One of the marquee events each year at Corvettes at Carlisle is the annual Chip’s Choice display tucked inside building T. The display was personally selected each year by show founder Chip Miller until his untimely passing in 2004. Since then his son, Lance Miller, and the Carlisle Events team have carried on the tradition of a specially themed, hand-picked Corvette display.
This year, however, they turned the reigns over to the crew from Bloomington Gold. 2020 marked the first time ever that a third party selected the theme and cars for the Chip’s Choice display. The theme chosen for this year was “Benchmark – The Best of Bloomington Gold”.
Bloomington Gold’s Guy Larsen and Bill Locke hand-picked 10 cars that had achieved Bloomington’s highest honor – the exclusive Benchmark award.
The Benchmark award is strictly for unrestored cars that have been judged to be within 95% of their as-new condition. Restored cars need not apply. They are the epitome of correctness and condition and are often used by restorers as a restoration guide. Less than 20 or so cars per year take home this coveted award. Benchmark cars are very special members of the Corvette community.
The 2020 Chip’s Choice display featured 10 of the best unrestored Corvettes around. The gathering consisted of 1 first-generation Corvette, 3 C2’s, 5 C3’s, and 1 C4. One the early side there was a maroon 1961 283/270hp roadster. The C2’s were represented by a black ultra-low mile 1964 fuelie, and 1966 and 1967 big block roadsters. The third-generation cars consisted of a red 1968 coupe, an orange 1971 LS6, the only factory black 1972 Corvette, a very special blue 1972 convertible, and a 1,900-mile L82, 4-speed pace car. The lone C4 was a black 1990 ZR1 VIN #19 owned since new by Rick Hendrick.
Overall, the Chip’s Choice display spanned nearly the full spectrum of Benchmark-eligible Corvettes. The Bloomington team did a great job of selecting an eclectic group of cars that best represent the Benchmark award. The only thing missing was probably just some signage talking about the Bloomington Gold show and the significance of these unrestored Benchmark cars.
The backside of Building T was buzzing with eager onlookers all weekend long. We can’t wait to see what next year’s Chip’s Choice theme will be. Until then, take a gander at our Chip’s Choice Gallery below.
If you’re interested in attending a Bloomington Gold event and seeing some more Benchmark cars in person, you’re in luck. The rescheduled 2020 Indianapolis event takes place next week on September 11th and 12th at the Lucas Oil Stadium.
Photos by Steve Burns
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