The NCRS Judging Process

Judging Awards

The NCRS Judging Process

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. 9,020 members are currently recognized for their judging expertise. They have created 24,839 NCRS judging records through NCRS events internationally to date.

New Item Added 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 NCRS Concours Judging Awards

NCRS Flight Award®

New Information 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.

Advance preparation:

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.

Controversial Items:

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.

Point System

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 FlightNCRS Second FlightNCRS Third Flight
All years94-100%85-93.9%75-84.9%
maximum deduct270 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.


Late arrivals:

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:

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.

Early Departures:

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).