Thousands of people came out Saturday evening to watch as 405 Corvettes, ranging in years from 1953-2013, were driven two and three lanes wide down North Hanover Street, revving engines, honking, driver’s waving and smiling during the Corvettes of Carlisle annual parade.
The event is part of the three-day Corvette show at the Carlisle Fairgrounds.
For one man, the parade wasn’t just an event. This year, he came to fulfill a live-long dream.
Bob Berrettini, 49, of Mechanicsburg, has wanted to own a Corvette for most of his life.
His “Bucket List” included the purchase of a Corvette and driving it in the parade.
After purchasing a Corvette in April, he spent the last few months putting his sweat, love and tears into repairing his 1993 LT Coop just in time for the event.
The car wasn’t in top condition when he bought it, but it did have a 300-horsepower engine. Looking back, Berrettini always knew what kind of Corvette he wanted.
“Once I saw the C3 Corvette in 1968 coming around with the headlights popping up in the front I said ‘Oh, where’ve you been all my life,’” he said.
Getting this car not only fulfills his dreams, but brings him back to childhood memories of his father and growing up around cars, he said.
“This is my fantasy, I have wanted a Corvette ever since I was a kid and it’s very emotional to see it here,” said Berrettini as he stood along the sidewalk and watched his car among many other Corvettes in the street.
The car will be Berrettini’s weekend vehicle. “You get in and drive with a smile,” he said.
Corvettes and their owners
Rich Sebring, of Mechanicsburg, volunteered to direct traffic during the parade but he’s also the owner of a Corvette.
“I have attended this event for many years and I am in the Corvette Club,” said Sebring. He owns a 1980 Corvette, midnight blue, with Doe interior, which is brown or beige in color, he said.
“I bought it brand new back then,” Sebring said.
Becky Lorah and her mother Cindy Wolf set up lawn chairs along South Hanover Street at around 5:30 p.m. to watch the Corvettes drive down through Carlisle. Lorah’s father owns a Corvette, but it’s a family affair because they all love the event, they said.
“It is impressive,” said Lorah, of Camp Hill.
“I moved just a bit ago, but I have attended this event for many years,” she said.
Wolfe came out from Western Pennsylvania for the event and said she loves it.
“It’s amazing to hear the Corvettes come down the street — it gives me goose-pimples and chills,” said Wolfe.
She said the family has been coming to the event for at least nine or 10 years.
Also long-time attendees of the event, Jeff and Heather Lang of Mechanicsburg waited along the street about an hour before the Corvettes began their trip through town.
This is their five-month-old daughter Harper’s first parade.
“She is very good with the noise, she doesn’t cry at all,” said Heather Lang.
“We try to expose her to all sorts of sounds.”
Many Corvette owners come from all over the country to attend the event.
Wade Ridgely, of Virginia Beach, Va., enjoyed taking photographs during the parade.
It’s his second year attending the event and he’s the proud owner of a 2003 50th Anniversary Special Edition Corvette.
“It is specific to that year, with details and it’s 50th anniversary red,” said Ridgely.
He brought his friend David Smith with him this year, who also owns a Corvette.
“This is a nice event where you can talk to other Corvette owners and shop for parts,” Ridgely said.
He’s one of 110 members of the Beach Combers Corvette Club in Virginia.
Twenty club members traveled to Carlisle for the event, he said.
Some travel from far distances, while others are just around the block.
Another long-distance traveler, Joe Orlando, of Bergen County, N.J., has been coming to the Corvettes of Carlisle show for the last 12 or 13 years, he said. He owns a 1991 Classic Corvette, white with red interior.
Orlando walked around to check out other Corvettes with his friend, Willy Ungar.
Ungar, of Long Island, N.Y., owns four Corvettes, a Fawn-Beige 1962, a Lyndale Blue 1967, a black and silver 1978 Pace and a silver 2000 Corvette.
When asked why he owns so many Corvettes, Ungar said “Only four? I need more!
“It’s like children, each one is different, each one has a different feel and smell,” he said.
Corvettes of Carlisle is the largest event of it’s kind in the world, according to Carlisle Events’ website. It’s known for featuring more than 5,000 Corvettes representing all generations of America’s classic sports car.