The 2016 Mid America Motorworks Corvette Funfest was one hellava party! Now in it’s 23rd year, it’s better than ever. Not just a mere car show, it’s a multi-media extravaganza with Corvettes, music, contests, and curated displays that educate and enlighten.
Grand Poobah Mike Yager knows how to throw a party. His top notch team expertly pulled off organizing this big event, which is no small undertaking.
They say you can measure a man by his family and by all accounts, the Yager clan is a close knit, cohesive unit with everyone pitching in to run the business and join in on the fun.
Both the C4 and the C5 were featured this year as they both celebrate their 20th anniversaries and there was a big turnout of cars. The C4 Grand Sport was highlighted and if you’re a fan, it was a sight to see dozens of Admiral Blue, special edition C4s lined up in a row.
We were asked to participate as a celebrity judge and it was a tough call, because most of the Corvettes there–with few exceptions–were in excellent condition.
We ultimately chose Andrew Biesemeier’s ’96 Grand Sport coupe as it was so clean and nice. With a slight lowering and perfect stance, it was in remarkable condition with 41,000 miles on the clock.
Andrew hails from North Carolina and was one of four Grand Sports to be featured prominently on a hill smack dab in the middle of the show, so our celebrity pick was the icing on the cake for big Andrew. Congratulations from Corvette Online.
The weather remained fussy, but that didn’t dampen the party. Dennis DeYoung was scheduled to play at 8:30 on Saturday night at Mid America Motorwork’s fantastic on-site concert venue. We all crossed our fingers hoping the weather would play nice.
We loved the Install dome as it’s a great way to see the products and services that Mid America Motorworks offers. Seat covers, carpet, trim, mechanical, badges, logos…Basically any part for any generation of Corvette is available. With the Install Dome, you get a tactile feel for the products that no catalog can reproduce.
By late afternoon the sky cleared and though it left a muddy spot here and there, the night was looking to be relatively cool, clear and balmy for the concert.
If you dont know who Dennis DeYoung is, google “Styx.” He’s written some of the most iconic rock songs of the Seventies and early Eighties. He’s been relatively incognito over the years so we really anticipated a chance to catch up with him and hear his back catalog of mega-hits.
After a really nice dinner and desert provided by Mid America, the sun began to set and the crowd slowly trickled into the venue. The mood was relaxed and everyone was enjoying themselves.
Then Mike Yager took the stage and began a banter welcoming folks and priming the crowd for show.
With out any warning, Mike’s son Blake and his girlfriend Tabbi came out following an ordained family member and proceeded to take their wedding vows in front of the crowd! We then witnessed the couple pronounced man and wife. It was really a special moment. Congratulations Blake and Tabbi!
Dennis DeYoung took the stage shortly after 8:30pm and knocked it out the park. Say what you want about Styx/DeYoung, but his band was ferocious and they rocked it hard. His young sidemen featured two very talented guitarists that shredded on all the solos while hitting the vocal harmonies spot on.
The other guys that tour casinos as “Styx” were part of the original band, but DeYoung wrote the lion’s share of the music and sang lead as well, so it was as close to seeing the “real” Styx as we’re likely to see.
By Sunday the crowds had thinned and now was the perfect time to see the remaining cars minus the throngs. Some observations came to the fore after four days of this Corvette Lollapalooza:
- By far, the majority of Corvettes at Funfest were late model examples. The state of the late model ‘Vette can be broken down into two categories and both were well represented at 2016 Funfest.
- The first group are the show and shine guys. These folks might add a cold air intake, custom wheels or some exterior mods, but mostly just like the car as it rolled off the factory floor. They like waxing and buffing their cars with microfiber towels as well. These guys (and their wives,) were present and accounted for with a strong showing.
- The second group are the performance guys who like to take Corvette performance to the next level. These are the supercharger, restomod guys and we love seeing the fruits of labor. These ‘Vettes become the canvas for their automotive hopes and dreams. Attending Funfest is a great way to see the state of the art of Corvette modding.
- Corvette car shows are the great equalizer. Millionaires, blue collar guys, black, white, young and old, doesn’t matter. Our mutual love of the Corvette bonds us together and we’re friendly and willing to chat and get to know each other. The world needs more of this.
- The Corvette demographic remains firmly in the 50 and better club. As we’ve said before, there ain’t nothing wrong with that. The crowd at Funfest was actually all over the board age wise, but healthy, happy and fit older folks are the order of the day. They aren’t sliding into the golden years age in a rocking chair, they’re sliding into a corner in a new Z06.
There winner of the Funfest 2016 Corvette raffle is Brian Voss, who won his choice of a Corvette, $65,000 in cash, or a “Build Your Own” Corvette with an allowance to build the model of up to $75,000. Wow.
Last but not least, we wanted to thank Mid America Motorworks gang, Mike Yager and the Yager family and everybody involved in the show. We’ll see you next year!