There seems to be an endless number of races, shindigs, and other assemblies of GM fanatics occurring throughout the year. While we don't have the space to cover all of these great events in the pages of GMHTP, we would like to highlight some of the gatherings that have caught our attention. All have been around for at least a year and offer activities for performance-minded owners. A few take place relatively early, so they may have come and gone by the time you read this, but it's never too early to start planning for next year!
We'll start with the top of the GM food chain-Corvettes. Although production numbers have historically been relatively low for these cars, enthusiasm for them seems to have no limit. As a result, Corvette owners can choose from a multitude of events in every area of the country, with some of the most popular taking place at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Two of these have strong tie-ins to the Internet, the C5 Birthday Bash (www.c5registry.com/events.htm) and the Corvette Forum Cruise-In (www.corvettemuseum.com/registration/forum/info.shtml).
Both offer a similar lineup of activities including drag racing, autocrossing and dyno testing as well as tours of the Corvette assembly plant. Since the C5 Bash (April 18-21) focuses more on C5 Corvettes, it will also feature a "Super Tuner Shoot-out," pitting the world's top aftermarket tuners and their cars in an automotive biathlon, consisting of drag racing and autocross trials. Both get-togethers are open to all Vette owners, but the Corvette Forum event (May 23-25) may be more appealing to non-C5 owners and the later date will certainly improve the weather outlook.
The Corvette Museum will also play host for what could be the largest gathering of F-bodies ever, as the F-Body Celebration (www.corvettemuseum.com/ registration/f-body/info.shtml) rolls into town on the 20th and 21st of September. Scott Settlemire, the Assistant Brand Manager for Camaro, is hoping attendance for 2002 will top 1,000 cars. As with its Y-body counterparts, the F-body Celebration will offer a wide range of activities, including drag racing, autocrossing, plant tours and tech sessions in the Chevrolet Theater.
One of the most popular F-body happenings in recent years has been the National F-Body Motorsports Event (www.fbody-event.org). This year's event will once again be held at the Memphis Motorsports Park, from June 13th-15th and will offer drag racing and autocross and a road course school. Many F-body owners have found this to be an excellent opportunity to learn more about their cars in a variety of racing disciplines, all at a very reasonable price.
F-body owners who prefer straight-line competition have a few dedicated drag racing events to choose from, including the East Coast F-Body Nationals (www.geocities.com/njspeeder) and the National F-Body Racing Association (www.nfraracing.com). True to its name, the East Coast event will be held at Englishtown on July 20th, while the NFRA event will be in our nation's heartland, at Cordova Dragway Park on the weekend of August 10th. The East Coast event will have four different classes of bracket racing as well as a heads-up class, while the NFRA races will be split into eight classes, including a class for bracket racers.
Chris Frezza and Jason Debler, the people behind www.CamaroZ28.com and www.Turbobuick.com, will step away from their computers on October 5th for their seventh annual "M" event, held at the Mid-Michigan Motorplex. The event is open to all GM vehicles and friendly bracket racing will be split up into two groups. M7(www.migmevent.com) is a great opportunity to put faces to screen names and with its close proximity to Detroit, chances are very good that more than a few people from GM will be in attendance.
Although production of the Impala SS lasted three short years, local and regional groups have sprouted up all over the country and meet on a regular basis. Emerging from these smaller meetings are two major events-ImpalaFest (www.hossimpala.com/if2002) and Impalapalouis (www.grail-ss.com/I2K2/splash.htm). Impalafest is scheduled for September 27-29 in Arlington, Texas, the birthplace of the Impala SS, while Impalapalouis will take place the weekend of June 15th, at Gateway International Raceway. No matter what you enjoy doing with your Impala, these events will offer an activity to suit your needs.
Turbo Buick owners are a shining example for the rest of GM's extinct models on how to maintain interest for a low-production car long after the assembly line shuts down. Two popular events in the Turbo Buick community are the BOP Nationals (www.bop-nationals.com) and the GS Nationals (www.buickgsca.com/gs_nationals_general_information.htm). The BOP Nationals (formerly known as Buicks at Bristol) is entering its second year in an expanded format and will be tearing up the track at Bristol Dragway on September 27-29. The GS Nationals were held at Beech Bend Raceway from May 14th-18th. Membership in GSCA is required for participants, so if you're interested in attending in 2003, it's best to get an early start.
Syclone and Typhoon owners will celebrate the 5th anniversary of their SyTy Nationals event (www.sytynationals.com) in 2002. This year's event is set to take place in the Chicagoland area during the weekend of July 27th. Drag racing will be held at Great Lakes Dragaway and plans are in the works for an autocross event.
If you're thinking about attending any of these great events, visit their respective web sites first. Some functions have registration deadlines and many groups have secured discounted hotel rates and also organized travel caravans to and from. Don't forget to let the organizers know how much you enjoyed everything. Have a great time!