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Another Awesome Corvettes at Carlisle Event

Rob

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Some people may think that interest in the Corvette hobby may be waning, but based upon everything I saw at this year's Corvettes at Carlisle event, the Corvette hobby is alive and well!

At around noon time Saturday, Lance Miller and his staff received word that Corvette registrations for the event had nearly reached their record attendance in 1982. The place was PACKED! I can honestly say that walking around the fairgrounds, it's been a long time since I've seen that many Corvettes on the show field.

The weather was awesome each day with the exception of Friday where we saw some passing showers. However the sun was out full blast, temps in the 80s, and the humidity was low which was much appreciated!

As a guest VIP this year, I got to choose one Corvette out of the show field that I liked the most. This usually proves to be a difficult challenge for me because there are so many of them that catch my eye, however, I can only pick one. On Saturday, I chose a 1969 resto-mod Corvette with the most incredible candy apple red metallic paint job I've ever seen. It was like looking into a reflecting pool. I took a walk up the hill that overlooks the entire Fairground and this one Corvette jumped out at me in the sunlight down below. Unfortunately, my cell phone battery was dieing so I wasn't able to grab any pictures of it.

One of the highlights for me was getting a chance to see the 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray in all available colors. I also got a chance to sit in one of them, and let me tell you...I was totally impressed.

Back at the unveiling in January, we were not able to sit inside, but this weekend, everyone was climbing in and out of them. The quality of the interior, design and fit & finish were nothing short of amazing.

Several members of Corvette Engineering were present as was Corvette Chief Engineer, Tadge Juechter, and Corvette Product & Marketing Manager - Harlan Charles. Corvette Engineering held 15 minute seminars including questions and answers every hour on Friday and Saturday. The GM tent was packed all weekend and Corvette Engineering did an awesome job answering questions from the audience. Tadge Juechter and Harlan Charles also conducted a couple in-depth seminars on the 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray in front of the grandstand, discussing a lot of the technology that went into the C7 as well as how the car was conceived and engineered along the way.

The most common questions asked from the audience? "What about the Z06!?" "What about the ZR1!?" The definitive response? "We're here to discuss the Corvette coupe and convertible. We're not here to discuss future products."

Walking through the crowds, I can honestly say most people really liked the most controversial part of the new Stingray: the rear-end and tail lights. There were still a few nay-sayers, but overall, opinions were positive.

Below are some photos of a 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray I caught sitting in the middle of the show field:









Below is the 1963 "Asteroid" Corvette. The paint job is unbelievable!



From Corvette at Carlisle web site:

Special ordered new as a paint delete car by legendary speedboat racer Bob Nordskog, this '63 Corvette was delivered straight to the King of Custom cars George Barris of Barris Kustoms. The new C2 Corvette got a radical transformation and redesign from Barris. The car was given an extended nose cone that had headlights positioned behind the bladed grille, custom headers exiting behind the front wheels, removed the split window, filled in the rear tail panel and opened up the rear wheel wells to accommodate big wheels. The paint job was out of this world and was painted in a heavy metallic copper finish that would blind you in the sunlight. This helped give the car the name "Asteroid" since it looked like it was on fire and moving at 1000 mph sitting still!

The interior design was just as wild. It was finished in a pearl white Naughahyde complimented with copper accents to match the exterior paint. This Corvette was built with dual personalities and was as fierce at the car shows as it was racing down the quarter mile. It was powered by a 352 cubic inch motor with 13:1 compression and fed through six chrome Stromburg 97 carburetors. Everything under the hood was either painted gold metallic or chrome plated and was the topper for an already over-the-top car.

Overall, this year's Corvettes at Carlisle was another awesome event!
 

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catbert

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It was a great event. Now GM has to get the dog and pony show out to places that aren't already preprogrammed to love Vettes. It's going to take a concerted effort by the powers that be to capture buyers by doing the same kind of great job they do with current owners. I think Tadj and Harlan would be effective at winning buyers at a Corvette display at ALMS races, etc, but they won't get any new buyers sitting around at the Corvette Corral. Tadj, Charles, Fellows, O'Connell and others would be awesome at changing the Corvette image to attract a new, broader audience by mingling in the pits, paddock.
 
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Rob

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It was a great event. Now GM has to get the dog and pony show out to places that aren't already preprogrammed to love Vettes. It's going to take a concerted effort by the powers that be to capture buyers by doing the same kind of great job they do with current owners. I think Tadj and Harlan would be effective at winning buyers at a Corvette display at ALMS races, etc, but they won't get any new buyers sitting around at the Corvette Corral. Tadj, Charles, Fellows, O'Connell and others would be awesome at changing the Corvette image to attract a new, broader audience by mingling in the pits, paddock.

I totally agree.

In my opinion, Tadge Juechter and Harlan Charles are extremely personable and have an awesome ability to explain the engineering that went into the car in such a way that people that may not be huge Corvette enthusiasts, could become enthusiastic about the car when they learn about some of the technologies that went into it.

Example: The Aerogel (About Aerogels | Aerogel Technologies) used on the inside of the transmission tunnel to dramatically decrease interior cabin heat. If I'm not mistaken, Aerogel is used by NASA in astronaut suits. Also, another example is heat-activated "Smart Materials". Awesome technology with incredible potential for increased future automotive applications. We're also seeing greater use of carbon fiber composites. What's really awesome about all of this is that in the past, the use of carbon fiber composites in the automotive industry was only seen in $100,000+ Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. GM has developed manufacturing techniques to bring this high performance, light weight material to the Corvette without raising the price of the base car into the Stratosphere.

This is the kind of information that potential/future Corvette customers need to know about.

Heck, I already knew about the Aerogel, Carbon Fiber and heat-activated Smart Material applications in the C7...but listening to Tadge and Harlan talk about them again in front of the grandstands at Carlisle excited me about the C7 all over again.

We live in a tech-world. Most of us love high-tech...."stuff". The Corvette was always thought of as a crude, brash, "great in a straight line" hunk of Detroit iron with crappy interiors and barcaloungers for seats. Those days are over, and the Corvette has now become one hell of an incredibly refined, "balls to the wall" piece of automotive engineering.
 

catbert

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It appeared that GM called in as many cars from the Stingray captive fleet as they could. There were over a dozen parked randomly around the Fun Field, where people could get close, and
actually crawl in without fighting the crowds in the tent. That was a brilliant move by GM, that got the car out to places where spouses could see them and those with a more casual interest could get close and get excited. I spoke to a young engineer who worked on the interior, and he was able to answer a slew of obscure questions I wouldn't have asked in a larger venue. That young man was an awesome Corvette ambassador.
 

bill81vette

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I didn't see them scattered thru out the fun field...dam!
although the corvettes look great in the pictures,they don't do them justice.
They are an awesome looking piece of machinery in person!!!!!:thumb
 

GS Diva

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I also thought this years Corvettes at Carlisle was one of the best, if not THE best, that Alan and I have attended in 15 years. The attendance was way up, and the excitement was definitely in the air. The weather was perfect which only made the weekend even better. But it was really the C7 that generated all the excitement, and Rob was right...they were scattered all over. I sat in two of them and was overwhelmed by the interior. I had already decided that I loved the coupe from the time they introduced it, but seeing it in person was amazing and only confirmed my first impression was right on. I like everything about this revolutionary Corvette. Alan and I are even discussing buying one in 2015. We'll see, but I like to think we will!

Elaine
 

JJS

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I thought the engineers did an outstanding job starting with their very impressive drive of 14 Corvettes onto the field through gate 3 - that was an awesome site this past Friday morning.
As a lot of people have stated in the past, the car kind of grows on you the more you see it. I really loved the Crystal Red(?) Corvette with the two-tone interior, and the exhibitions the engineers put on were outstanding. They actually encouraged people to sit in the cars to get a first hand feel for them - they were great ambassadors for the C7 and they did a truly outstanding job in my opinion. I'm sure sales went through the roof this past Monday and Tuesday.
 
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I was there at Gate 3 when they all came in. My jaw dropped and just stared. Whomever saw this understood the awe when the C2's and C3's were introduced!

What a fantastic weekend that was!

I'm with Elaine this may have been the best Corvettes at Carlisle to date!

Chuck M
 

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