Preservation Instead of Restoration: MCACN Vintage Certification

*2022 Sneak Peek

1969 Shelby GT350
Owner: Shane Fowler, Louisiana
2022 Vintage Certification Participant


Vintage Certification Spotlights Preservation

At the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show, we have a wide variety of options for those who choose to participate in Judging. Our most popular is our intense Concours Stock Judging, for cars that have been restored to stock and original, or in most cases, better than original. Starting with 1,000 points, deductions are made for deviations from how the car left the factory. Of course, since most prefer to have cars that are considerably shinier and nicer than when they left the assembly line, cleanliness and attention to detail is the key. Using proper parts and build techniques and making sure finishes are correct both inside, outside and underneath is what rises to the top. We do allow appropriate reproduction parts when necessary, along with the use of base coat/clear coat modern finishes which means many of these cars are far better then when they were new. We also have our Day2 Concours, a MCACN exclusive, for date correct modified cars restored to Concours standards, including Dealer Supercars like Yenkos and Nickeys, which were modified when new.
Our Super Street categories are all about Fit and Finish. This means that if your car is either modified or has had some or many changes, like a non original engine, perhaps a color change or upgraded brakes, or has Radial T/A's and a modern battery, this is the category for you. Bottom line here is that the car doesnt need to be factory stock or "proper" but must be nice!

On the other end of the spectrum is our Milestone and Pinnacle CertificationThis is for cars and owners that go "above and beyond" using ALL original and date code correct parts, proper original paint techniques, and all original or proper N.O.S. parts (no reproductions, here!) and restore the car in the exact way it was when new. This includes paint runs, paint that may not be glass smooth and replication of factory flaws and defects, with proper documentation. This is for a select few! These cars must be pre-approved and go through a stringent qualification process.

Then we have our Vintage Certification program, Sponsored by American Performance, LLC. This is for the unrestored cars that have been preserved in their original state. Not for "Barn Finds" but for the select few cars that have been lovingly kept stock with all or most of the original parts and finishes. Our Vintage Certification team is made up of some of the most respected marque authorities and is led by MCACN Member Steve Shauger. Steve launched this program over 20 years ago and has created what is now among the most acknowledged and respected formats offered for those into unrestored cars. Each year we see a variety of these gems. Each pre-qualified car goes through an intense inspection, which includes undercarriage inspection on the Titan Lifts. Hours are spent poring over every square inch and numbers, and date codes are checked for accuracy. While some of these cars may not be shiny, they sure are desirable! There is so much to be learned from every one of them, and our team logs information into their vast database for future use. Factory documentation and history is discussed, and the latest techniques and technology are used.

The Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show offers the perfect indoor venue for this type of Judging. Last year, the Vintage Certification area was moved to the well lit and carpeted Ballroom area, allowing much better access for the participants and for spectators. This allows us to educate those of you interested in finding out how they really did it back in the day.

The Vintage Certification program can accommodate many makes and models, including Corvettes. We use specific marque specialists that have the necessary knowledge to properly judge these cars. Upon completion of the judging process, cars will be certified in one of five levels; Time Capsule for cars that are 95%+ unrestored in all areas, Legend for cars that are 85%+ unrestored in all areas, Heritage for those deemed 85%+ unrestored in four area's, Legacy for those that are 85%+ unrestored in three areas and Reference for those judged as being 85%+ unrestored  in at least one area.

If you own an Unrestored Muscle Car or Corvette and are interested in participating in this outstanding and rather intense program, check out For questions, email Steve Shauger at Since Vintage Certification and Judging requires many hours, entry is strictly limited. To pre-qualify, contact Steve Shauger and don't hesitate, as we always sell out well in advance!

But then, let's say you don't care about judging, but would still like to participate. Or maybe you have already been through the judging process and prefer just to have some good old relaxed fun. Well...we don't make you get your car judged, since we want you to have fun, and we want you to share your cars and their stories. Our Non Judged/Pick Eligible category may be for you. Many choose this to keep things light and easy...and we love that! Maybe you have an older race car with some "battle scars" or perhaps you drive your car but it is still a super cool rarity; This is the category for you. 

To add a fun factor, Non Judged/Pick Eligible entrants are eligible for over 100 of our "Pick" awards. This includes Celebrity and Sponsor Picks, staff favorites, Judges Choice and more. These really are about fun, as the only rule here is that the person doing the Pick likes the car (or truck!) for whatever reason they have.
While we get ready for the warmer months, we hope you will consider joining us Saturday, November 19, and Sunday, November 20. We will return to the beautiful Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont (Suburban Chicago) Illinois, just minutes from the Chicago O'Hare Airport. We have SIX Official Host Hotels offering exclusive MCACN rates and perks, and you can read all about them and book your rooms now by clicking here:

Bring on the Sunshine, break out the Cars (and Boats!) and let's get out there and enjoy our awesome Hobby and the people that make it so great!

Bob Ashton
Managing Member

Our Title Sponsor