Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nutley/NJ & Middletown/OH, USA
That's actually a great question... I'm going to answer from a very personal perspective, as someone who does enter a car at the National Convention (this is the second year in a row that my Spider has placed 2nd in its class), and who refrains from judging in any category of an event when a personal car is entered.
Classes are formed first based on how closely related the cars are, and second, based on how many cars are entered in the event. (I believe that this long standing criteria is now also documented in the AROC Concours Manual.) From a competitive perspective I think it does make sense. Note that even here, on the BB, we tend to lump the series 2, 3 and 4 Spiders together. As you pointed out, that's what was also done at Detroit, with the series 1 roundtails being in their own category. If enough Spiders of one series are entered, then it would not be unusual for the organizers to further subdivide the original category.
I think it's also important to emphasize that the car is judged against itself. That is, how it is presented at the Concours versus how it was when new. Now, we could say that older cars are simpler and therefore have less of a chance to loose points, but the other side of the argument would be that a newer car is just easier to preserve. I think in general this criteria works, especially because our cars are no longer new. The only time I have found it odd, is when a new car (yes, brand new) is allowed to enter a show, and then is found to be flawless. For example, I think it would be unfair to have an 8C enter an Alfa National Concours, and then have it win the judged category. In that case, it should only be judged in a group of new cars.
What are you specifically dismayed about? Where do you think you're car is at a disadvantage? I can tell you that as a series 3 (and series 2, although I only compete with the series 3) Spider owner I do think that the series 3a ('82 - '85) is the hardest to keep up than all the series, but I'm not really too concerned about being grouped with the other Spiders.
[SIZE="1"]Spider 74, 84 & 87
Milano 88 Verde
164 91S, 93L & 95Q[/SIZE]
[SIZE="1"][I][COLOR="Green"]Member of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club USA[/COLOR][/I][/SIZE]