For many Corvette owners and enthusiasts, the dog days of summer bring more than cooking out, hanging around the pool, snow cones, and ice cream. They bring Corvettes at Carlisle – the weekend where Corvette fans get to hang out with thousands of their closest friends and gorge themselves on everything Corvette! This year, Corvettes at Carlisle expands to four days. Yes, from August 25 through August 28, fiberglass fanatics will get an extra day to browse through car corrals, the vendor midway, exhibits, and the swap meet before coming home to face the realities of summer’s end and a return to work or school.
Corvettes a natural for Carlisle Events
Chip Miller and Bill Miller (no relation) began Carlisle Events after being asked to leave an antique car event because Chip’s 1954 Corvette wasn’t old enough to participate. After the shock of being kicked out of an antique car show wore off, they put their heads together and came up with a plan for a car event for post-WW II cars. Their shows began in 1974 and have been going strong ever since. Over the years, Chip and Bill expanded their operation to include several events throughout the year.
Chip was very active in the Corvette community, and his knowledge of the cars and the people, coupled with his impeccable reputation, made the first Corvettes at Carlisle in 1982 a natural success. The show has continued to thrive and is now billed as the “largest and most fun-filled Corvette event in the world.”
Chip’s untimely death in 2004 from a very rare disorder, amyloidosis, took the wind out of the sails of not only his family and friends, but the entire automotive community. His son Lance stepped up, and along with the Carlisle Events officers and staff, has kept the company and the shows moving forward.
What’s new for 2016?
Although Corvettes at Carlisle is now 34 years old, it continues to grow and adapt to keep the regulars coming back year after year. Last year Carlisle drew over 5,000 Corvettes and over 50,000 guests for the three-day event. Here’s what’s new for 2016:
New C7 Coupe raffle – Hosted by the Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation (CMAF) and the Lancaster County Corvette Club, the raffle will be limited to 1000 tickets for sale at $100 each. The winner will be selected on Saturday, August 27 and announced at the fairgrounds and at the Downtown Corvette Parade and Street Party in downtown Carlisle. Proceeds will benefit the CMAF and the Clare House.
1996 Grand Sport Reunion – It’s hard to believe, but the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport is now 20 years old. The Grand Sports will have their own separate parking area. A parking area where all of the Corvettes have identical paint schemes of Admiral Blue with a wide white center stripe and two red hash marks on the left front fender will be quite a sight.
Reserved Fun Field parking – The Fun Field is the parking area inside the Fairgrounds. the past, some areas were reserved for special groups or clubs, but individual parking was on a first come, first served basis. At the height of the day’s activities, parking could sometimes be inconvenient. This year, a limited amount of Fun Field spaces are being sold for individual use. Please note – you must call the Carlisle Events office to secure your space.
Chip’s Choice theme – Each year a different theme is chosen for Chip’s Choice, and extraordinary cars are selected that are the best of that theme. This year’s theme will pay tribute to the cars of John Greenwood and Dick Guldstrand, two legendary Corvette racers who recently passed away.
Continuing features and special guests
As in past years, 2016 will have a vendor’s midway where you can check out all of the latest products for your Corvette, with an area set aside for on-site installation. Over 60 vendors will be available. If you’re looking for a special part for your vintage Corvette, come early and spend time browsing through the extensive swap meet area. You never know what you might find.
Corvettes at Carlisle will continue their 50th birthday celebrations, this year honoring the 1966 Corvette. Other shows include a special NCRS display of award-winning Corvettes, and car club displays. Don’t forget the Downtown Corvette Parade and Street Party on Saturday evening with live entertainment at the Street Party. About 450 selected Corvettes will parade downtown from the fairgrounds and park on the main street in downtown Carlisle for the party.
This year’s special guests include GM designer Jerry Palmer, former Corvette plant manager Will Cooksey, and expert Corvette technician Paul Koerner giving his hands-on seminars, as well as Team Chevrolet with Corvette engineers and project specialists.
Please consult the Corvettes at Carlisle website for other events and details. A word to the wise – plan ahead by reviewing the site map before you go. There is much to see and do, and it’s spread out over a pretty big area, so making a few plans ahead of time could save you steps and time in getting from one place to the next. Fun Field parking, which includes the whole fairgrounds, is restricted to Corvettes ONLY. If you don’t have a Corvette, you will have to use one of the off-site parking areas.
For Corvette lovers, it doesn’t get much better than Corvettes at Carlisle.
A special ‘Thank you’ goes out to Mike Furman, National Corvette Specialist at Criswell Corvette in Gaithersburg, Maryland for letting us use his photos from 2015’s Corvettes at Carlisle.
Corvettes at Carlisle http://www.carlisleevents.com/carlisle-events/corvettes-at-carlisle/
Mike Furman/Criswell Corvette http://www.criswellcorvette.com/mike-furman
Photos by: Mike Furman, CorvetteFurman.com