How to Take Your Car to Its First Show

Car shows offer a fantastic way to see some amazing cars or show off your own car, but if you’ve never gone to one before, taking the plunge to present your car at its first show can be intimidating. Whether you’ve got a classic BMW that you want to showcase or a modded race car that you want to show off at the track, it’s essential to find out what you need to do before you take your BMW to its first show.

Wash Everything

If you’re going to show your car — no matter what model of car it is — you want it to be as clean as possible. Give the car a good wash to remove any dirt or debris and make it look shiny and new. Don’t neglect the interior of the car or under the hood. If you’re showing your BMW, you’ll want to give your engine a good cleaning. It doesn’t have to appear off-the-assembly-line new, but you want to make it look like you at least made an effort!

Once everything is washed, add a good coat of wax, and polish your car so that you’re sure it looks its best when you’re on the showroom floor.

Pick Your Class

Before you enter a show, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right show class. There are generally three classes — street, stock and modified — but each show might have its own classes. Be careful to read up on the individual show before you enter.

Stock cars are cars that, other than being in good shape, are basically the same car that rolled off the assembly line when it was new. It might have some replacement parts, depending on the car’s mileage, but it hasn’t been modified at all.

Streetcars fall in the middle and might contain some aftermarket parts or paint jobs. They still look like their classic stock counterparts, but they pack a few extra secrets under the hood.

Modified cars, as their name suggests, have been heavily modified and may have a lot more power than street or stock cars.

Keep All Your Paperwork

It’s not just the car that the judges are going to look at. Make sure you have all your paperwork in order, including your license, registration, proof of insurance and receipt for your entry fees. You can and probably should also have some process photos of your car, especially if you’re entering in the modded class. Having some before and after pictures can help show the judges all the work you’ve put into your favorite BMW.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is to have fun — win or lose, car shows are a great place to network and find some new friends or reconnect with old ones while you enjoy a few brews over the hoods of your favorite cars. You can enter your BMW in nearly any car show, but you might want to pick a BMW-only show if you really want some competition.