CARLISLE, PA - The 2014 edition of the Carlisle GM Nationals not only welcomed a large amount of show-worthy gems to the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds during the first weekend of summer, it also hosted cool displays, unique cars and a nice array of special guests. History was showcased too via a 1904 Oldsmobile train car, an original Monkeemobile used during the ‘70s TV show and hundreds Bandit-themed Trans Am cars, plus a replica of the Snowman's rig from Smokey and the Bandit, all as part of the Bandit Run. In addition, the indoor invitational displays were magnets for car enthusiasts. This all translated to a show that saw a 200+ car increase over the previous year and chimes in as the fourth largest Carlisle GM Nationals of all time.
When the gates opened Friday, the hot draw immediately was the Solid Lifter Showroom within Building G. This display hosted the class of 1969 and more importantly, some awesome pieces of GM engineering. Presented by the Super Car Workshop, the display was not only in Building G, but outside of it too due to demand. As part of this spotlight on Saturday, author Phillip Borris unveiled an original wall plate that adorned the side of the Norwood (Ohio) Plant. This plate was rescued from a scrap yard and when unveiled, was the first time the general public had seen it in decades.
On the grounds, Buildings Y and T were hot spots too. The general Invitational Display was in Building T. This hosted everything from trucks to family cruisers, a classic taxi, a still-covered-in-dust barn find and more. The display is also where the Kids at Carlisle/Kids Choice award comes from. For this year, it was a 1948 Chevy Stylemaster. Next door in Building Y, the GOAT Pen was home to a dozen or so GTOs. The anchor to this display was the Monkeemobile, one of only two that exist, and THE one used during filming of the TV show.
Along with the cool cars indoors, there were over 1,000 outdoors to enjoy. Plus, as enthusiasts walked the NPD showfield, many made side trips to the Manufactures Midway as well as the swap meet and car corral areas of the grounds. Each of those options allowed for guests to either go home with their next classic or at least find the pieces and parts to improve the one they have. Finally, the special guests and seminars they hosted were a major hit! The founding fathers of the GTO, Russ Gee, Milt Schornack, Bill Collins and Ben Harrison were onsite talking shop and they were flanked by Tim Dye of the Pontiac/Oakland Museum who talked about the history of Pontiac, Paul Koerner of Corvette Repair, Inc. and representatives from Driven Racing Oil. As always, these seminars were free with admission to the event itself.
As Saturday wrapped with a packed grandstand to see the burnout and beauty competitions, the Bandit cars cruised downtown to the historic Carlisle Theatre for a screening of Smokey and the Bandit. Then, those who returned for the final day of the event, Sunday, were treated to last minute swap meet deals, the awards parade and one final pass through each special invitational.
With all of this fun taking place in 2014, it's important to save the date for 2015. Next year's Carlisle GM Nationals run June 26-28 and will continue to spotlight the GM history as well as shine a special light on the IROC racing series from the 1980s.
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About Carlisle Events: Carlisle Events is a partner or producer of 14 annual collector car, truck and outdoor-themed events. Events are held at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds (Carlisle, PA), Bloomsburg Fairgrounds (Bloomsburg, PA), Allentown Fairgrounds (Allentown, PA) and Festival Park (Zephyrhills, FL). The season schedule hosts a sports and outdoors event, five automotive swap meets of varying size, four auctions, as well as individual specialty shows featuring Corvettes, Fords, GMs, Chryslers, trucks, imports and kit cars and tuner and modern customs. Founded in 1974 by friends Bill Miller and Chip Miller, events hosted at Carlisle attract more than a half a million enthusiasts annually from all corners of the globe. More information is available via www.CarlisleEvents.com or www.CarlisleAuctions.com.