Hello everyone and welcome back to On the Campaign Trail with my 1972 Corvette where you’re in the passenger seat as I pursue NCRS, Bloomington, and MCACN glory. Part 6 last November concluded with my MCACN Concourse Gold and Triple Diamond awards.
You can catch up on the previous articles in this series here:
- Follow Along as I Campaign a 1972 Corvette Convertible (Part 1)
- Preparing for Flight (Part 2)
- The NCRS Motor City Regional (Part 3)
- Survivor Day at Bloomington Gold (Part 4)
- Bloomington Gold Certification (Part 5)
- MCACN Triple Diamond (Part 6)
After the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals I really had no plans for the car until July’s NCRS National Convention, plus I was pretty burned out from the whole car show and judging scene. But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes you just need to answer the door when opportunity knocks.
Flash forward to spring 2019 when Bloomington Gold sent out an email blast announcing the theme for their 2019 Gold Collection: “The Sharks: 1968 – 1972 Corvettes”. Cars participate in the Gold Collection strictly on an invitation-only basis. They can be amazingly restored examples or unrestored originals. They can be factory racecars or GM styling cars. If it’s a unique or special Corvette and fits the given year’s theme, an owner can apply to show their car. From there, a selection committee will review the car’s resume and, if it’s it good enough, formally invite it to participate in the Gold Collection. Since my car fit that criteria I sent an email off to show owner Guy Larsen inquiring if they were still looking for cars. Sure enough they were. He forwarded my note off to Bill Locke, the keeper of the Gold Collection, and a few days later I received an invite to show my car in Indy. I couldn’t accept that invite fast enough. Since there’s no judging, the Gold Collection would be a great way to share my car without all that stress. Just display your car with nearly 50 other prime C3’s and enjoy the weekend.
Some of my earliest Corvette and Bloomington Gold memories revolve around the Gold Collection. When it started off in the 80’s as the Special Collection my dad would put me up on his shoulders so we could get better photos of the special Corvettes on display. So, things have come full circle now as my Corvette would become one of those special cars on display at Bloomington. Good news is that my dad wouldn’t have to put 43-year-old me on his shoulders for better photos this time.
I arrived the Indy Motor Speedway about 8am on Wednesday and was fortunate to be the 3rd car in the building. As a results, I scored a great spot right at the front of the 1972 section. My car was setup and ready to go before 9am. I was joined in the ’72 group by 7 other outstanding examples of 1972 Corvettes. Interestingly, 7 of the 8 cars in my group were unrestored originals like mine.
The rest of the day was spent watching cars unload and seeing the show take shape. I’d not been to Indy that early on a Wednesday before so it was neat to watch the Granddaddy of Corvette shows come to life.
Thursday afternoon there was a short ceremony to honor the cars and owners. Bill Locke and Guy Larsen called each owner up and presented them with their pin and Gold Collection certificate. That was followed by a reception with snacks and some adult beverages.
Over the course of the weekend I’d wander the show grounds and periodically head back over and sit with the car for a while. It was nice chatting with some of the other car owners and folks that have been following my perils here. Again, a nice departure from the rigors of judging and no one asked to see if my windshield washers worked (they still don’t).
Saturday was the highlight of the whole event for me. After missing out on track laps in 2018, I was totally geeked about another chance to get the ’72 out on the track. Early in the afternoon we fired up our cars, files out of the building, and got staged along Legend Row for our track laps. The Manta Ray, SR2, and the yellow ZL1 led us over to where we parked for 30 minutes or so for photos. Then it was time to go.
Pulling out on to the iconic track in a line with primo classic Corvettes is an experience hard to describe. With the top down and the GoPro rolling it was time to just take in all the coolness taking place. The laps themselves were pretty slow – I think I topped 60mph once – but it’s an experience I’ll never forget. Once our 3 laps were done it was back into the pit lane and over to the judging field at the base of the pagoda to catch the judging awards ceremony. Bloomington Gold 2019 had come to a close and my Corvette bucket list got a little shorter.
After a great weekend in Indy, 2 weeks later it was off to the NCRS national convention in Greenville, South Carolina for a run at prestigious 4-Star Bowtie award. That’s where we’ll pick up this story next week. See you then.
Photos by Steve Burns
On the Campaign Trail with a 1972 Corvette: MCACN Triple Diamond (Part 6)
On the Campaign Trail with a 1972 Corvette: Bloomington Gold Certification (Part 5)
On the Campaign Trail with a 1972 Corvette: Survivor Day at Bloomington Gold (Part 4)
On the Campaign Trail with a 1972 Corvette: The NCRS Motor City Regional (Part 3)
Preparing for Flight (Part 2)
Follow Along as I Campaign a 1972 Corvette Convertible (Part 1)