By on June 3, 2008

Solo and HummerTwo hours.  Thats how long I spent detailing the engine in my Hummer H3 from Budget Rent-a-Car. I spent another 2 hours detailing the rest of the car and discovered how dirty rental cars really are (how old ARE those M&M's?). In the summer, when I'm not racing my Porsche Boxster S, I'm at a car show, showing it off with my other racer friends and their BMW/Audi's. Replete with racing numbers, sponsor decals and helmets, we put on quite a different show from the normal pristine examples of automobilia from decades past. However, due to my Porsche being in the body shop, I was left without a car for last Sunday's Car Show in Oklahoma City. Over coffee, I came up with the brilliant idea to RENT a car at the airport, detail it, and see how it would do against all the other vehicles there, just for fun. At the Will Rogers International Airport, I was presented with three options, a Mustang V6 Coupe, a Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, or a Hummer H3. The H3 was the cleanest, so $75, rental insurance and a distorted sense of reality and I was in with a chance! $25 in cleaning supplies later, I had the most pristine rental car in the MidWest. Several hours later, I was holding a plaque declaring my Hummer H3 had received first place in the truck category at the show. So if you want an award winning show car, call up Budget in Oklahoma City, they have one for rent…

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19 Comments on “How to Win a Car Show for less than $100...”


  • avatar
    Hank

    That’s funny. Or sick. But funny.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    ahahahaha you crazy. so what reaction did you get when you returned it and they inspected it? or did they notice.

  • avatar
    shaker

    $100 for a hummer? Times have changed. In my day…

    Sounds like a U-Haul with a cool logo might have won also — was this “show” in a McDonalds parking lot?

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    I think they might charge you for the foot prints on the roof.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Had a friend with a Galant VR-4 tell a similar story. He drove down to a ‘Battle of the Imports’ race to watch his friends race, and since he didn’t want to leave his car in general parking and vulnerable to thievery, he entered it into the car show, which was cheap to enter and close to the stands. He came back at the end of the day to find out the he took 1st place in the Mitsubishi category winning out over a few Starion’s, Eclipses, and a 3000GT.

    Ended up getting a magazine appearance out of it too.

  • avatar
    Airhen

    I hope to rent a vehicle after you! LOL

  • avatar

    I just want to know how much you’d charge to come over and detail my cars!

  • avatar
    Mud

    No offense Mike, but if you won 1st in a stock H3 it must have been one hell of a lame show.

  • avatar

    that is ridiculous, and hilarious.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    You need to get out more.

  • avatar

    The only reason that truck won was because it had Texas plates. :)

  • avatar
    BlueEr03

    Or because it was the only truck entered

  • avatar
    N85523

    Mike, you missed some bug on the license plate.

    Pretty crazy idea…

  • avatar

    For all those that wonder how I "won", there were about 100 cars there, and I was competing against 4 trucks in my "modern" truck class. I won because while they were shining the oversized chrome rims, I detailed the entire engine bay, door jambs, and even polished the front control arms. It was really, REALLY clean. I was expecting to lose, but apparently the judges favored cleanliness over originality. Go figure….. And yes, it was the Texas plates (which we removed for judging… too tired to remove the bugs)

  • avatar

    Looks like there are still lots of dead bugs on the front license plate…

    I received my 2200 mile Dodge Grand Caravan SXT rental while our 2008 Sienna is in the body shop yesterday. It was the dirtiest rental car I’ve ever received; they didn’t rinse the soap off of it, the wheels were chrome only on the flat front part and black anywhere else, etc. Still, my wife will be driving it and not me.

  • avatar
    BuckD

    Now I know why I never go to car shows.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    First, congrats on the win!

    While I wouldn’t expect a stock clean H3 to win 1st at a car show, I’m not surprised either. Some of those car show judges fixate on how clean the ball joint rubber covers and CV boots are.

    Also, I’m going to go out on a limb here and ask, what detailing supplies did you use?

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    We need more guys like Mike to offset my friend who took his rental to the drag strip after pumping up the tires and disconecting the exhaust pipe.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I read a story a couple of years ago about a guy who rented a Shelby Mustang from Hertz and entered it in a car show. Highlights the ridiculousness of the judging at car shows. I’ve gone to several but never entered. I decided that I didn’t need some judge to pick apart my ’58 Chevy Apache Fleetside. I know I like the way it looks, and I wouldn’t want to change anything just so it could win a trophy at some auto show.

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