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Bloomington Gold's Return to Indy is Successful

Continuous Improvement at Indy: Bloomington Gold has its second successful event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Walt Thurn Jul 20, 2016
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The 2016 Bloomington Gold show was held for the second year at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. Speedway is located 6.2 miles west of the city of Indianapolis. The Indy track is a state-of-the-art racing facility that has a rich motorsports history. The Chevrolet brothers drove at Indy starting in 1911. Arthur Chevrolet competed in the inaugural “500” and brother Gaston won the event in 1920. Chevrolet first paced the “500” in 1948 and Corvette has done this important task 13 times. Indy has become a worldwide racing brand. After several moves in recent years Indy seems to be a perfect location for the historic Bloomington Gold Corvette show. Bloomington Gold USA owner Guy Larsen made the right decision when he moved this event to Indy.

After a year under their belt the Bloomington staff executed their 2016 plan effectively. Plenty of parking was provided for Corvette and non-Corvette owners. Large numbers of Indy and Bloomington staff were on hand to direct traffic. Each person entering Indy was given a nicely done event program with a large map inside. Bloomington’s main events are the Gold Collection, Gold Certification, Survivor and Benchmark judging and display areas. They were located near the Speedway’s eight-story pagoda. The structure could be seen from anywhere on the show grounds and made locating this event area simple. The three-day show started on Thursday and ended on Saturday. Crowds for all three days were very large and huge numbers of Corvettes filled the various parking lots. Besides the certification events, guests could take free rides or drive their own car in an all-day autocross for all three days. If you wanted to experience Corvette performance you could sign up for a ride in a Ron Fellows Performance Driving School, Spring Mountain C7 Corvette school car. The rides were held on the infield portion of Indy’s sports car track. Lines were long to take this thrill ride for all three days. The schedule also provided opportunities to drive your Corvette on the famous 2.5-mile rectangular Indy 500 track.

2016 Bloomington Gold Corvette Indianapolis 2/25

This year, Bloomington Gold celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Corvette. A large turnout of “Gold Year” 1966 Corvettes were displayed, including this Silver Pearl 425hp/427cid coupe. The Indianapolis Speedway pagoda can be seen in the background of the Bloomington Gold judging area.

2016 Bloomington Gold Sign 3/25

This inflatable Bloomington Gold sign welcomes Corvette owners to their exclusive parking area. Like bees that seek honey, Corvette owners flocked by the hundreds to attend this year’s Bloomington Gold event.

2016 Bloomington Indianapolis Motor Speedway 4/25

The expansive grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway provides plenty of room for parking, for sale lots (GoldMine), vendor and Corvette parts (Gold Market).

Bloomington Gold President Guy Larsen 5/25

Bloomington Gold President Guy Larsen (shown) and his hard working staff work long hours so Corvette guests have a memorable experience. From our vantage point it was a job well done!

As you can see, Bloomington Gold offers plenty of events to keep you busy, but it’s their Gold Certification heritage that remains strong for good reason. The Corvette is rapidly moving through its seventh generation of production. As time passes it is very important to preserve Corvette’s rich heritage. Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA was founded in 1973 for the purpose of preserving this heritage. It began in 1978 when the Gold Certification was introduced. To receive a Gold Certification a Corvette must receive a minimum of 95 points (out of 100) when judged. If this award is granted it tells the owner and a prospective buyer that this Corvette is close to or the same as it was when it left the factory. Bloomington added the Survivor award in 1990 that confirms that a Corvette is at least 50 percent unrestored. This was followed by the creation of the Benchmark award in 1991. To obtain this status a Corvette must be unrestored and have Gold and Survivor certifications. This year 63 Corvettes received Gold Certification, 32 attained Survivor Certification and 19 achieved the coveted Benchmark Certification. Judging such a large number of Corvettes requires a cadre of dedicated Bloomington Gold-trained volunteer judges. The owners were presented with their certificates on Saturday afternoon. Each car stopped at the famous yard of bricks in Gasoline Alley to receive their award. These certifications are coveted by owners and people who want to buy a factory-correct Corvette.

The Gold Market was open all weekend so vendors big and small could offer new and/or used Corvette parts for visitors to purchase. The GoldMine provided a great way to shop for that special Corvette to drive home. The Gold School offered seminars conducted by experts in the Corvette hobby during the three-day event. After the awards were completed, Corvettes lined up for the closing event called the Gold Tour. They all caravanned together around the Indy area for a Saturday night road tour. It was a great opportunity for owners to participate in a fun way to close this year’s Bloomington Gold event.

Guy Larsen, President of Bloomington Gold, had this to say about the 2016 Bloomington Gold Indy event, “Attendees and vendor reaction were very positive. We had an increase in attendance and vendors were happy with their allocated spaces. We received positive feedback about the increase in driving events. This included a three-day autocross, Ron Fellows hot laps and owners driving their cars around the famed Indy track. The 1966 Gold collection had more significant cars on display. We are making plans to increase that event next year when we honor the iconic 1967 Corvette. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway staff has been great to work with. Indy is the world’s greatest car venue and it’s a great relationship that we intend to continue!” Bloomington Gold will return to Indy on June 22-24, 2017! Be sure to mark your calendars, and for more details visit www.bloomingtongold.com.

2016 Bloomington Gold Corvette Indianapolis 6/25

The best way for a Corvette owner to experience Indy is to take a Gold Lap around the famed brickyard. Throughout the show, Corvette owners lined up to lap the 2.5-mile track. When they were finished they exited under the famous Gasoline Alley sign that leads into the pits.

1966 Gold Collection Corvettes 7/25

The 1966 Gold Collection honored 24 “unique” Gold Year Corvettes that were gathered in a large hall. Kevin Mackay displayed this 1966 Corvette formerly owned by Roger Penske. It was Roger’s first race car as a team owner and was fitted with a prototype L88 engine. It won the 1966 GT class at Daytona and Sebring.

1966 Corvette Doug Bergen 8/25

Doug Bergen purchased this 1966 Corvette when it was new and personally transformed it into an A/Production racer. He friend Marietta “Bob” Johnson, drove it to numerous victories. Doug was present to answer questions about this Corvette. Mark J. Pieloch is the owner.

Chevrolet Corvette Bloomington Gold 9/25

Rolf and Petra Gersch purchased this 1966 export 427-cid Corvette 15 years ago from its German owner. It has been raced extensively throughout Europe since 1966. Rolf and Petra shipped their immaculate Corvette to America specifically for the Bloomington event.

2016 Bloomington Gold Corvette Indianapolis 10/25

Joe Pike was the National Promotion Manager for Chevrolet and also editor of Corvette News, a publication for Corvette owners. He was inducted into the NCM Hall of Fame in 1998. This COPO (Central Office Production Order) 350hp/327cid coupe was built for Joe in 1966. Fred and Terry Michaelis own this Corvette.

10 Prototype L88 Engine 11/25

This prototype L88 engine powered Harold Whims’ 1966 pilot Corvette coupe. Harold co-drove this Corvette with Don Yenko and Dave Morgan to 11th overall and 2nd in GT at the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring. It is owned by Scott Freese.

1966 Chevrolet Big Block Corvette 12/25

Tom Koestler owns this black 1966 big-block that is undergoing Bloomington Gold judging at Indy. Judging is a lengthy and detailed process and a positive outcome enhances the value of any Corvette.

1970 Zr 1 Corvette 13/25

Ed Foss owns this ultra-rare 1970 ZR-1 Corvette convertible. Twenty-five were built in 1970 and only 53 were produced from 1970-’72. It was designed for “off road use only” and its chassis was equipped exactly like the L88 option. Instead of a big-block it has a 370hp/350cid LT-1 small-block. Ed’s beautiful Corvette won Gold Certification.

2016 Bloomington Gold Corvettes Indianapolis 14/25

In 1990, Bloomington added the Survivor award. This requires a Corvette to be at least 50 percent original. These Corvettes are lined up awaiting to be judged on “Survivor” row.

1972 Chevrolet Corvette Green Coupe 15/25

Wayne Lepp’s 1972 Elkhart Green coupe captured the Survivor certificate for his very original Corvette. Owners spend a lot of time cleaning and preparing their cars for this judging.

2016 Bloomington Gold Corvette Indianapolis 16/25

A large parts area (Gold Market) was the perfect place to find that rare or difficult to find piece to make your Corvette Bloomington Gold perfect.



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