The NCRS has compiled and is constantly updating highly detailed judging standards and rules for each basic model division from 1953 through 1996. The guidelines in these NCRS Technical Information Manuals are recognized throughout the hobby as THE STANDARD in determining originality.
The judging system is designed to educate each owner about their car as well as providing recognition for excellence in the areas of restoration, performance, or preservation. It is not a “cleanliness contest” like other events, nor do you compete against your friends' Corvettes. Judging is not done by some secret group of “experts”.
You can learn to judge, or you can have your Corvette evaluated by other NCRS members. 9,265 members are currently recognized for their judging expertise. They have created 25,141 NCRS judging records through NCRS events internationally to date.
NCRS has recently announced the addition of an Award Confirmation Document Service. This service will provide a confirmation document with a complete listing from the NCRS database of the available award statistics for a specific Corvette. The presence of this confirmation document will assure the owner of the NCRS judging history on a Corvette.
NCRS Judging Awards
NCRS Flight Award® |NCRS Top Flight Award |NCRS Performance Verification Award® | NCRS DUNTOV Mark of Excellence Award® | NCRS McLELLAN Mark of Excellence Award® | NCRS Hill Mark of Excellence Award® | NCRS FOLZ Memorial Award® | NCRS FOUNDERS Award® | NCRS - CHEVROLET BOWTIE Award | NCRS - CHEVROLET CROSSED FLAGS Award | NCRS - AMERICAN HERITAGE Award® | NCRS Sportsman Award® | Judging Recognition Program | NCRS Tabulators Recognition Program | NCRS Judging and Tabulator Recognition Awards
Judging Score Sheets are now available for download.
These sample sheets are made available so you can better understand the judging and scoring process. They are valuable for those preparing a car, and those preparing to judge or just refreshing your knowledge. These are PDF files for ease of viewing or printing out your own copies. We will try to keep these up to date as future updates are made to the sheets. For a complete list of available sheets and to download them follow this link.
What to expect:
Be patient. You will have five teams of two judges each, with the possibility of additional observer judge(s) on each team. Each team will cover one section of your score sheets; Operations, Interior, Exterior, Mechanical and Chassis. It may seem like an eternity between judging teams, however, be assured the team leader is trying to keep them moving at a steady pace.
The NCRS judges are under tremendous pressure. They must spend enough time with the car to be thorough and yet be quick and efficient. So, if the judge does not stay and chat, you will know why. Judges will briefly review your score sheet and explain each deduction they have taken upon completion of their section in judging. They will not be expected to spend an excess amount of time discussing the results, and for understandable reasons, will discuss these deductions with only the owner. You must initial your score sheets in order for them to be tabulated. Initialing the score sheet does not mean the owner agrees with the deductions, it only indicates the sheets have been presented to the owner by the judges and reviewed by the owner.
Dust can be experienced since judging is not held in a dust free environment. Light cleaning is permitted on the judging day. Mechanical repairs, assembling of cars, or replacing parts is not allowed.
Crowds can be large. There are typically a lot of people on the judging field, so plan for many people to be near your car.
Allow yourself enough time. Rushing and last minute details add to stress. Plan to be early and do not finish your restoration on the field. The more organized and prepared you are, the easier and more enjoyable things will be.
Remain with your car during judging, and if you must leave for any reason, be sure you inform the team leader.
Check in at the event registration desk and also at the judging registration desk. Be sure to bring proof of ownership and current liability insurance. Read all information in the packets you receive pertaining to the event you are attending. Typically, you will receive an event and judging schedule at the time of registration.
Trailer parking will be controlled at each individual meet by the host chapter(s). Please abide by their request as congestion and confusion usually results when someone decides they do not have to abide by the rules.
Clean up facilities
A clean up area with water will be provided when logistically possible. You are allowed to do light cleaning all day during the judging process if you want. Less than 2% of your raw score is related to cleanliness. Therefore, cleanliness will not, by itself, keep you from earning any NCRS Award. Judges expect your car to be "dealer preparation for delivery clean", no more.
NCRS publishes two manuals that pertain to the judging of your car, both of which you need to read and understand. The first is the "Judging Reference Manual" which gives a thorough description of the judging process. The second manual is the "Corvette Technical Information Manual & Judging Guide" for the year of your car which describes the originality of each judged area on your car. These manuals and score sheets are available from the NCRS Online Store or the Membership Office. Use the sheets to judge your car. Be honest and critical. This pre-judging will give you a chance to fix last minute details before you come to the meet.
If you suspect something to be controversial about your Corvette, but you believe it to be historically authentic, please bring documentation to support your case. The burden of proof remains with the owner. The judges will decide whether or not to accept your proof, and there are numerous cases where it has been accepted.
About your judges:
Your judges will be the best available at the meet you are attending. Because this is an educational process when possible, we will team a Master Judge with a judge of less skill and, as mentioned earlier, there may also be observer judge(s). Remember you and the judges all belong to the same organization and you are all there because you choose to be. You will also meet the National Team Leader or his designated representative. This individual has the best understanding of our system and is your ear to bend in cases of judging disagreement. Once each team has completed their section, we need you to do something for us; "judge the judges". You will be supplied with a form on which you can rate your satisfaction with your judges. Please take this seriously. We can not improve our system without honest input from you. When complete, give this form to your Team Leader.
Removal of parts:
In order to verify some numbers and component authenticity, you will be asked by the judge to remove such things as the air cleaner, spare tire, ignition shielding, etc. Rest assured, no significant disassembly will be required.
Please make sure your engine pad is free of all grease and dirt before arriving for judging. 1953 through 1976 must also be free of all paint. However, be cautious. Do not use tools or chemicals that could damage the pad finish. A painted, or otherwise obscured engine pad is an automatic 38 point deduction.
It may be necessary to lift a tracing of your engine pad. This is done by rubbing a pencil over Scotch tape placed on the pad. This causes no harm to the engine pad and will allow the judges to examine a clear impression of the pad.
Definitions of Counterfeit vs. Restoration
NCRS does not consider the restoration or replacement of components as counterfeit as long as the intent is to restore the car to its former or original state as it left the factory.
To make this perfectly clear, read the following definitions from Webster's Dictionary and the accompanying examples.
- "To renew; to put back into existence or bring back to a former or original state".
For instance, the following examples represent restorations and are not considered counterfeiting:
- Repainting an original black Corvette with black lacquer paint.
- Installing accurately reproduced black vinyl seat covers in a car that left the factory with a standard black interior.
- "To make an imitation of something else with the intent to deceive or defraud".
For instance, the following would be examples of counterfeiting:
- Repainting an original blue car red and changing the trim tag to make red appear to be the original color.
- Installing a red interior in a car that left the factory with a blue interior and changing the trim tag to make red appear to be the original color interior.
- Replacing the engine of an original small block Corvette with a big block and stamping numbers on it to make it appear to be an original big block engine.
- Replacing the carburetor on an engine with a fuel injection unit and stamping the numbers and suffix code on the block to make it appear to be original.
Our point system is a deduct scoring system. Please keep in mind that you are starting with a perfect slate and 4500pts. One and two point deductions should not be of a great concern.
Maximum point loss* ** to attain Awards:
|NCRS Top Flight||NCRS Second Flight||NCRS Third Flight|
|maximum deduct||270 pts.||675 pts.||1125 pts.|
* mileage points are added to raw score at the rate of 45 per 100 miles driven, up to 10% of your raw score maximum. The car must score at least 75% to be eligible for these points.
**Duntov/McLellan Award requires 97% raw score with no driving points added. Maximum deduction of 135 pts.
How to "Complain"
It is the judge’s responsibility to explain why they made a deduction for a component. If you disagree with the reason, please feel free to explain any information that you believe the judge should be aware of that may change his mind. If after a short discussion, the judge does not change his decision, then we ask that you not "push" it any further. However, you may ask your team leader’s opinion, and see if he would consider discussing your point further with the judge. If the team leader believes you have a valid point, he may further consult with the judges. Then if the judges decide to change their decision, the deduction will be changed on the score sheet. If the team leader believes you do not have a valid point, then we ask that you not "push" it any further. However, you may ask the National Judging Chairman or his representative his opinion and see if he would consider discussing your point further with the judges and team leader. If he believes you have a valid point, he may further consult with the judges. Then if the judges decide to change their decision, the deduction will be changed on the score sheet. In no case can anyone overrule the National Judging Chairman’s decision. It is final.
After the show:
If still not satisfied with the decision, the owner may file a formal complaint in writing to David Brigham, NCRS National Judging Chairman, no later than thirty days after the date of the meet. The Chairman will personally review the case and provide the owner with an opinion of whether or not the judges were in error. REGARDLESS OF THE FINDINGS (EVEN IF THERE WAS AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT), NO SCORES OR CERTIFICATES WILL BE CHANGED AFTER THE JUDGING DAY, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF AN OMISSION OR A MATH ERROR.
The reason for this policy is simple practicality. If every judging decision was open to debate, judging would require more personnel and time to administer than is available. Granted, mistakes can be made. However, we try to keep errors to a minimum and to give the benefit of doubt to the owner. Our track record has been remarkably good.
Any cars entered for judging not in place per the event requirements will be disqualified, with the exception of those who have experienced mechanical problems in route, and contacted the event judging chairman. He may extend their approved arrival time at his discretion.
Car covers on all cars shall be removed no later than when judging starts, typically 8:00 AM, and remain off until at least 5:00 PM, while the cars are on the judging field. This includes all judged cars, even those being judged on a different day. This gives all members the opportunity to enjoy all the cars.
All cars must remain on the judging field at least until the completion of judging the final day of judging. This includes NCRS Performance Verification cars and NCRS - Chevrolet Bowtie cars. NCRS Founders Award cars may be used for local transportation, provided it is done in an orderly manner with the event judging chairman’s blessing, and there is no risk to surrounding cars or pedestrians. This is for safety purposes and will be strictly enforced.
Discovery of counterfeits (see Judging Reference Manual; section 2 Item 1) may subject owner to disqualification. In some cases, it might be in the best interest of the owner to withdraw his car from judging (see Judging Reference Manual; section 4 Item 12 Altered cars).
During the judging process, undesirable behavior by any member which threatens the intended friendly, family, hobby atmosphere of NCRS will not be tolerated.
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1974 to recognize cars that have been preserved or restored to the highest level of achievement through the NCRS Flight Judging Process. These cars have to achieve 94% or above of 4500 available points to earn "NCRS Top Flight" in a rigorous judging process of Operations Check, Exterior, Interior, Mechanical and Chassis Judging. As of today 19,625 have gone through NCRS Flight Judging in attempting to earn this important mark of superiority, 14,449 have actually earned it.
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1985, the award recognizes individuals for the restoration and preservation of 1953 -1996 Corvettes. To achieve this award, an owner must attain a NCRS Flight award® based on an original "as manufactured" standard at a NCRS event; as well as present the car for a rigorous performance test of all vehicle mechanical components and functions, all of which must operate as those of a new car, without a single failure. As of today only 1,395 Corvettes have received the NCRS Performance Verification award
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1985, in honor of Mr. Zora Arkus-Duntov, long-time Chief Engineer for the Chevrolet Corvette, who retired from General Motors in 1975. The Duntov Award recognizes individuals for the restoration and preservation of 1953 -1974 Corvettes. To achieve this coveted award, an owner must attain a judging score of at least 97% out of 100 % based on an original "as manufactured" standard at a National or Regional NCRS event; as well as present the car for a rigorous performance test of all vehicle mechanical components and functions, all of which must operate as those of a new car, without a single failure. Finally, the car must again score at least 97%, at a National NCRS Convention, to receive the Duntov Award. The process of achieving the Duntov Award requires attendance at a minimum of three events, and must be completed within a three year period. Only 946 Corvettes have achieved the NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence Award.
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1997, in honor of Mr. David R. McLellan, long-time Chief Engineer for the Chevrolet Corvette, who retired from General Motors in 1996. The McLellan Award recognizes individuals for the restoration and preservation of 1975 - 1992 Corvettes.. To achieve this coveted award, an owner must attain a judging score of at least 97% out of 100 based on an original "as manufactured" standard at a National or Regional NCRS event; as well as present the car for a rigorous performance test of all vehicle mechanical components and functions, all of which must operate as those of a new car, without a single failure. Finally, the car must again score at least 97%, at a National NCRS Convention, to receive the McLellan Award. The process of achieving the McLellan Award requires attendance at a minimum of three events, and must be completed within a three year period. Currently only 113 Corvettes have achieved the McLellan Mark of Excellence. Dave McLellan has personally awarded the special plaque bearing his name at our annual NCRS National Convention.
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in honor of Mr. David C. Hill, Chief Engineer for the Chevrolet Corvette from November 18, 1992 until his retirement January 1, 2006. The Hill Award recognizes individuals for the restoration and preservation of 1993 - 1996 Corvettes.. To achieve this coveted award, an owner must attain a judging score of at least 97% out of 100 based on an original "as manufactured" standard at a National or Regional NCRS event; as well as present the car for a rigorous performance test of all vehicle mechanical components and functions, all of which must operate as those of a new car, without a single failure. Finally, the car must again score at least 97%, at a National NCRS Convention, to receive the Hill Award. The process of achieving the Hill Award requires attendance at a minimum of three events, and must be completed within a three year period. Only 20 Corvettes have achieved the Hill Mark of Excellence. Dave Hill has personally awarded the special plaque bearing his name at our annual NCRS National Convention.
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1988, in honor of Mr. Sam Folz, one of the founding fathers and past president of the National Corvette Restorers Society. The Sam Folz Memorial award recognizes individuals for the restoration, preservation and driving enjoyment of 1953 -1996 Corvettes. To achieve this award, an owner must drive their Corvette the greatest distance to attend the National Convention and attain a NCRS Top Flight which requires a judging score of at least 94%, including mileage points, based on our original "as manufactured" standard. Should similar mileage results occur, multiple awards are given. As of now only 16 individuals have received the Sam Folz Memorial award.
NCRS FOUNDERS Award®
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1995, in honor of the seven founding fathers of NCRS. The Founders Award encourages and recognizes the value and enjoyment of member participation in NCRS activities and demonstrates the NCRS commitment to equally recognize the significance of the "Driven Corvette" among our membership, regardless of NCRS Flight status achieved and applies to 1953 - 1996 Corvettes. To achieve this coveted award, an owner must first be a member of any NCRS Chapter. Achieve any NCRS Flight award at a Chapter judging event, driven both ways. Achieve a 96% score on an operations check at a regional driven both ways. Achieve a level 1 or higher rating in the NCRS Judging or Tabulation recognition program. Submit an article for the "Corvette Restorer" magazine. Participate in the NCRS National Road Tour, a minimum of 500 miles. Display the car and recheck the operations at the National Convention scoring at least 96%. It must all be accomplished within a three year period. Only 255 individuals have received the Founders award. One member has done it two years in a row. Those founding fathers present at our National Convention personally present the special plaque.
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1992. The Bowtie award recognizes the un-restored Corvette and encourages the owner to retain and display the car in its present condition for the enjoyment and continuing educational benefit of our membership. The award is earned only at a National Convention by un-restored cars successfully judged and voted to be historically and educationally significant in four areas (Interior, Exterior, Mechanical and Chassis). This award is available to any model year currently judged by NCRS which was manufactured 20 or more years ago. Regardless of change in ownership or judging result the car may never be presented for judging again. The judged section requires an 80 to 85% pass with the following standard "Does the item, part, fabric, plating or coating appear to actually be that which was specifically installed or applied on this car at the time of manufacture". If this is successfully passed the vote with the following standard "Does the area judged display significant educational and historical value which should be preserved in its present condition" is taken. Passing both sections in all four areas earns the NCRS - Chevrolet Bowtie award. Only 278 Corvettes have received this prestigious award.
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 2006. The NCRS Chevrolet Crossed Flags Award is intended to recognize exceptional original, un-restored cars and encourage the owners to retain and display the car in its present condition. The NCRS Chevrolet Crossed Flags award is earned only at a National Convention by un-restored cars successfully judged and voted to be historically and educationally significant in four areas (Interior, Exterior, Mechanical and Chassis). This award is available to 1984 and newer Corvettes currently judged by NCRS that have received an NCRS McLellan Mark of Excellence award. Regardless of change in ownership or judging result the car may never be presented for judging again. The judged section requires a 90% pass with the following standard “Does the item, part, fabric, plating or coating appear to actually be that which was specifically installed or applied on this car at the time of manufacture”. If this is successfully passed the vote with the following standard “Does the area judged display significant educational and historical value which should be preserved in its present condition” is taken. Passing both sections in all four areas earns the NCRS - Chevrolet Crossed Flags award. Only 29 Corvettes have received this award.
This award was created by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1998. The American Heritage Award, presented at the National Convention recognizes unique Corvettes such as, but not limited to, GM Styling Cars, GM Experimental Cars, and Factory or Vintage Race Cars. These cars must be a historically significant piece of Corvette heritage and it has been created for cars that do not currently meet our judging standard because of their intended use. GM Styling and GM experimental cars must have documentation which indicates they indeed were an exercise by GM. Vintage race cars must have actual race history and must be presented in the race form that represents the most significant part of that history documentation is required, in the form deemed acceptable for each individual case. Presentation of the Award will be restricted to no more than two or three vehicles per year. Only 36 Corvettes have received this award.
The Sportsman Award, presented by a Chapter officer at a local chapter function, has two purposes:
- Encourage member participation in NCRS events.
- Demonstrate NCRS's commitment to recognize the member who actively attends and drives a Corvette to Chapter, Regional and National meets.
NCRS Sportsman Award Requirements
Within the award year or three preceding calendar years, a member must achieve:
- Be a member of any NCRS Chapter. Membership must be carried during all points accumulation. (Chapter, at their discretion may wave NCRS membership for first time participant at a Chapter meet).
- Member must own and drive a 1953 through current production Corvette and park in the designated ”Sportsman“ parking area...or... Member must own and drive a ”Stock appearing“ 1953-1982 Corvette and be willing to leave their car on the judging field with the judged cars during the event as space permits. ”Stock appearing“ is defined as no body, bumper or driving light modifications.
- Must pay event registration fee. Must register and pay for Sportsman participation at the event. Must remain at the event until all NCRS Flight Judging is complete.
- Must provide proof of liability insurance.
- Owner may accumulate points with the same Corvette or with different Corvettes.
- There will be no judging of any kind. Participant (at Chapter discretion) receive a Sportsman ribbon. Participant earns points as follows: Chapter meet- 2 points; Regional meet- 3 points; National meet- 5 points.
- Participant will not be able to register for Sportsman and attempt any other award at the same meet. For example, no Founders operations check and Sportsman, or no NCRS Flight Judging and Sportsman, or no Duntov Display and Sportsman, etc.
- Member may not gain multiple points by entering more than 1 car per event. When a member achieves 20 Sportsman points within a three year period, including Sportsman participation in at least two Regional's, a plaque will be provided by National to their Chapter officers for presentation at the Chapter level. This plaque will have space to add on plates that can only be earned by re-presentation at a National Convention in any single year that the member accumulates 10 additional points (including Sportsman participation at the National Convention).
Currently 122 members have earned this award.
The Purpose of this program is to encourage participation and give recognition to both beginning and experienced NCRS Judges. Additionally, it is a means by which to identify and rank experience levels as an aid to judge selection for an event. Judging Level Points are earned and credited to the judge for participation as follows.
Judging Chairman, Assistant Judging Chairman, Team Leader, Team Judge or Performance Verification Judge:
- Chapter events --- 2 points per judging day
- Regional events --- 3 points per judging day
- National events --- 5 points per judging day
- Chapter events --- 1 points per judging day
- Regional events --- 2 points per judging day
- National events --- 3 points per judging day
- Chapter --- 1 point per event
- Regional -- 1 point per event
- National -- 3 points per session
*Advanced Judging Seminar
- Regional events --- 3 points per judging day
- National events --- 5 points per judging day
*Chapter Judging Retreat
- 5 points per event
National Judging Retreat
- 20 points per event
* Subject matter, presentation and format must meet standards set and approved by the NCRS Judging Office.
NCRS Judging Levels
NCRS Judging Levels are achieved at 10-point increments. Level 1 is reached with the accumulation of 10 points, Level 2 at 20 points, and so on. Level 10 earning 100 points earns a Master Judge level. There are further levels for 200 level, 300 level and 400 level. No further points are accumulated beyond 400. There are currently 175 Judges who have reached the 400 Level.
The purpose of this program is to encourage participation and give recognition to all NCRS Tabulators. Additionally, it is a means by which to identify and rank experience levels as an aid in selecting Tabulation Team Members. Tabulation Level Credit is earned, as determined and listed by the Tab Team Leader, for FULL PARTICIPATION at an NCRS Judging Event as follows.
- Chapter events --- 5 points per event
- Regional events --- 5 points per event
- National events --- 5 points per event
Tabulation Level Credit is achieved in the same manner as Judging Level Credit above is awarded. There are currently 156 Master Tabulators.