Each year in Rosemont, Illinois, the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) brings together hundreds of incredible muscle cars and Corvettes, plus a few surprises. The massive crowds at the show were a testament to the continued popularity of these performance machines years after they rolled off the assembly lines. In addition, the event draws people and cars from all over the country.
Despite being an annual event, the showrunners do a great job of keeping things fresh by showcasing different years and types of cars. Winged Mopar Muscle and pre-production Shelby Mustangs were a few of the amazing machines celebrated this year.
Aside from featuring some outstanding pieces of automotive history, the show also features a long list of vendors selling everything from metal signs to car parts. In addition, there are celebrity appearances, live music, seminars, and a lot more.
JUDGING AND AWARDS
When you get this many show-quality cars together, it’s only natural that there are awards and judging. To give you an idea of how detailed the judging is, many of the awards are judged on a scale of 1-1,000 (excluding things like celebrity choice awards etc.). Entries can be awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze award or a Blue, Red and White ribbon depending on the total points their car gets and the category the car falls under.
There are multiple classes broken up by things like make, model, and year. In additions, competition and race vehicles have their own classes.
The types of judging are:
Concours Stock Judged Vehicles: These cars are judged against stock design and points are taken away for modifications.
Concours Day 2 Judged Vehicles: This format allows for period-correct modifications.
Super Street & Modified Judged Vehicles: The vehicles in this segment are allowed to be modified. This class also allows stock cars (the judging is described as “less intense” for them).
None-Judged/Pick Award Eligible Vehicles: These vehicles aren’t judged with points but can still win certain awards (like celebrity pick).
Triple Diamond Judging: Triple Diamond is an award reserved for Corvettes. The show featured a Triple Diamond section, which is filled with unforgettably beautiful Corvettes.
Vintage Certification: Vintage Certification is dedicated to unrestored vehicles. For more information on the Vintage Certification program, please visit their official website.
Pinnacle Certification: Designated for Shelby and Ford Mustangs. This award is bestowed upon top-of-the-line machines.
For more detailed information, check out the awards section on the MCACN’s website.
OUR CLIENT’S 1969 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
Events like these give us the opportunity to showcase our work in person to thousands of muscle car fans. Seeing these meticulously restored machines in person can give a person a whole new appreciation for them.
This was an ideal venue to bring our client’s restomod 1969 Pontiac Firebird. It is a replica of a 1969 Trans Am. Although it is hard to call a Firebird a “sleeper,” this car’s modifications are so subtly integrated that it would be hard to tell it apart from a stock one. That is unless you pop the hood.
Under the hood, you’ll find a Pontiac 400. In addition, it features a modern-style serpentine belt that makes maintenance easier. The transmission is a six-speed manual. The upgrade to a six-speed allows for better performance, lower RPMs at highway speeds, and increased fuel economy. However, fuel mileage is probably one of the last things on your mind when you drive this Bird.
In 1969, the first year for the Trans Am, the only paint job you could get was white with blue stripes—America’s racing colors. The name Trans Am comes from the SCCA racing series.
OUR CLIENT’S 1967 PONTIAC GTO
We also brought our client’s incredible 1967 Pontiac GTO to the MCACN. Unlike the Firebird, the GTO is much closer to stock. With its attractive lines and aggressive look, this GTO is an excellent example of 60s muscle. It’s gorgeous Fathom Blue paint completes the look.
Both Pontiacs received Blue Ribbon awards in the Super Street/Modified class—a testament to the hard work that went into them. After close inspection of everything from hoses and belts to the dashboard, both cars received over 980 points.
With hundreds of cars on display, it’s hard to select ones to showcase. This show is very popular so if you wanted an up-close look at your favorite car, some patience was required. As well as getting the right timing for some photo taking too. What follows is a small selection of one of the most incredible muscle car gatherings I’ve seen.
THE BARN FINDS
A popular part of the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals each year is the “barn finds” section. Aside from the rows and rows of immaculately restored or preserved classics are the ones pulled out of storage. Some of these barn finds were relatively complete, and some were missing motors, but no matter what, they have character.
On Saturday morning, cars were unveiled. This can allow restoration shops to unveil their newly restored classics to eager owners. I had a chance to experience a couple take place. Needless to say, it draws a crowd. It’s exciting to watch it take place, there’s the anticipation, the cameras held overhead, and finally, the cheers when the car is revealed.
Each year, the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals select different types of cars to celebrate, and this year was no different. These are several of the groups of cars that were highlighted this year.
WINGED MOPAR MUSCLE
Some of the most unique muscle cars ever to leave the factory were undoubtedly the Plymouth Superbird and the Dodge Daytona. Enough production versions were made so they could be raced in NASCAR. These winged wonders have become incredibly popular with collectors, no small part thanks to their wild yet functional aerodynamic design. Seeing one is rare enough, let alone seeing dozens of them together in one space.
THE MR. NORM CARS
In the 1960s, Chicago Dodge dealer Mr. Norm became famous for turning out enhanced performance machines from his Grand Spalding Dodge dealership. These have become some of the best-known examples of dealership performance upgrades. These cars were highlighted this year, and it was awesome to see so many in one place.
LEGENDS OF SUPER STOCK
The MCACN show featured some astonishing classic Super Stock drag machines.
MALAISE ERA MUSCLE
In the early 70s, in part due to stricter emission standards, cars began to see a steep decline in performance. The fuel crisis of the mid-70s further enhanced this trend. This year, the MCACN show highlighted cars from this era that may have been underappreciated in the past.
PRE-PRODUCTION SHELBY MUSTANGS
The collection of preproduction Shelby Mustangs was impressive. It was a Mustang lover’s dream come true.
After one of the cars had been revealed, one of the announcers mentioned it was about the stories. That really stuck out to me. It seems like “stories” is a great way to describe the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals. Each car brings countless stories with it.
For more information on the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, please visit their official website.
If any of these amazing cars gave you the urge to get that special car of yours restored, give us a call at (715) 834-2223 or send us a message. We look forward to working with you!