Corvette Racers’ Theme 09 Carlisle

2009 Corvettes at Carlisle Show gets hit by Heavy Rain

2009 Le Mans Winning C6.R Racer
2009 Le Mans Winning C6.R Racer

This year’s theme was Corvette race cars and WOW, were there plenty of old and new Corvette warriors on hand. Let’s face it, if you take “racing” out of the Corvette story, it’s like pizza without sauce and cheese, or spaghetti without meatballs! On hand was the 2009 Le Mans-winning C6.R. I thought it was VERY cool that they left most of the racing dirt on the car. Nothing like that “racing-dirt patina,” you know.

The 2009 Corvettes at Carlisle Show goes into the history log as one of the rainiest in memory. At least there weren’t any small tornadoes this year, just LOTS of rain on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was perfect.

C5, C3, C2, C1 Racers still Thrilling!

#53 C5-R Racer driven by Ron Fellows
#53 C5-R Racer driven by Ron Fellows

C3 1969 BFG #49 Greenwood Racer
C3 1969 BFG #49 Greenwood Racer

C2 Big Block L-88 Stingray Racer #9
C2 Big Block L-88 Sting Ray Racer #9

C1 #71 1956 Sebring Racer
C1 #7 1956 Sebring Racer

Several of the C5-R cars were on display, old C3 Greenwood racers were on hand, as well as several big-block C2 Sting Ray racers and C1 racers all still good for a thrill.

Rough, Tough and Loud C4 Corvette Challenge Racers

Row of Corvettte Challenger Racers
Row of Corvettte Challenge Racers

Outside there was a large coral of the C4 Corvette Challenge racers. Although they don’t have the grunt and blustery persona of the big-blocks, they are interesting cars in their own right. I once read a report on a Corvette Challenge car and the writer said that once inside, there’s no mistaking the car for a racer. They are rough, tough, and loud.

Penske ‘66 L88 car is one of my all-time favorite Corvette racers

The "Stunning" Kevin Mackay and one of his (67 Sun Ray DX) racers.
Kevin Mackay and one of his restored (67 Sun Ray DX) racers.
Roger Penske's 1966 L88 Racer, a favorite!
Roger Penske's 1966 L88 Racer, a favorite!

Kevin Mackay was on location with his stunning collection of restored Corvette racers. The Penske ‘66 L88 car is one of my all-time favorite Corvette racers. I just wish he would offer rides. (Kevin – hint-hint…)

While on the topic of Corvette racers, over the years I’ve noticed an absence of Corvette drag race cars. With the exception of the “In Memory of Astoria-Chas” ‘67 L-88 Corvette, I can’t recall very many other Corvette drag cars at Carlisle. Granted, Corvettes are usually road racing machines, there have been a tidy handful of drag cars. My guess is that most of the more successful drag Corvettes have been used up and are long gone. A loss.

Get Inside & Rev Up one of those  Racers

I just wanted to get INSIDE a few of these cars. It would be a real thrill to have an old Corvette racer (something with open headers) set up at the show so that the car could not be put into gear, and a governor on the engine set to say, 5,000 rpm, so you could close the door, sit inside, and do a few engine revs. The inside of a race car is astonishingly LOUD and they vibrate like crazy! For those who have never been inside a racing car, it would be a thrill they would not soon forget!

Under the Skin of the latest ZR1

2009 ZR1 Chassis Courtesy of GM Engineers
2009 ZR1 Chassis Courtesy of GM Engineers

We were only at the show Sunday and honestly, there was way too much to see. One display piece that I would have loved to spend more time looking over was the ‘09 ZR1 chassis, located in the G M Engineers’ tent. A complete ZR1 was next to the chassis and it was quite exciting to be able to see what’s under the skin of the latest ZR1. When you see the chassis, you get a sense of why the car cost over $100,000. It’s a fantastic assembly of aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. WOW!

2009 ZR1
2009 ZR1

Go to our post  on the ZR1 GM engineers’ chassis for many more great shots and special details.  FUN STUFF!

Great Links:

24 Hours of Le Mans Racing

C3 Corvette Racers

Kevin Mackay Corvette Repair

Kevin Mackay Youtube L88 & Baldwin Interview

Autoblog’s ZR1 Chassis Story and Photos

Astoria-Chas Ko-Motion Site

K Scott Teeters’ Corvette Racing Art & Articles

Save the Wave

K. Scott Teeters


Questions for you:

What did you think of the show? Better/Worse than years before?

Did the new Grand Sport “WOW” you?

Which is your favorite Corvette racer?

What do you think of the idea of being able to sit in a Corvette racer while it is running?

We want to hear your ideas!

4 thoughts on “Corvette Racers’ Theme 09 Carlisle

  1. The Carlisle Corvette show was amazing especially the ZR1. Well what better Corvette to have parked next to my 1960 Corvette in the garage. Have to see how the rest of the year unfolds.

  2. We agree! The show is almost sensory overload. I like to just stand in the infield and look around – all you can see are Corvettes! Even the inside parking lot is full of Vettes!

    So, are you looking for a previously owned” ‘09 ZR1 or a new ZR1? Have you picked a color? I saw in the F.C. Kerbeck tent they were showing off the new Polo White ZR1. But seriously, I don’t believe it’s possible to put a “wrong” color on a ZR1. – Scott

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