Are there really that many more Corvette enthusiasts than there were last year? This year’s Carlisle event would make you think so. A record crowd of 55,745 showed up, putting 2,224 Corvettes on the show field, most of them in the Fun Display. The parking area had another 3,000 crammed in, and the gates were closed by 10:30 Saturday morning. Looks like this show has become one for the early birds, too.

If you were looking for a Corvette to take home with you, the options were dizzying—about 700 on the For Sale lot! And all sorts of special Corvettes abounded. Chip’s Choice featured eight spectacular styling concept cars from years gone by and the always impressive tuner Corvettes. Mike Yager’s CERV I was there, along with the ’59 Sting Ray Racer, the Mako Shark, the Manta Ray, the Astro II, the Reynolds Aluminum Corvette, the Aerovette, Cerv III, and the Sting Ray III, all courtesy of General Motors. Thanks to Carlisle Productions and General Motors for letting us photograph them before they were set up inside. Callaway’s C12, Lingenfelter’s LPE 500 Stage I, SpecterWerkes’ GTR and the GTR Racecar, Doug Rippie’s C500/RSR and the DRM Racecar, SkunkWerkes’ SR-5, and Chuck Mallett’s 435 and his One Lap C5 all contributed to the excitement. Of course, the Z06 was there in all its glory. What a collection of Corvettes!

But that’s not all. The chassis of the very special ’53 Chip Miller and Al Wiseman are restoring for auction for the 50th anniversary celebration bash was on display, too. And Ben Labaree was still on the stump for the American Cancer Society with Sandy’s Corvettes Conquer Cancer C5. Thanks to artist Lee Bivins for donating his portrait of the C5-R to the cause, at this year’s Benefit Auction.

More than a dozen GM engineers were on hand to answer questions about the Corvette, from Chief Engineer Dave Hill and Plant Manager Wil Cooksey to Corvette Design Engineer Steven Stringfellow and Grant Nelson, Quality Engineering Manager. Of course, there were many other dignitaries and the usual informative seminars, and Barrett-Jackson has capably stepped up to the auction plate, now that we’ve lost Bob Gold. They did an excellent job. See auction results from Bob Kroupa below.

Corvettes at Carlisle always offers the Corvette enthusiast a good weekend. Next year, though, be sure to get there early!