The Austin-Healey Concours Registry was created by members from a number of Austin-Healey clubs in North America to assist owners in restoring their cars to original standards and to encourage the restoration and maintenance of original cars. This publication outlines the purposes, organization, and policies of the Registry and describes Registry inspection and registration procedures.
Objectives of the Concours Registry
The objectives of the Austin-Healey Concours Registry are to:
- Provide information, assistance, and encouragement to those who wish to restore and maintain their cars to original specifications and quality.
- Certify and maintain a registry of those cars that have been restored to notable levels of originality.
- Encourage the continuing improvement of cars through a published and supported system of inspection, recognition, and awards.
- Establish consistent and widely accepted standards of condition and originality to assist in restoring cars and determining the quality of restorations.
Concours Registry Committee
The Concours Registry is guided and administered by a Registry Committee, consisting of the Chairman, Subcommittee Chairmen and Advisory Members, as well as members of the subcommittees. A steering group consisting of the Chairman, Co-Chairman, the Subcommittee Chairmen, founders, and the Advisory Members directs the Registry Committee. The advisory members are appointed as Concours Liaisons to the Committee by the three major Austin-Healey clubs – Austin Healey Club of America (AHCA); Austin Healey Club, USA (AHCUSA); and the Austin Healey Sports & Touring Club (AHSTC). These people serve as consultants to the Committee.
The responsibilities of the steering group members are as follows:
Chairman — Responsible for all Concours Committee operations, including:
- Appointing subcommittee chairmen and seeing that they perform those activities they are responsible for and adhere to overall Concours philosophy.
- Leading discussions on additions and/or changes to Concours philosophy or operations policies.
- Sanctioning of concours events so that their results qualify for recognition of Gold, Silver, or Bronze level awards.
- Recruiting (with Sub-Committee Chairman) new members and recommending replacement of members who are no longer able to contribute, assuring that the Concours Committee is at effective strength.
Vice-Chairman — Assist the Chairman and act as backup to Chairman when required.
Subcommittee Chairman — Chairman of five subcommittees, including:
- Technical Chairman – Big Healeys —Update these Guidelines each year adding new material. This subcommittee may add additional members who contribute to maintaining and improving the Guidelines.
- Technical Chairman – Sprites — Update these Guidelines each year adding new material. This subcommittee may add additional members who contribute to maintaining and improving the Guidelines.
- Judging — The Subcommittee has a Chairman and members responsible for:
Events — Responsible for all Inspection activities related to holding a Concours event, including identifying qualified judges and assuring the Inspection is conducted according to the procedures outlined here. Responsibilities also include keeping detailed records on each Inspection and judging teams.
Training — Responsible for establishing and running a program for training and certifying of individuals qualified to serve as Concours judges.
- Registrar — This individual is responsible for maintaining records of Concours events and issuing Award Certificates.
- Treasurer/Web — Responsible for distribution of the Concours Guidelines, sale of car badges, web site and coordinate media relations.
Registration Criteria and Award Levels
The Registry is open to all Austin-Healeys, including 100s, 100-Sixes, 3000s, and Sprites. The Registry will recognize cars that have been restored or maintained at an acceptable level of originality in specification and condition by registering them in the Concours Registry and issuing a certificate of registration to the owner of the car.
Acceptance into the Registry is based on passing the inspection of a team of authorized judges, at an inspection sanctioned by the Registry Committee, using the Registry’s set of authenticity standards, and point system, following the inspection guidelines established (on a scale of 100) by the Concours Registry Committee. Cars that achieve a score of 85 percent of available points by Registry Inspection will be listed with the Registry.
- Cars scored between 85 and 89.9 earn a Bronze Registry Award for the year of inspection.
- Cars scored between 90 and 94.9 earn a Silver Registry Award for the year of inspection.
- Cars scored at least 95 earn a Gold Registry Award for the year of inspection.
These scores are based on score sheet standard of 1000 points divided by 10.
Awards are based on the car’s attainment of one of these levels, rather than on its merit relative to other cars. The number of each of these awards to be given for any class or model of cars in any given inspection period is not limited.
The award consists of a certificate noting the year of award and pertinent data on the car. There is no charge for the certificates. The owner may purchase a distinctive grille badge indicating the level (gold, silver, or bronze) achieved at additional cost.
Publication of Policies and Standards
Concours Registry inspections are conducted using published Originality Guidelines and inspection forms developed by the Concours Committee. These standards and scoring point systems are reviewed by the Concours Committee and revised as appropriate in the fall of each year. After distribution to current members of the Registry Committee for comment, they are finalized and published, and made available to all enthusiasts.
When the Guidelines were first developed around 1989, there was very little detailed information available in any of the published literature on Austin-Healeys. To partially fill this void, a number of individuals who had extensive experience working on Healeys and who were interested in details of originality set out to document as much of this information as they could. Since then the original Guidelines have been expanded to some 500-plus pages.
While the Guidelines are unique in the level of information they provide, they are not 100 percent comprehensive. Thus, they should be used as but one of a number of resources, including other published books, parts and shop manuals, original sales literature, and networking among other owners who have very original cars or who have developed an interest in originality.
As noted, the Guidelines do not cover all questions that may arise in restoration, particularly regarding unusual cars. Such issues might include, for instance, an owner’s belief that their particular car came from the factory or dealer with a modification or deviation from published or widely accepted production standards. Owners who have purchased Guidelines may request additional advice in instances such as these from the Technical Guideline Committee responsible for maintaining that Guideline. If the Committee reaches a consensus that the deviation from standards will be allowed on the basis of its likely originality, this decision will be communicated to the owner and taken into account in future inspections of that particular car. Information regarding such accepted deviations also would be incorporated in future revisions of Guidelines. Chief Judges may also authorize deviations from published Guidelines in the course of inspection if, in their opinion, there is reasonable doubt about the application of published Guidelines to the particular car being inspected.
Copies of the Policies, Guidelines and inspection forms are available for purchase each year from the Concours Committee.
Inspection Opportunities and Locations
Registry inspections will normally take place at meets organized by regional or national clubs, as sanctioned by the Concours Committee upon the request of the meet organizers. Procedures for holding sanctioned Concours events are described in the section headed Registry Inspection Guidelines.
Selection and Training of Judges
Teams of three or more judges conduct Inspections following the inspection guidelines discussed below and using the Inspection forms published by the Committee, under the direction of a Chief Judge for the meet. Each team will have a Lead Judge designated by the Chief Judge.
The Committee maintains a list of individuals who, in the view of the Committee, are sufficiently knowledgeable to provide leadership to judging teams. Additional judges as required to handle inspections at specific meets may be recommended by the meet organizers and approved by the chief judge for the specific meet. All reasonable efforts will be made to select judges in advance of a meet inspection so that they have time to acquaint themselves with the restoration Guidelines and Inspection forms.
The Chief Judge and the Lead Judges for the meet are responsible for ensuring that all judges at a given event are familiar with all relevant policies and guidelines. If possible, this familiarization will be supported with a judges’ review seminar to be held at the meet prior to inspections, with available cars used as evaluation examples, in order to give a better feel for level of severity and objectivity of deductions. To qualify as a Lead judge for a particular class, an individual shall have participated as a judge in that class in at least two previous sanctioned meets and have displayed to the satisfaction of the Concours Committee and to the Chief Judge for the meet a sufficient knowledge of originality standards for the class, and an understanding and acceptance of the Concours Registry Inspection philosophy to insure that the person can effectively direct and oversee inspection teams on that class of Healey.
The Concours Committee through the Judging Subcommittee shall maintain a list of judges who are qualified to act as Chief and Lead Judges for each class. In the event that PRIOR to the inspection a sufficient number of certified Lead Judges are not available to inspect all classes of cars at a specific meet, the Chief Judge may, with the approval of the Judging Sub-Committee Chairman, designate individuals to act as Lead Judges for that meet, based on the Chief Judge’s appraisal of their competence on the basis of their understanding of the Concours Guidelines. Such judges will be recognized and certified by the Registry after the meet if in the opinion of the Chief Judge, their work has displayed a level of competence and attitude that would allow them to perform in the capacity of lead judge at future sanctioned meets.
Judges may have participated in the business of restoring Healeys. In addition, we recognize that qualified judges and Concours Committee members may have assisted in Healey restorations. However, to eliminate possible conflicts interest, an individual may not judge or scribe on any car if he or she had personally worked on that car more than twenty hours the past 24 months or was an owner or employee in a shop that had worked on the car to that extent. Any Judge, including Chief Judges, must excuse themselves from any disputes if they had worked on the car being judge in the last 24 months. Judges may also be owners of cars being inspected at the particular meet, although no individual may judge his or her own car.
Registration of Cars with the Registry
The Concours Registry is similar to other marque registries in that it serves as a record that can be checked by insurance companies, appraisers, future owners, and others with a legitimate reason to confirm the registration and award level of a registered car. This record is considered to be a very important aspect of this program. While achieving a high score will mean something to the owner, confirmation from the Registry that a car has been “certified in a particular year by the Austin-Healey Concours Registry as being within a specific percentage range of original standards and condition” may be useful in a variety of financial and legal situations. In no instance will the Registry divulge the actual score achieved in an inspection to any individual other than the individual who owned the car at the time of inspection.
At the completion of Inspections at a meet, the Chief Judge will certify the Inspection forms and verify that the information on the vehicle included on the summary score sheet accurately represents the car, with particular attention to serial numbers. The Chief Judge will provide a copy of the complete score sheets and registration information to the Chairman of Judging Committee who send the summary score sheet to Registrar of the Committee.
The Registrar will include the car’s registration information, scoring, and certification level in the Registry records and provide the owner with a certificate of registration.
Additional copies of the registration certificate may be ordered from the Registry. The owner may then order and purchase one or more grille badges indicating the level of registration from the Registry. In the event that ownership of a car is transferred to a new owner, the buyer or seller is encouraged to report the information on the sale to the Registry. If the seller wishes to retain the certificate or grille badge, the new owner may purchase a copy of the certificate and a grille badge for the car.
Period of Active Registration
The Committee recognizes that just as cars can be improved, they can also deteriorate. Therefore the award will be considered current only for the year in which the certification inspection was completed, and for a period of two years for cars that achieve Gold level. The year in which the certification was earned will be an integral part of the award and will be noted on the certificate, and in the Registry records. This information should be useful to future buyers and appraisers, indicating not only that the car was of a particular restoration standard and condition at a particular date, but how much time has passed since the inspection.
Except as noted below regarding re-inspection of individual corrections during the specific inspection, awards and registrations will be given only on the basis of complete Inspections.
Under normal circumstances, a car may be inspected completely only once each year. Cars that are inspected and achieve a Gold award may not be inspected again for a period of two years following the award, except where the car has been documented as driven over 2,000 miles since inspection, or has been sold to a new owner in an arms-length transaction. However, if time permits after completion of all Inspections of cars that have not been inspected previously during that year, and at the discretion of the Chief Judge, Inspections may be performed for the purpose of providing certification of condition for insurance or sales purposes. Under such circumstances, the gold car’s owner will pay a standard Inspection fee for that meet.
Announcement of Point Levels and Awards
The Registry was established in part to replace the earlier car-against-car competition with a system of inspection relative to absolute standards, and to use three levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze – to recognize quality of achievement rather than a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place award system. To support this objective, only the level of a car’s award will be publicly announced; the actual number of points awarded to a specific car will be made available only to the owner.
Further, only the award level will be confirmed to individuals requesting information on specific cars from the Concours registry. Point awards will not be announced, published, or confirmed by the Registry. Registry inspection sheets will be provided only to the owner of the car being inspected and will not be available for review by other individuals outside the Concours Committee.
Other Awards and Recognition
This system neither requires nor prevents meet organizers from awarding a “Best of Show” or any other meet award that honors Concours-restored cars. Incorporation of the Inspection process into particular meets, and the potential award of a meet trophy or trophies to recognize the fact of inspection or relative level of inspected cars at that meet, will be left up to the organizers of the meet. The Concours Inspection process also does not require or prevent meet organizers from including Registry-Inspected cars in popular choice voting within their own marque or as a separate class.
However, as a condition of sanctioning a meet to hold Registry Inspections, the Committee specifically forbids the use of Registry Inspection points for selection of “Best of Show” or other relative recognition of registry-inspected cars, since the accuracy of any point-based system is not sufficient to distinguish cars from each other if their point levels are close to one another and the Registry Inspection process was not designed to be used in making competitive awards ranking one car against another.
Registry Inspection Guidelines
Purposes of Inspection
The Concours Registry inspection process has two purposes:
- To determine if the car meets the standards of Concours registration and if so, in which of the three levels it should be registered.
- To assist the owner in improving the car by identifying those aspects of the car that would require correction in order to improve the classification level of the car.
Inspection Standards and Reference Sources
Cars will be judged against an absolute standard (100 percent of possible points) of original specifications as delivered from the factory and prepared by the dealer for delivery. 100 points maximum possible score is the 1000 possible point from the score-sheet divided by 10.
The argument that the factory frequently varied from design specifications and standards under production conditions cannot be used to justify shoddy restoration work (such as overspray or poor fit and finish of panels), lack of proper maintenance, or substitution of parts or components (except as elsewhere discussed in the policies or guidelines).
Parts and components will be accepted as correct if they are manufactured to the specifications and appearance of the original part, regardless of their period or company of manufacture. Original parts are those that were produced at the factory in the production of the Austin-Healey. Replacement parts that are visibly and functionally indistinguishable from original ones will be accepted without deduction. In instances where the original brand name or logo was clearly visible on the exterior of the part (such as air cleaners, distributor caps, and windshields) this aspect of the part shall be considered integral to the appearance of the part. Painted markings used by the factory to distinguish parts from similar ones used on different models (e.g. stripes on springs) will be included in the evaluation for originality.
The accepted sources of original factory standards are the appropriate Owner’s/Driver’s Handbook, Austin Parts List, Service/Workshop Manual, dated factory-issued Technical or Parts Bulletins, and factory-issued paint chips for the production period encompassing the specific car. Sales brochures and secondary literature will not be accepted as definitive, except where used to document accessories, as a certain amount of artistic license was used in the preparation of these items. These documents rarely show detailed information on component markings.
Owners having their cars inspected are encouraged to have their own copies of the Service Parts List and Workshop Manual for their car available for reference during judging, as well as any documentation that they may need to justify deviations from published standards.
In addition to these sources, the Originality Guide for Restorations and Registry Inspections, as published by the Registry Committee, will be taken as an accepted source of original standards, taking precedence over all other sources except the factory publications listed above or other documented originality information for the specific car being evaluated. If a deduction is taken during an inspection for any item that adheres to the Registry’s current Restoration Guidelines, and if that deduction is challenged and the Restoration Guidelines are found to be in error, no deduction will be taken in that instance and the proposed change will be submitted so that the Guidelines can be corrected during the next annual revision. Sources for information that might contradict the Guidelines, for example, could include other nearby cars available for inspection that appear to be original as to the item in question or photos of the item on the car prior to restoration.
There are two important aspects of holding a Concours judging at an event. First there is the judging itself, and second there is providing all the logistic and support arrangements at the site.
The organizers of a meet who desire to have Concours Registry inspections at their meet, the results of which would qualify for award of Gold, Silver, or Bronze certificates, shall contact the Austin-Healey Concours Registry Committee Chairman at least 6 months in advance of the meet to request the assignment of a Chief Judge for that event. The Concours Registry Committee Chairman will coordinate with the Judging Subcommittee Chairman to identify a qualified individual from the list of approved, experienced judges. The Committee Chairman will provisionally sanction a Concours Registry inspection, contingent on completion of inspection procedures for the meet that are acceptable to the designated Chief Judge, and either the Concours Registry Committee Chairman or Judging Subcommittee Chairman. If the Concours Committee agrees to arrange an inspection at the meet, the meet organizing committee will assign a Concours Liaison person will to work with the designated Chief Judge to arrange for the inspection at the meet.
It is the responsibility of the Concours Liaison, working with the other meet organizers, to make arrangements to include Concours registration information on registration forms.. In addition, the meet Concours Liaison shall also assist the Chief Judge by providing a list of planned attendees in advance, secure necessary supplies for the inspection, and to support inspections at the meet, including providing lunches for all judges, arrange required meeting rooms for judges meetings & training, appropriate fire extinguisher, and any other items that are needed.
It is the responsibility of the designated Chief Judge for the meet to secure a sufficient number of qualified judges to handle the anticipated number of cars, to brief the judges and owners in advance of the inspection, and to oversee the judging teams during the inspection. The Chief Judge, with the Judging Chairman, will schedule all pre-Inspections and Inspections within parameters established by the Hosting Club.
Once the Chief Judge has submitted the panel of Judges to the Concours Registry Committee Chairman & Judging Subcommittee Chairman for approval, they are reviewed and the approved, and any financial issues resolved, the Committee Chairman will end the provisional status.
Meet organizers should arrange for those who wish to have their cars inspected to register their intentions as part of registering for the meet.
The Hosting Clubs must send entrant registrations for the Inspection to the Concours Committee at least One (1) month prior to the event date, and no Inspection fee refunds will be granted within the two (2) weeks of the date of Inspection except for circumstances beyond the entrant’s control.
An Inspection fee, to be established by the meet Hosting Club will be collected by the meet Hosting Club to defray costs related to the judging. Such costs might cover lunches for judges, any special equipment (such as drop lights and clipboards) needed for inspection, and perhaps some tangible incentive for the Concours judges to donate a day of their time, such as a piece of souvenir regalia from the meet, as the budget will allow. In an effort to attract qualified judges for the Inspection, the Host Clubs are not expected to require a Concours Judge to pay an event registration fee if that judge come to the Inspection for only 1-2 days (Inspection and Pre-Inspection / Judges Training), judges and does not attend or participate in any Hosting Club events.
The event Hosting Club will reimburse the Austin-Healey Concours Registry $50.00 per car inspected to be paid out of the Hosting Clubs established Concours Inspection Registration Fee to help cover the Concours Registry expenses or as agreed to between the Austin-Healey event Concours Registry Chairman, Concours Registry Judging Sub-Committee Chairman and the Hosting Club at the time of granting the Inspection. This Inspection Fee policy will take effect January 1, 2019.
The designated Chief Judge for the meet will direct the overall inspection. In the event that a very large number of cars are to be inspected, the Committee may designate two or more individuals to share the responsibilities of Chief Judge. Inspection teams will consist of judges assigned by the Chief Judge.
The philosophy of judging is to help the owners earn the desired award, not keep them from it. To carry out this philosophy, it is each judge’s responsibility to maintain a positive attitude. Judges should make all owners feel welcome, at ease and glad they came to the Concours Registry meet. The role of the judge is that of a friend, not of an adversary.
An owner may request that an assigned judge be removed and another judge be substituted for the inspection of the owner’s car, if the owner feels that the assigned judge may have some bias or does not have adequate knowledge to judge the car. The members of the Concours Committee present at the meet will consider this request. If they choose to deny the request, the owner has the option of withdrawing his car from the inspection.
Meet organizers should set aside a time and place on the schedule for a meeting of owners and judges before the inspection is scheduled to take place. At this time, the Chief Judge will collect score sheets from all owners having their cars inspected, review the judging procedures, brief judges on inspection procedures and standards, and answer any specific questions owners may have with regard to judging procedures or inspection guidelines.
Inspections will be carried out at a time and place agreed between the Concours Liaison and the meet organizers. Sufficient time will be allotted so that each car may be adequately inspected. Judges will make every attempt to complete the inspection within 90 minutes (not including Pre-Judging).
In order to allot maximum resources to inspection of cars that have a good chance of meeting registration levels, a pre-judging will take place at inspection events by a panel of the Chief Judge and Lead Judges to review all cars submitted for judging. In order to eliminate any obvious entrants whose cars do not, in the opinion of the Chief Judge and Lead Judges, have any likelihood of achieving a level award. The pre-judging team is encouraged to avoid being overly harsh in this evaluation step.
If in the view of the Chief Judge a car doesn’t appear to have an opportunity of achieving at least 85 percent, the Chief Judge will offer the individual the opportunity to withdraw the car and have his inspection fee reimbursed, have the car reviewed by a knowledgeable judge and the owner to provided information to assist in future improvements of the car, rather than being formally inspected, or have the car inspected following the standard procedures. In the event the owner opts to have the car inspected, the inspection will proceed only to the point where 15 percent of available points have been deducted, at which point the inspection will be considered to be complete, regardless of whether or not all items have been inspected.
All cars will ALSO be judged using the Mechanical and Safety Inspection Score Sheets during the Pre-judging inspection.
Corrective Period: If a component (light, gauge, relay or horn for example) is found to be non-functional during the Mechanical and Safety Inspection, the entrant will be allowed 15 minutes at the conclusion of the Mechanical and Safety Inspection period, or until the commencement of the balance of the Inspection of their car, which could be on the next day, to correct the issue. At that time function of the component(s) in question will be re-checked. If the repair takes longer or is unsuccessful, the original assigned deduction will stand.
Presentation of Cars for Inspection
Cars will be driven to the inspection location under their own power. The hood (top) should be up, side screens in place, and all unnecessary equipment and personal effects removed. Cars that cannot be driven to the inspection location, or that are not in place for inspection at the appointment time, may be refused inspection. The owner may request that the appointment be re-scheduled at another time during the meet, which will be granted at the discretion of the Chief Judge and judging team.
All cars should be available at the beginning of the inspection period in a designated place, arranged by class, so that each team may look at all cars to be judged before beginning the individual inspections. Owners are also requested to keep their cars in the designated area until all inspections are completed, so that judges may re-inspect the cars if any questions arise.
The legal owner of the car should present the car for inspection. If extenuating circumstances prevent the owner from being present, they may have a representative do so, EXCEPT that such representative cannot be a professional restorer who has worked on the car. When presenting their cars for inspection, owners shall give the lead judge their score sheets, with all information filled out, completed and ready for the judges’ use.
At the beginning of inspection of the car, the owner will be asked to make a brief statement of five minutes or less about the car to the judging team. In particular, the owner should point out any items or areas that deviate from standards, such as unusual accessories, substitutions, or color scheme, justifying the deviation and providing any supporting documentation. After this discussion, the owner should remain near the car to provide assistance or answer questions when requested, but otherwise is expected to stay back from the judging, giving the judges space to inspect the car and converse privately among themselves.
Fire extinguishers (charged) will be required to be present with cars being presented for Inspection. Fire extinguishers should be placed behind one wheel/tire.
Two different procedures may be used for inspections, at the option of the Chief Judge, depending on the number of judges available, the time available for judging, and the number of cars to be judged.
- One Judge – One Area. In this procedure a single judge, consulting with the team leader and the other judges on any question where the judge is uncertain as to the appropriate deduction, will inspect each area of the car. This procedure can be fastest and most efficient, but relies on the expertise of the one judge for accuracy. It is the responsibility of the Lead Judge to assure consistency with other Registry inspections and adherence to Registry guidelines. As each judge completes an individual area and calculates a preliminary score on that area, the lead judge will review the results on the basis of a brief visual inspection of the area, making changes in scores as appropriate. It is recommended that a second knowledgeable judge be available to consult on a selective basis, if at all possible.
- Teamed Judging. In this procedure, the judges on the team work together, inspecting each area in turn as they work through the score sheets. In this approach cross-checking is used to assure consistency in scoring and adherence to standards can be assured, while new judges can gain experience in inspections. In this instance, the lead judge for that class may supervise more than one inspection team. As the judging on the car is completed, then the lead judge reviews the entire car visually in comparison to the inspection score sheet, making any necessary changes in scores after discussion with the judges on the team.
While the Concours Committee makes every effort to provide definitive restoration guidelines and inspection procedures, it is impossible to cover all possible aspects of the car and every question that might arise during inspections. As a result, judges will also have to rely on their own knowledge and judgment in inspections to supplement published Guidelines and primary written documentation. In instances where judges are uncertain about an item, especially if it is not specifically covered by primary documentation or the Guidelines, they should consult with the owner before deciding among themselves on the appropriate deduction, if any.
Judges should note briefly on the score sheets, to a reasonable extent, the reason for each major deduction (3 points or more), since a major purpose of the Concours judging is to assist in improvement of the cars, However, it is not the purpose of the judging to provide owners with a compete “punch list” of defects. Judges are also encouraged to consult with the owner on any item that deviates significantly from Restoration Standards or originality documentation to help determine whether a deduction is appropriate.
Review by Chief Judge
After the judges have completed their inspection on an individual car, the Lead Judge will review the results and turn the score sheets in to the Chief Judge to calculate a preliminary score. The Chief Judge and Lead Judge will then review the results for the car to ensure that the results for that car are reasonable and consistent. Any questions that arise should be resolved by inspecting the car and, if appropriate, consulting with the owner on the question at issue.
Particular attention in reviews should be given to cars that have scored within one percentage point of an award level to confirm that they have been accurately judged and to determine if there are any easily correctable deductions that would move the car into the next award bracket. The Chief Judge may revise specific point assignments, if in his or her opinion, the point deduction or the rationale for deduction is inconsistent with Registry practices.
Finalizing Judging Results
After the Lead Judge and Chief Judge have completed the review and are satisfied that the total and assigned award level are acceptable to them, the score sheets should be reviewed with the owner. At this time he will have the opportunity to discuss any areas where he feels errors have been made. After this review, and the Lead or Chief Judge has made any scoring changes that are warranted, the scores will be considered to be final. Discussions regarding the car’s inspection will be held only between the judges and the owner of the car.
If the inspection and review reveals correctable items that would change the award level attained, the owner may notify the Chief Judge of his intention to correct the items following the inspection and petition the Judging Subcommittee Chairman or the Concours Registry Chairman for a partial re-inspection at a mutually acceptable time and location to confirm corrections. This re-inspection should take place within 6 months. Granting these re-inspections will be at the prerogative of the Judging Subcommittee Chairman or the Concours Registry Chairman.
If the owner believes that the inspection results were seriously in error due to problems within the judging team or misapplication of judging procedures he or she should bring the question to the attention of the Chief Judge after the conclusion of the inspection. The Chief Judge may correct specific errors after consultation with other members of the Registry Committee, assign another judging team to inspect the car, or take no action, as he or she deems appropriate. If the decision is made to have another judging team inspect the car, then the previous results will be discarded and a completely new inspection will be carried out. Regardless of the inspection results, this second judging will be considered final.
Owners may petition the Registry Committee with any issues of standards or procedures with which they disagree. If the decision of the Chief Judge is not to the satisfaction of the owner, he may then petition the Committee Chairman in writing for a change in the standards and guidelines, and/or an increase in his award. Decisions of the Committee are final. This procedure is intended both to provide a reasonable way to settle disputes and also to improve the standards and procedures in light of new information provided by owners.
Conduct of Judges and Owners
Inspecting judges shall keep in mind at all times that owners have invested considerable amounts of time and money in restoring their cars, and are justly proud of their achievements. Judges shall never disparage any aspect of the car being inspected by comment or gesture. Any comments regarding the car shall be made only to another judge and then only out of the hearing of the owner.
Under no circumstances are judges to move any component at any time during the inspection. Judges shall request the owner to handle any components that require movement to aid with inspection. This includes such things as removing and replacing seat cushions, lifting floor carpeting, operating windshield wipers, opening battery compartment doors, etc. However, Judges may request of owners (or representatives) for permission to move any component and may do so only if permission is granted by the owner (or representative).
Owners will stand back from the car and let the judges do their jobs. They should be available to answer questions or perform operations involving adjusting components (e.g. removing seat cushions or carpets) if they don’t give permission for the judges to do so (judges should always first ask for permission to do so). Owners are cautioned that inspection and review is a privilege and is provided by volunteers; excessive or heated argument is never acceptable. The Lead Judge on the team has the prerogative to end the discussion if he or she feels that it is impeding the orderly and timely conduct of the inspection. The Chief Judge has authority to discontinue the inspection at any point if the owner’s conduct makes the continuation of the inspection difficult.
Scoring Standards and Guidelines
Correctness and Condition
Individual components will be judged on their adherence to original specifications and on their condition including appearance and serviceability. In general, approximately sixty percent of the points available for a part or component are assigned for lack of adherence to original specifications, and forty percent are assigned for condition and cleanliness. Maximum deductions that can be made for originality and condition are indicated on the score sheets. A full deduction (both correctness and condition) will be taken only where the part is missing, is incorrect in a major way (e.g. an alternator instead of a Healey generator) or both deviates from specifications and is in poor condition.
In deciding on the appropriate level of deduction for a specific defect, the judge should take into account the extent to which the defect detracts from the appearance of the part on a rough percentage basis (for example, a small paint defect that does not detract significantly from an otherwise impressive paint finish would receive a minimal deduction). While determination of the amount to be deducted on a specific part must be based on the qualitative judgment of the inspector, the judge should consult the other members of the team when any doubt exists. Further, the team leader and the Chief Judge for the event should make every effort to oversee this aspect of the inspection to assure consistency in judging and scoring. Standard deductions for commonly found deviations from standards, such as for non-standard paint combinations or non-correct tires, are indicated on the score sheets.
Judges should take particular care when deciding on appropriate correctness deductions to be given for paint and trim colors that they believe may not have been the right shade (as opposed to the right color) since paint mixtures and trim colors frequently varied slightly from car to car during a production run and certainly from year to year and since paint/trim colors are important deductions. Deductions on paint shades should be made only after consultation with the chief judge.
Allowances for Driven Cars
When judging condition and appearance, judges will bear in mind that owners are encouraged to use their cars and that the car may have been driven to the event. Therefore a reasonable amount of road dust and dirt will be accepted without deduction, particularly on cars being judged a distance from their home location. Likewise, judges are encouraged to give minimal or no deductions to the minor damage, such as stone chips in paint, that occurs in cars that are actively driven, if this damage has been carefully repaired or clearly occurred too recently for the owner to have had an opportunity for repair, and does not detract significantly from the overall appearance of the car.
Where significant damage has occurred in transit to the event and it cannot be repaired before inspection, the chief judge may choose not to deduct for the damage if, in the chief judge’s opinion, it is possible to determine the condition of the component before the damage occurred. If the damage is significant, the Chief Judge may make the award contingent on proof by the owner (such as by a photograph) that the damage has been repaired.
Nevertheless, owners are expected to give their cars the careful maintenance they deserve as Concours examples, including careful cleaning and preparation of the car for inspection before driving it to the meet and careful storage and maintenance in between uses. Judges can be expected to be able to distinguish between the dirt accumulated in one trip and the grease, grime, and damage that accumulates through carelessness or lack of conscientious maintenance, and will deduct for this condition, as warranted.
Preparation and Appearance of Components
The appearance of the car and components should generally adhere as closely as possible to the way they were when the car was manufactured. (Exceptions may include approved accessories, two-tone painting to standard colors combinations, etc.). However, to a limited degree the visual appeal appearance of parts may be improved, such as by waxing painted parts, or treating tires and hoses with a detailing product.
More important, changing the finishes on parts – such as chrome-plating or painting parts that were not originally plated or painted, or polishing a part that had originally been painted or plated—is not acceptable as ”correct”, and deductions will be made as if the part had been replaced by a non-standard part. The one exception to this rule regards rubber parts such as hoses and belts that may have been originally over-painted in production. Such rubber parts may be painted as original, or replaced with unpainted parts, at the discretion of the owner.
Standard Deductions for Commonly Encountered Substitutions
In a number of areas, including colors and color combinations, wheels, tires, batteries, and carpeting, because original items may not be available and the same substitutions of materials or components are frequently encountered; the Inspection Forms indicate specific deductions to be made for common substitutions. These include, for example, radial tires substituted for cross-ply tires, wool carpeting substituted for the original rayon/wool blend and so forth. These standard deductions are incorporated into the scoring system to insure consistency among judges when encountering commonly used substitutions. These standard deductions may be changed at the prerogative of the Registry Committee when revising the score sheets and standards each year.
In addition to these standard deductions, the following judging guidelines should be noted:
- Colors — With regard to colors and color combinations, the Committee acknowledges that special combinations of standard Healey and Austin colors were available at various times on special order, though such orders were apparently infrequent. In addition, non-standard colors were sometimes used on special show cars. If the owner of a car can document that the specific car being inspected was originally produced in that non-standard color or combination no deduction will be made. Other than in this instance, standard deductions are provided in the score sheets.
- Carpeting — To avoid deduction, carpet material must be original or NOS Kar-Vel texture wool-blend in good condition (owners of cars with original carpeting are nevertheless encouraged to replace severely deteriorated underlay materials).
- Asbestos — Since asbestos material is no longer available, a reasonable amount of wear will be tolerated if panels are original. If insulation panels have been replaced, they must be made of a heat-resistant material, in good condition, generally similar in appearance (thickness, texture, and color) to original, and cut and installed to original specifications.
- Batteries — While it can be assumed that the original batteries supplied with the car will long since have worn out and been replaced, good quality reproductions accurate in all details including trademarks are now available for some sizes/applications. As a result, full credit will be given only for batteries that are accurate duplicates of original equipment, and standard deductions for less accurate replacements are noted in the score sheets and inspection guidelines. (See the section on Batteries in the Guidelines for specific details).
- Tires — Owners are discouraged from driving or displaying cars with original tires from the production period of the car, because of the potential for failures from aging deterioration, and thus any tire over 15 years old will receive a deduction for safety. Instead, the Registry Committee encourages the use of Dunlop RS5 reproductions, currently available from many dealers, on all models of Big Healeys, and correct size Dunlop bias-ply tires on Sprites. No deduction will be given for the use of this tire. Alternatively, owners may use radial-ply tires in any brand, so long as they are the correct size, with minimal deductions. Deductions for other types and sizes of tires are as shown on the score sheets. A “driving credit” will be given for cars with radial tires. This will amount to 1 point for every 100 miles driven during the 12 months immediately preceding the judging, up to a maximum of 5 points. This credit will be used to offset any standard deduction taken for radial tires.
- Badly rusted-out frames are not uncommon to find in old Healeys. When severely damaged, it may be necessary, for safety reasons, to use a replacement frame, either from a “donor” car or a new reproduction one. Some reproductions are manufactured exactly as the originals and some are not. A standard deduction of 50 points will be taken for any replacement frame that can be visually determined to differ from what was correct when the car was new. In cases where repair to the original frame was made, and is not visually indistinguishable from the original appearance, a proportional part of the 50 points will be deducted, depending on the extent of the deviations.
Cars may be shown with appropriate period accessories without deduction, provided the accessories are in keeping with the style and spirit of the car. Appropriate period accessories are defined as those listed on the following list of accepted accessories and those available during the time the car was produced, documented as to availability and appearance from period literature (except as specifically noted in scoring guidelines). However, the condition and appearance of the accessory will be taken into account in judging. Each area of the car has been allotted a given number of points for accessories mounted in that area of the car. Up to 40 % of the points allotted can be deducted for accepted or documented add-on accessories in less than new or well-maintained condition. Up to 100% of the points allotted may be deducted for add-on accessories that are not accepted or documented, with the amount to be deducted depending on the extent to which the appearance, size, or number of accessories detracts from the appearance of the area. Substitute accessories that are not accepted or documented will receive deductions from the points allotted for the part that they have been substituted for, just as if they were not to original specification.
The following standard accessories will be accepted without documentation. Accessories not on this list will be acceptable under this guideline if period documentation of the availability and appearance of the accessory is supplied by the owner. Such documented accessories will be added to these guidelines for future inspections.
- Boomerang or Lucas style on all models.
- Raydot bullet style on six-cylinder cars.
- Chrome period after-market style mounted to boot hinges and supported on rear bumper or Amco period style luggage rack mounted to the boot lid.
Grille badge bar, chrome, any style
Grille badge(s): Up to five, period or contemporary, are acceptable
Fog/driving lights, Lucas 5-inch or 7-inch, mounted to splash pan or badge bar
Chrome headlamp stone-shields
Rubber floor mats, Austin-Healey logo style only
Radio AM tube-style of the period, only
Seat belts, any style, if properly installed
Fire extinguisher, if charged
Wood steering wheel, Derrington-style with spokes at 120-degree angles
Chrome-plated original style valve cover or alloy valve cover on Hundreds only
Section IX, Accessories, specifically describes and lists some acceptable items.
Background of the Concours Registry
Gary Anderson originally conceived the idea of an Austin-Healey Concours Registry in 1989. The concept incorporated a set of judging standards for big Healeys previously developed by Rick Regan, the idea of a standing Concours committee originated by Reid Trummel. Anderson’s proposal was endorsed by the two national clubs and the independent regional clubs by the end of 1989 and the original Steering Group, consisting of Anderson, Regan, Roger Moment, and Rich Chrysler, organized the first inspections of the Registry at the 1990 West Coast Meet/ California Healey Week and the AHCA Conclave. The insignia for the Registry—an adaptation of the Austin-Healey Club coat of arms surmounted by the Austin-Healey wings and surrounded by a crown of laurel leaves, with a ribbon showing the words “Concours Registry” at the bottom — was created and adopted by the Steering Group in November 1990.