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Bloomington celebrates the 1967 Corvettes 50th birthday

Walt Thurn Jul 21, 2017
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The 2017 Bloomington Gold Corvette show returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third consecutive year. “Indy” has proven to be an ideal location for this historic Corvette event. It is a large facility, with trained staff and ample well maintained grounds inside the speedway for event activities. There is plenty of room inside the track for vendors, certification areas, track activities and Corvette parking. Indy is a state of the art racing facility that has a rich motorsports history. It is located in Speedway, Indiana (6.2 miles west of Indianapolis) and the track held its first race in 1909. Indy and Chevrolet have a long history together including Gaston Chevrolet winning the 1920 500 race. Corvette has paced the 500 race multiple times.

Large numbers of Indy and Bloomington staff were on hand to direct traffic as each car entered the track. Each driver was given a detailed event program with a large event map inside. The crowds were large on Thursday and Saturday, but heavy rains Friday reduced that day’s attendance. Bloomington’s main event was the Gold Collection that honored the 1967 Corvette. Thirty seven special 1967 Corvettes were on display including eight (of twenty produced in 1967) L88 powered Corvettes. These cars were located in the Gold Pavilion and were sponsored by Hagerty Insurance Company. The attendance in the pavilion was large during the rainy Friday as many people flocked into Gold Collection to stay dry and savor Corvette history.

Gold Certification, Survivor and Benchmark judging took place on Friday and Saturday. A total of 67 Corvettes were awarded Gold, fourteen received Silver (for those that did not achieve Gold). Twenty owners received Survivor and three received Silver (for those that did not achieve Survivor). Fourteen Survivor owners were awarded Benchmark Certification that can only be obtained if your car is a Survivor. The Certificates were presented on Saturday afternoon as the owners stopped at the famous yard of bricks in Gasoline Alley. These certifications are coveted by owners and people who want to buy a factory correct Corvette.

In addition to the certification events visitors could attend a variety of Gold School classes. These classes included technical topics and Corvette History. Chevrolet offered a Gold Speed event that provided free rides in a Spring Mountain C7 school cars. Expert drivers from the Ron Fellows Corvette driving school did the wheel work. The rides were held on the infield portion of Indy’s sports car track and speeds exceeded 100 MPH. This was a very popular event and the lines were long for all three days. Chevrolet also had a variety of Chevrolet cars, SUV’s and trucks that were available for test drives. Gold Laps were available for owners who wanted to drive their Corvette for two laps around the 2.5 mile speedway track. At the end of their drive they could have their photo taken kissing the bricks. The Gold Market was open so vendors could offer new or used Corvette parts for purchase and the Gold Mine offered visitors the opportunity to shop for a special Corvette. The popular Autocross returned this year and was sponsored by Lingenfelter Performance and Continental Tires. You could take free thrill rides with experienced Autocross drivers or use you own Corvette to try and beat their time. After the awards were completed on Saturday, Corvette owners lined up for the closing event called the Gold Tour. They all caravanned together and ended in downtown Speedway for a block party. It was a fun way to close the 2017 Bloomington Gold event.

Guy Larsen, President of Bloomington Gold had this to say about the 2017 Bloomington event, “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway staff has been great to work with. Indy is the world’s greatest car venue for our event.” Bloomington Gold will return to Indy on June 21-23, 2018. Be sure to mark your calendars and for more details visit www.bloomingtongold.com

2017 Bloomington Gold Indy Corvette 002 2/25

The Corvette only parking quickly filled up on Thursday, the opening day of the show. We could not resist showing this pristine 1958 Corvette in this photo.

Photography by the Author

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