wheels-up on an index - Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals



wheels-up on an index - Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals
Now in its fifth year, this
Chicago show has fast
become a must-see
By Terry McLean
Photography by Gary Gerstner and Terry McGean
After spending two years
ogling the images sent from the Muscle
Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN)
by freelance photographer Gary Gerstner, we finally managed to join him in
person in Chicago to take in the spectacle
ourselves. The show was only in its fifth
year in 2013, yet the buzz surrounding it
has been humming loudly ever since the
very first event, thanks to incredible assemblages of rare and storied specimens
from the historic days of factory muscle,
all under one roof.
The venue at the Donald E. Stephens
Convention Center, which is actually in
Rosemont, Illinois, is vaguely reminiscent
of big-city indoor car shows from back
in the day, as attendees are immersed in
a sea of muscle-era treasures from the
moment they pass through the doors.
Organizers Bob Ashton,. Charlie Lillard
and the rest of the team, continue to do
an excellent job of arranging displays of
significant cars in an impactful way—few
of us have seen so many ultra-rare cars in
one place previously. Plus, to ensure that
show goers get their money's worth, even
if they come back every year, feature displays and vehicles are rotated annually.
Among the reoccurring groupings, like
the Shelby Snakepit, Motion Madness and
AMC/Ya, this year's event had an Original
Owners Invitational, invitational groupings for Road Runners and Camaro Z28s,
and amazing gathering of L88 Corvettes,
Class of 1963 and Class of 1973 anniversary displays, and the return of Barn Finds/
Hidden Gems, among others. There was
also a roster of personalities associated
with the muscle era to meet and greet.
The highlights shown here are just a
sampling of what you'll see at the Muscle
Car and Corvette Nationals, so if you
haven't yet been, start making plans for
2014—you won't be disappointed.
Hemmings MUSCLE MACHINES I March 2014 I hernmings.com
In the Original Owners Invitational display, Ken Barnhart showed the ZI.1 Camaro he's owned and raced since day
cover car. Joel "Mr. Motion" Rosen and other highone alongside Jerry Frailey's '69 Chevelle SS 396, a former HMM
performance luminaries were also on hand.
I March 2014 i Hemmings MUSCLE MACHINES
• 4
405 H.P.
Although Dave Glass is known for Corvette restoration,
The Class of 1963 display featured a gathering of "Swiss Cheese"
he's built a number of Gasser-style hot rods, like this
lightweight Super Duty Pontiac Catalinas, including the first of
in-process tribute of the Dick Harrell Nova racer.
the 14 built, originally owned by Mickey Thompson.
A reoccurring feature of
MCACN is the Barn Finds/
Hidden Gems display of
unrestored treasures from
the muscle era, mostly in
as-found condition.
Also highlighted)
in the Barn Finds
This vintage funny car
section was the Don
might appear to be Duster-
Nicholson '69 Boss
based, but it's actually a
429 Cougar, now
Valiant-styled body.
owned by Boss 429 expert, Ed Meyer,
who had to track down this car in pieces.
Among the Corvettes displayed were some former racers, including this '63 6
coupe, which is also a factory big - tank car, once raced by Don Yenko and
Hemmings MUSCLE MACHINES I March 2014 I hemmings.com
n Bushell.
Egol.a -11.:471111111115If
American Motors fans appreciate the AMC/Ya display, which this year included this
unique prototype, offering a glimpse of what a '71 two-seat AMX might have looked like.
ar father..
Another entry in the Barn Finds section was this
cits -
'Cuda AAR, which owner Norm VerHage actually
drove to the show from Michigan after some basic
mechanical freshening.
The Class of 1973 included a grouping of Super Duty Firebirds from that year,
some restored and some original.
The Motion Madness display has become
a regular feature, this year including the
Baldwin-Motion Maco Shark and a '70 Corvette
Hemi 'Cudas are rare; Mod Top 'Cudas are rare-put them together
and you have a one-of-one Hemi Mod Top. Steve Juliano tracked it
down and had it returned to showroom shape.
Phase Ill GT, both owned by Dan McMichael.
hemmings.com I March 2014 I Hemmings MUSCLE MACHINES
Another highlight for 2013 was
the tad Runner Invitational...
Ron Hoeft bought this '67 SS 427 new, then sold it to his cousin in 1968 when he
went into the service. He bought it back in 1977, and it's finally been restored.
HMM Contributor, Joe Oldham (center), was on hand with sons Scott (left) and Steven
Among the rare Pontiacs +Aids this '69 Firebird 400
unveil their tribute replica of the '69 Camaro Joe bought new and immediately handed to
convertible, a factory Ram Air IV model Vernon Smith
Joel Rosen for an upgrade to Motion Phase Ill status. Watch for an upcoming feature.
brought all the way from Newfoundland.
"Mr. Norm" Kraus was on hand to celebrate
the 50th anniversary of his Grand Spalding
The '67 Camaro SS/RS 396 convertible originally customized•by GM Styling and
performance outlet, which is still tuning
known as "Cherokee" emerged from its restoration at the hands of noted expert
Mopars like this GSS Challenger and Charger.
painter, Charley Hutton at the show. It's now part of The Brothers Collection.
Hemmings MUSCLE MACHINES I March 2014 I hemmings.com
This '74 Camaro was also unveiled at the show, and is
considered the last Nickey Super Camaro built, having
been fitted with an 1.88 and other speed bits when
new. Mike Guarise owns it today.
What's a Fouranado? A one-off 1114-2 originally built by Hurst with a Toronado
front-drive powertrain. Fred MandriCk acquired it from the second owner and
performed an extensive restoration, which we'll soon cover in detail.
The Shelby Snakeptt is another
5""' 5 " /"11.
regtilar feature of MCA
and it never ceases to daze.
#119, July 2013, we ran a Historic Racing story on the "flip-top"
Cobra, built by Shelby as a prototype to race with big-block Ford V-8s.
The restored CSX2196 was on display in Chicago.
Noted Corvette restorer Kevin Mackay displayed this
"cutaway" 1965 big-block coupe, one of several street-
It might have seemed strange to see a vintage
muscle car show, but this Honda was once
motorcycle at a
owned by Jim Morrison of The Doors; Dana Mecum owns it today.
legal cutaways he has constructed.
hemmings.com I March 2014 I

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