McCormick Place in downtown Chicago is the largest exposition center in North America. Throughout most of the year they hold your usual run-of-the-mill conventions and trade shows there, but twice a year it rocks with hundreds of Chevrolets. That's when Chevy/Vettefest packs the place.
On the first weekend of March more than 300 cars and almost 50,000 people filled the expo center. To Midwesterners suffering from a terrible winter, a building full of Chevys was a welcome sight. Right up front was the best custom of the show, David Cross' '70 Chevelle. Other custom and race Chevys included a group of vintage rail dragsters and the slick C5 Corvette altered, raced by Star Scott of Sterling, Virginia.
Paul Newman's Car Creations of California can build you a hybrid with an early Corvette bo
One of the showcases of this event was a display of "hybrid" Corvettes which feature the body of a vintage Vette and the drivetrain and suspension of a modern C4 or C5. A half dozen Grand Sport replicas were displayed, from big-block monsters to one with a complete ZR-1 drivetrain and interior. One of the early Corvette hybrids was the SR-III roadster owned by Ken Hanna, co-promoter of Chevy/Vettefest. Andy Heyneman's hybrid was possibly the most amazing, as it has a complete C5 chassis, engine, and interior inserted into a '58 Corvette body. A total of 118 custom and race cars won First Place awards in the Custom Cavalcade (tm) competition.
Many other Chevrolets were entered in the Gold Spinner (tm) Concourse, for cars judged to be within 95 percent of factory original. A total of 20 cars and trucks earned this award, the highest scoring of which was Vestel Brummett's '95 Camaro Indy 500 pace car. Another outstanding automobile was the '64 Impala of Bob Gamboa, judged Best Original/Restored Chevrolet in the show.
The '69 Nova owned by Dennis Izral, Joliet, IL, is powered by a LS7 454 with a best of 10.
Many more Chevys were part of the Show & Sell, where interesting cars and good bargains can always be found. The Swap Meet brought together another 300 venders from all over the United States. A fashion show on Saturday showed some of the latest in Chevrolet and Corvette clothing and accessories.
As usual, Chevrolet brought its travelling display, which included each model of the '01 Corvette, along with a '00 Brickyard 500 pace car Monte Carlo. Chevrolet also displayed the one-of-a-kind El Camino-like CART PPG pace car from 1988.
The North Building of McCormick Place will again be packed with the finest in Corvettes and Chevys the weekend of November 10th and 11th. Promoters Al Fierke and Ken Hanna will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Chevy/Vettefest and promise the best show yet. Mid America Promotions will also host a number Super Sunday show and swap meets throughout the Midwest this year. For more information please contact: Mid America Promotions, 7322 S. Archer Road, Dept. SC, Justice, IL 60458, call (708) 563-4300, or visit www.midamericapromotions.com.
The '70 Chevelle of David Cross won the cash award for Best Custom or Modified Chevrolet.
A group of vintage rail dragsters were displayed-Chevy-powered, of course.
Gold Spinner(tm) Winners included Mike Borchardt's '62 bubbletop Bel Air 409.