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When you’ve been doing something for 40 years, it’s a safe bet that you’ve been doing it right. That’s what the folks at Carlisle Events have managed to accomplish with the Corvettes at Carlisle show. The 2022 edition marks that milestone, and what better way to do so than with a record-breaking weekend.
“With a Fun Field turnout of 2,926 Corvettes, this year’s offering topped 2019 and furthered the legend that is the biggest and best all-Corvette car show in the world,” notes Michael Garland, public relations manager for Carlisle Events. The recipe for success this year involved a combination of exceptionally good weather, the opening of the border to our Canadian neighbors, and the presence of Chevrolet with the new C8 Z06 on display.
With a number just shy of the 3,000 mark, when you factor in the Corvettes that are in the Corvette-only parking area at the top of the hill, along with all the ones that are in vendor display areas, the swap meet, and the car corral, the actual number exceeds the 5,000 mark. Labeling it a show is actually a misnomer because it is best defined as an event – one that takes place every year and is a testament to the solid fan base that General Motors’ sports car has.
2022 was a record setter for Corvettes at Carlisle. With just shy of 3,000 Corvettes registered for the Fun Field, and a total of well over 5,000 on the fairgrounds, 2022 went into the books as the one to beat.
While the main focus is on the rows and rows of Corvettes on display, there is much more to take in during the multi-day event. A recurring display is the Chip’s Choice collection. With a focus on the cream of the Corvette crop, this year it hosted a half dozen Pratt & Miller built racing Corvettes ranging from the C5.R to the C7.R. Also on hand for the first time was Dan Binks, who was the lead mechanic on the Pratt & Miller team from 2002 to 2020. Dan conducted a number of seminars and signed quite a few autographs.
Other displays during the event included the Callaway 35th Anniversary celebration with some very rare Callaway cars, and the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Corvette. The folks at the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) were also well represented with their display of well-preserved original, and meticulously restored Corvettes.
If you are looking to buy or sell a Corvette, this is the place. If you’re looking for parts, the swap meet area is always lined up with vendors selling parts and project cars, along with those that cater to the memorabilia crowd. Next year will kick off the next decade, and the dates for that are set in stone, so mark your calendars for August 24-26, 2023.
General Motors was out in full force promoting their new Corvette C8 Z06. Over the years this event has become a great resource for the company to engage with current and potential buyers to gather information in order to improve the cars.
Every year the Chip’s Choice display features an aspect of the Corvette hobby that stands out. This year it was the Pratt & Miller built cars. Perhaps the most notable one on display is the 2000 Rolex 24 car driven by Dale Earnhardt and Dale Jr, along with Kelly Collins, and Andy Pilgrim, which is currently owned by Carlisle co-owner Lance Miller.
The National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) always has a large display of faithfully restored cars, or well-preserved original Corvettes. When it comes to judging, their guidelines are the gold standard in determining originality.
From mild to wild, selling a Corvette at the show is something that quite a few folks opt to do. Buyers know they will have a decent selection to pick from, and sellers know that the show attendees have a singular brand focus in mind.
Holley carburetors have played a major role in the Corvette world over the years, and if you need to find a correct one, chances are the swap meet area is a good place to find start.
As in previous years, whenever a new Corvette model is launched, General Motors usually brings out a cutaway model, and this year it was the Z06. These displays are always quite popular and they give folks an idea on how intricate the construction of these cars is.
The Canadian attendees at the Corvette shows over the years have played an important role. They account for 17% of those that show up with their cars.
Many corvette clubs use the show weekend as a means to gather their members and hold their yearly club meetings. Many clubs also have their own areas for model specific offerings.
If you want a smaller scale Corvette, you can find them in a number of different spots spread out through the fairgrounds. There is never a shortage of diecast for sale.