The Granddaddy of Corvette shows was held last weekend in downtown Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Stadium. Building on last year’s Covid-modified event, the 2021 edition showed that we’re finally beginning to put the pandemic behind us and that we can get back to more important things like car shows.
The show remained a slimmed-down 2-day version of its former self but retained many of the traditional events we’re accustomed to at Bloomington Gold. Cars and vendors were located throughout the property including indoors on the arena concourse and in the lower field level hall, as well as outside in the stadium parking lot. The indoor option proved, again, to be an asset as heavy storms with large hail and high winds blew through the area on Friday night.
Cars from 7 of the 8 Corvette generations competed for Survivor, Gold, and Benchmark honors with the candidates spread out around the sprawling arena concourse. Some of our favorite judged cars included a red 1965 big tank coupe, a very well preserved Pewter 1972 coupe, a fully optioned out 1971 big-block convertible, and a stunning 1953 roadster.
The Gold Collection was located just to the left when entering the stadium. For 2021, it featured the largest gathering we’ve ever seen of the 1-year only LS6 equipped Corvettes. Nearby on the concourse, Camaro’s made their Certification judging debut while Corvette restomod judging returned for its 2nd year.
Elsewhere on the concourse, vendors like Ron Fellows High Performance Driving School at Spring Mountain, NCM Insurance, Dana Forrester, and others courted potential customers. Additional vendors sold their various wares on the lower level of the arena. The Gold School seminars returned to the weekend agenda and were held adjacent to the vendor area. We were able to attend the LS6 presentation hosted by LS6 aficionado Jim Wallace and Mecum’s John Kraman which proved to be a very insightful look 1971’s baddest Corvette powerplant. Turns out an LS6 is quite similar to an L88. Who knew?
Just around the corner from the Gold School, attendees could take a seat in the Gold Theater and view one of the many films playing throughout both days. Topics ranged from past Bloomington Gold events, Mecum Auctions highlights, the NCM Sinkhole, and more.
The racing simulator at the very far end of the concourse was a fun new activity for the show with attendees competing against one another on a virtual road course in vintage Corvettes. They even offered free games for a short time early Saturday afternoon. We hope this comes back to future events.
Outside, vendors sold a myriad of treasures in the traditional swap meet while our friends at Nowicki Autosport debuted the freshly completed Concept8 Corvette Stingray. We’ll take a closer look at that in the coming days. Other outdoor features included special parking areas for 1971, 1996, and C8 Corvettes. Camaros had their own special spot as well.
The 2021 Bloomington Gold Indianapolis event was a sign that things are slowly returning to normal. While the show was a step up from the 2020 event, it still looked to be impacted again by both the weather and the pandemic as several big-name attendees were still under travel restrictions and unable to attend. With vaccines on the rise and new cases on the decline, we look forward to a bigger and better Bloomington Gold next year. In a recent email blast, Bloomington Gold mentioned that the dates and location for their 50th anniversary 2022 show will be announced soon. In the meantime, enjoy our gallery of photos from last weekend’s Bloomington Gold Indianapolis event.
Photos by Steve Burns