- May 4, 2013
Cherry reds, banana yellows and tropical blues sparkled on the green lawn of St. Armands Circle on Saturday for the 25th annual Corvettes on the Circle car show.
It was another near-capacity turnout with 174 Corvettes on display, explained Allen Harmsen, vice president and show chairman for Skyway Corvette Club of Sarasota and Manatee counties, which held the event.
The beautiful weather was a key component to drawing the large crowd of car owners and spectators. The brightly polished Corvettes had nothing to fear from above, with hardly a cloud in the sky.
The show awarded a number of prizes, including Best by Corvette Generation, Club Participation, Best of Show and Skyway Corvette Club Favorite. The award statuettes are modeled after the Unconditional Surrender statue on Sarasota’s bayfront. This year, the awards were painted silver to commemorate the car show’s 25th anniversary.
The cars on display spanned every decade of the vehicle’s history from the 1950s onward.
“It’s the largest Corvette-only show on the west coast of Florida,” said Harmsen. “And the most scenic.”
Harmsen explained that most car shows are held in parking lots.
“This is the big show,” said Paul A. Budick, a Bradenton resident and owner of a 1962 Corvette convertible.
His silver ride is one of the rarest, because it features a golden grille on its front end.
Budick explained that only 50 Corvettes were factory produced that had the combination of a high-horsepower engine and the golden grille. Of those 50, only a handful survive today. Budick said that many have likely been destroyed in wrecks or were mistreated.
Budick has owned the car for 42 years after buying it from a friend. Budick said that it’s hard to find fuel for his classic car. Thanks to its powerful engine, the Corvette with the golden grille requires high-octane racing fuel, to the tune of $9 per gallon.
While the event was free for visitors, proceeds from the Corvettes’ registration fees and the event will be donated to The Honor Flight of West Central Florida, as has been case for the past eight years. The nonprofit flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the war memorials that honor their service.
Harmsen said that the Skyway Corvette Club show has sponsored 30 World War II veterans so far.