The Carlisle Experience

Every fall for the past 27 years one of the largest Corvette gatherings occurs at the Carlisle Fairgrounds. Even before I owned my Corvette, I wanted to see this event and the variety of cars, vendors, and activities that attract fans from all over the country.

This year the featured car was the 1958 Corvette, celebrating its 50th anniversary. The redesign that year included quad headlights and the most chrome ever bestowed upon this sports car. The ‘58 is easy to spot with its fake hood louvers and chrome ‘tusks’ on the trunk-lid. Another special celebration was the 30th anniversary of the 1978 models, which included an Indy 500 Pace Car and a 25th Anniversary Special Edition.

The excitement this year was focused on the new ZR1. We watched them unload the trailers of the 4 that GM brought to Carlisle. Tom Wallace, Corvette chief engineer, personally supervised the unloading process. He politely refused our offers to assist in the cleanup and parking of these new supercars. He did a ‘walkaround’ introduction of the ZR1 at the grandstand and gave some of his insight and experience on bringing this car to production.

The three days of activities has something for everybody, did I mention that there are hundreds of Corvettes there! The days are filled with vendor displays, troubleshooting seminars, a car auction, an autocross, a burnout contest, and a parade through the downtown streets. There are raffles for Corvettes and a silent auction for memorabilia benefiting the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation.  A special tribute to our Armed Forces was an American flag built with the help of over 100 red, white, and blue Corvettes.

Every Corvette owner should experience this event at least once. Start by visiting the Carlisle website at;  http://www.carsatcarlisle.com/ce/index.asp

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