Special thanks to author/photographer Steve Burns and CorvetteBlogger.com for providing the following coverage. – Paul Huizenga
The 2012 version of the Bloomington Gold Corvette Show took place last weekend in St. Charles, Illinois. Chamber of Commerce weather, a fantastic setting, and spectacular cars all combined to produce yet another memorable late-June celebration of Corvettes.
The 4 day show offers numerous events for attendees. Thursday is largely for vendor and swap meet setup, the Cubic Knowledge seminars, and judged vehicle check-in. Crowds were pretty light most all day on Thursday.
Friday hosts one of the main events of the weekend – Certification judging. The field was packed with candidates vying for coveted Gold Certification including over 30 cars alone in the 1967 class. The judging field was full of legendary Corvettes like a 1957 airbox fuelie, a 1963 big tank Z06, a 1971 ZR2, and a 1972 ZR1 with just 300 miles on it. This was the first Bloomington Gold to feature the new engine stamp pad judging guidelines announced earlier this year.
Adjacent to the judging field were tons of new Corvettes for sale by local dealers as well as a GM booth featuring new 2013 Corvettes. GM engineers were present there to answer questions anyone had regarding the new models.
Saturday was headlined by the Mecum Auction and Survivor and Benchmark judging out on the golf course. Due to some messy road construction in the area, the 20 mile Survivor road tour was eliminated this year. The top sale at the auction was a 1967 427/435 roadster at $115,000 while the highest no-sale went to an unrestored 1969 L88 coupe at $385,000.
The awards ceremony began mid-afternoon and the winners drove up to receive their accolades. Due to the large crowds, Saturday provides a great opportunity to just wander around the grounds and look at all of the great Corvettes in the club and general parking areas.
Open both Friday and Saturday, The Great Hall paid tribute to 10 people/groups and 10 Corvettes that have made major contributions to the Corvette hobby. This was one of the best collections of significant Corvettes assembled in a long time. Also, early Saturday evening the GoldTour departed for its annual jaunt through the Illinois countryside.
On Sunday the new Survivor Collector Car show was held. This show is strictly for unrestored cars and all makes and models are welcome and it was oddly refreshing to see some other makes after swimming in a sea of Corvettes for 3 days.
This was somewhat of a transitional year for Bloomington Gold. It was the final year in St. Charles after a decade-long run there prior to next year’s move to Champaign, Illinois. It was also the first show under the leadership of new owner Guy Larsen as well as the first use of the new engine judging standards. With a new generation of Corvette coming late next year, 2013 Bloomington event should be another top-notch event.