Funfest 2011

Warm hearts spiced a chilly showfield for the first day.

Andy Bolig - September 16, 2011 09:19 PM


The showfield began to start filling in early despite the chilly weather.


Chevrolet shows their support for this event in their presence. Corvette Engineer, Tom Hill was on hand answering questions and showing some 2012 Corvettes. There was also a truckload of Corvettes sent down from the assembly plant. Some owners of these Corvettes might never make it to Funfest, but their Corvettes already have!


Fred Gallasch and Dave McLellan shared the forum for their seminar on the Life, Death, and Rebirth of the King of the Hill.


One of the highlights unveiled at this year’s event was Mid-America Motorworks’ acquisition of the Alpha and Beta prototype cars for the C5 Corvette generation and also this CERV-IVb car that made a case for the C5 Corvette to be built.


One of the biggest changes from last year was the new Install Dome. Exhaust systems, tires and wheels and various other items that were purchased during the day could be instantly installed on Corvettes for their new owners to enjoy. While the Dome itself is temporary, the nicely-laid concrete floor shows that this will be a permanent item at many more Funfests.


Lifts were installed as well as the solid flooring which allowed two-post lifts to be utilized. Last year, four post lifts were used which allowed exhaust systems to drop out the rear of Corvettes will little effort. Using several two-post configurations allows tires, wheels and brakes to be swapped out equally as simple. A definite improvement.


Jim and Sandy Steele were the recipients of my Celebrity’s Choice Award. They’ve owned this ’77 for about 18 years and about three years ago, they went through and updated the car, giving it a super-straight paintjob and installing a ZZ3 engine. It was super clean inside and out and they’ve been enjoying their long-term relationship with this shark.

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As the news stations sorted out the day’s weather report, many enthusiasts chose to wisely don their windbreakers and light jackets as they headed out for the first official day of the event in Effingham IL.

While not quite “frosty”, the early morning put a chill over the showfield that was quickly rebutted by the sun shining through the somewhat cloudy sky. As the day wore on, the sun, and the camaraderie of enthusiasts, began to warm the lush green grass that covered the showfield. The ever-growing area of grass has been on a constant increase as Mike Yager and his teammates of Mid America Motorworks employees have continually forged new roads and founded new buildings, both permanent and temporary.

 One such newly established dwelling was the install area, now occupied under a dome that proudly wears the Mid America Motorworks colors. See how the team at Mid-America erected this massive dome in under four minutes by clicking here. Other such buildings were established to house the merchandise area as well as the various seminars that were held during the day’s activities. Everything from maintenance to the 100 years of Chevrolet were discussed by knowledgeable celebrities and enthusiasts. Many of those same celebs were spotted scouring the showfields, in an attempt to pick out their “favorite” Corvette as their Celebrity’s Choice Award winner.

 GM made their presence known, personally and by sending some of their newest offerings. In fact, a truckload of new Corvettes were diverted from their final destination so that they could represent the group from Bowling Green during this event. The aftermarket was also on hand to show what is capable with these cars once they do finally arrive in their new owner’s garages.

 Ultimately, any Corvette enthusiast who is searching for a new way to showcase their enthusiasm for Corvette, wanted to bless their Corvettes with something to personalize it or, simply desired to spend some quality time with like-minded folks who simply enjoy the car, would have a great time at this year’s Funfest. Or, as Mid-America Motorworks’ founder Mike Yager likes to call it, a Corvette Party.


Day Two's coverage click HERE

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