Each winter, when the cold winds blow snow and sleet around the country, Florida becomes a popular vacation destination. Corvette enthusiasts always look for an excuse to bring their cars out of winter hibernation to let the sun shine on their sparkling paint. The Florida Chapter of the National Corvette Restoration Society (NCRS) provides owners with such an opportunity. Now in its 26th year, the Florida Chapter, guided by Director Ed Augustine and his competent staff, held this year's event in Old Town. Old Town is located near Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, and features a village built around a '50s theme. Each Friday and Saturday night, Old Town packs the house with their cruise nights. What a perfect place for a Corvette party.
The weekend was filled with events to keep any Corvette enthusiast busy. A large swap meet covered the back part of the Old Town complex. Many visitors took advantage of the excellent weather to buy that hard-to-find Corvette part or even browse through the for-sale lot. Restoration seminars and book signings by authors Jerry Burton and Dave McLellan were featured show events. The parking lots were filled with Corvettes, and the Mecum Collector Car Auction was a busy place throughout the weekend. On Friday night, approximately 100 Corvettes slowly cruised down the packed streets of Old Town to the delight of the crowds.
The NCRS judging for cars built from '53-89 took place on Friday and Saturday. It is always amazing to see what kind of rare Corvettes show up during a NCRS event. This year was no exception; we saw a very interesting '57 fuelie racer sitting in the judging area. We poked around to get some info on this rare car and learned that it was deemed original by the judges. Its factory color was black outside with a red interior, and it was powered by a 283hp fuel-injection engine. It is reported to have been driven by the late Don Yenko and has been in storage for many years. The car needs a complete restoration, but most of the original parts are still on the car. Kevin Mackay, owner of Corvette Repair, might do the restoration of this important Corvette. Stay tuned.
NCRS judges are well-trained, and they give each car a complete inspection during judging. This exacting process is always a nail-biter for owners. However, if your car passes the NCRS requirements for authenticity, it can give your car a big boost in its value. It's always fun watching owners expressions on their faces if their car is selected for a Top Flight award. It makes all of their hard work preparing for the judging worthwhile. The NCRS does an amazing job keeping the history of our Corvettes accurate. We at Team VETTE appreciate their contribution to the Corvette hobby!