A woman's perspective of living with and loving a Mercedes-Benz Maniac
Authored by our own Bonnie Fancy.
Reprinted with permission from The Star Magazine. September / October 2008.
The event is over; you've won a trophy. Now the question is “What do you do with it?” If you are a restorer, the answer is simple. You put them in a glass display case in your showroom. They give your work validity and act as recommendations.
It's not that I've become jaded. I love the look on Ernie's face when he wins. I know how I feel when I win. Getting a trophy is a symbol of the appreciation others have of your work. Still where do you put them? Some trophies are useful. I've taken the silver plated or pewter trays, put paper doilies on them and used them. The doily is a necessity. It hides the words “Best in Show, Grand Salon IX” and the year.
I decided to conduct a very informal survey on what people do with their trophies. Here is a sampling of the replies.
One Minuteman member bought what his wife describes as “a lighted, glass traditional style curio cabinet he keeps in his garage.” When she suggested something a little less expensive, she lost. However, when he asked if the cabinet could be put in the formal living room, he lost.
According to another Minute Man, the only trophy that he ever received is "Member of the Year." “It's now sitting in box somewhere,” he added, “I use them as hood ornaments on my MINI. Just kidding!” another man told me.
He said his Den/Home Office has a MB theme with three framed antique posters from MB that set the tone of the room. All of his plaques are mounted above an antique Roll Top desk and the trophies and other awards are displayed on the upper desktop.
“There is room for a few more, though-hint-hint,” he said.
According to one Minuteman member, “ We have 2 walls in the family room covered with MB stuff including many awards, a home made frame with dash plaques. Some of the awards like platters, mugs are all over the place, occasionally some are actually used for parties. In general the best answer is they are dust collectors.”
“We've stayed away from 'trophys', as they become 'dust collectors',” said a member from Ontario .
From the West Coast; “I have one room -- my ‘office' (formerly a middle bedroom) -- dedicated to trophies, plaques, awards, posters, and pictures for both my wife and me. We have trophies and awards for the past 15+ years. I have one bookcase that is mostly dedicated to automobile-related references. Then, there are the 30+ bankers boxes in the garage that are filled with MBCA files. This is AFTER I cleaned out about 1/2 of the materials I had been keeping.
We have been to the homes of other club members where every wall and much floor space of every room has Mercedes-Benz and MBCA memorabilia. So, some of our friends are even more dedicated (read, crazier) than we are.”
From Virginia : “Here's my personal view on trophies...... I like the glass/plastic variety that can sit on a table/wall unit/desk/etc. For years, I collected wall plaques (wood/plastic) and at one time had my own "ego" wall with lots of them.... Last time, it was in the garage along with a map with highlighting to show the routes traveled to many events from coast to coast....”
I now have about 6 or 8 trophies of the glass/plastic type a wall unit in Phoenix and enjoy them very much. They date back quite a few years, but still like them... Nice memories......” from Arizona
“I keep all of my trophies. I have not filled up the room yet. I don't intend to throw them away but my wife complains about the fact they have to be dusted. Other members in the Toronto area keep theirs.” Ontario
“I started earning awards I think long about ‘85 or so and have always kept the crystal ones that for the most part are my Concours Awards. I then have kept the ones no matter the construction from when we had the grand opening of the MB plant in Vance and the year after when they had the Charity event. What they are for is more important to me then how they are made. I happen to like the ones that are painted plastic so when they laser cut them the light shows through from the back and the letters light up.” Florida
“The trophies end up in a box forgotten somewhere. I do put the plaques up in my 'shrine to MB' area of my garage.” Massachusetts .
My personal favorite was this one received from a National Board member who said, “Speaking for myself, and of course my wife, we rarely want or keep trophies that cannot serve any useful purpose. Those that we received that were "dust collectors" were modified by my wife who would strip off the plates and have new ones made, then give them to the kids at school who were mentally challenged.
I have always kept the awards that we could use for entertaining or the few I received that were very special.
That's my opinion, others would disagree. In many cases just a mention in the Star is all that is needed to satisfy many participants for some recognition.”
I like the idea of recycling them. I mean, if you are just going to put them in a box somewhere, why not recycle them for some good cause? Spread the feeling of accomplishment you got when you received the trophy.