Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is the car show capital of the Southeast, as it is the host city for more than a dozen car events throughout the year. From specialty events like the Corvette Expo to rod runs like the Shades of the Past, Pigeon Forge keeps car guys coming back. It certainly helps that the tourist town is packed with great restaurants, hotels and attractions for the whole family, while the Smoky Mountains offer a picture perfect backdrop any time of year. For the spring 2018 event, the Corvette Expo made the move from nearby Sevierville, Tennessee, to Pigeon Forge this year, and it proved to be a great decision by event organizer Byron Cooper, and crew.
The new LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge convention center offers plenty of room for an indoor car show, swap meet and vendor display, and the fun spilled over to the massive parking lot with more than 300 Corvettes in attendance in the “Park N Show” portion of the event. In addition to the car show aspect, the Corvette Expo featured NCRS judging, a special Corvette Cruise through the Smoky Mountains (Friday), and an event they call Horsepower & Hot Rods, which allows other classic cars to join the fun. Technical seminars by Corvette historian Ken Kayser and retired GM Corvette Plant Manager Wil Cooksey provided even more insight for Corvette enthusiasts. This year’s featured Corvette Clubs were Corvettes of Clarksville and MAD Vettes, and both clubs were well represented inside the LeConte Center.
In addition to more than 300 Corvettes in the Park N Show area, we spotted no less than 100 Corvettes in spectator parking, and even more on the streets of Pigeon Forge throughout the weekend. With 41 years under its belt, the Spring 2018 Corvette Expo found its new home in Pigeon Forge, and look for it’s annual fall event in Loudon, Tennessee, on October 12-13, 2018. Mark your calendars now and join the fun. Vette
Bobby Alloway’s beautifully proportioned 1963 Corvette was positioned front and center to welcome thousands of guests through the doors of the LeConte Center.
Even though Larry Griffey’s 1954 Corvette features dozens of subtle modifications to the body, we’d like to think that this is what Chevrolet intended to produce back in 1953. The lines are impeccable, and the level of detail of this LS1-powered Vette is over the top.
With an L88-style hood, 1965/’66 gills and widened fenders to fit massive BFG rubber, Joe Gregory’s 1964 Corvette coupe has the modern road race look and plenty of performance to back up the appearance.
From highly customized road racers to restored stock C2s like Jim Cunningham’s 1966 coupe in Milano Maroon, the Corvette Expo had it all. We love the side pipes, knock-off wheels and Coker gold line tires.
John Martin took home First Place in the C3 class with his 1970 convertible. The beautifully restored two-owner Vette recently rolled out of the B Rod or Custom shop in Knoxville, Tennessee.
B Rod or Custom debuted a couple of new unfinished projects at the Spring 2018 Corvette Expo. The 1967 coupe seen here uses C7 suspension and a widened body with all new panels. B Rod or Custom will be offering these custom Corvette platforms soon!
In case you needed a new project, or a bunch of parts to finish your current build, the Corvette Expo had plenty of choices. From a bare birdcage to mostly complete rollers, you could find a new money pit at the Expo.
Corvette Expo organizer Byron Cooper has been holding onto this 1968 Corvette convertible for more than 30 years. The car has 2,526 miles on the odometer, and the Tri-power 427ci big-block is barely broken in. Byron had the beautifully preserved survivor judged by the NCRS judges at the event.
MAD Vettes, a club based out of Georgia, was represented by founder Donnie Herrin. His C6 named Shake N Bake is a wild custom Vette with race inspired details throughout.
Gary and Debby Watson’s 1965 coupe has the period perfect look with an L88 hood and flares, side pipes and beautifully restored American Racing 200S wheels. The coupe is powered by a big-block and close-ratio four-speed transmission.
We loved the looks of this 1958 Corvette as it basked in the afternoon sun with the Smoky Mountains in the background.
Fat BFG Radial T/A tires and rally wheels, combined with side pipes and a luggage rack scream late 1960s and early 1970s. This 1968 coupe has all the right stuff for a trip back in time.
Camren Massengale idles through the Park N Show area in his rowdy C6 Z06. The Indiana native is the son of Rodney Massengale of RPM Transmissions, and knows a thing or two about Corvettes.
The transition year of 1973 saw a urethane front bumper and the classic chrome rear bumper. While these cars were victim of emissions control horsepower robbery, they’re still cool pieces of Corvette history.
Pigeon Forge was packed with Corvettes of every generation all weekend long. The Park N Show portion of the event featured more than 300 cars, and we spotted dozens upon dozens of Corvettes in the spectator parking area as well.
Photos by Tommy Lee Byrd