Corvettes at Carlisle (Day 1)

The calm before the storm

Andy Bolig - August 27, 2011 08:59 AM


The skies were clear and a steady breeze kept attendees cool throughout the day.


Talk of Irene’s arrival was never far from everyone’s lips. Some were making preparations early. You typically don’t see this type of highly-motivated selling until Sunday.


Chris Chessnoe and Lance Miller amid a cloud of tire smoke. Chris has driven this car all over the country and the odometer clicked the 100,000 mile marker as the tires went up in smoke.


Owners of C5 and C6 Corvettes could have Corvette Technician Paul Koerner diagnose any issues with their cars.


One of the sights during the event is the ever-growing stack of stainless that forms around the exhaust install area. Here, factory systems drip off of new Corvettes, being replaced with the throatier growls from systems by Corsa, Magnaflow and others.


Parts both new and used could be found at Carlisle. Steve’s Corvette Parts has been helping enthusiasts find those necessary parts at Carlisle for as long as we can remember.


GM was on hand showcasing the new features of the 2012 Corvettes. The Grand Sport convertible shown here is draped in the new Carlisle Blue hue.


Enthusiasts were paying exorbitant premiums to get their hands on a ZR-1 when they were new, you could simply win this low-mileage 1991 example at this year’s Corvettes at Carlisle event.

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    The 2011 Corvettes at Carlisle show was extraordinary this year for many reasons, especially the weather. With hurricane Irene preparing to make her presence known on the east coast tomorrow, you would think that the weather would have a negative effect on the show’s outcome.  

Anyone who has routinely attended the Carlisle Corvette show knows that the weather during the show is seldom stagnant. Typical August temps can turn the event field into a dusty desert of parts and cars or, liquid sunshine can just as easily bathe the attendees and force them to head for shelter. Today was different in that the weather couldn’t be better. Instead of rain, sunshine bathed the showfield and even in the middle of the day, a slight breeze kept the temps at a hospitable level throughout the day.

Attendance seemed solid for a Friday and the cars began filing in early and a steady stream of fiberglass filled the Carlisle fairgrounds to capacity. Whether enthusiasts were showing off their pride and joy, or looking for parts to complete them, it was obvious that Irene was still days away (though not far from many enthusiast’s conversations) and folks were making the most of the day and enjoying this annual must-attend event on the Corvette show circuit.

Corvettes from every era gleamed in the sunshine and it was a perfect day for manufacturers to showcase their wares. GM was on hand, highlighting the new features for the 2012 Corvettes and thousands of new and used parts suppliers occupied their spaces, hoping to catch the eyes (and wallets) of enthusiasts.

There was no shortage of things to do and see at this year’s event on a Friday. Informative seminars were held all over the fairgrounds, some focusing on a certain generation or era, others showing the proper techniques for caring for your Corvette while others focused on solving issues that enthusiasts might encounter. There was a chassis dyno on hand for those who wondered how many horses lived under their Corvette’s hood, and for those who wanted to share those horses with everyone else, they could run their Corvette in the burnout competition that was judged by spectator participation. The limited list of cars ranged from an 1100 hp Super Gas dragster, one of Lance Miller’s personal cars and Callaway Cars’ Chris Chessnoe even got into the action, sharing the 100,000th mile put on their 2010 SC606-packaged Callaway Corvette as the tires went up in smoke and the crowd went wild.

As the news and weather channels burned up the television screen, heralding the arrival of Irene in the next day or two, it was obvious that attendees at this year’s event were making the most of it and enjoying the day without even a drop of rain. In fact, whatever the next few days have in store for the area around Carlisle, by the number of people attending and the sun-filled fun they had, you could say that this was a great start to this year’s event, even if it is the calm before the storm. For Day Two's coverage of the event and preparation for the ensuing storm, click here.