When it comes time for judging at Motorvation 30, Matt Gilkes said he can’t wait to have a chat with entrants and get an up close look at their pride and joy.
Gilkes has 14 years of experience judging for shows like Summernats and MotorEx and said when the judges arrive to look a car over it doesn’t mean the entrant has to leave – he would much rather them stay and say g’day.
“There is a public perception that judges are an untouchable breed and no one can talk to them. That is a complete fallacy,” he said. “In fact we try and encourage people to disclose and talk to us and come up to us and ask us questions.
“I like to interact and get to know the owners and find out how they achieved what they did. It is imperative to try and encourage the owners and builders to talk with the judges. It gives them an idea on how they can improve the car as well – if they have an open mind to suggestion.”
Gilkes is a custom trimmer who was first asked to judge a show in 2002, a hobby that has since taken him around the country, though this will be his first time to both Western Australia and Motorvation. Gilkes will be staying by the coast at Quest Rockingham, giving him the chance to relax before judging.
“Not only is it a very prestigious job, but it is also very rewarding,” he said. “It can be very stressful but with that comes responsibility and I get a kick out of that. Most people wouldn’t think it is enjoyable but once you get your feet on the ground and know what you are looking for it makes life easier.
“I’ve never visited WA so I am very excited to be going to Motorvation. I have never judged a show in WA and this is the biggest and best show WA puts on for the custom car and hot rod fraternity.”
When it comes to what the judges are looking for, Gilkes said he likes to see people taking a chance with their modifications.
“The whole idea is to raise the bar,” he said. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s the nature of the industry we are in.
“I use the analogy of diving – someone can hop on the platform, lean over and do the world’s best looking swan dive and make no splash and it’s happy days. Then the next guy can do four somersaults with pike and whatever it might be and his entry might not be that good, but bloody hell it was hard to achieve and that gets rewarded.
“We reward guys and girls who have thought outside the square, taken a bit of a chance.”
The first entry deadline for Motorvation 30 comes on December 16, 2015. Entries after this date will be considered late and have less chance of being accepted.
For more information about Motorvation 30 click here.