Agreed. Do it for sheer enjoyment, not for trophies and prizes. Everybody that I know who seeks trophies or certifications is frequently in a foul mood over the judging. A friend in the NCRS was recently griping over how could he get a Top Flight at Nationals and mere months later a Second Flight at the local chapter. The solution of course, is he should never have had his car judged again after achieving a national award. The "end game" I guess is you put it away so that in another 30 years it can come out as a "barn find" for the next owner to start from obscurity.
To your question, if you decide your end game is to go the distance with MCA, there is a sequence of awards over the years that leads to a "conservator" class grill emblem. Join MCA and get on their website for the judging rules and the other details. Several members here are Gold Card judges and are very helpful helping sort out the arcane aspects of what are essentially assembly line differences with a mass produced car built in large numbers. Folks like Laurie S., Charles Turner, Jeff Speegle, Chuck Wiltens, and many others have the knowledge and are usually happy to share. You can usually find Charles and Jeff over at the ConcoursMustang forum.
Generally at the core of MCA judging are "condition", "cleanliness", and "workmanship", so do your best and don't get your shorts in a knot when a judge finds fault with your baby.
Note that many of the people on this forum prefer to modify and drive their cars so there is a spectrum of participation in the hobby that is represented here. Do what makes you happy.
*67 Vintage Burgundy 390GTA with most of the bells and whistles*
I would never think of my Mustang hobby as an "end game." I've owned my coupe since day one, so that is merely a lifelong love. My fastback isn't being built to garner awards, either, but to have a blast enjoying it. Yes, it has won some very nice awards even unfinished, including best of show, but I'm not in it for the awards. That's just something that happens while I'm having fun with my cars and other people who enjoy them.
"I love it when a plan comes together!" -- Hannibal Smith
Murphy, 1968 Coupe - Concours Trouble, 1968 Fastback - Modified Moby, 1971 Mach I - Occasional Driver MiniMe, 1966 Mustang Jr. - For Fun
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