The annual spectacle known as Corvettes at Carlisle took place last weekend in Pennsylvania. Not even the Coronavirus could stop the Carlisle Events team from holding one of their top events. As one would expect, the show was down from its usual girth but there was still no shortage of things to do. The weather was the one norm at Carlisle. Thursday featured flesh-melting heat while Friday and Saturday rotated through a mix of sun, clouds, and occasional rain.
The show, like everything else this year, had a slightly different look than before. General Motors, Corvette Racing, and the NCRS did not attend. The burnout contest, seminars, Corvette walkarounds, downtown parade, NCRS Gallery, and essentially all grandstand events were logically scrubbed from the schedule for health and safety reasons.
One constant was The Corvette Mechanic, Paul Koerner, who did his thing seemingly all weekend long. If you ever get a chance to see one of Paul’s seminars, don’t miss it. A new rolling exhaust contest took place Saturday afternoon drawing a huge crowd. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this show up on the schedule again at a future show. It was a nice change of pace to see the cars drive and actually hear them scream. Additionally, show owner Lance Miller conducted an online interview with Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and Product Manager Harlan Charles in which they talked all things C8.
The Carlisle fairgrounds were buzzing with activity all weekend. Cars from all generations sought new homes in the for-sale lot including several C8’s which were available for over $100,000 each. Hundreds of vendors peddled their wares in the swap meet while the Manufacturer’s Midway hosted many of our favorite Corvette-related businesses. The Chip’s Choice display showcased 10 unrestored Corvettes which all had claimed the exclusive Bloomington Gold Benchmark award. Over on at the autocross, competitors attacked the corners and dodged cones in hopes of setting the fastest time of the day.
From the Solid Axle Corvette club just inside the main entrance to the myriad of C8’s sprinkled throughout the grounds, every generation of Corvette was well represented. It was also this blogger’s first chance to see a C8 vert in person. I think it looks better in person than in photos. Some of our favorites last weekend included a stunning Jewel Blue 1961 in the Fun Field, an amazing Callaway Supernatural ZR1 in the ZR1 Registry, and StreetSpeed717’s ludicrous twin-turbo C8.
The Carlisle Events team did a great job trying to keep everyone safe in our new normal. Countless signs around the grounds reminded everyone how to stay safe. Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations were plentiful around the fairgrounds. Carlisle Events staff sported masks, and everyone was required to mask up inside buildings. Those not wanting to attend sessions with the masses were able to watch almost all of them on a large, centrally located video truck, the Carlisle app, or on the various social media channels.
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Corvettes at Carlisle remains one of our hobby’s top events. Driving through the main entrance each morning is sensory overload. It’s the overwhelming sensation of “where are we going first today?”. While we definitely missed some of the standard events, we appreciate Carlisle Events’ efforts to hold their show even in this strangest of years. Plus, it’s always great to catch up with all of our Corvette friends, and, this year, it was just plain nice to get out of the house for a change.
Our calendar is already counting down to Corvettes at Carlisle 2021. Is yours? Since that next show is still nearly a year away, enjoy our gallery from this year’s Corvettes at Carlisle below.
Photos by Steve Burns
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