Swallows fly back to Capistrano every spring. Salmon swim upstream to the same spawning grounds. But where do Vettes go every summer? Well, for 17 years now, they've been flocking to the Mid America Motorworks Funfest.
But we don't return just purely out of natural instinct. Besides feeling at home there, we really look forward to the startling variety of cars, parts, and people. It's always a compelling place to find the wild, weird, and wonderful. So this year, instead of our regular event wrap-up, we decided to highlight some intriguing aspects-a sort of behind-the-scenes look at Funfest.
The wizard behind the curtain is, of course, MAM's irrepressible Mike Yager, who transforms the sweeping plains of farmland around Effingham, Illinois, into a cavalcade of Corvettes. We always enjoy his infectious enthusiasm for throwing one of the best and biggest Vette parties in the country. Count us in for next year, Mike.
When we first...
When we first spotted this sparkling-pink paintjob, our first thought was that the Barbie-doll toy Corvette was now available in a full-size version. But after chatting with the owner, we discovered that the hue relates to the "Driving for a Cure" pro-ject to defeat breast cancer. So we feel that's a worthy cause to recognize.
The Ultimate Barn Find
The Ultimate Barn Find
How fitting that in the rich farmland surrounding Mid America that Mike Yager would come across a dusty '57 C1 locked away in a barn. Displayed exactly as it was found, the car is visible proof that there are still Corvettes out there that need to be rescued, and mute testament to what happens when we neglect our automotive heritage.
We're not sure what our distinguished editor Jay Heath (second from left) was stifling a laugh about, but maybe Yager (in signature straw hat) just told him the joke about the blonde who walks into a bar, looking for a Corvette. (Look for a feature on this MiniRammed '78 Pacer-Heath's Celebrity Choice pick-in a future issue.)
This Corvette-bodied movie prop appeared in Death Race 2000. Fittingly named "The Monster," it was driven by the late, great David Carradine in the role of Frankenstein. A young unknown named Sly Stallone co-starred. The acting and plot were atrocious, but at least the car was fun to look at.
When British spy Austin Powers got behind the wheel of America's Sports Car, it needed some flag-waving patriotism to appeal to U.S. audiences. Look for a full feature on this car in an upcoming issue.
Rick Turnbull is now a commercial pilot, but he used to fly fighter jets off the deck of an aircraft carrier, so he's used to getting launched by a steam catapult. No surprise then, that the 427 LS7 in his '00 C5 is armed with all sorts of power adders. We've featured an earlier version of his weapons-grade Vette, but look for an update in an upcoming issue on how he blasted through the 1,000hp mark.