2016 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals
Written by Jim Suva
The Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals is the premier showcase for American made muscle cars. Here is a link to their web site http://www.mcacn.com. The show is currently held in Rosemont, Illinois. I have attended this show for the last three years. This year I submitted my 1977 Rockford Files Firebird, and was selected to put it on display. Bob Ashton, Managing Member of Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals and his crew are well organized. They got me in and out of the show quickly and efficiently; which is quite a task considering they have well over 500 vehicles in the show.
The quality of each of these show cars is absolutely beautiful. Bob placed my Firebird right next to the Pontiac-Oakland Museum space. There, Alan Finkenbinder and Mike Hilgendorf , who are volunteers at the museum, brought with them a 1963 Tempest race car. This car is on loan to the Pontiac-Oakland museum from Ken and Gale Freeman. It is one of only two Tempest race cars built before Pontiac started making the LeMans version. It has all aluminum front fenders, hood, grill, and bumper. It also has plexiglass windows as well as as a 427 Super Duty engine and four speed manual transmission.
Tim Dye picked this 63 Tempest for the show. It was a perfect pick. There was so much interest, as well as people who stopped by, just to tell Alan and Mike stories of seeing this particular car run at different tracks. They learned more of the history of this special race car. Arnie (The Farmer) Beswick and Bill Blair are just two of the drivers associated with this car.
My wife Julie and I were so surprised and pleased by the amount of attention our Rockford Firebird got at the show. It never had so many pictures taken of it! I had the pleasure of meeting many Rockford Fans during these two days. I brought along a 6 foot cardboard cutout of James Garner, and that really grabbed the attention of the fans. Men, women, and even kids had their pictures taken with the Garner cutout and the Firebird.
There were so many excellent Pontiacs on display. Unfortunately, I can not post all of them in this article. Here are a few highlights.
One of the sponsors of the show is The Wellborn Muscle Car Museum. Here is a link to their website http://www.wellbornmusclecarmuseum.com. Tim Wellborn always brings some special cars to the show each year. He is a dedicated Mopar guy and has a number of other manufacturer's cars in his collection, including Pontiacs. This year he had a special Color Chip Cuda, built by Charles Handler and Trey Hansen from the History Channel show (Big Easy Motors). Below are pictures from their unveiling of the Cuda.
Tim, Trey and Charles were nice enough to stop by our Firebird to take a few pictures. Tim Wellborn sold his Rockford Files Firebird movie car at auction a year or two ago through Mecum Auctions.
The show also highlights barn finds. Here are just a few of this year's vehicles!
Below are a few pictures of other manufacturer's muscle cars on display. As you can see they are top notch and cover a wide range of manufacturers.
If you are a lover of muscle cars, I highly recommend that you attend this show. In fact, the number of car magazines and photographers attending is unbelievable. A special thanks to Bob Ashton and the crew of this terrific show. I can't wait to see next year's show!