The art world is filled with an enormous range of talent, exhibition prowess, financial wherewithal, and fine appreciation. While the auction scene is often the flashpoint of public interest, museums are also filled with these artifacts for simple enjoyment. While that introduction may seem a little unbefitting our magazine title, the annual Musclecar and Corvette Nationals may be best described as an automotive art show, where oohs and ahhs are heard as treasures seldom seen in public make a rare appearance for two days each November.
And well they should, as the MCACN show, held in the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, 30 miles west of downtown Chicago and minutes from O’Hare Airport, has become the gathering place of the major collectors, restorers, and personalities in the business. For example, this year saw Joel Rosen, Marty Schorr, and Joe Oldham, noted associates from the Baldwin/Motion Chevrolet business out on Long Island, on hand as well as a collection of B/M supercars from around the nation worth literally millions. There was a Z28 Invitational for proven original cars, highlighted with Dana Mecum’s ’68 convertible, the Z-car that had been personally built to be presented to GM exec Pete Estes. From 427 Biscaynes to barn finds, from showcase rarities being unveiled for the first time, to the latest efforts by top restorers, if you are a Chevy fan, you would not have been disappointed.
What makes MCACN unique is that it is also the common ground for all makes; manager Bob Ashton and the guys who help make the show possible are able to gather cars from collections nationwide based on the reality of the show’s significance. As mentioned, these are vehicles rarely seen in public, and ran the gamut this year from lightweight Pontiacs to the latest supercars. While we do not focus on Corvettes in Super Chevy, suffice to say that if you were fan of L88 roadsters, the SR2, Yenko’s road racing days, and tank sticker/Duntov authenticity, you got an eyeful as well.
Of course, while the wallet thicknesses may vary, the reality of so much amazing gear in one place keeps a humble atmosphere about the event. People who might not run into each other anywhere else but a platinum-grade auction enjoying a chance to talk cars and marketplaces, history and heritage in a non-competitive environment. And, yeah, we think a few cars may changes hands as well. Regardless, it’s a place of mutual respect; if you can get an invite to actually display a car, count yourself blessed indeed. Of course, the public can attend MCACN with a simple admission ticket during show hours.
In 2014, the effort will again occur on the weekend right before Thanksgiving, November 22-23. Without a doubt, it will again be a two-day-only exhibition of the best that Detroit offered in the glory days of performance. We highly recommend putting it on the calendar…