For most Corvette owners, winter is a good time to store their pride and joy in a warm garage and wait until spring before hitting the road again. By January, these owners usually are getting a case of spring fever. It's no surprise, then, that many enjoy heading south to attend the annual NCRS Florida Winter Regional Corvette show. For the second year in a row, the meet was held at Old Town, a '50s-theme facility near Walt Disney World.
The primary purpose of the NCRS (National Corvette Restorers Society) is to certify the authenticity of Corvettes built from 1953 to 1991. Judges are trained to specialize in one generation: C1 ('53-'62), C2 ('63-'67), C3 ('68-'82), or C4 ('84-'91). They award points for the originality of each car, up to a maximum of 100. Three levels of certificates-Third Flight, Second Flight, and Top Flight-are awarded based on the number of points a car receives. A Top Flight certificate requires 94 to 100 percent of the total points available and is highly sought after by owners of older Corvettes.
This year, we spotted two particularly interesting entries among the assembled cars. The first was a '57 ex-factory fuel-injected roadster that had been in storage for 46 years. Joe Trybulec purchased the car in 2002, and he's been careful to preserve this important piece of Corvette history. The car was raced at Nassau, Daytona, and Sebring before being retired in 1958. It was driven by NASCAR great Paul Goldsmith and legendary Corvette racer Dr. Dick Thompson.
The second car that caught our eye was a Hugger Orange '69 ZL1 roadster. Owner John Maher purchased it new when he worked for Gulf Oil Corporation in Pittsburgh. This is one of only two all-aluminum 427 Corvettes built by the factory. It's equipped with an automatic transmission, making it even more unusual. Both Maher's '69 and Trybulec's '57 are real time capsules of a bygone era of Corvette performance.
Besides being in a beautiful location, the show also offered a large swap meet and for-sale corral. The annual Mecum auction, meanwhile, was moved seven miles south to the much larger Osceola Heritage Park. Nearly 300 Corvettes were offered for sale through the auction over the weekend.
In short, NCRS Florida Chapter Director Ed Augustine and his staff put on yet another professional Corvette show. If you're looking for a little sunshine next January, consider taking a trip to Kissimmee to check out these beautiful NCRS Vettes.
David Brewer's yellow '58 and Richard Downs' white '58 fuelie roadster await judging.
John Maher purchased this '69 automatic ZL1 roadster new while working for Gulf Oil Compan
John Leone's, Peter Santi's, and Ted Cecil's fuel-injected '57 roadsters (left to ight) ar
Joe Trybulec owns this rare ex-1957 factory Corvette race car.
The 6th Annual Mecum Winter Auction was moved seven miles away, to Osceola Heritage Park.
Paul Goldsmith takes the checkered flag at the 1957 NASCAR Sports Car race in New Smyrna B