Bloomington Gold is the longest running continuous national Corvette show and it has set the standards by which other Corvette events are measured. 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 concourse 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 concourse. Over 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.