Bloomington Gold is unique in the world of car shows. Unlike traditional concours and other judged events, the cars don't compete against each other but against themselves for accuracy against the standard of how they left the factory. "No better or no worse," as Bloomington Gold founder David Burroughs is fond of pointing out.
One of the prime missions of Bloomington Gold has been the preservation of Corvette history. The loss of originality in pursuit of a trophy so troubled David Burroughs that he developed the "Survivor®" certification process that recognizes well-preserved unrestored cars. To qualify, a Corvette must be over 20 years old, pass a road test over 20 miles, remain over 50% unrestored, un-refinished, or unaltered and retain finishes good enough to use as a color guide for restoration of a car just like it.
This year, Bloomington Gold held a judged Survivor car show open to all makes of unrestored cars. The highest award available for a non-Corvette is the ZZenith™ - only cars older than forty years old with refinishing, damage and deterioration from factory not exceeding 10% are eligible. According to Bloomington Gold, a ZZenith award certifies that "the level of preservation (originality and condition) is extraordinarily high and highly unlikely among most unrestored original automobiles of this vintage." McKeel Hagerty, Jonathan Stein and Rob Sass all participated as judges on the ZZenith certification board and thirteen cars achieved ZZenith status in the inaugural judged event.
This year also marked the final presentation of "The Special Collection" the annual gathering of some of the most important cars in Corvettedom-it was billed as the collection of the rarest, fastest and most expensive Corvettes on the planet. It certainly lived up to its billing, sporting everything from the very first Corvette (the 1953 Motorama prototype) to a 2009 LeMans class winning C6 Corvette, just thirteen days removed from its victory in France and complete with brake dust, grime and many dead French bugs.
Apart from the Ferrari sale in Maranello, the Mecum Bloomington Gold Auction is the only major, regularly held single-make auction out there. Among the high sales there were a 1967 427/435 convertible that sold for $196,000 and a 1968 L88 coupe that sold for $300,000, almost exactly the price found in Volume 9 of Hagerty's Cars That Matter.
Can't get enough Corvettes?
Check out MidAmerica Motorworks' 35th Anniversary Corvette Funfest, 9/27-9/29 in Effingham, IL