For many, a perfectly restored Vette is the Golden Fleece, the brass ring, if you will, of the Corvette hobby. Modified cars are cool, and are special to each person who fulfills their vision. Daily drivers are cooler yet, since they're, uh, driven. But there's a certain magic surrounding a Corvette that's been restored to its original, fresh-off-the-line glory. We may not be able to go back in time and become young and perfect again, but our Corvettes can. If you're reading this, I'm sure you know what I mean.
The enthusiasts who attended the NCRS 2000 National Convention, held this past July 23-27, certainly do. Seventeen hundred were registered for the event at the National Corvette Museum, and those numbers were swollen by a steady stream of street traffic. Likewise, there were far more Vettes on hand than the 276 examples of plastic perfection that were registered. Both of these numbers were "by far" all-time highs, according to NCRS's Gary Mortimer.
This was definitely the place to be. The four days were full of things to do: Museum and local scenery tours, a barbecue with live music, and a swap meet to finish things off. Many of the visitors, however, were there for much more than sightseeing; they were there to submit to the rigors -and rewards-of NCRS judging. Though the NCRS reference manual warns right off the bat that "judging can be stressful," 230 Vettes attempted to win some of the highest prizes in Corvettedom, and quite a few succeeded.
The judges were kept hopping-in fact, there were more than 120 judges on hand, and, according to Mortimer, it was still difficult to find time for everyone. For those who hung in there and waited for their turn, however, the rewards were sweet. Roy Sinor, NCRS's man who knows these things, reported that more than 220 awards were bestowed. Among the many accolades accorded were 27 Bowtie Awards (for unrestored cars), 53 Top Flights, and an incredible 55 Duntov Mark of Excellence awards.
"Needless to say," according to Mortimer, " the event was a success." To that we'd add that you'd be hard-pressed to find a event with this many top-quality Corvettes. Your next chance may be July 8-12, 2001, when the National Corvette Restorers Society meets in Galveston, Texas, to again celebrate Corvette perfection.