Whether you’ve been in the car scene for a few weeks or many years, chances are you’ve been at a car event, minding our own business talking with friends and looking at other cars. All of the sudden someone walks up to you and acts like a complete fool, acting belligerently and asking unrelated questions. You probably scoffed at them under your breath as they walked away, and swore against their existence as they jumped from car to car, displaying one or more traits of improper car show etiquette.
But are you that guy that everyone hates? Do people recognize you as you pull up in your car and rush away from you as you step on the event grounds, as is if they were purposely avoiding you presence? I was at MAPerformance’s Boost for a Cure event a few weeks ago, and noticed a few things. Here are some of the things I noticed at that show, and some tips on proper car show etiquette that will help you fit in and not be notorious for your bad behavior.
1- Be respectful of other peoples cars
“I don’t like that color scheme. Their wheel choice doesn’t match the car. Their engine bay looks tacky. The car is slow. They wasted their money on that upgrade.” You’re entitled to whatever thoughts and opinions you have. But don’t outright voice them. If you’re talking to the owner and they mention they’re not happy with it, then you can say whether or not you agree. Don’t blurt it our to your friends either. Chances are, the owner is within ear-shot and can hear you diss their ride. Also, don’t touch the cars or point out flaws in it’s finish. More than likely, the owner knows every pain flaw and developing rust spot, and doesn’t need to be reminded.
2- Be respectful towards the event organizers
This applies to all events, both organized and the random parking lot meet with friends. Don’t do burnout’s in the lot. Don’t blast dub-step or the Fast and Furious soundtrack. If the event organizers wanted music, they would provide it. Despite what you think your iTunes is not filled with music everyone likes. Furthermore, save the event critique for later, after the event. The organizers are probably so busy taking care of other things, they wont remember anything you say more than 5 minutes after you tell them.
3- Don’t be a pig
Don’t litter. If food is provided, don’t toss it on the ground or leave empty packaging lying around. Show proper car show etiquette and pick it up. Bring an empty plastic bag from whatever grocery store you frequent, and pick up anything you see lying around. It’s good karma and the event organizers will appreciate you. You might even get free stuff for helping out. You never know.
4- Don’t bring animals
Yeah, dogs are cute but they don’t belong at a car show so leave Spot and Fluffy at home. If you can’t find a dog sitter I question your reasoning for owning a 500whp STi or Evo X. Furthermore, pets typically add to an already crowded area, not to mention their little chocolate accidents being rather unpleasant to an unsuspecting victims shoes. Pets don’t know what car show etiquette is, and they don’t care to learn either.
5- Unnecessary Revving Isn’t Cool
This is more of a specific rule, but it applies to a broad level of attendants. While your open downpipe may make for an interesting story, you don’t need to embellish the fact that your car sounds like a cardboard box filled with a nest of angry wasps. You’re permitted two revs only in order to show your pals your new Turbosmart blow-off-valve or ETS Catback, but any more than that and you’re saying “HEY, I’m obnoxious! Look at me!!!”
This list could be a lot longer, but for the sake of everyone reading I’ve narrowed it down to the five most common displays of improper car show etiquette. If you can think of any more car meet rules, feel free to comment and let us know what you think.