It’s the amazing car show with the long name. “Ma-kack-en”, as the cool kids call it, takes place each year in Chicago on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. More formally it’s the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) and it’s without a doubt one of the top car shows in the country. There’s a reason it’s often referred to as the “Pebble Beach of muscle cars”.
Each year show organizers assemble the best of the best muscle cars and Corvettes around. Rotating themes for the invitational classes keep the show fresh each year. Priority is always given to cars not previously shown there. The “red carpet” display this year was Ford and Mercury Total Performance and brought together some of the best Boss 429’s, Cougars, and even a rarely seen real deal GT40. Mopars had a strong showing in the aero warriors and A12 reunions. We’ve never seen so many winged cars in one spot before. Elsewhere the Class of 1969 invitational celebrated some of the best Detroit steel assembled by Chevy, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and others. The very first Shelby GT350 sat just a few feet from a pilot line 1969 Z28. Once again, the Barn Finds section showed off some the most neglected and yet rare cars out there. How about an AMX/3 prototype – ever heard of one of those? We hadn’t either. A newly discovered 1965 Corvette cutaway chassis display was front and center in the Barn Finds. Various seminars were held throughout the weekend while Wayne Carini and Courtney Hanson made celebrity appearances.
Surprisingly, Corvettes comprise a relatively small portion of the show but only the absolute best can chase the Corvette Central Triple Diamond award. This class is only for NCRS Top Flight and Bowtie winners that have also achieved Bloomington Gold Certification. For 2019 the class was spread widely throughout the convention center and very quietly showcased the best Corvettes ever made. Triple Diamond cars covered each of the first 3 generations. Among them were a 1963 Z06, 1967 L88 convertible, the orange 1969 ZL1, 1972 LS6 convertible, and a 1972 ZR1. We also spied the usual assortment of C1’s and C2 big blocks as well. Our fave was easily a stunning white 1967 example with blue stinger, 427/400, 4-speed, and air conditioning. We’d gladly sever an appendage to put that one in our garage.
The Corvette Legends display sat adjacent to one of the Triple Diamond areas. New Sponsors Corvette Mike and Corvette Mike Midwest paid homage to the 1969 model year by featuring one car with each of the available powertrain offerings that year. A very cool theme we don’t recall seeing before. We’ll have more on that display in the coming days, but as you’d expect they covered everything from 350 all the way up to ZL1.
Each year this show out does itself. The creativeness of the displays keeps increasing and the volume of cars seems to keep growing as well. Saturday’s crowds felt larger than ever. At times some aisles were nearly impassible due to all the onlookers. The displays appeared more jam packed than ever with cars parked mere inches apart. Each one rarer than the one next to it. We wouldn’t be surprised if MCACN ended up in a bigger venue somewhere down the road.
A tip of the CorvetteBlogger cap goes out to everyone on the MCACN team. This event never disappoints. Just when we think we’ve seen it all they go out and created the next big thing. If you’ve never been, you must add the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals to your 2020 car event list.
Now on to our gallery from the 2019 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals.
Photos by Steve Burns
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