Contributed to Tara Bush
Januarys in Florida could be a crap shoot; hot or freezing. I attended the NCRS National Corvette show when it was at Old Town in 2003 to have my 58’s top installed by Al Knoch and nearly froze to death. I felt bad for the interior guys that traveled all the way here to the sunshine state only to be greeted by winter. Well, this year Mother Nature did not disappoint those who attended, we were welcomed with blue skies and high 70 temps. The new location at Lakeland’s Linder Airport Sun ‘n Fun facility had more than ample room to hold the National event plus an open show, hosted by the Central Florida Street Rod Association.
On this particular day, knowing how I-4 traffic can be and that my goal of hitting 4 shows in one day, I opted for the speed, ease and comfort of the new Challenger. After driving and driving way out in the country, I felt for certain that I would never come across an airfield…then there is was. The happy welcome crew standing beside their new orange Camaro told me I was in the correct spot. A few turns later the road opened up to a giant field full of vendors; various classic and modern cars and trucks to the right and the Corvettes inside the hanger to the left.
Back in the Old Town days, from my recollection, there were a few hundred Corvettes on display, so to my dismay, the attendance seemed to be quite a bit smaller here. All of the Corvettes that were to be judged on a National competition scale were housed under cover in the airplane hanger, which was great in case the weather turned ugly. I am not sure how many people it takes to judge one Corvette, but by my count, about 12. See for yourself.
Of course all of the Corvettes were perfect, however some stood out more than others. This burple (that’s a fancy term for blueish purple) one was seriously customized to the point that I couldn’t identify much of it. It was beautifully constructed, however it is a love or hate thing with car people when you go to such an extreme. Now my favorite and surely the most appreciated one, is this red 1967 L88 Corvette coupe. The L88 is the big block 427 engine with a whopping 560 hp backed by a M22 rock crusher tranny and 4:56 rearend gears. Talk about a great investment, $6245 in 1967… $3.8 million in 2014, if you didn’t manage to wrap it around a tree. One of twenty made.
After putting my tongue back in my mouth we headed out to the rest of the show. Shelly found a cute little turquoise that she might be able to afford, however I am not sure that she can fit those legs in it. The field had several rows of classics, rods and a few moderns, then past the DJ booth was a bunch more Corvettes that chose not be to professionally judged. There were some stunningly nice custom classic and I took a few pictures, in detail, to highlight them. Hopefully the event grows in attendance at their new location because the staff and facilities did a great job at hosting the car show.