Judging handbook

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copyright © 2007

National Association of Li’l Red Express

Truck Owners
Includes Concours Class Judging guidelines for the 1978 & 1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck
Compiled and edited by:
Skip Gibbs, John Roberts & Robert Montgomery
Eleventh Edition

Revised – 9-28-12

About The National Association of Li’l Red Express Truck Owners
The National Association of Li’l Red Express Truck Owners was the brainchild of Skip Gibbs, Chairman of the Li’l Red Express and Warlock Owners Club.

The concept was to create a qualified sanctioning body or board of members to develop standards of quality for judging and certifying restoration parts, while keeping the best interest of the Li’l Red Express Truck owner in mind.
Working with the board members of the Li’l Red Express and Warlock Owners Club and assisted whole hardly by John Roberts and Robert Montgomery the concept quickly came together and plans were set in place to have the project completed before Truck Show 2007.
With great consideration to accuracy this handbook has been compiled with every detail in mind, and it will be the policy of the National Association (NALRETO), to give every consideration to legitimate improvements to these guidelines. It is also hoped that as an authoritative sanctioning body the guidelines included within will assist fellow restorers in restoring their trucks and with continued research assist manufactures in improving the quality of restoration parts and services.
I personally wish to thank John Roberts and Robert Montgomery for their assistance in the development of and the National Association of Li’l Red Express Truck Owners and hope that the information here-in provided will serve as a standard for the future preservation of the Li’l Red Express Truck.
Skip Gibbs

Club Chairman

Hampton Roads Li’l Red Express

& Warlock Owners Club

Page 1 Introduction - Preface

Page 2 Philosophies - History

Page 3 General judging policies

Page 4 Responsibilities of the owner / exhibitor

Page 5 Responsibilities of the owner / exhibitor, cont. - Criteria to become a judge

Page 6 Organization of the National meet judges

Responsibilities of the Team Judge and Team Captain

Page 7 Organization of the National meet judges, cont., Responsibilities of the Senior Judge

Page 8 Special requirements for the judging of entries

Page 9 Basic guidelines for the Li’l Red Express Concours Class judging forms and awards

Awards – Class Judging

Showcase Class Competition

Survivor Truck Class Competition

Benchmark Award

Page 10 Guidelines for judges: How to judge a truck

General considerations

Judges comments

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) - location and verification

Judging the chassis

Page 11 Judging the chassis, cont.

Page 12 Judging the engine

Page 13 Judging the engine, cont.

Judging the interior

Page 14 Judging the interior, cont.

Page 15 Decal location and judging the exterior

Page 16 Judging the exterior, cont.

Page 17 Judging the exterior, cont

Comparison between the 1978 and 1979 Li’l Red Express trucks

Page 18 Quick Reference for the 1978 and 1979 Li’l Red Express trucks

Page 19 Judging guidelines for the 400 point Concours Judging Class
National Association of Li’l Red Express Truck Owners

Judging Handbook

10th Edition


All judging information contained herein can be adapted to regional and local meets, with the exception of the Showcase Class awards. Showcase status can only be awarded at a National meet.

This handbook provides guidance for both the restorer and the judging of the 1978 and 1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express truck.

The Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club or other club or event sponsoring a Li’l Red Express Concours Truck Class event may, at its option also provide a separate display area for Non-Concours Class judging of Dodge trucks and may offer awards recognizing such participation.

The Li’l Red Express Concours Class 400 point judging form will be available from the Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club and should be copied for use at all Li’l Red Express Coucours Class events.

When the Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club holds a National or Regional truck show and it is a Concours Class judged event, the current Li’l Red Express Concours Class National Judging Form must be used.

All National meets will use the 400-point judging form for the Li‘l Red Express Concours Class. Peer form for the popular vote classes. (most popular)

Although judging and awards at national meets are directed toward recognition of excellence of original and restored Dodge trucks, all members and owners are welcome and invited to participate and to display their Dodge Trucks, whether modified or un-restored, at any Li’l Red Express Concours Class event.

Please give consideration that this handbook could never be compiled without mistakes or errors contained within its content. With this in mind, it will be policy to give consideration to legitimate exceptions and/or improvements to the guidelines stated herein. It is hoped that future editions will become more complete, more definitive and more authoritative with additions and corrections discovered by fellow restorers and further research.


The National Association of Li’l Red Express Truck Owners (NALRETO), recommends these judging guidelines to all 1978 and 1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express trucks.

These guidelines will be initiated in June 2007. They have been developed so that hobbyists may restore and present their vehicles for judging and scoring and to ensure that the emphasis of scoring and judging be done in the best interests of the hobby.

The National Association of Li’l Red Express Truck Owners feels it is imperative that each and every participant be given recognition whenever possible. In order to ensure that this takes place a system has been developed that allows many more owners to participate in the process of receiving recognition in an unbiased format.

It is hoped that all truck clubs will become more uniform in their approach to judging, scoring and presentation of awards. These guidelines place emphasis on scoring and the allocation of presentations so that the most number of people possible may share in the honor, prestige, and excitement of receiving an award while still maintaining a high set of standards.



The Li’l Red Express Concours Class Awards are based on how well the truck compares to the original factory product as judged under the Li’l Red Express Concours Class 400 point system. The three key items to be considered in evaluating the truck for these awards are authenticity, condition, and workmanship.

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards honor those trucks that meet the minimum point requirements as described in the Li’l Red Express Concours Class Judging Handbook. Here condition and workmanship are of prime importance.

The Showcase Class Award honors restored trucks that most nearly represent the truck as it left the factory. For this award, authenticity together with condition and workmanship are of prime importance. To assure consistency of this award, six specific items that are considered most significant regarding authenticity have been selected. A truck must be correct in these three items to meet the requirements for the Showcase award. In addition, the truck must attain a minimum of 375 points. By using this system, the Li’l Red Express Concours Class provides recognition of a Showcase Award for those members and owners who restore a truck to factory condition.

The Survivor Truck Class honors original un-restored trucks, it also provides for those members and owners who choose to maintain a truck at a level where the truck can be driven regularly. Disqualifiers for the Survivor Truck Class would be a total repaint or engine change. Minor mechanical and maintenance items are acceptable.

The 400 point judging system that will be implemented at the 2007 Li’l Red & Warlock Owners Nationals for the Li’l Red Express Concours Class is an updated version of the Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club rules. Permission was given by Skip Gibbs, the Chairman and Senior Event Coordinator of the Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club, and John Roberts, Club Historian and Senior Concours Judge to create these rules. The idea was to make a set of rules for the Li’l Red Express Concours Class that would mesh with the Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club’s current rules and therefore create a dual system that will assure consistency and fairness at all events and club functions.

Non Concours Class trucks will continue to be judged by the Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club current judging rules. A 100 point judging system will be utilized in all categories listed on the clubs standard 100 point form.

A copy of the form is available from the Li‘l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club.

The three items to meet the requirements for the Showcase Class award include:

  • Authenticity

  • Quality of workmanship

  • Overall condition


General judging policies

The most important guideline is that all Dodge trucks are to be presented and evaluated impartially, consistently, courteously, knowledgeably and fairly. This critical evaluation should be an educational process for both the restorer/owner and the judging team. Communication is encouraged between the restorer/owner to facilitate a learning experience for both parties. It shall be the owner’s responsibility to document the authenticity and correctness of any feature of their truck to the satisfaction of the judging team. In the event of a dispute, the Senior Judge is empowered to arbitrate a resolution. In the event that an authenticity dispute arises over a matter as printed in this handbook, the owner’s documentation shall be provided to the Senior Judge of the meet. If warranted by the evidence the Senior Judge will subsequently present the documentation for possible modification of this handbook to the Senior Event Coordinator of the Li’l Red Express Concours Class team. Acceptance or denial of the evidence shall not influence the decision of the judges with regards to the meet or reviewing the evidence for inclusion in this handbook.
Guidelines for fairness and consistency in judging concours and non-concours class

A judging team should consist of a minimum of a Team Captain, at least one other judge an apprentice. The optimum size for a team is four. The combined experience and knowledge of the judging team should be extensive for that particular class. Each judging team should look over the entire class before starting to judge that class. Judges should not touch an entry. It is imperative that the owner or a representative be with the truck during the judging process. If the owner is not present the team moves to the next truck. Unless a notation is made on the windshield cards that the owner is a judge the notation must specify which class the owner is judging and specifically authorize the Team Captain to open whatever accesses would be required to facilitate judging. For this circumstance and as an accommodation to a fellow judge, if a major authenticity point deduction is mandated the owner can be consulted. If an absent owner is located before the judging is completed in that class, then their truck will be judged, otherwise it will not be judged.

Keep in mind that the trucks you will be judging are production trucks that came off an assembly line. The judging standard in any particular area should rate how this truck compares to the original factory product. If any judged item is as good as original it should receive no deductions in that category. Of course, if a better quality of workmanship is found and the truck has not been modified in any way from original, then it still receives no deductions. All parts should be as original, factory replacement or dealer option equipment as defined elsewhere in this judging handbook. As an example, painted items should be painted only in correct colors and only originally plated items should be plated and with the correct type of plating.

Every judge should keep in mind that they are judging each truck individually on its own merit. A truck starts out with the maximum number of points allowed in each category. Points are then deducted according to the severity of the defect. If a truck meets all standard requirements for factory new condition, then the judge should not deduct points just because the last truck judged had a million dollar paint job and this one has a factory issue paint job. Both trucks have met or exceeded the original quality requirements for full points. Do not deduct fractional points.

While the art of cloning older vehicles has reached its maximum level of excellence and in most cases exceed factory originality, it should be realized that they are not original factory vehicles and so would be judged accordingly. It is the National Association of Li’l Red Express Truck Owners opinion that non-original trucks do not meet the concours qualifications.


Responsibilities of the owner/exhibitor

To enter your truck and present it for judging at a Li’l Red Express Concours Class National or Regional meet, there are a number of responsibilities you must fulfill in order to qualify for entry. These requirements and suggestions are listed below. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the judging rules and guidelines that will be used to judge your truck. This will help avoid misunderstandings and/or disappointment with the judging result. Owners are encouraged to participate in the judging process by becoming a judge and learning first-hand how your truck will be evaluated when it is entered for judging.

1. The truck(s) to be judged must be owned by a current National member of the Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club.

2. Your entry must be made prior to the stated deadline and delivered to the designated individual or address. Entry forms must be received no later than five days prior to the start of the event. We are not responsible for slow mail. To document the date your entry was received your entry will be date stamped the day it arrives.

3. You must have complied with the instructions of the Senior Judge regarding prejudging qualification checks (if necessary), times, places and procedures. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to read all instructions.

4. Your truck must be on the field and in its designated class area by the specified time on the day of the meet.

5. You must have all of the proper registration materials and they must be properly presented. The windshield card must be in place and filled out for use by the judging team.

6. You must have an operational UL approved fire extinguisher in your truck located where it is easily accessible (does not have to be mounted). The truck will automatically receive a ten point deduction if this requirement is not met.

7. Your truck must stay on the judging field until the official end of the meet or until told by the Senior Judge that you may leave. You may not remove your truck once your truck has been judged. However you may leave your truck unattended, if you wish, once the "Judged" label has been affixed to your windshield card.

8. You or your designated representative must be with your truck while it is being judged. You will be asked to provide access to your truck for the judging team and must do this when requested. You or your designated representative must also be present to answer questions from the Team Captain and to provide authenticity documentation regarding your truck.

9.  It is your responsibility to be sure your truck is placed in the proper class.

10. You will not speak with members of the judging team while they are carrying out their judging duties. Officially, only the Team Captain should enter into discussions with you. The Team Captain will only discuss matters pertaining to proper classification of your truck, completion of the top portion of the judging form and matters related to authenticity. No judge is authorized to discuss the point scoring of your truck, but they may tell you of certain major defects which have affected your score. Please do not request scoring information on the field.

11. You may, request a copy of your judging form from the National Office of the Li’l Red Express & Warlock Owners Club following the meet. To do so you must mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to the office and specify the year, model and class in which the truck was shown. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks from the date of request for receipt of the copy. These copies will be made available free of charge until December 31st of the year the judged meet was held. The request date will be determined by the postmark. After December 31st, a $5.00 fee will be charged for each copy requested. Please remember that the decisions of the field judges are final and cannot be changed after the meet. If you would like to file a protest regarding the decision of the judges on a particular matter, it is advisable to take documentation to the next meet and/or forward your documentation to the attention of the Senior Event Coordinator. Mail any judging protest to: Judging Form, 971 Colleen drive, Newport news, Virginia 23608.

12. It is your responsibility to document the truck(s) and any associated restoration. Upon request of the Team Captain you will have available any and all documentation to support the truck with regard to originality, materials and/or workmanship.

13. You should not assume that because an item came with your truck when you bought it that it is authentic even if you bought the truck new from the dealer. Each item, and particularly accessories, should be authenticated for your year.

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