Youth Judges take on the All-British Field Meet

For the first time in its three-year history, Hagerty’s Youth Judging program crossed the border into Canada for the 2010 Vancouver All- British Field Meet, the largest show of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Boys and girls from 6 to 16 put on their judges’ caps, grabbed their clipboards and stuck their heads under the bonnets of some of the most beautiful English cars in the world.

The Youth Judging program is an integral part of Hagerty’s Operation Ignite! It’s is designed to give kids a hands-on experience with collector cars. Many of the 15 who signed up came from collector families, such as Kyle Adam, 12, who already has plans to become a mechanic and whose grandmother, Sharon Burnie, works for the ICBC. Some were attending their first car event, including Chris Schreiber, 13, and Pedro Lopes and Roberto Pinto, both 16-year-old exchange students hosted by the Schreibers. If smiles are any indication, all three boys thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Led by Youth Advocacy Coordinator Tabetha Salsbury and PR Coordinator Jonathan Klinger, the kids were encouraged to ask the owners questions. “Owners love to talk about their cars,” said Klinger, “so don’t be bashful.”

Judges evaluated and scored cars in five categories (including horn sound). First place went to a Jensen 541R GT, second to a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, and a 1960 MGA Twin Cam captured third.

Brydon Power, 11, thought the Jensen, “looked really fast”. Buddy Lucas Waggorn agreed, and was impressed with the way the engine sounded. Lucas’ sister Natalie Waggorn, 16, was one of the youngest entrants in the show, entering a Jaguar XJ8.

Gearhead- in-the-making Daniil Molchanov paid close attention as Jonathan Klinger pointed out what to look for under the hood of a ’67 e-Type—Daniil’s favorite at the show because “it’s really shiny, and its red, my favorite color.” Daniil’s parents, Natasha and Mikhail, own a ’59 Volga, which Daniil says is “black and shiny, and white inside.”

Sisters Sarah, 11, and Skye, 8, Wilkenson both loved the Silver Ghost—especially the sound of the horn. Six-year-old Aliya Redl’s was ecstatic when she learned she could keep her clipboard.

Salsbury knows firsthand the power of an effective youth program. In high school, she restored a tractor, winning a Future Farmers of America contest. That led her directly to McPherson College. Salsbury hopes to spark youthful inspiration through Hagerty’s Operation Ignite! “I was given a chance when I was young,” she says, “It’s something very special to me to be able to pass that on.”

Hagerty's other Operation Ignite! initiatives include a Young Designers Contest , which asks kids to submit original renderings based on a specific theme each year. The 2010 contest is calling for futuristic designs of what kids think their favorite collector automobile will look like in 2060. Two other program are also in development: a “Kid Friendly Car Show Kit” designed to make car shows more educational and entertaining to kids; and paddock tours at racing events for kids to get an up-close look at race cars and drivers. For more information, contact Tabetha Salsbury at tsalsbury@hagerty.com .