Gunners Garage

Muscle car fans converge at Chicago’s MCACN ‘17

This ’56 Chevy straight axle car was one of many gassers at the 2018 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals ( in Rosemont, Ill.


The ninth annual Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals ( at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. took place on Nov. 18-19.

Birds-eye view of about 10 percent of the FoMoCo, GM, Mopar and AMC muscle cars at MCACN. Also new was a display of Studebakers and Avantis.

Some additions this year were seminars by legendary NASCAR driver Paul Goldsmith, a new motorcycle show; 20 unveilings of fresh restorations on cars ranging from an AMC SC/Rambler to a ’71 Plymouth Sport Fury GT; and class of ’67 and class of ’72 displays that honored “anniversary” cars.

With the 50th anniversary of the GM F-body cars celebrated in 2017, the Norwood Ambassadors—who built these cars at GM’s Norwood assembly plant in Ohio—came to Chicago to tell restorers the inside facts about factory correctness (and incorrectness). Other seminars were put on by Jim Mattison of Pontiac Historic Services, author Jim Luikens and Kelsey Tires rep “Rusty Tires.”

This 1955 Studebaker Speedster owned by Bill Clark was a Pick Award winner at the muscle car show.


Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov drove this Corvette Development Type L-88 Corvette from April thru July 1965.


Other notable aspects of MCACN 2017 included the expansion of the popular “Barn Finds” section to a full two rows, a display of hot Formula Firebird models, and celebrity appearances by Courtney Hansen, Jason Line, Dennis Pittsenbarger, and a bevy of automotive artists and Quarto (Motorbooks) authors.

Among the stand out cars filling the Stephens Center were a ’68 Yenko 427 Camaro, the “Hard Times” ’68 Firebird drag car, a 1963 Studebaker Hawk GT that was the Chicago Auto Show Car when new, the “Blood Money” ’71 Hemi ‘Cuda racing car, Grumpy Jenkin’s Camaro, Pete Estes only-one-built ’68 Camaro Z/28 ragtop, the last Norwood built ’87 Camaro and a prototype Bronco.

Courtney Hansen, who has been putting in appearances at the Iola Car Show the past two years, was also a MCACN celebrity again this year.


Other special cars on display included the last Buick Grand National owned by Bob Colvin and the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda four-door that MoPar restorer Dave Walden fabricated from scratch.

Cutaway 1953 Corvette was fabricated by Kevin Mackay at Corvette Repair, Inc., in Valley Stream, N.Y. for owner Ed Foss of Indiana.

Mike Spina’s One Adam-12 police car, a 1973 AMC Matador, would be a perfect fit to the 2018 Iola show theme. It was displayed in the lobby at MCACN.

Many experts consider the Chrysler 300 Letter Car to be the first true muscle car and this one was on the MCACM show floor.


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