The 2014 edition of The Granddaddy of all Corvette shows, Bloomington Gold, took place last weekend in Champaign, Illinois. This year was the show’s the second year on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign. Our super fantastic photo gallery from the event awaits you after the break.
The show featured its second new layout in as many years thanks to some construction at the nearby Assembly Hall. What was mainly parking last year was show space this year. Rather than being spread all around the arena, the show was moved to just one side of the arena due to the aforementioned construction.
The show got rolling last Friday with the GoldSchool seminars. Attendees sat in on classes with topics ranging from the Bowling Green assembly process to the early history of Corvette racing to the infamous NCM sinkhole. Instructors included former racers Tony DeLorenzo and Peter Brock, Corvette Nation’s Bill Stephens, historian Al Grenning, and the NCM’s Adam Boca among others.
On Saturday we perused the jam packed Certification field with its 7 generations of Corvettes in pursuit of the coveted Gold Certificate. This was the busiest we remember seeing the judging field in several years. Some of the rarities we spied there included both the red/red coupe and Marlboro Maroon 1967 L88’s the orange 1969 ZL-1 Corvette, and a stunning Copper 1955.
Sunday we returned to judging field again for Survivor and Benchmark judging for unrestored cars. Some of our favorites this day included a 10,000 mile silver 1969 350/350, A/C, 4-speed coupe and a 4,300 black / black fuelie coupe. In speaking with some of the owners we received positive feedback on the new Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories within the Survivor judging.
Various vendors and aftermarket suppliers sold their wares throughout the weekend in the relocated swap meet and vendor areas. Nestled amongst all of the goodies for sale was 1953 VIN number 009 which is being restored to its styling car glory. Stay tuned here for more on this piece of Corvette history.
One of the cooler displays away from the main portion of the show was barn find 1965 black/black big tank coupe parked next to an old school 1959 gasser. Between the pair sat a twin turbo charged motor believed to have been used in CERV I.
Over in the GoldMine many Corvettes patiently awaited new owners. While there were plenty of cars for sale, the quantity did seem to be down over previous years. There did seem to be a lot more Corvettes available over in the dealer area this year than in years past.
As you know, Mecum canceled their Bloomington Gold auction. We weren’t really sure what the show would be like without one of its main attractions, but we really barely noticed it was missing. We were more than occupied by the great cars on both the judging field and in the Great Hall and all of the other activities on the show grounds.
Saturday night the GoldTour with its 1,068 Corvettes snaked its way through the nearby communities before returning to the show grounds for their first ever Party in the Park. We weren’t able to participate in the GoldTour or the GoldAutocross, but if you did let us know what you thought of those events in the comments below.
The Great Hall’s final year took place once again in the I-Hotel all weekend across the street to the hotel. This was possibly the best grouping of cars and people honored yet. The mix of racing, technology, and heritage was perfect. Some of the cars included the Duntov Mule, the last LeMans winning C6R, the first C7, as well as The Rebel and Owens-Corning racers. Adjacent to the Great Hall was the GM ride and drive and its long lines all weekend.
Overall Bloomington Gold 2014 another great show. The new layout made it a little difficult to find things at first, but once you figured things out it wasn’t hard to navigate around. We think the staff did a great job planning and executing the event given the issues caused by the construction on the U of I campus. Below enjoy our gallery of photos from the event while we go and set our countdown clock for Bloomington Gold 2015.