There is no denying the automotive enthusiasm found in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states which border it. Like automotive monarch butterflies, each year they flutter to a small town named Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Just like those in Central Mexico and the butterfly, locals have come to embrace and enjoy the town’s brief moments of high-horsepower sights and sounds. High-octane and Carlisle, the two elements have become synonymous in the automotive realm.
From August 26-28, 2021, Carlisle became THE epicenter of America’s Sports Car; the Corvette. With nearly 2,800 cars on the Fun Field, mixed with over 2,000 more in general parking, there were nearly 5,000 Corvettes to see spanning every corner of the 82-acre fairgrounds. While three days of sunshine had a lot to do with the attendance of both cars and gate-goers, there were also many reasons to find a way to Corvettes at Carlisle.
To start, this is one of the few places where enthusiasts can introduce themselves to the very folks who designed, built or support the Corvette throughout its almost seven decades. The “Corvette Team” direct from General Motors was on-hand, giving walkarounds of the newest C8 Corvettes, and “NOT discussing future production models” to customers and enthusiasts.
Another highlight of each Corvettes at Carlisle is the ability for numerous clubs and gatherings which allow folks to plan an annual get-together surrounded by the cars they love most. Numerous Registries took up areas within the show field areas and for like-colored examples such as the C4 Grand Sports, which were having a 25-year Anniversary. All decked out in Admiral Blue and a white stripe, they were easily recognized from anywhere on the grounds.
The NCCC and NCRS joined in on the fun by having Concours judging and various galleries of prized Corvettes and the Solid-Axle Corvette Club brought their typical excitement and enthusiasm, along with their cars. Many folks use Corvettes at Carlisle as a way to meet other people and this year, the show didn’t disappoint.
In addition to Team Chevrolet, Corvettes at Carlisle attendees could spend time sharing experiences with dignitaries such as the “father of the 1996 Grand Sport”, John Heinricy. Paul Koerner was on-hand, helping explain today’s complex systems found in may of the modern Corvettes. He also held seminars throughout the weekend, using examples of attendee’s Corvettes as hands-on illustrations on how to properly care for, and correct any issues.
Super-enthusiast and performance vendor Ken Lingenfelter spoke with attendees throughout the weekend and retired FBI agent Wes Wong was integral to the theme of this year’s Corvettes at Carlisle, which served to salute all branches of law enforcement through a special event held on Saturday. In between all the things to see and do were more things to see and do, such as the annual Chip’s Choice display, which also had a law-enforcement theme. A massive waving of America’s flag (thanks to HG Towing) served as a backdrop for photos and kept this year’s theme on everyone’s minds throughout the weekend.
Friday’s parade around the grounds highlighted law enforcement in motion and Saturday was especially busy with cars roaring around the autocross or funneling information to the downtown party and parade in downtown Carlisle.
One of the things that many Corvettes at Carlisle attendees remember is the chance to win one of the giveaway vehicles each year. While there aren’t as many opportunities to take home an additional vehicle as there has been in the past, the Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation, in conjunction with the Lancaster County Corvette Club, awarded a beautiful C8 Corvette to a local enthusiast and the Spring Mountain Motor Resort also offered a prize associated with its Ron Fellows Driving school in Nevada. Many clubs also received awards for being the “largest club”, or perhaps the “coolest club” in attendance.
You may want to go out and purchase next year’s calendar so you can designate August 25-27, 2022 as your must-attend Corvettes at Carlisle weekend. Plans are already in place to celebrate the ultra-rare Pratt-Miller Corvettes (think Corvette Racing) and many enthusiasts have already taken the opportunity to pre-register. Head over to Carlisle Events’ website to see all the opportunities they offer throughout the year and be sure to secure your spot on the fun Field or vending space next year. You’ll be glad you did!