By John Gunnell;
photos by Tom Ostrowski
The 2020 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) will once again return to the Chicago area on November 21-22, 2020 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. If you have never attended a MCACN show and are wondering what to expect; Old Cars was at MCACN 2019. Here are a few highlights to hold you over until November 21-22, 2020.
Bob Ashton and his crew at the headquarters for the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) found it necessary to kick into gear a bit earlier for the 2019 event. They had car collectors willing to commit to exhibiting their cars very early, especially those who wanted to be in one of the premier unveiling spots.
“We are honored and humbled to be the place for enthusiasts and restoration shops to showcase their latest build,” said MCACN Managing Member Bob Ashton. “If there is any event that draws attention to a primo muscle car or Corvette, it’s the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals.”
The 2019 show took place Nov. 23-24, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Five big Chicago hotels were needed just to host show participants. MCACN is always held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center not far from O’Hare Airport. The venue is connected to several of the giant hotels by convenient skywalks.
The MCACN Invitational Displays for 2019 were designed to keep things fresh by hosting very special vehicles. Each year, some entirely new displays are planned while a few very popular displays — including Barn Finds and Hidden Gems — return year after year. Specific 2019 presentations included a Ford and Mercury Total Performance display that spotlighted the rarest and best Boss Mustangs on the right and the hottest Mercurys — such as Cougar Eliminators and Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet cars — on the left. This Total Performance display featured several of the Premier Unveilings.
A second special display — the Ram Air Pontiac GTO Invitational — was hosted by Jim Mattison of Pontiac Historic Services. This display chronicled the history of Pontiac’s hottest “round-port” GTOs, which were marketed from 1965-1972. Mattison said he will return to MCACN 2020 to host a Ram Air Firebird Invitational.
Chevelle enthusiast Dan Vasic hosted another special display called the Chevelle Post Sedan Invitational. The Chevelle sedans (pillared two-door coupes) are among Vasic’s all-time favorite cars. The two-doors had low production totals and are rare today. Vasic featured five cars in this grouping.
Another 2019 MCACN attraction was the A12 Super Bee and Road Runner Reunion. With 2019 being the 50th anniversary year for these 1969 MoPar “Six Pack” and “6BBL” drag beasts, MCACN featured several.
Other highlights of the 11th MCACN event included an exclusive “Vintage Certification Program” sponsored by American Performance, LLC; a “Corvette Central Triple Diamond” display and competition; a “Pinnacle Certification” program for prime Shelbys and Mustangs (sponsored by Titan Lifts); the popular “Barn Finds and Hidden Gems” exhibit; and a “Hot Muscle Bike” show-within-a-show sponsored by Koolestuff.
“If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that to keep the all-important spectators coming back, we need to present a new show every year,” said Ashton. “I think we did exactly that for the past 10 years. We have been very fortunate to be able to do this, as many other shows are the same year after year, which is fine, but not for us.”
Ashton said he was excited about kicking off the second decade of the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals.
“We appreciate the continued support, whether from participants or spectators,” he said. “We ask that people help us spread the word, because there is nothing quite like actually being at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals.”