There are a lot of large car shows that seem to get all of the recognition in magazines and online, but each year, there is a small gathering of all things Chevrolet that occurs in Orlando, Florida. Every year at this time, the Eckler’s/Classic Chevy Winter Extravaganza is held at the Westgate Resorts compound, and having the show at a resort gives a whole new meaning to the term “having amenities” for participants.
We’re sure you have all heard of Eckler’s Corvette, they have been supplying parts for Corvettes for decades. But did you know that Classic Chevy (a division of Eckler’s) is a membership-oriented club that also supplies a wide range of classic Chevy parts? They also give discounts on those parts along with a monthly magazine.
We were greeted at the resort entrance and then given permission to enter – our C10 Cheyenne looked a little out of place until we meandered through the facility to the area where the car show was happening. Once we arrived at the designated area, we were greeted by everything that is Chevrolet.
Each enthusiast at the event is a member of a tight-knit group, a community if you will, that is dedicated to building and then showcasing their beloved Bow Tie of choice. While there were many stock, beautifully-restored Camaros and Tri-Fives at the event, just about any Chevrolet was able to participate.
If you happen to be the owner of a classic Chevy and enjoy customizing the exterior, preparing the suspension for racing, upgrading the powertrain for straight-line performance, or just creating a cool cruiser, then you are a true-blue enthusiast, and will find something that interests you at this event.
While this show is not one of the largest in the country, the quality of the cars that took up temporary residence at the Westgate Resorts was top notch. Eckler’s also had a booth set up to help participants locate any parts they need. There were also other vendors in attendance selling items like vintage signs, neon signs, and even complete, new ’66 and ’67 Nova bodies.
Like we said, the event is held at the Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa in Orlando, and from Thursday through Sunday morning, participants are treated to affordable accommodations, great Florida weather, and an awesome opportunity to spend time with other like-minded enthusiasts. There was a lot for participants to do throughout the four-day gathering, beginning with free barbecue and car classification on Thursday. All cars were classified by event personnel to ensure proper class participation.
The car show was the main attraction on Saturday, as was a fun small event with twist – valve cover races. Unlike many valve cover races held at other events, this one has participants repurposing old in-line skate wheels to build the racers. What’s more, the valve cover races are not about speed, but rather, distance. There is no propulsion of any kind allowed, and the ramp was 16 feet long and 18 inches wide. The remainder of track was the parking lot surface. He who rolls the farthest wins.
Beyond the event happenings, we’re sure you want to check out some of the cars that were in attendance, so without further ado, here they are.
Don Shollenbarger’s ’57 Chevy
One of our picks for the event was Don’s gorgeously restomodded Tri-Five. The stunning maroon beauty features a tweed interior with a custom console, Dakota Digital gauges, and a tilt wheel. The air conditioning makes this s truly cool ride.
Under the hood was a detailed-to-the-nines tuned-port-injected 350ci engine with a 700R4 backing that.
Brent Cox’s 1989 IROC-Z
The third-gen Camaro is generally considered the redheaded step child by many non-Chevrolet enthusiasts, but Brent’s Camaro does the generation proud. We never got a chance to peek under the hood to find out if this was a 305 cubic-inch model, of if it packed the 350ci engine.
Don Spangler ’66 Chevy Nova
Talk about a gorgeous restoration, Don’s Nova still features the “big” 327 cubic-inch small-block, and the single cylinder push and pray braking system.
Tim and Linda Bible’s ’57 Chevy 3100
This ’57 Chevy pickup hails from Orlando, and is powered by a 235 cubic-inch six cylinder, which is backed by an automatic transmission. Inside, you’ll find a deluxe heater, factory radio, cloth seats, and ever-important traffic light viewer. The outside features the familiar hood rockets, and sun visor.
Tim tells us the truck has won numerous awards, including the AACA Grand National award.
Kevin McKeown’s ’72 Camaro SS
This restored gem features a 396 cubic-inch engine supporting air conditioning. For the time, the 300-horsepower output by the big-block was a lot. Even if you’re not a fan of the green interior, the car looks great!
Harry Pickett’s ’72 Cheyenne Pickup
Harry’s C10 is a gorgeously-restored hauler, and only features two deviations from stock, the muffler and the rolling stock. Under the hood is a Quadrajet-fed big-block, and the interior looked as fresh as it surely did from the factory.
After perusing the parking lot of the Westgate Resort and checking out all of these great cars and trucks, one thing became abundantly clear, the quality of the cars in Central Florida is amazing. If you can make the trek next year, you need to make plans now to spend some time at the Eckler’s/Classic Chevy Winter Extravaganza. We’re certain you’ll have a blast, because, for one, its several days at a car show, and also, it’s Florida in early March. How’s the weather where you are this time of year?