Youth Judges in Arizona

Hagerty’s Operation Ignite! Youth Judging program was a big hit last month at the 38th Annual Arizona Automobile Hobbyist Council Car Show in Goodyear, Arizona.  Steve Wingenfeld, President of the AAHC, gives a recap of the event—including the judges’ first place pick.

Last month, one of the major goals of the Arizona Automobile Hobbyist Council (AAHC) 38th Annual Car Show was to help raise funds for the Arizona Centennial project, a plan to restore a historic train depot and create a train theme park. Car enthusiasts from throughout the state turned out with historic vehicles of all types from 1912 to 2012, including a military jeep and tank.

But kids took center stage in more ways than one.  More than 100 jazz band students from four local high schools were invited to perform throughout the day.  Thanks to a partnership between Hagerty’s Operation Ignite! and the AAHC, the other major event of the day focused on the nearly 15 youth judges circulating through the crowd in their official-looking blue shirts and red hats.

Car owners and attendees quickly took notice of the group of scrutineers as they made their way through the show field. Prior to setting out, the kids were provided with instructions, tips and guidelines of how to take notes on each vehicle. Participant also received an official scorecard for each car, which they used to rank vehicles in five different categories on a scale of one to five.

After reconvening at the Hagerty Youth Judging tent, the judges determined there were 12 different “top picks” ranging from a 1912 Centennial auto to a 2012 Mustang.  After much review and discussion, a purple 2007 Dodge Charger owned by John and Dottie Galloway of Peoria was singled-out. With much excitement and applause from show attendees, car owners and the kids themselves, the team of young judges presented their First Place trophy as the award ceremony began.

Providing youth with the opportunity to take part in classic car events is imperative to the future of the hobby and the AAHC was proud to team up with Hagerty’s Operation Ignite!.

Note: In addition to the Youth Judging program, Hagerty Operation Ignite! hosts several other youth programs including its current Youth Reporter Contest that provides kids ages 8-17 the chance to become Hagerty’s official Youth Reporter.  The winner (to be announced next month) will receive all-expense-paid trips to four major collector car events AND will also get to meet Jay Leno after a tour of Leno’s incredible garage and collection.  For further information on Hagerty Operation Ignite! programs, and to view and vote for submissions of the Youth Reporter Contest, please visit

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