With nearly 300 days of sunshine a year and glorious mountain terrain, Colorado is the prime vacation destination for the outdoorsy type. But there’s more to the Centennial State than one might give it credit for. For Chevy fans, that little extra oomph comes in the form of the Super Chevy Show held every summer at Colorado’s premiere drag strip- Bandimere Speedway.
Now if you’re a local or even an out-of-stater looking for one last event to attend with your car before you have to skedaddle the kiddies off to school, the Super Chevy Show should certainly be on your list. With a day full of events like a swap meet, car show and plenty of drag racing, with a broad spectrum of competitors from street cars to Pro Mods, the Super Chevy Show provides the prime platform to show off your Chevy enthusiasm. And the location of the track is one you have to experience to believe.
Location, Location, Location
Getting to the Super Chevy Show on Saturday August 18th was simple enough. With just a few changes of interstates, Bandimere Speedway can be accessed right off the main thoroughfare skirting the West side of the Denver Metro area. However, once there, the facility is anything but an ordinary city raceway. Sitting at over 5,800 feet above sea level, the track sits on the side of the Colorado foothills with views stretching miles toward the city.
You may love your home track, but one trip to Bandi and you may have second thoughts about your home turf.
Yes, even on the side of a mountain they will come. Vehicles like this classic Tri-Five were everywhere, from the show grounds to the swap meet, and even one or two braving the quarter mile.
Weathered and Pristine, and Anything In Between
Gates opened at 8a.m. for Super Chevy on Saturday for folks to start setting up their goods for sale and find the prime parking spot for a day’s worth of showing and shining. Rows and rows of trailers already sat towering over the asphalt and back gravel areas from the time trials, qualifying and bonus races the day before. If you own a Chevy or GM-based race car, show car, or even a daily driver, this was the place to be.
This Chevy Sedan Delivery was one of the first show vehicles in the lot, showing it's Chevy and Bandimere pride with a Bandimere Super Charger under the hood. Only three of these super chargers were ever made by John Bandimere Sr., founder of Bandimere Speedway, in 1949, with this being the only known complete Bandimere Super Charger system to still exist today.
With some vehicles still trickling in by a quarter till 9, the majority of the show cars were in position. Paper towels, Windex, detailing spray and polishing cloths could be spotted everywhere with one underlying goal in mind- to make any vehicle stand out, no matter how stock, weathered or pristine paint job.
Even our friends at Chris Alston's Chassisworks were on hand showing off their latest off their latest products to Chevy enthusiasts.
The only cars not getting an extra round of polishing were the few for sale in the swap meet area. Although few tents ever popped up in the swap meet section, there were plenty of things to buy, from old hubcaps, logos and trim pieces to new exhaust pieces and children’s toys.
All the show cars were organized by their year and model, making it rather easy to find any kind of Chevy you could ask for. Of course, Corvettes and Camaros made up a good potion of the vehicles on display, but there were also plenty of trucks, Novas, Chevelles, and hot rods on hand to even out the playing field.
Not every vehicle was from the classic or muscle car eras either. Brand new lifted Silverados, fifth-gen Camaros and even a few SSRs were on the grounds to be shown. Of course, we can’t forget the daily-driver Volt we found parked next to an award-winning Corvair either.
We also discovered a few odd-ball and rare cars on hand, including a brand new Nickey Camaro, legendary header builder and racer Doug Thorley’s “Chevy 2 Much” race car (now owned by Ron Maxwell), a 2002 35th Anniversary Camaro SS convertible that is one of only 1,398 Z4C convertibles in the U.S., a 1963 Corvette Grand Sport clone, and even the American Racing Wheels fifth-generation Camaro that’s causing quite a stir in the automotive community with it’s faux rusted and weathered wrap.
The unique flair and vehicle/powertrain combinations were endless at the Super Chevy Show, but one thing was for sure- at Saturday's event, everything was Chevy!
If you like details, the Super Chevy Show had more than enough to catch your eye, you just needed to know where to look.
Chevy fans were greeted with everything that makes the bowtie so addictive at the Super Chevy Show, from massive motors to those fine details you’ll only find on a classic GM vehicle. Of course, some car owners did things up a bit more than the factory but in true Chevy form, every family sedan, truck, wagon and muscle car had more than just a few selling points.
Unlike at some other shows, we ran into a refreshing amount of people at the Super Chevy event with the mentality that a car isn’t as enjoyable unless you can get in and drive it. Shane Gasvoda drove his ‘66 Chevelle Malibu down from North East Wyoming to attend the event, nearly a 5 hour trip, while others like Brandon Gruninger, who owns a ’93 LS3-swap Camaro, drove their vehicles shorter distances to Bandimere but enjoyed the trip just the same. Gruninger told us he drives his car everywhere. Be sure to stay tuned for features on both Gasvoda and Gruninger’s cars in the future.
This may just look like a normal LT1 Camaro Z28, but with a full tubular suspension, LS3 under the hood and a few more surprises, first impressions can be deceiving.
Let’s Go Racin’
With the car show and swap meet taking up most of the pit areas on the south side of the grandstands, the majority of the race competitors found their camps on the west side of the track. Here, past all the food and beverage venders and a few t-shirt tents, were the guys and gals who took driving their Chevys to another level.
Saturday played host to many different drag racing classes, including Super Pro, Pro, the Generation 5 Camaro class, DOT, MOC Oil Products Jr. Comp, Pacific Street Coast Association Hot Street and Outlaw classes, and West Coast Pro Mods.
If they weren’t browsing the rows of show cars, most show goers could be found sitting in the grandstands that lined both sides of the track watching time trials, qualifying rounds and eliminations.
Although we saw nearly only Chevys or at least GM-bodied vehicles in the show area, the drag races brought about some interesting Mopar and Ford vehicles with GM powertrain combinations. Not that we’re complaining, since we love our GM engines, but it was a bit odd seeing cars like a ’71 Torino or a ’69 Dart thrashing the track with a big-block Chevy under the hood. There was even a ’93 Chevy-powered Lexus that got into that game.
No, you aren't seeing things. This is in fact a Plymouth Duster but it's all Chevy under the hood with a GM big-block tucked between the front fenders.
The bowties came out in full force to race at the Super Chevy Show, with everything from street cars to pure track machines taking on the quarter mile.
Until Next Time
The Super Chevy Show was an absolute blast, running from 8a.m. well past 9p.m. with nothing but Chevys all day long and fireworks to top off the night. Some might say shows like this need to expand their horizons but we kind of like spending the day with just Chevy owners and enthusiasts.
The Super Chevy Show has something for everyone, whether you're into racing, car shows or picking up parts for your project car. It's never too early to start planning your trip for next year.
There may not have been any brand-based bench racing going on, but there was certainly plenty of model-based bench racing and dragstrip thrashing to keep anyone occupied, as well as dozens of show cars gleaming in the sun to interest even the most non car-blooded individuals.
The Super Chevy Show will be back at Bandimere Speedway next summer, so start planning you’re vacation now. Not only will you get to experience the great Colorado outdoors, you’ll also be able to enjoy one to the coolest tracks in the country packed full of GM vehicles with your fellow Chevy fans.
Check out the gallery below to see what could be in store for you if you attend the Super Chevy Show next year.