56,000 visit Corvette show

By The Sentinel staff, September 1, 2004

Carlisle Events officials say last weekend's Corvette show attracted 56,209 people to Carlisle Fairgrounds.

The officials add 2,499 Corvettes were in the "Fun Display" show field and 1,267 vendors sold Corvette parts, accessories and memorabilia.

Looking ahead

Since Carlisle Events' co-founder Chip Miller's death in March 2004, his son, Lance Miller, has become the coordinator for Corvettes at Carlisle.

"Corvettes at Carlisle was a huge success in every aspect, and I know my father was smiling while looking down from heaven," Lance Miller said about the show. "I'm happy to have the first year under my belt, and I look forward to making the upcoming events bigger and better for everyone.

"I'm eager to start implementing some new flavor into the event in the future. My father left some big footprints, and I'm fortunate to have this opportunity to create some of my own. Life is good!"

The 2005 Corvettes at Carlisle will recognize the 50th anniversary of the 1955 Corvette. A ZR1 Reunion also is planned for next year's show, set for Aug. 26-28.

This year's Corvette Race Car Reunion highlighted Corvettes with racing backgrounds. The Racers Roundtable allowed attendees to ask questions of drivers and crew members.

All weekend Corvette engineers were on hand to answer questions about the Corvette, including the all-new 2005 C6.

In 2005, the focus will be on the C4, C5 and C6 Corvette racing era.

Chip Miller remembered

The Corvettes at Carlisle Benefit Auction supporting research and education of amyloidosis raised more than $160,000. Chip Miller died from the rare plasma cell disorder that affects the organs.

Before his death, Miller donated his pristine 1957 Corvette for auction.

Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auction, made the high bid of $134,000 for the '57.

"I really did not plan on buying the car when I came there," he said. "My sentiments got involved, and I still wasn't going to bid on it, but then it started so low that I thought, 'Boy, this is too low. I'm going to bid.'

"From there, I was like any other red-blooded American boy. I got caught up in the bidding, and one thing led to another, and I was the winning bidder. I'm very happy with it; I'm just in love with the car."

At noon on Saturday, in memory of Chip Miller, all 2,500 Corvettes in the fairgrounds were asked to rev their engines for 15 seconds, followed by a moment of silence.

Another tribute was Chip's Memorial Garden, built outside of Gate 1 along Clay Street. The garden features special flowers for Miller's wife, children and grandchildren as well as a fountain, benches, lights and a dedication plaque. Lowe's of Mechanicsburg and Oldcastle designed the garden and contributed supplies. Baer Care Landscapers completed the work.

The Mecum Corvettes at Carlisle auction had about 224 Corvettes up for bid over the weekend. The top seller was a 1967 convertible that went for $102,500.

Meanwhile, Lance Miller is taking a stock 2005 C6 Corvette and completing a series of radical performance and styling modifications to make the C6 Carlisle Callaway Corvette. Attendees could see the beginning stages at this year's event and will see the final product next year.

They're winners

Shawn Reigart of York won the 1990 dark red metallic Corvette coupe sponsored by Corvette Mike. Adrienne Laudico of Rochester, N.Y., won the title of Miss Corvettes at Carlisle.

Kids' Corvettes at Carlisle included a model Corvette contest, mini pedal, gas or battery Corvette display and much more.

To learn more about Corvettes at Carlisle, or to register, visit www.carsatcarlisle.com/corvette or call 243-7855.