They say life begins at 40. An age when you know who you are, who you aren’t, what you like and what you don’t.
And that’s okay.
With that in mind, North County Corvette Club 40th Annual Plastic Fantastic Show kept those tenants in focus and blew out all the stops for its big “Four-Oh.”
The weather cooperated, the venue was sublime, and over 400 shiny Corvettes showed up for the day. San Diego’s Embarcadero Park, next to the quaint Seaporte Village, has to be one most scenically beautiful parks in the world, and the perfect backdrop for the largest, West coast all-Corvette show.
It consists of two man-made peninsulas that shield the marina and creates an island-like feeling thats compliments the shiny ‘Vettes on display. Seaporte Village is a short stroll away, and has a homey patchwork of little bungalow coffee shops, gift stores, and restaurants.
The show was started in 1974, by the aforementioned NCoCC, and now brings out the best cars and brightest stars of the Corvette hobby in the Southwest. These days, the show is co-sponsored by fellow Corvette aficionados over at Bob Stall Chevrolet of La Mesa California.
NCoCC elaborates further, “We’re a social club with a love and appreciation for America’s greatest sports car, the Corvette. Every year, we host the largest all Corvette car show in the west with over 400 Corvettes on display.
The proceeds from our annual car show go to support our club charity, the San Diego USO, with locations at the San Diego International Airport and Downtown.
In addition to hosting Plastic Fantastic each year, we enjoy a wide variety of other activities involving Corvettes, please take a look at the calendar on our website.
These activities include attending car shows, going on cruises (the kind with cars not ships), having picnics and dinners, doing winery tours, having poker runs, and of course, an annual Christmas Party to name a few. Our members also support a wide variety of local community activities and charities.”
The show is a must-see if you’re anywhere near Southern California. We’re about an hour north of San Diego, so it was a nice sunny drive down I-15 then a hop on to 163, which takes you into downtown San Diego.
As usual, Corvette Online was graciously greated by President Rick Toomey, and he escorted us to a spot where we parked our C4 project car “Red Haired Step Child.” Once we had our old red 1995 roadster on display, we cruised around on foot to get a lay-of-the-land, suss out the event, and see all the Corvettes.
There were too many pristinely-presented Corvettes at the show to cover them all, so we picked a few of our favorites that really knocked us out. Check out the gallery below for complete accounting of all the fiberglass beauties.
One car that really knocked us out was Mark Field’s incredible 1960 Roman Red roadster with white coves. We’re like most hardcore Corvette peeps in that we love a super-sanitary build bordering on perfection, and this ‘Vette is exquisite in it’s execution and beauty.
Although all the usual restomod gear was present and accounted for – LS engine, updated chassis and modern running gear – the car was more than the sum of it’s parts.
The stance, wheels, and overall look really lay down the blueprint for how a ’58-’60 Corvette restomod should look. Inside, the leather stitched two cove dash, modern A/C, and most every other creature comfort you could think of was thrown in, making the inside as pristine as the exterior.
Under the hood was a delicious take on an LS engine, with black, crinkle finish coil covers and other underhood components, and was the prefect, modern punctuation mark to Harley Earl’s old school bodywork.
Another C1 that knocked us out was this glowing, orangy gold 1959 roadster owned by David Freedman of San Clemente, California. David built the car in his home garage and married the drivetrain and running gear from a C5 Zo6 to the one-year only ’58 body with washboard hood louvers and twin-spear trunk lid.
The car uses the C5 transaxle, so a good amount finessing was required to fit the old body on top of the new frame. A healthy LS6 provides motivation, and the C5 Z06 wheels update the car while keeping it pure and in-the-family with late model Corvette bits.
Where he really deviated from the restomod blueprint – with great results – was lifting the entire dash from the C5 donor car, covering it in golden butterscotch leather, and skillfully blending it with it’s new home…David shows the car frequently around the Southern California area, and it’s always a treat to see the car.
This black 1965 C2 coupe piqued our interest and was unique, in that it had an LS3 transplant and updated running gear, but otherwise was stone stock all the way down to the knock-off wheels and whitewalls.
Restomodding a ‘Vette is sacrilegious to some. Many purists think altering these works of art in any way is like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa. We concur to a certain degree, but when done right, updated Corvettes get a new lease on life, get driven, and keeps old ‘Vettes young and evergreen.
That’s why we loved this black restomod 1965 coupe. If you never opened the hood and saw the LS engine, you would never know it was breathed on, you’d believe that is was absolutley stone stock, untouched, and unmolested.
Inside, a darn near perfect red leather interior with an automatic are a great combo for easy cruising with some serious stink under your right foot if you need it. Good stuff.
Late-model performance showed up in full force as well. We dug this red, 2008 C6 coupe with a modded LS, lowered stance, custom wheels, and Nitto white letter tires. Owner Matt Montesa really worked hard to get this C6 right, and cop this streetwise attitude.
If you want to see the future of the Corvette hobby, here’s where you look. Young tech heads with a wrench in one hand and and EFI tuner and laptop in the other. These guys are the ones who will take the torch to the next generation, and we dig keeping tabs on what they’re up to.
Last, but not least, here’s the sweetest, straightest little Ontario Orange LT-1 roadster you’ve ever seen. Richard Hirsch brought this 1972 honey out into the sunshine and it looked marvelous in it’s Nixon-era ginger orange color.
We did a story on Dave Baker’s class winning C3 last year, but this beauty was the star of the Shark brigade this year and took first place. Not much to say other that it’s super sanitary and with a fresh presentation that sparkled in the sunlight.
Be sure and check out our gallery of all the cars we encountered and be sure and stay tuned to Corvette Online for future features on the cars we highlighted. Thanks to Rick Toomey and the NCoCC gang for a great show and we’ll see you next year.
Kudos to Osvaldo G. Tellez for killer drone photography at top of the piece…