The 2018 edition of Corvettes at Carlisle is now in our rear-view mirror (it ran from Aug 25-28), and I must say, it was an absolute blast to be there. It was my first time making the pilgrimage to the event, and I had high expectations for the weekend… and every one of them were met!
For those of you who don’t know, Corvettes at Carlisle is one of the largest Corvette shows in the entire world, with more than 5,000 Corvettes on display, 100’s of cars on sale, and vendors and parts galore – held at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds.
Anyways, the atmosphere for the 4-day Corvette love fest was absolutely perfect; the weather was sitting comfortably in the mid-80’s and sunny each day, the Vette owners and vendors were all wonderful, and the spectators were super-appreciative. This made for the perfect backdrop to view our favorite American sports car in all its glory. And never in my entire life did I ever see so many beautiful cars in one place!
Man, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of Corvettes – in all the different models, colors, styles, and modifications – it was an absolute overload of my senses! No matter in which direction I looked, there were 100’s of beautiful Corvettes staring back at me. I almost didn’t know where to start!
Luckily for me, the Corvette Club I joined was represented with a tent in the Fun Field right near the entrance gate (Gate 3), so when I arrived at the event on early Friday afternoon, I headed over that way first, after parking my car near the NCC judging area.
That 200 yard walk must have taken me nearly 45 minutes due to all of the car eye-candy I simply had to have a look at on the way… and everyone who happened to be showing off their cars were just so friendly and kind – and were interested in talking about their cars! Shoot, I must have taken 45 photos just in those first 45 minutes. Crazy.
After finally finding the Westchester Corvette Club tent and getting my bearings, I spend the rest of the day wandering around, taking even more photos, eating a delicious “smokey” (a smoked sausage smothered in peppers, onions, and sauerkraut) and drinking some lovely craft beers.
After the show wound down on Friday evening, my Corvette club headed over to the Adam’s Polishes Pizza Party, where Adam personally served me a beer and his team served me pizza, chicken parm, and other Italian delights. He and his team could not have been more gracious… shoot, they rented out multiple houses just outside the fairgrounds, brought in 100+ pizzas and cases upon cases of beer just to thank people for enjoying his products!
Phenomenal advertising strategy, if you ask me.
Finally, after a long day in the sun, I headed back to my hotel – the Quality Inn – for some much needed sleep. FYI – the Quality Inn didn’t offer much in the way of quality, but their parking lot sure was full of beautiful Corvettes… so at least they had THAT going for it.
I headed back to the fairgrounds bright and early on Saturday morning to get a good spot by my club’s tent; the show “officially” opened at 9:00am, but I was there and had my car shined up by 6:45am! But… I did get myself a perfect spot just a few car lengths down from our tent where I set up a little table advertising my blog (thanks to all of you who signed up for my newsletter!)… so far so good! Bought myself a large coffee at Subway at the fairgrounds and was up and running around.
I must have taken 300+ pictures on Saturday, but unlike Friday where I got burnt out in the sun, this time I spent a lot more time in the tent just hanging out with the club members and staying cool in the shade. Lucky I did, too… because towards the end of the day I went over to my car to open the windows and let it cool down a bit, I found out that my rear passenger tire was FLAT and had a big ol’ screw stuck deep between the treads.
I was super lucky to find a place that would plug the tire at 5:00pm on a Saturday evening, because when I started calling tire shops in the area, NO ONE was open. But lady luck was on my side, because when I was out driving to a Walmart Tire Center, I found a Firestone shop who was just about to close for the evening – and they were fixing a flat for another Corvette owner who got a screw in it at the fairgrounds.
Anyways, got to talking with that other unfortunate Vette owner and we had a great chat for about 20 minutes. Found out that we both grew up in the same area and married women who were also from the same area. Small world!
Crisis averted with a fresh tire plug, I met my Corvette Club for dinner at Di’Vincis – a local Italian joint a few miles from the hotel for a relaxing dinner – and then back to the Quality Inn for another night’s sleep, as I was leaving Carlisle for home at about 7:00am on Sunday morning.
Woke up on Sunday morning, hopped in my car, turned it on… and was alerted to YET ANOTHER FLAT TIRE. This time on the driver-side rear tire. My perfect luck from Saturday night just took a turn for the worse. And there were NO tire shops open at 7:00am on a Sunday morning, so I crossed my fingers, over-inflated my tire and rode the 220 miles home with my fingers crossed. But I made it home with no mishaps, and outside of two flat tires, some great memories.
Thanks to everyone who I met down in Carlisle – this certainly won’t be my last visit!