38th Annual NCRS Winter Regional — Lakeland, FL (Part 2)

Cold weather (by Florida standards), wind, and even a little rain did little to motivate vendors and spectators alike to attend the last day of the NCRS 38th Annual Winter Regional at Linder Field, in Lakeland.

And the fact that the event is held at an airfield means that wind will quickly turn to gusts which had vendors scrambling to keep their canopies attached to the ground. It was not "sun n fun" if you get the pun.

So, upon arriving at Linder Airport, I quickly made my way to the NCRS judging hangar. The temperature at 9:20 a.m. was 42° according to my truck's thermometer, and the windchill and overcast probably put the actual temp in the mid to high 30s.

I still managed to take a lot of photos not only of C3s but other Corvette generations as well, since there were a LOT of cool cars there.


NCRS judges doing their thing. And from the looks of it, these guys leave no stone unturned. To the cars (and many owners I'm sure), it probably felt like a colonoscopy.

The ones that started it all. Check out the inline 6-cylinder!

A more refined C1, but with a V8 under the hood.

While looking at this '69 convertible, I realized that, at some point, Chevrolet also offered a headlamp washer option. I had no idea this was available back in the day, and I guess it was eventually discontinued. I will have to investigate this a bit more, as I find it interesting.

I've always been a fan of the C3 styling, but C2s (or mid-years, as they're also called), are beautiful cars in their own right. And the "holy grail" of them has to be the one-year-only "split-window" Corvette.

I've never been a fan of the "sideways" radio. Not sure why but I guess it's always looked goofy to me. A gorgeous interior nonetheless.

C4s were well represented, and they truly are the cheapest way to get into the Corvette hobby. I saw a couple of nice examples offered for sale at the meet for under $4 grand!

If someone wants to become a Corvette owner, you cannot do it for less money and still have a cool and drivable vehicle, which—if you maintain well—will at least keep its value and most likely be a great investment as these cars become more desirable.

I considered buying a C4 for a while since, as newer cars, had advanced suspensions, electronics, and fuel economy than earlier generations, not to mention far better ergonomics and road manners. So should a nice and reasonably priced C4 cross my path, who knows what may happen?

And here's a true survivor 1963 "split-window" Corvette Sting Ray.

According to the owners, they found this beauty on eBay, and they admitted that it was one of those "It sounds too good to be true" cases. So they had someone contact the seller and go verify the provenance of the car. Well, it was true, so they made an offer and bought it.

Their plan is to keep it as is since the paint (and patina) is 100% original. And I totally agree with that decision. If restored back to "new" condition, it would blend among a sea of other restored cars that would take away from its uniqueness.

I think it goes to show you that sometimes it's worth to take the time to investigate some online offerings, as you never know where the diamonds-in-the-rough are hiding. This one was in Wisconsin, I believe they said.

More Vettes undergoing NCRS judging scrutiny.

At first glance, I admit that I wondered why this C4 was in the NCRS hangar. Never judge a book by its cover. It is a prototype!

And this one attracted a LOT of attention, and rightfully so. What a beauty!

This display was very cool and interesting, too.

Eventually, I decided to venture outside, only to be greeted by cold gray skies and windy conditions. The light drizzle only added insult to injury.

I first walked through the "cars for sale" area, where there were plenty of Corvettes of every generation being offered to the public.

Since it was really cold I wimped out and walked into a vendor's tent to seek refuge from the weather. Glad I did since these guys manufacture new frames for older cars but with modern suspensions and powerplants.

After a few minutes, I ventured out again toward the Wonderful World of Corvettes show, which had a pretty decent turnout in spite of the dreary weather conditions.

So that's my "report" from the 38th Annual NCRS Winter Regional meet in Lakeland, Florida.  I also heard rumors through one of the Corvette forums that, apparently, plans are being made to bring the event back to Old Town (Kissimmee, FL). This is all unconfirmed, of course, but I personally think that would be a smart move.

Don't get me wrong. The Lakeland venue is a fine one... for a fly-in.

When I was into flying and building an experimental Thorp T-18, then a Fly Baby single-place low-wing aircraft, I would go to the fly-in every year and loved it. But for a car show I think that Old Town is a far better choice for many reasons; its central location for one, plus all the nearby hotels and restaurants and other entertainment the whole family can enjoy.

So my vote is with bringing the NCRS Winter Regional back to Old Town! Not that anyone has asked me or cares. lol.

Thanks for following my '76 Vette Blog!

Product Links... (#sponsored)

• How to Restore Your C3 Corvette: 1968-1982
• 1968-1982 Corvette Restoration Guide, 2nd Edition
• Corvette Black Book | 1953-2019
• 1976 Corvette Service & Overhaul Manual
• 1976 Corvette Service & Overhaul Manual CD-ROM
• 1976 Corvette Dealer Sales Brochure | GM-Licensed Reprint
• 1976 Corvette Stingray Owner's Manual | GM-Licensed Reprint
• 1976 Corvette Assembly Manual