More than 130 shiny, pristine Corvettes in a rainbow of colors, and from different car generations, lined the parking area between the shops of Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall on Saturday (August 22) at the 19th annual Summer’s End Corvette Car Show, put on by the NWA Corvette Club.
Car owners from as far away as California, Wisconsin, Nebraska, New Jersey and Texas showed off their Corvettes to a wide audience of car enthusiasts, families and couples. Corvettes on display ranged from a vintage 1957 model to a brand new 2015, 7th generation Corvette, with over 700 horsepower.
Jon Simmonds, Chevrolet of Fayetteville’s expert on the Corvette, said the Corvette is unique because of its history, innovations and because it is “the American sports car.”
According to Richard Peak, vice president of the NWA Corvette Club and co-chair of the event, each Corvette owner paid $40 to register their car for the show. He said the money raised, plus additional donations, will benefit two local charities: The Elizabeth Richardson Center (www.ercinc.org), which “enhances the quality of life for individuals with disabilities;” and the Chase Family Foundation (www.chasefamilyfoundation), which helps veterans, shut-ins, and women and children in domestic violence situations. The foundation also helps provide pet food to people who can’t afford to feed their pets.
Peak said last year the Corvette Club wrote checks to three charities for a total of $17,500. This year the Club is hoping to be able to give away $20,000. Each year, club members vote on different charities to support, Peak said. They look at the needs the charities meet, and only help those charities from Benton and Washington counties that don’t receive federal or state money.
“We do all we can to raise as much money as we can for our charities,’” Peak said. “Charities are first and foremost. That’s the only reason we do this, besides the camaraderie.”
Peak said area car club members make friends from all over the country through the event and hear back from many of the attendees who are complimentary of the show.
“They call it the premier car show of the Midwest,” he said. “Every year it gets better and better and every year we make so many friends.”
The car show, sponsored by Chevrolet of Fayetteville and Everett Chevrolet, began on Friday (Aug. 21), with a cruise to tour Core Brewery in Fayetteville; and then on to Tontitown Winery and Vineyard for samplings there. Complimentary hamburgers, hot dogs, a cash bar, live entertainment and a silent auction rounded out the evening.
On Saturday morning (Aug. 22), the Corvette ladies enjoyed a private fashion show at the Promenade Dillard’s with giveaways ranging from a $200 purse to a $250 gift certificate. During the day, local car club members judged the Corvettes entered in the show, while attendees watched remote control Corvette car races and chatted with Corvette owners.
Saturday night, registrants were treated to a private Hawaiian party, which included cocktails, dinner and an awards presentation.
The NWA Corvette Club, established in 1996, is one of the largest Corvette Clubs in Arkansas and has about 100 members, according to their website.