Summer car-show season is in full swing across the country, and for fans of unmolested factory-original cars, one of the best shows is right in our neck of the woods: the Bloomington Gold Survivor car show. The 2012 edition of the show took place late last month at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. The Bloomington Gold organization is best known for its Corvette shows and certification processes, and in recent years it has branched out by creating a show and judging criteria specifically for original-condition cars of all types.
The Survivor show might best be summed up by the saying “A car can be restored many times, but it can only be original once.” The Survivor show’s expert judges meticulously examine each participating vehicle for factory originality and correctness. Instead of absolute show-car perfection, the focus is on preserving as much of the vehicle’s from-the-factory condition as possible— even minor dents/damage, wear/patina, and the shortcomings of mass-assembly construction. Properly preserved factory-original cars serve as time-capsule historical artifacts in a way that no fully restored vehicle can.
The Survivor show always attracts truly remarkable examples of these machines. Here are just a few highlights. (We’ll follow up later this week with more snapshots in Part 2.)