A while back I did a few posts about my father’s quest for the vintage Jaguar of his dreams. From the many shows and renowned restoration shops we visited, I learned a heap about early XK cars like the 120 and E-Type. Fast forward to the present, where dad has substituted classic American muscle cars in where the gentlemanly British roadsters used to be. We’re now focused on finding a big block C2 Corvette with Knock-off Kelsey-Hayes wheels and side pipes loud enough to irritate the neighbors a little bit. So we did what any other sane person with Vettes on the brain would do…headed to Carlisle to check out the Corvette show of Corvette shows, soak up a little brand culture, learn more about collectable big blocks and perhaps score ourselves a new (well, new to us) Corvette.
Driving through the downtown area surrounding the fairgrounds was surreal. There were Corvettes absolutely everywhere. New ones, old ones, nice ones, ratty ones…there were all kinds. The beautiful Summer afternoon was filled with car talk amongst friends and screaming V8 engines being tested on the dynamometer. Bright eyed locals lined the sidewalks, watching and pointing as all the Vettes rumbled by in every color imaginable. There was even a parade on Saturday to honor legendary racer John Fitch, who in 1960 co-drove the first Corvette, the #3 Briggs Cunningham car, to ever capture a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Some of the more entrepreneurial townies who resided near the fairgrounds turned their driveways and backyards into paid parking lots and spent the weekend enthusiastically waving people in. The fact that they did this shirtless, beer in hand made it all that much more enjoyable.
See how we made out with a classic Vette and check out the many sights and sounds from the show after the jump. And if you really want to laugh, get a load of our Corvettes at Carlisle featured gallery with more cheeky vanity plates than you can shake a stick at.
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Pictured: Jim Campbell, VP Chevrolet Marketing, sitting proudly in front of his brand’s all-new Civic-fighter, the 2011 Chevy Cruze.
Chevy gave us an advance preview of their new Cruze last week in mid town. The global compact sedan will replace Cobalt in Chevy’s U.S. lineup when it hits dealerships at a base price of $16,995 this September. The athletic stance and clean lines wrap up a handsome little package and bear more than a passing resemblance to big brother Malibu. With its first rate materials and optional two-tone leather surfaces, the spacious interior is also a big part of the story in a segment that is shopped more for its low cost of entry than lavish interior textures and upscale passenger accommodations. Stand out cabin aside, Cruze will need all the help it can get if its fixin to do battle against perennial best sellers like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Both nameplates have spent many decades and mucho marketing dollars convincing Americans that Japanese quality and compact cars go together like peas and carrots. Chevy hopes 40 MPG, class leading interior room and the most standard safety features in the segment will help to open their minds to new alternatives.
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From tri-tower taillamps to sweeping fins and hooded eyes, you have got to love the details on this DeSoto Fireflite. DeSoto actually tried to make aerodynamic claims about their extravagant tailfins, saying they “added stability at speed,” but we all know that was Motown marketing BS. Virgil Exner had one thing in mind when he penned these fins onto nearly every 57 Chrysler product…getting noticed. This well-kept and regularly used example still manages to turn heads some 60 years later.
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With all the commotion about retro-inspired muscle from Detroit, it’s nice to gaze upon the inspiration now and again. Sporting arrest-me red paint, this gen 1 (1967-1969) Camaro looks ready to pounce on a drag strip near you. As any owner will tell you, the honkin V8s available in ’67 (350 cu in or 396 cu in) do not disappoint when it comes to smoky burnouts and general adolescent behavior.
This circa 1960 Chevy Apache is sporting a great rust patina, handcrafted by the elements of time. This natural, unrestored aesthetic almost enhances the vintage skin’s design.
It’s been 4 years since Chevy pulled the wraps off the Camaro concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A new president is in office, the Yankees moved stadiums and Britney Spears seems to be popular again. But it might have been worth the wait thanks in no small part to a design that alludes to the past without using it as a crutch. The 304 HP, Direct Injection V6 and starting price under $23,000 doesn’t hurt either.