The always-entertaining Mike Yager, the founder and President of Mid America Motorworks and one of the most recognizable figures in the Corvette hobby, enjoyed a laugh with the crowd as the delivered the opening ceremonies for Corvette Funfest 2011 this morning on the ground here in Effingham.

Yager brought several prominent vehicles from the Mid America Motorworks Corvette collection out from his museum located here on the property out for display. Among them are the newly-acquired C5 Alpha and Beta Corvette's that were Chevrolet's original testbeds.

Also from the Yager collection and on display for all to see is this Cerv 1 Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle. The first of four vehicles produced by Chevrolet over a 35-year timeframe, this state-of-the-art 50's race car was designed with entry at the Indianapolis 500 in mind, but a ban on racing at the 500 by Chevrolet put an end to those aspirations. The car was originally powered by a 283-inch powerplant with an exotic Rochester fuel injection system, before it was later fitted with a 377 , a low profile injection setup, and wider tires in an effort to gain more speed. The most staggering fact about this car though? It's valued at $2.5 Million.

Unique stuffed animals are a common tie-in with the automotive hobby; something you've certainly seen if you've ever been to a car show.

This first-gen 'Vette has certainly seen better days. One of the cars on display in the Barn Find tent, this once-glorious machine is showing the signs of years spent in oscurity, with plenty of rust under the hood and an interior not for the faint of heart. The body, however, is in surprisingly good condition.

And so it begins. A handful of exhaust manufacturers are on hand performing installations in a massive tent here on the grounds, and as the swap to aftermarket exhaust concludes, the factory peices are tossed in a ceremonial pile that will multiply in size over the course of the weekend.

Hundreds of Corvette's have already rolled into Mid America Motorworks on this, the first day of Corvette Funfest 2011, with thousands more expected as the event gets into full swing this weekend.

Coats and blankets are the common theme today in Effigham, with temperatures in the high 50's this morning and only reaching the mid-60's this afternoon. (From L to R) Jean Newman, Tom Morgan, Bob Morse, and his wife Sandy - members of the Glass City Corvette Club from Toledo, Ohio - had their spot staked out early this morning and were braving the cold as things kicked into gear. The Glass City group has been in attendance at the Corvette Funfest for the last 16 years.


House within one of the brand new domes here at Mid America Motorworks is a one-stop shop for all things Corvette; from apparel to Corvette-themed accessories to seat covers, components, and everything in between.

Despite cool temperatures that greeted the Corvette faithful this morning, day one here at Funfest turned out to be an absolutely beautiful (and rather photogenic) day here in the midwest.