This rare 1967 Corvette Sting Ray Coupe is considered extraordinary because its restoration was overseen by David Burroughs, who in 1993 completed a five-year restoration of the car for the current owner. Burroughs is best known as Bloomington Gold founder and Corvette expert extraordinaire.
The current owner of the rare 1967 Corvette Sting Ray Coupe is only its third – and he has owned it for more than 18 of its 44 years. The Silver Pearl coupe was sold new in Evansville, Ind., where it has resided ever since. It is equipped with the L68 427/400 HP Tri Power big block engine, transistorized ignition, a 4-speed manual transmission, telescopic steering column, air conditioning, power steering and brakes, power windows, headrests, AM/FM radio and tinted glass.
But according to Burroughs, the main story is "the insane detail that differentiates this from any other Corvette. The car showcases Burroughs' insistence on translating that philosophy into a finished piece whose minutest detail mimics true factory production.
For example, the Silver Pearl finish was applied by a painter specially trained by Burroughs in factory paint processes. The finished paint was lightly buffed out, but only above the beltline, the factory having decided that since the area below the sharp break was typically in shadow, it therefore did not require the extra attention.
Prior to 1978, judging at Bloomington Gold was based on "car vs. car" competition. There were class winners and best of show winners, and, of course, there were losers. All that changed for the Corvette and collector car hobby when, in 1978, Burroughs unveiled Gold Certification judging.
Burroughs' plan was to enable any Corvette to be a winner if it met high standards of authenticity. Gold Certification would require Corvettes to be judged not against one another, but as to the car's level of accuracy compared to the day it left the factory. A Corvette would earn a Gold Certification if its condition was within 95 to 100 percent of the way it rolled off the assembly line - no better, no worse.
Being 100 percent factory authentic, though, did not mean the car was 100 percent perfect, because Corvettes weren't perfect when new. A group of judges were assembled from the nation's most knowledgeable Corvette experts and the National Corvette Certification Board was born. The Gold Certification judging procedures thus established became the benchmark for judging of all types of automobiles.
In 1984 the show became officially known as Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA and three prestigious new events were added -- the Special Collection, the Restoration Workshops and the Silver Salute, according to information from the Bloomington Gold website.
Mecum will also auction a 1966 Corvette Convertible 427/425 HP, 4-Speed (Lot S77) that has earned NCRS Top Flight and Bloomington Gold Survivor and Benchmark certification, in addition to many more desirable and collectible Corvettes.
Bloomington Gold can trace its roots back to 1973, when a group of Corvette enthusiasts gathered in Bloomington, Illinois to display their cars and swap extra parts with one another. They called it the Bloomington Corvette Corral, a one-day show on a two-acre section of the McLean County Fairgrounds. It was a hit from the start, with 1500 people in attendance, 112 Corvettes shown in the concours show and 19 vendors with parts and products at $3.00 per space. Spectator admission to the show was just a buck.
As word spread about the show, in 1974 it was expanded to two days, Saturday and Sunday, and a gymkhana event was added. Attendance for the show tripled and 82 vendor spaces were sold at $5.00 each. The number of Corvettes grew to 684, and judging classes for restored, original, custom, and semi-custom cars were added.
The Bloomington Corvette Corral continued to gather momentum, adding an all-Corvette auction in 1975 with over 100 cars entered. Other Corvettes were offered for sale in the Show & Sell event, while 300 cars were pre-registered to compete in the concours. More than 1200 Corvettes were on hand with several thousand enthusiasts in attendance.
By 1977 the Bloomington Corral had grown to be the biggest Corvette event in the country, with people attending from across the nation and around the world. The show was expanded to three days this year, and both attendance and Corvette numbers again grew considerably.
Mecum's Bloomington Gold Corvette Auction is held at Pheasant Run Resort and is open to the general public. General admission is handled by Bloomington Gold, with tickets available at the gate for $20. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register to bid for the auction, and additional consignment, bidder and event information is available online at www.Mecum.com or by calling 815.568.8888.
Bloomington Gold Corvette Auction
June 24-25, 2011
Pheasant Run Resort
4051 East Main St.
St. Charles, IL 60174
Preview: Gates open at 8 a.m. Thursday through Sunday
Auction: Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.
(All times Central)