he left behind and talked to him about it and surprisingly he was a cool guy and he OFFERED to pay for the entire door to be repainted.
I was pretty pissed about the whole thing (obviously) but he was cool about the whole deal and i avoided a possible nasty confrontation...little 21yr old guy (me) vs a 300lb 50yr old guy would def not end in my favor
-"This happened to me three years ago and I still have nightmares.
I had my car in a show and I like to take my kids. My son was 4 years old.
I'm talking to a guy next to me with a C2 Corvette.
Before I can act, probably had my head up my ass, my son throws a PEBBLE striaght up in the air and came down on the guys rear window. it was a very small pebble and I felt like ****. I apologized over and over. What am I going to do, smack around a 4 year old, totally my fault.
Good thing the guy was really nice about it. He just said "no problem". I STILL feel like **** about it. I now bind and gag my kids at shows.
I have taught them no belts at shows, and hands behind their backs. They both get it, I thought a 4 year old would understand, I was wrong."
-"I really feel sorry for the nameless person who wrote that diatribe about the humanoid mega monster, "Jumbo", gorilla, idiot, fat guy, XXX sized moron, car show idiot, clueless moron, thoughtless idiot and last of all, arrogant person at a car show. What a sick puppy!
I regularly attend and participate in many car shows of all types all year-round, and have yet to see anyone who deserved even one of those those disdainful epithets.
Somebody really needs to lighten up."
-"Ahhh just my .02 on a Saturday night...
I've seen a few guys lose it over the years....with adults, with the 'blondies', with kids, and it is no fun to watch!
What I generally find in common,if there is such a thing,it is the guys who want to leave doors open, want to heave hoods up, and still don't want to rope it off!
For those XXX size guys with the huge belt buckles? Leaving a hood up is tantamount to baiting a mouse trap. For the kiddies who are in awe of the old cars? Leaving doors open is tantamount to inviting them in for ice cream! For the 'blondies?' Always amazes me...haha...nothing is said until they actually touch something!
Point is, there is no car show etiquette for the masses, they know no better,and it is the risk all of us take when we feel it our civic pride to go out and 'show' our stuff to the masses.
Takes a little bit of common sense on both sides"
-"At the last antique car show I attended, there was an absolutely pristine 1905 or so brass car of a make and model rare enough that I couldn't identify (not that I'm an expert). It had a sort of tourabout body with no front doors.
While the owner's attention was elsewhere, a thirty-something year old woman brazenly mounted the running board, caught her shoelace in the brass works of the hand-levers, kicked free and then climbed up into the driver's seat while her male companion snapped photos of her. That was rude enough, but while she was up there, she repeatedly squeezed the dry-rotted, original rubber bulb of the car's brass horn, further cracking it. Apparently she was too dumb to realize the blatt, blatt, blatt of the horn might attract the attention of the owner, who indeed arrived--and with an attitude befitting the situation at hand."
-"This exactly why I don't do car shows anymore and park my daily driver far away. Especially the shows in which the organizer has a vehicle in the show and concidentally wins first place.
You know, friend of mine, her father restored a 1930's era Ford, with a rumble seat, I believe. They took it to car shows, backing it off and on a trailer, and I thought to myself, "You are really living on the brink of disaster every time you take the thing to a show or for a spin." Trust me, insurance can never make you whole when you suffer a loss. I lost a mint condition WW I iron cross. I loved looking at the old cars in the museum as a kid but it just isnt worth having, at least to me. The work, the potential for mishap, the expense, the storage issue, the reluctance to really drive the thing. At least with a modern era vette you can take it for a spin and drive like a normal person. If it does breakdown, you can fix it yourself or flatbed somewhere. These antique cars seem like money pits and stomach pits."
-"I have to admit, I have never witnessed the totally clueless gorilla at a car show, even the kids. My experience has been entirely of very gracious people genuinely interested in the car and minding their kids. They can be anything from a clear motorcycle gang afficionado, to a Wall Street banker, to a grandfather who knew the car when he was young. They've all been a pleasure to show the car to, and I enjoy doing it - maybe I just live in the right part of the country.
Now, I have witnessed the opposite at air shows. Many years ago I had responsibility for a portion of the flight line at the WWII Wings of Freedom show in Geneseo, NY, which included the Canadian Warplane Heritage Hurricane - an extremely rare flyable plane in N. America. Much to my horror at one point I saw a woman with a lit cigarette (despite signs posted every 20 yrds) asking her friend what the pool of stuff under the Hurricane was (oil). I quickly moved her away from the airplane and got soundly berated for my trouble, but might have saved the airplane."
-"It's not always intentional. I chased a bystander away from a wrecked airplane with a woman trapped inside, as he absentmindedly put a cigarette in his mouth and was about to light it.
Just last Wednesday, I caught a drunk trying to crank the ol' brass picup while it was parked on Main Street among the revelers in Surf City. I made him put down his drink and crank it for real - with his left hand, of course. It pleased him and the crowd."
-"I was at an airshow, with two of my projects. With ropes up, and signs all over the place, a little kid shouted "Thats not a real airplane".... His mother said something stupid, like "Go find out". The little b@5t4rd, ran under the rope, and started banging his hand on the plane. I didnt know who to punch first! I didnt hit either, but it did go through my mind. Its simply in the raising of the children. RESPECT is something that is no longer taught."
-"I was at an antique bicycle display, where due to limited space the highwheels and others were placed close together. A mother with her young son approached, the son went under the display chain and knocked over the end bike, sending them down like dominoes, as I and another owner tried desperatly to hold them. As we were picking up the bikes I asked the mother to control her child, and was told that we "shouldn't have had them where he could get at them if we didn't want them touched"!!! I told her he had just knocked over $50,000 worth of bikes and she walked off, without any futher word!"
-"My worst (angriest) experience? A dude could not understand why I got angry because he felt compelled (and did) open the door of my 66 Chevelle SS and get in and play like he was driving. This was not a kid but a full grown dumb XXX."
-"Yes, the gene pool could use a little chlorine"
-"No idiot has leaned on my car, I watch, one time some kid opened my car door, I yelled at him, Just saying
dont touch the car, as his father looked on.... no discipline at all. You do get the fat turds that lean on your car and touch all over it.
Whats worse I saw some guy with 3 kids and they all climbed in someones truck and they were jumping around.... I couldnt
believe their father let them do that and they were lucky the owner of the vehicle wasn't around."
People like this are the curse of driving anything old or interesting!
How about this one? ever had the guy who makes the statement "They dont make them like this anymore,this babys built like a tank"..as the jackass slams his fist down *hard* repeatedly to add dramatic emphasis to his witty observation?
Then when you blow up at the guy *you're* the a**hole!
People seem to take even more libertys with your vehicle when its unrestored,or in the process of being restored and looks rough,I guess they think you must not care about the car or something,so therefore they can throw their doors into it,lean on it,sit on it,etc and you wont care.
Where do these people come from?,Honestly,manners and respect for others property seem to be a thing of the past.
most people today drive plastic crap and their cars are all beat to hell and covered with dents and stickers,their attitude seems to be "Oh well,I'm just going to toss it when its ruined and buy a another new pile of crap anyway,so who cares".
If they dont have any respect for themselves or their things,they certainly arent going to treat you or your possesions any better. Nor are they going to have the courtesy/decency to imbue thier children with better manners and values than they possess.
It isnt like the older generation who would put plastic seat covers over the new upholstery to keep it perfect,and tell kids not to eat in the car.
People of that era worked hard for their things and took care of them and taught thier children to respect and care for their things and others.
Because I like to drive my cars often I have had to put up with a lot of stupid,selfish,thoughtless people,like the woman who had to park next to my (former)1959 Dodge Coronet and diaper her kid on the hood of her nissan and throw her door open right into my passenger side trim putting a nice crease in it,or some obnoxious teenagers who decided to use my (former)'57 Plymouth's hood as a picnic table while they took the pickles off their burgers.
I have had brushes with inconsiderate people on many ocassions,and now it has gotten to the point where I simply tell people not to touch the car right from the start.
And what about the punks that think its funny to walk by and "key" peoples cars at car shows?"
-"You'd be suprised at how stupid some people are.
Once outside a restaurant I saw a hispanic father watch his kids jump up and down on the hood of his fairly new import car for a couple minutes before he finally chimed in and told them to not jump so hard because "this wasnt the old Chevy"
Then another time I went to go look at a 1959 Plymouth two door post that was for sale and the seller had some of the parts in a box above the car in the rafters, so he just jumps right onto the fender and then kneels on the roof to get the box down,needless to say he dimpled the roof and I left.
I honestly couldn't believe anyone would be that stupid to walk on a car he's trying to sell."
-"Yepper, I went to "Duke's Fest" in a place Ben Jones used to have open here called Sperryville Va....Never go back...First, they made all the General Lees line up along this creek bank in the grass and wet mud, and of course, all the local and distant "College idiots" that thought because "Cooter" had a GL out front for them to climb on, take pictures sitting in the window of, they could do the same with all those pretty ones lined up along the edge of the creek....I actually cought one exclaim to his girlfriend as he sailed his azz up on the fender of MY General Lee, "Quick Honey! Take a picture".....I calmly walked over to him perched on my fender and asked "Hey buddy? You know who's car this is?!" "He replied "No, sure don't"...
I replied......"It's MINE! and I'd appreciate it if you'd remove your azz from MY car!!"...He actually had the stones to look at ME!? like I was an azzho*e or something....People these days just simply haven't been taken and TAUGHT by THEIR fathers like ours did when we were little...Ever had your Pop tell you something like this? "Hey boy! I came here to look at the cars, NOT BUY ANY OF 'EM!"...All the while gripping you right below the shoulder in that tender spot on the back of your arm?...THIS is the problem with todays Idiots at car shows....They think of it this way..
"Well, if you didn't want anybody "Enjoying" your car, you shoulda never bought it out the garage"....I look at it like this, How would you feel if I walked up and felt up YOUR wife? I mean, if you didn't want anybody "Enjoying" her, you never shoulda bought her out the house..
Well, that's about how I look at someone else's car at a show...Some things are just not done out of respect....."
-"I hear you!
I had to laugh reading the quote above!
I've actually had someone tell me pretty much what you stated only they put it something like "Well if you love that F**king car so much,you shouldnt be driving it" (this was the woman who dented my 1959 Coronets trim with her door while diapering her kid on the hood of her car)
I can only imagine how you must have felt when you saw that joker hop up onto your chargers fender like that....this is the kind of thing that turns owners off car shows.
*car shows shouldnt be stressfull!"