Contributed by Russ Muller Photography
On October 7th, 2016 Hurricane Matthew paid a visit to Florida. Due to the projected path and intensity of the storm, Eckler’s 30th Corvette Reunion (which was scheduled for October 8th, 2016) had to be rescheduled. Thankfully, Matthew only brushed the coastline and did not do much damage in the area. Fortunately for Corvette owners and Corvette lovers, the reunion was held on January 21st, 2017 and Mother Nature rewarded everyone with a beautiful day for a car show…
If you are not familiar with the name Eckler’s, let me tell you just a little bit about them. In 1972, Ralph Eckler published his first catalog of fiberglass and Corvette body parts. In 1973, they moved to Titusville, FL where they are still located to this day. Throughout the ‘70’s, ‘80’s and ‘90’s Eckler’s became the name synonymous with Corvette restoration and customization. (I still remember seeing an Eckler’s Corvette station wagon when I was a kid and thinking it was as cool as could be). In the early 2000’s, Eckler’s expanded and became a leading name in restoration parts for classic Chevy’s and, more recently, Ford products as well.
The 30th Corvette Reunion was held at Eckler’s new warehouse facility in Titusville, and the Cape Kennedy Corvette Club (CKCC) was the host club for the event. The parking lot had room for 200 cars, and every space was reserved. Dave ‘Taz’ Smith of Rockin’ the Lot with Taz Mobile DJ Services was the event DJ, and he kept the lot rockin’ with a great set of music ranging from classic and modern rock to modern country. There was a 50/50 drawing, with proceeds benefiting the Brevard Sheriff’s office, several Corvette-related vendors were on site, and the local Boy Scout troop was there selling hamburgers and hot dogs. This was definitely a community-oriented event, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Eckler’s has been a part of the Titusville community for over 40 years. Oh yeah, there was trophies too, lots of them…
As I mentioned, all 200 parking spots were reserved for pre-registered Corvettes. There was at least 175 cars filling those spots, an impressive turnout for an event that had been rescheduled. There were also show quality Corvettes parked in the spectator parking area, as well as up and down Grissom Parkway that couldn’t get in to the show. CKCC did a great job of organizing the parking by grouping each of the 7 different Corvette generations together. I think the best way to appreciate that is with a few photos:
It’s easy to see that the newest Corvettes had the strongest attendance, but I think that says a lot about the commitment Eckler’s has to their customers, and their customers have to them. It would have been easy to remain a “classic Corvette” restoration parts company, but they chose to supply parts for modern Corvettes as well. I admit that I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see a Corvette station wagon, but there was a ’75 Eckler’s hatchback conversion Corvette, complete with a one piece tilt nose. There were enough red Corvettes to make even the most die-hard Prince fan happy, and every special anniversary edition was there. Overall, I don’t think any Corvette enthusiast could walk away disappointed. Simply put, this was a great Corvette show.
This was the first Corvette Reunion I attended, and I am hoping that it will become an annual event once again. The spectator turnout was strong, and the variety and quality of the Corvettes was outstanding. If you have a Corvette and would like to see Eckler’s hold another reunion, let them know. Visit www.ecklerscorvette.com and ask them when the 31st Eckler’s Corvette Reunion is going to be held. If you’d like to see more photos from the event, please stop by and check out Russ Muller Photography on Facebook or Instagram.