$2000 Challenge 12-Point Concours Example

Competitors earn a concours score between 0 and 25 points. Cars will be judged on innovation, execution and presentation, and scoring will be as such:

Innovation: 0-10 points
Execution: 0-10 points
Presentation: 0-5 points

What exactly does a 12-point entry–meaning a car that’s perfectly average–look like? Here’s our idea of a 12-point car, using our own sub-$2000 MR2 as an example. Note that concours scoring is always left to the judge’s discretion.

The Car: 1985 Toyota MR2

Innovation Score: 5/10 Points

Innovation is the first category scored, and covers things like design, engineering, creativity and modifications. A perfectly stock 5-year-old Toyota Camry should score 0 points, while a home-built V8-swapped fire-breathing monster of a Volkswagen Beetle should score 10.

This MR2 is lightly modified, sporting coil-overs, camber plates, bigger sway bars, bigger wheels with sticky tires, and a few engine bolt-ons. The competitor told us his goal was to build a fun autocross car, and judging by the pro driver’s positive comments this formula worked pretty well. A judge would normally give 3-4 points for innovation for a car modified to this level, but this MR2 scored higher because the competitor also swapped the front-end for better-looking (in his eyes) parts from a later car. It also stands out from the rest of the field because it’s an older, rarer car, so it earns 5 points out of a possible 10.

Execution Score: 5/10 Points

Execution is the second category scored, and covers things like perceived safety, cleanliness, workmanship and attention to detail. A dirty car with ruined paint that’s covered with duct tape and zip ties should score 0 points, while a car that’s fit for display at the SEMA show should score 10.

This MR2 has shiny paint that presents well at first, but walk closer and you’ll notice the competitor wasn’t as careful masking as he should have been when he sprayed it, and there are a few rock chips up front. The interior is in fairly decent shape, but the dash has a crack and there’s dust and dirt in the nooks and crannies. Under the hood, things are dull and dirty, and we spotted a few random zip ties holding wires and hoses out of harm’s way, plus the spare tire well in the front trunk isn’t painted the same color as the rest of the car, and it stands out like a sore thumb. On the bright side, the modifications seem to have all been performed correctly, with no safety issues present. It earns 5 out of a possible 10 points.

Presentation Score: 2/5 Points

Presentation is the last thing scored, and covers things like originality, theme, showmanship, team spirit, moxie, chutzpah, backstory and anything else that falls under the heading of “je ne sais quoi.” A car that’s parked with no owner present should score 0 points, while a car knowledgeably presented by an enthusiastic team wearing matching T-shirts and telling their amazing story should score 5.

This MR2 doesn’t sport a cool theme, but the owner bought it more than a decade ago as his first car, and enthusiastically presented it as his dream project finally come to life. The judges appreciated his stories of wheeling and dealing online to find all of the necessary parts, but wish he would have gone into more detail about how he chose the car’s suspension package. It earns 2 out of a possible 5 points.

Total Score: 12/25 Points

This car is perfectly average, and earned 12 points out of a possible 25. To score higher next year, the competitor plans to make a few more modifications, spend more time detailing the interior and under-hood, and make a poster board to keep his thoughts organized during his presentation to the judges.