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In late spring, the team with Carlisle Events made the difficult decision to postpone the Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals from its orig …
In late spring, the team with Carlisle Events made the difficult decision to postpone the Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals from its original May dates to the second weekend of August. As world events evolved, August 14 through the 16th rapidly approached and with the weekend in the rearview mirror, it was obvious that while the date change would slightly augment the show, the passion and enthusiasm of those who attended would not be altered. Spanning the three-day event, over 1,000 cars and even more attendees walked the grounds, enjoyed great concessions, participated in competitions and otherwise just hung out and enjoyed the automotive world at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds.
Gates opened Friday at 7 a.m. and while most guests didn’t arrive until mid-day, waiting for them was a great indoor display in Building T. Here, the BBS was celebrated as was 100 Years of Mazda and 50 Years of the Datsun and Nissan Z. There was also a general vehicle display too, including a Lamborghini, C8 Corvette and an ‘80s era Ferrari. Along with those displays indoors, the outside offered even more history with a massive SAAB tent, a Showfield of Audi’s, Volvo’s and more.
The Showfield itself is really the draw, as it offered such an eclectic mix of automotive history. Cars represent over a half a dozen countries and are parked by country of origin. The geographical placement allows guests to walk the grounds and essentially the automotive world. One of the countries, France, historically sees support from the Renault Club. For 2020, they had some early 20th century French production on display, while more modern rides also made up this international automotive festival. Dune Buggies cruised the grounds, the Opel saw lots of love as did displays with Fiat, Subaru, BMW and VW just to name a few.
Of course the cars at Carlisle didn’t just show, many were on the go via multiple competitions and or/a parade. These competitions included a couple of preliminary rounds for the rolling exhaust contest, the exhaust finale itself, drift limbo, low car limbo and of course the ultimate competition, the judged Showfield. There was even a mid-day Saturday parade as the Nissan Z went from being featured to in motion as part of an impromptu parade around the grounds.
Car clubs were also a big part of the event, dozens of clubs set up shop at Carlisle, and select clubs won awards as well. Saabs at Carlisle was tapped as the largest club, while Street Distortionz earned coolest club honors.
Hundreds of awards were doled out Sunday following another successful eJudged event, with car owners making plans for the 2021 event. Speaking of which, with less than nine months to go, plans are under way for the weekend, back to its original May dates; in this case May 14-16 2021. Check out photos and more about the event at www.CarlisleEvents.com.
If you build it, they will come. We all know the famous Field of Dreams movie line. Well, if Carlisle Events and the Carlisle Truck Nat …
If you build it, they will come. We all know the famous Field of Dreams movie line. Well, if Carlisle Events and the Carlisle Truck Nationals may, if you host it, they will come…and come they did. While the 2020 Carlisle Truck Nationals didn’t match numbers from the past few years, it actually saw a larger turnout of trucks than the 2014 show offered. With a nice mix of 106 years of truck history on display combined with family friendly activities, the event happened in a unique and different way, during unique and different circumstances.
Gates opened at 7 a.m. daily and while most of the afternoon Friday was a wash, there was enough sunshine to enjoy the Showfield, midway and indoor displays. In addition, the aforementioned family fun took center stage where possible. Dialed Action Sports presented Mountain Bike stunt exhibitions, while Lawrence Frederick and his world champion Disc-Connected K9s soared above the infield, much to the delight of guests of all ages. If ever there was a time for indoor truck viewing, mid-day Friday reminded guests that yes, it’s August and yes, it rains. Though outside was best suited for a slip and slide, inside Buildings T and Y were about three dozen super cool trucks. For Building Y, it was the SyTy display, while Building T hosted the annual Featured Vehicle display. Within T was a 1916 Fire Truck, classic car haulers, lowered trucks, lifted trucks and more.
As the weather did a 180 on Saturday, those who didn’t come Friday afternoon mixed and mingled (at an acceptable social distance) with everyone who was planning a Saturday venture. The bikes and the pups were back in action, but there were other competitions too. Day 2 hosted the low truck limbo, high truck challenge and the drop and drag contest. In addition, more family fun came to fruition as the Optimus Prime replica rig anchored the Big Rig display AND played host to kids of all ages during its time onsite. The Big Rigs also closed out the day, with their popular glow show lighting up the Carlisle night.
Another hot draw throughout the event came from Ford. Following a successful showcase at the previous week’s Carlisle Ford Nationals car show, Ford spotlighted its 2021 F-150 truck, offered a Ford Raptor simulator for guests AND displayed their Ford Lifestyle trailer. Within and around this trailer was stylish merchandise for sale and products on display that accessorize, power or compliment some of Ford’s most popular brands.
Sunday was a chance to see one last show, check out one last truck AND check out the winner’s list. For some, that meant an award and recognition as part of the two awards parades. For others, it meant simply saying goodbye to friends with a plan to return for 2021. Speaking of which, next year’s Carlisle Truck Nationals take over the fairgrounds once more between August 6-8. Details about this event and all others promoted by Carlisle Events are available at www.CarlisleEvents.com or by calling 717-243-7855.
After a nearly two-month delay, the 2020 Carlisle Ford presented by Meguiar’s took over the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds July 31-August 2. The event, wh …
After a nearly two-month delay, the 2020 Carlisle Ford presented by Meguiar’s took over the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds July 31-August 2. The event, while slightly modified from its standard format, still welcomed droves of enthusiasts and thousands of cars to the National Parts Depot Showfield. Without a doubt, those onsite in 2020 had a great time!
People come to Carlisle and this event for a variety of reasons. Some come to buy or sell within the expansive automotive flea market and midway, others came to buy or sell within the car corral, even more came to show or see the cars and some even came to take part in onsite activities. Regardless of why they came, they all made a point to visit with Ford to check out their new products showcase. For 2020, Ford offered attendees a glimpse into the future with a pair of 2021 MACH 1 Mustangs as well as the 2021 F-150 truck. Further, their display hosted a Raptor simulator, heritage collection Cobras, a few modern GTs and more. Ford even took their new MACH-1 to the stage and hosted walkarounds on it, sharing info about their latest build with the audience.
Speaking of the GT, Ford’s Supercar helped draw show goers closer to the special displays with dozens of them in and around Building T, including a 1966 GT40. Other highlight features focused on the Starliner, Maverick, Grabbers, Thunderbirds and a Euro Ford Garage where the Capri and Merkur stood front and center. The GT’s didn’t just show, they were in motion too. Friday saw a half a dozen or so parade around the grounds, while Saturday hosted open track time where a few of them made some laps to the delight of those looking on.
The track was another hotspot destination throughout the weekend as Gateway Mustang hosted open autocross runs on Friday and Saturday, car owners participated in a multi-round rolling exhaust contest Friday and Saturday and on Friday night, nearly 20 competitors took to the track for the annual real street shoot out. Winners for exhaust and real street were Jeremy Sperlein and Don Slevia respectively. There were other winners too at Carlisle. Focus Rising was named largest car club in attendance and John Clor, Ford Performance Enthusiast Communications, named the Beltway Mustang Club as the coolest club.
Speed, performance, history and the overall elegance of the Ford brand were popular themes of the weekend. Most importantly, while the event and select activities were slightly augmented in 2020 due to world events, it still delivered on its position as being the largest all-Ford themed car show of its type. All the fun culminated with an hour’s-long awards parade on Sunday in front of the stage.
While 2020 has wrapped, 2021 will be here in less than one year. The 2021 event takes place June 4-6 at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds and plans to feature the 50th Anniversary of the Pinto, a 1971-73 Mustang Celebration, Holman Moody & Stroppe reunions and a Comic Car Con display.
Learn all about the Carlisle Ford Nationals, review event photos, check out the winner’s list, take the post-event survey and make plans for next year online now at www.CarlisleEvents.com.
Corvettes at Carlisle presented by Top Flight Automotive is rapidly approaching and while themes/displays were set well in advance, the cars that a …
Corvettes at Carlisle presented by Top Flight Automotive is rapidly approaching and while themes/displays were set well in advance, the cars that are part of them are starting to come together. From August 27-30 Corvette lovers flocking to the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds can enjoy some of the best of the best from the popular Bloomington Gold event as part of the annual Chip’s Choice display. The display, named in honor of the late Chip Miller and historically selected by his son Lance since Chip’s passing, is an all-star display with an ever-evolving theme. This year, the theme is the Best of Bloomington Gold and has been selected by their team.
Benchmark® Award Winners lace this display with each car carrying their own impressive resume for all to see within Building T during event weekend. 10 cars, eight owners – decades of history. Seeing is believing, but in the meanwhile, here’s a little bit about each car confirmed to date direct from their owners*.
1961 Corvette Convertible 283/270 HP RPO468
Owned by: John Keane, Gwynedd Valley PA
Benchmark® Award – 2017
Passing of Time - Born: November 1960: My present owner (who is my second owner) and I teamed up in August of 1961. We spent many happy times at the beach, at the tracks and in the mountains. One cold wintry Christmas Eve, even though I was dressed with studded snow tires, we had to be rescued by a local fire department. After 44 years of quiet time in my owner's garage, we decided it was time for a wake-up call. I still maintain over 98% of all my original parts! However, it took some dedicated prep work to bring me back to my present status. Once again meshing gears and spinning my wheels! I am excited to be part of the 2020 Chip's Choice, honoring Bloomington Gold Benchmark® Corvettes, and very proud to display and share my highlights, aging scars and fun times! What a ride it has been!
My honors include: Bloomington Gold SURVIVOR®, Gold and Benchmark®. NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence and 5-Star Bowtie (One of four C1's to receive both awards.) MCACN (Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals) Vintage Certified to the level of "Legend".
1964 Corvette Sport Coupe 327/375 HP L84
Owned by: Christian and Cynthia Meyer, Lafayette IN
Benchmark® Award - 2014
When he was 19 years old, the original owner (Louis) engaged in some convincing discussion, mostly with his mother, and his parents purchased him a new 64 fuel-injected Corvette (we should all be so lucky). Louis polished it often and only took it out for drives on nice days, until fourteen (14) years later when he moved to a rural location with a dirt road. He couldn’t endure the thought of driving the car on a dirt road, so he reluctantly sold it. With the assistance of a few subsequent like-minded owners, the car was preserved in its current condition.
1966 Corvette Convertible 427/425 HP L72
Owned by: Linda Strohm-Dunlap, Palatine IL
Benchmark® Award - 1991
My late husband, Carl Strohm, purchased this original, unrestored 1966 Corvette 427/425 L79 in 1980 from its original owner.
In 1991, the car was invited to be displayed at the Bloomington Gold Special Collection, where it also received Gold Certification, SURVIVOR® and Benchmark® awards. In 2016, the Corvette returned to Bloomington Gold for the 1966-2016 50th Anniversary display. Additional awards include the NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence and 5-Star Bowtie. NCRS has used this car on several occasions as an example of an original car for their judges' training seminars.
1967 Corvette Convertible 427/400 HP L68
Owned by: Larry Sachs, Scarsdale NY
Benchmark® Award - 2016
This 1967 Maroon / Black Vinyl interior 427/400hp is optioned with speedminder, shoulder harness, transistor ignition, factory side exhaust and a 370 rear axle. The car was purchased in November 1966 by Thomas Bleauskas, Tobyhana PA., from Norton Chevrolet in Philadelphia. After a long ownership , Bleauskas sold the car to the late Dana Pope, a very well known, astute, respected local Corvette enthusiast. After enjoying the car for a few years, Pope sold the car to Peter Borchert of Buckeye, AZ. During Peter’s ownership, from the late 90’s, he bravely and neatly removed the original gas tank sticker! After a few years of ownership, Mr. Borchert contacted me 15 years ago and I purchased the car from him. At that point, the car showed 31,000 original miles Since then I have driven this original unrestored car 4,000 miles.
The car had received numerous NCRS Top Flight awards through the years and I got an NCRS Too Flight award also. I then also decided to achieve the coveted Bloomington Gold Benchmark® Award and was awarded this wonderful banner of achievement 4 years ago. I hope you enjoyed reading about my treasured Corvette's history today!
1968 Corvette Coupe 327/350 HP L79
Owned by: Thomas Elias Sugar, Wantagh NY
Benchmark® Award - 2019
My SURVIVOR® (They are only original once!) is a 1968 Corvette delivered to Eugene Rambler at Jay Chevrolet in Haddonfield, NJ, on July 31st, 1968. Rally Red with Black Leather interior, it is powered by the venerable 327/350 HP L79 through the M20 4-speed transmission, 3.55 Positraction Rear Axle, and Off-road Exhaust. Notably optioned, including Rear Window Defroster, Speed Warning Indicator and Full Transistor Ignition, and wrestled (I bought the car in 15 seconds!) from the personal collection of Kevin Mackay. This four owner, highly original all lacquer coupe’s time capsule condition belies its 55,000 Northeast miles. The Corvette still rides on OEM PT6 F70-15 Goodyear red striped tires and proudly sports a set of stunning ‘68 only PO1 Full Wheel Covers. During the past year, and within a whirlwind three month span, (which has to be a record) the Corvette received an NCRS Top Flight, the MCACN Concours Gold and Triple Diamond, and Bloomington SURVIVOR®, Gold Certificate and Benchmark® awards!
1971 Corvette Coupe 454/425 HP LS6
Owned by: Linda Strohm-Dunlap, Palatine IL
Benchmark® Award – 2000
We purchased this amazing Corvette in 1973. Despite the gas price war and big block Corvettes depreciating, my husband just had to have this car as soon as he heard the reverberating exhaust. He knew the LS6 engine was very special but didn't really know how rare. (Only 188 from a total production of 21,801.)
In 2000 the Corvette was invited to the Bloomington Gold Special Collection, where it received Gold Certification, SURVIVOR® and the Benchmark® awards. The Corvette also earned NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence and 5-Star Bowtie awards. The LS6 was featured on the cover of the Vette Vues Fact Book 1968-72 Corvettes and in Corvette, The Legend Lives On 1968-86
1972 Corvette Convertible 350/200 HP L48
Owned by: Christian & Cynthia Meyer, Lafayette IN
Benchmark® Award – 2012
The original owner (Anne) met Elliott Marantette “Pete” Estes, then president of the Chevrolet division of GM, during a reception in 1971. Anne told Mr. Estes of her dream to someday own a Corvette. The following week, a loaner Corvette appeared at Anne’s home with instructions to enjoy it for a month, courtesy of Mr. Estes. When Anne returned the loaner Corvette, she indicated her interest in ordering a new Corvette, but only if it was painted black at the factory. The story is unclear as to how Mr. Estes was involved in the process of procuring the only documented factory black Corvette in 1972, but Anne got her wish.
1972 Corvette Convertible 350/200 HP L48
Owned by: Steve & Wendy Burns, Clarkston MI
Benchmark® Award - 2018
This 1972 Corvette was delivered new at Lloyd Bridges Chevrolet in Chelsea, Michigan on July 28th, 1972 finished in Targa blue paint, black vinyl interior, and a black top. Power comes from the base L48 engine backed by the M20 4-speed transmission. Options include a vinyl hardtop, power brakes, AM/FM stereo, and tilt/telescopic steering column.
This 5-owner car remains largely unrestored and shows just over 31,000 miles. It retains nearly all of its original paint, interior, top, and chassis components.
To date, the car has claimed some of the top awards in the Corvette hobby. After a Bloomington SURVIVOR® award in 1992 it claimed SURVIVOR®, Gold, and Benchmark® honors in 2018 and participated in the 2019 Gold Collection. Other recent awards include NCRS Top Flight and 4-Star Bowtie, plus MCACN Concourse Gold and Triple Diamond. Its entire judging career has been published in CorvetteBlogger.com’s popular “On the Campaign Trail” series.
1978 Corvette Indy 500 Pace Car 350/220 HP L82
Owned by: David Goss, Terre Haute IN
Benchmark® Award - 2018
1978 marked the first year for the Chevrolet Corvette to pace the Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet announced they were going to build only 500 Pace car replicas. Rumors of this limited production and media attention resulted in many buyers paying above list price. Chevrolet revised production numbers to 6502. This allowed one for every dealer in the U.S. and Canada and a group of track cars.
Pace Car #2487 was one of only 220 four speed cars and was equipped with the higher horsepower L82 engine. The car was sold new at Burns Chevrolet in Idaho and has under 1900 original miles. The car has been awarded Bloomington Gold Benchmark®, NCRS 5 Star Bowtie, and MCACN Triple Diamond.
1990 Corvette ZR1 5.7L 350/380 HP LT5
Owned by: Rick Hendrick, Charlotte NC
Benchmark® Award - 2019
The ZR-1 Corvette was the performance icon of the ‘90s, with the high-tech muscle to back up its super-car reputation. This 1990 Corvette ZR-1 was the first production car released to the public and was presented to Rick Hendrick by Jim Perkins, General Manager of Chevrolet, at the Bowling Green Assembly plant.
This historic Corvette was bestowed with Bloomington Gold 7 Generations honors as well as being a 2012 Great Hall Inductee. This beautiful and rare C4 has been well-preserved throughout the years helping it to earn its Bloomington Gold Benchmark® Certification in 2019. The ZR-1 featured a three-inch wider rear track, necessitated by its oversize 315/35-17 rear tires. Under the hood and exclusive to the ZR-1 is the LT5 engine, jointly developed with Lotus and built by Mercury Marine the aluminum engine was capable of producing 380 horsepower. The ZR-1 set new benchmark® levels of performance for Corvette.
*Please note that while 10 cars have been confirmed via eight owners, due to world events, the display may change without notice. If there’s a specific car you’re looking to see and traveling long distances, consider calling 717-243-7855 in advance to confirm its placement.
Carlisle Events is COVID-19 compliant. Review implemented Health Safety Measures and Advance Arrival FAQs plus great show details online now at www.CarlisleEvents.com.
TV hosts, TV cars, industry legends and throngs of cars/enthusiasts came to Carlisle, Pennsylvania for the annual Carlisle Chrysler Nationals car s …
TV hosts, TV cars, industry legends and throngs of cars/enthusiasts came to Carlisle, Pennsylvania for the annual Carlisle Chrysler Nationals car show. From July 10-12 the grounds featured decades of history, all in once place. In addition, there was parts shopping, special displays and more as Chrysler weekend became THE first big car show in the country for most attendees.
Things officially got up and running Thursday evening, July 9 as the Mopar Rebellion Car Club hosted its annual kick-off party at the neighboring Carlisle Expo Center. Here, over 400 cars cruised in and hundreds more mingled as music played in the background and the smell of barbeque on the grill provided the flavor of the evening. As the sun set on the night, it ushered in the event itself, Friday, Saturday and even Sunday at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds.
With gates opening at 7 a.m. Friday morning, excitement was such that cars and enthusiasts rolled in non-stop until mid-day as they found their spot on the grounds to park and enjoy the event! Once there, the special displays all around kept show-goers snapping photos and turning heads all day long. Displays included ones dedicated to 50 years of the following: Superbird, Challenger, Duster, Pro Stock and 1970 Charger, while also recognizing 25 ears of the Neon. There was even a Survivor tent, where original/unrestored beauties sat two deep, amazing all those who passed by.
As Friday transitioned to Saturday, sunny skies and beautiful weather remained, as did the enthusiasm from everyone at Carlisle. There was no shortage of special guests either. Anchored by Garage Squad and All Girls Garage star Cristy Lee, the TV experts went from “as seen on TV” to “as seen at Carlisle.” Lee was joined by Dave Rea, Butch Leal, the Golden Commandos, Herb McCandless, Joe Pappas, Ted Spehar and more. Each spent time signing autographs, posing for photos and talking shop. While most car owners would say their cars are the stars, there were two cars that stood out; a pair of Superbirds in Building T. One was owned by NASCAR legend Richard Petty, the other was famously occupied by Jerry Seinfeld and Will Ferrell for the former’s program, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”
Another hot draw for guests, both spectator and show car owners alike, was the Hellcat thrill rides from Dodge. While the ride only lasts about 30 seconds, it’s the ride of a lifetime for many in a stock Hellcat Charger or Challenger. Piloted by professional drivers from Dodge, the track at Carlisle was going non-stop all weekend, leaving guests wanting more!
A few nice added touches were mixed in with all the fun on Saturday, including a mid-morning wedding and a ‘70s themed car and costume parade around the grounds. Finally, the fun of the parade culminated with the car community recognizing a guest battling cancer with a cash donation, autographed Richard Petty cowboy hat and a special message from Richard Petty himself.
While 2020 is a wrap, the 2021 event is already taking shape. Planned displays include 50 years of the Demon and Old Skool paint jobs just to name a few. If you can’t wait until July 9-11, 2021…Carlisle Events has an early Mopar option for you in sunny Lakeland, Florida as part of Winter AutoFest. This event runs February 19-21 and features a Mopar Fun Field, complete with club awards and participant voting for awards. Learn all about each event online and check out the 2020 winner’s list now at www.CarlisleEvents.com.
Book online or call (800) 216-1876