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Car Show Attendee Etiquette: Six Rules for Enjoying a Scratch Free Car Show
Category: Car Shows
I recently returned from a fun-filled car show with my shiny black Mustang GT, I pull into my garage and got ready to put my car under its car cover, only to discover a couple of new scratches on my paint, plus a sticky, gooey full handprint on the front fender. How did all these scratches get on my car? Who left their sticky gooey handprint all over my car? It makes me wonder if it is worth taking my car to car shows, when it comes back with signs of inconsiderate car show attendees not realizing what the proper etiquette is while attending a car show.
Now, the vast majority of car show attendees realize that the cars are to be seen, admired, gawked at, visually inspected, and examined by the discerning eye, but not touched, leaned against, bumped, rubbed, or handled in any way. Someone who has spent hours and hours waxing and polishing their car knows that one careless onlooker can leave a mark that destroys those hours and hours of TLC.
So, it is with this in mind, that I propose a set of Car Show Attendee Etiquette Rules:
1. Look all you want, but please don’t touch.
Some people just can’t resist the temptation to touch! Especially something that is shiny. It draws them like a magnet. They just have that urge to rub their hands across a nice shiny surface. Or, you get the person that just can’t seem to stand up without leaning on something, so they put their hands on your front fenders and lean on your car, like they are at the OK Corral and leaning on the corral fence. Well, proper car show etiquette means that you don’t touch anything that isn’t on your own body! Look all you want, for as long as you want, but, just resist that urge to touch or lean on the cars. You should always ask permission before you touch anything.
2. Don’t rub against the car when leaning over to inspect something
There is often something in the interior of the car, or in the engine compartment, that deserves closer inspection. Something has caught your eye, and you want to explore it a little closer. That is all fine and dandy, as long as you can do it while still obeying rule #1 above. But, here is the kicker… You need to make sure your pants or other items aren’t rubbing against the car when you are doing a lean-over. Belts, rivets, snaps, and other clothing items can cause expensive damage to the paint. You also need to make sure you aren’t getting too close to the car when you are walking around it, so that you don’t rub up against it.
3. Keep an eye on your younger children
Car shows are great family activities. I have always enjoyed going with my sons and daughter to car shows and enjoying the beauty of the show. However, it is so important to make sure younger children understand that they aren’t supposed to touch the cars. This takes just a moment or two of eye-to-eye contact and instruction, and then the good ole follow-through to make sure they understand the instructions and follow them. Make sure they know that there are some things that are to be seen, and not touched. Also, children like to get in cars and pretend they are driving, so make sure they know these cars are not to be sat in.
4. Watch out for your loose clothing, especially items with zippers
Many car shows are held at times of the year or locations where a light jacket might be needed. If you have on a jacket, or any other loose fitting clothing, be aware that dangling zippers can cause damage if they rub up against a car. You may need to give yourself a little more buffer between you and the car, just to make sure that your clothing doesn’t come in contact with the paint.
5. Watch out for the dangling disasters (handbags, cameras and other items on a strap)
Items that are hanging over your shoulder or around your neck seem to be drawn like a magnet to the car. If you are doing a lean-in, always grab that handbag or camera, and make sure it isn’t swinging loose where it might accidentally hit the car. It is best to not have anything hanging from around your neck or on your shoulder, since that will eliminate the potential for an accidental slip.
6. Keep all dogs and leashes a few feet away
While it is quite common to see dogs on leashes at car shows, it is important to keep the dogs and the leashes a good distance away from the car. If you have a dog, make sure it stays on the leash, and that an adult or older youth can control the dog. Don’t let the dog leash get so close to the car, where if the dog decides to make a quick turn, it could scratch the car. Also, be aware that dogs like to jump into cars and onto cars. So, keep the dog far enough away from the cars and from open doors to avoid that temptation.
Plus One: Be mindful of the things you say
There is one additional etiquette rule that is as important, but doesn’t deal with harming the cars. This one deals with watching what you say about a car. Although you might have your own likes and dislikes of various makes, models, colors, styles, etc., you need to keep in mind that the owner of the car you are looking at likes his or her car, and you should be respectful of the time and effort he/she has put into getting it ready for the car show. It’s like Mom always says, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all”. What is more than acceptable is a nice compliment to the owner about something specifically you like about the car. That goes a long way to making the overall car show a great experience for the lookers and the shiners.
With these very simple and common-courtesy thoughts in mind, you can attend a car show, taking in all its beauty and having a fun-filled day, without leaving your mark that you were there. It’s like Leave-No-Trace camping, where you leave the campsite with no trace that you were there. It is Leave-No-Trace car show attending…
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