Thursday, September 24, 2009

National Corvette Museum’s 15th Anniversary a Success

Event attendance topped 24,000 over five days
Labor Day weekend 2009 saw one of the world’s largest moving automotive events take place as Corvettes from all over the country participated in Caravan 09. As part of the 15th Anniversary and Grand Reopening of the National Corvette Museum, over 4,500 Corvettes came from all over the United States, Canada, Netherlands, the UK and Australia, got together in major cities as they grew in numbers and then converged on Bowling Green Kentucky.

As the “Gateway to All Things Corvette” the National Corvette Museum held a ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming Corvette enthusiasts to the newly expanded 115,000 sq. ft. facility, and hosted a five-day event that included a special exhibit of rare Corvettes, seminars with Corvette designers, engineers and experts, GM Assembly Plant tours, road trips, drag racing, autocross and a surprise appearance by the Stingray Corvette concept car that played the role of “Sideswipe” in the Paramount film Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. Attendance over the five-day event exceeded 24,000, as visitors toured the new facility including the exhibit hall, library and archives, Corvette café and interactive exhibits.

Three 2010 Corvettes and $15,000 in cash were raffled off and several cash drawings were held for those who pre-registered for the event. The annual membership meeting was held yielding great ideas and feedback for the Museum team, a special reception recognizing Lifetime Members took place after hours at the Museum and four Corvette elite were inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame at the annual dinner. News and developments of the planned NCM Motorsports Park were shared, and more details can be found on the new website at

Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode commented afterward, "The tremendous success of this event says a lot about the love people have for – America's sports car, and for fellow car enthusiasts." The Museum welcomed 1,875 new members to the Corvette family during the event.

Fast Facts:

- 25 Broad Range Caravans, some made up of 2-3 smaller caravans, largest composed of over 900 Corvettes
- Over 4,500 Corvettes in attendance and 5,290 people were registered for the event
- 5,290 people were registered for the event
- Overall event attendance topped 24,000
- 1,875 enthusiasts became new members of the Museum

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2010 Torch Red Corvette Coupe Raffle Opens

Tickets Only $10 Each - Winner to be Drawn January 28

The National Corvette Museum has begun a Corvette raffle fundraiser featuring a 2010 Torch Red Corvette Coupe. This Corvette raffle car features a six-speed transmission, paddle shift with automatic modes, NPP dual-mode performance exhaust, removable transparent roof panel, ebony leather seats, 5-spoke forged chrome aluminum wheels and an audio system with 6-disc in-dash CD changer and MP3 playback. The winner will be drawn on Thursday, January 28 at 2:00 p.m. CT. Tickets are available at $10 each with an unlimited number of tickets to be sold.

The winner of the new Corvette will also be able to take part in the Museum’s highly requested “R8C Museum Delivery Program” which provides a private VIP tour of the Corvette Assembly Plant and Museum, a hands-on demonstration by a trained NCM Delivery Team member and includes a one-year Individual Membership to the Museum. In addition, an “R8C Delivery” decal and plaque exclusive to only Museum Corvette Delivery participants will be presented to the winner. R8C deliveries are viewed world-wide via the Museum’s webcams available at:

“The success of our raffle fundraisers is a team effort and one that we could not count on without the help of our ambassadors, members and supporters,” states NCM Executive Director, Wendell Strode. “As a non-profit foundation, we are always creatively using other means to raise funds and continue our mission. The Corvette raffles we offer each year are a tremendous help to us and we appreciate the support of everyone who buys a ticket and helps promote them.”

Tickets for the Red Corvette Coupe are available online at: or they can be purchased by calling (800) 53-VETTE (83883). The raffle is available to participants world-wide and is void where prohibited by law. Participants do not have to be present to win. Previous raffle winners are posted via our website at:

The National Corvette Museum is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the mission of education, celebration and preservation of Corvette and its heritage. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, the Museum is located at Exit 28 off I-65 in Bowling Green, KY. For more information on the National Corvette Museum visit our website at: or call (800) 53-VETTE (83883).

Monday, September 14, 2009

National Corvette Museum to Host Special Corvair Exhibit

Corvair Celebrates 50th Anniversary on October 2

October 2nd of this year marks the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of America’s first mass produced rear engine, air cooled automobile, the Corvair. In recognizing this special time in automotive history the National Corvette Museum will host a 6,000 sq. ft. exhibit solely featuring the Corvair.

“Occasionally we have ‘second season’ exhibits as a way to draw people in to the Museum,” said Executive Director, Wendell Strode. “We have found that often our non-Corvette exhibits bring in folks who may not have otherwise visited and in doing so are able to educate others on the Corvette.”

The Corvette and Corvair’s history overlap in many ways. Looking for a new and innovative design, designers used the new Corvette model as the basis for the new Corvair. Some called the car the "Corvette Corvair." In fact, former Chief Engineer for Chevrolet Ed Cole was key in the development and promotion of both, and former GM Design Chief Bill Mitchell designed the interior on certain years of the Corvair, and was instrumental to Corvette’s overall design from the late 50s through early 80s. These common denominators were strong selling points for Corvair’s temporary presence in the National Corvette Museum.

The 1954 Corvair and the 1960 Corvair have nothing in common but for the name. The ‘54 Corvair used the Corvette front end, had ribbed air intakes on the hood and fender vents. It had a wrap-around windshield and the fastback roof swept into a chrome-trimmed licensed plate housing. The rooftop seems to have simply been inserted upon a Corvette body as there was no storage behind the rear seats. The chassis and power train of the Corvair was Corvette 100%. Its windshield had a 53-degree slant. The interior of the car was really a ‘54 Corvette. Aside from the Corvette, the Corvair was the only American automobile that consistently appeared at American rallies, autocross meets, hillclimbs and sports car racing events.

Besides the first year four-door sedan and two-door coupe, the Chevrolet Corvair fleet included a station wagon (Lakewood), pick-up truck (Rampside and Loadside), panel van (Corvan), passenger van (Greenbrier), Spyder, Corsa and other specialty versions like the Fitch Sprint and the Yenko Stinger. Visitors to the Museum will not only see over 80 Corvettes on display, but also some of the finest Corvairs in the country including a: 1960 Sedan; 1964 Spyder Convertible; 1961 Lakewood; 1969 Monza Convertible; 1966 Corsa Coupe; 1966 Yenko Singer; 1965 Fitch Sprint; 1963 Rampside; 1964 Coupe; 1966 Sedan; 1965 Greenbrier and 1964 4-Door Sedan. The Corvair was produced from 1960 through 1969.

“In our minds, Corvette is the God and we’ve been allowed to participate in their heaven,” said Corvair Exhibit Chairperson Greg Scarboro. “We’ve been looked upon as the poor man’s sports car enthusiast, so to us it is very much an honor to be allowed in the Corvette Museum.”

The exhibit offers the chance to take an informative stroll down memory lane and learn about the rise and demise of the Corvair, and their similarities with the Corvette. The display will be on exhibit from October 2 through December 31, 2009. The National Corvette Museum is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky on I-65 at exit 28. The Museum is open daily from 8am until 5pm. For more information call 800-53-VETTE (83883) or visit the Museum website at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Transformers Concept Corvette ‘Sideswipe’ on Temporary Display at the National Corvette Museum

Visitors to the Museum can view a piece of Hollywood

Visitors to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky will get an extra special treat September 5 through 9th when they visit the Museum. Sideswipe - the Chevrolet Corvette concept vehicle character from the new “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” movie is on display on Corvette Boulevard and will be unveiled Saturday. Sideswipe is a sleek concept created by Corvette Designers and is influenced by the original Sting Ray race car, introduced in 1959.

“In honor of the 50th anniversary of the original Corvette Sting Ray concept racer, GM Design created an all new Sting Ray Vision that is a homage to the original 1959 concept and continues the long tradition of Corvette Concept Cars,” said Harlan Charles, Chevrolet Corvette Marketing Manager. “This futuristic Sting Ray vision of America’s performance icon was featured as Sideswipe in Transformers 2,” he added.

The concept, along with the four other Chevrolet Transformer Autobots, debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in February. The DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures film opened in the United States on June 26. The car is on display as part of the National Corvette Museum’s 15th Anniversary Celebration event.

The National Corvette Museum is located at I-65, exit 28 in Bowling Green, Kentucky and is open daily 8am to 5pm. The Museum will be open until 8pm on Wednesday, September 2, Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5. For more information, visit or call 800-53-VETTE (83883).

KSP to Participate in National Corvette Museum 15th Anniversary Celebration and Caravan

The Kentucky State Police are participating in the Corvette Museum 15th Anniversary Celebration and National Caravan. KSP will escort four separate caravans of Corvettes traveling to the Bowling Green Museum from across the country.

As a unique twist, each of the caravans will be escorted by a Corvette detailed to resemble a marked KSP cruiser including flashing blue lights.

The Corvettes that will be driven by KSP personnel are on-loan for the day from local owners. Drivers include Commissioner Rodney Brewer, Lt. Col. Mike Sapp, Captain Deron Berthold and Trooper Mike Hatler.

KSP units will escort the caravans as they enter the Commonwealth and remain with the groups until they arrive safely at the museum.

The Corvette Caravans traveling to Kentucky will originate in Georgia, Indiana, Nebraska and North Carolina. These caravans will pick up additional Corvette drivers in Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming with the final destination set for the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.

The museum has a full weekend of events planned to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Activities include special displays such as “Firsts and Lasts;” showing the first and last model of each generation of Corvettes, entertainment in the Museum's amphitheater, daily arrivals of Corvette Caravans from across the U.S., and the completed renovation of the entire Corvette Museum which is ready to tour and enjoy!

Caravans will begin arriving in Bowling Green at noon, Sept. 2, 2009 and will continue through 3 p.m. (central time) on Friday when the last caravan is set to arrive. Over 5,000 guests and spectators are expected to be on hand for the celebration. A view of Corvettes for miles is a sight to see and the staggered arrivals give participants a chance to both be greeted on arriving and be greeters for the next group

For more information about this event, please contact the National Corvette Museum at 1-800-53-VETTE or visit their website at

One-of-a-kind Corvettes to be Displayed for a Limited Time

Visitors will have just one week to view the Mako Shark, Manta Ray, Aerovette and Stingray Racer

You had posters of them on your bedroom wall as a kid, maybe even a book featuring their sleek designs. Now, for a very limited time, you can see these one-of-a-kind concept cars in person at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The four Chevrolet Corvettes, a 1961 Mako Shark Concept, 1965 Manta Ray Concept, 1973 Aerovette Concept and 1959 Stingray Racer, are all on loan from the General Motors Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

“These cars were some of the top prototypes developed by GM and hold a significant place in Corvette’s history,” said Betty Hardison, NCM Library and Archives Coordinator. “They were on display when the Museum held the grand opening in 1994, so it was fitting to have them back for this grand re-opening event, 15 years later.”

The temporary display begins Tuesday, September 1 and continues through Wednesday, September 9, as part of the Museum’s 15th Anniversary Celebration. The cars can be viewed in the National Corvette Museum’s new Exhibit Hall. The Museum is located at I-65, exit 28 and is open daily, 8am-5pm Central Time. The Museum will have extended hours on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5, closing at 8pm. For more information please contact the National Corvette Museum at 800-53-VETTE (83883) or visit us online at

About the Display Cars

Mako Shark
The Mako Shark was designed by Larry Shinoda under the direction of GM Design head Bill Mitchell in 1961 as a concept for future Chevrolet Corvettes. In keeping with the name, the streamlining, pointed snout and other detailing were partly inspired by the look of that very fast fish. The “Mako Shark” was very similar to the 1963 production Corvette it inspired, with some alterations. These included adding two more brake lights in the rear (six total), making the nose of the car longer and more pointed, creating a clear glass roof with a periscope-like rear-view mirror and remodeling the interior.

Manta Ray
In 1969 development began on the Manta Ray, created through a transformation of the Mako Shark II primarily from the cockpit to the rear of this elaborate car. Only the tapered “boat tail” motif remained with the addition of a new and considerably longer rear end in place of the abrupt duck tail. During the winter of 1969-70, the Manta Ray underwent subtle additional changes. These were the last changes to a dream car that had since become reality.

In 1976, the 1973 Corvette 4-Rotor concept was taken out of storage and renamed the Aerovette. The double rotary engine was replaced with a transversally mounted 400 CID V8 engine. Bill Mitchell, Vice President of Design, lobbied for the Aerovette as the next Corvette and GM chairman and CEO, Thomas Murphy actually approved the Aerovette for 1980 production. In the end, management decided that they were selling every fiberglass bodied, front engine V8 “traditional” Corvette they could build, so why make a huge risky investment in a mid-engine car. The Aerovette project was cancelled.

Stingray Racer
Bill Mitchell wanted to build a Corvette racecar capable of beating Europe’s best. With an AMA ban on manufacturer-sponsored racing, the project had to be privately financed and the design could not have any recognizable association with Chevrolet. With Mitchell’s own time and money heavily invested into the project, he contracted Larry Shinoda to assist in the development of the revolutionary concept.

Combining the 1957 SS chassis with the new fiberglass body resulted in a sleek and muscular roadster. Mitchell’s Stingray was completed in 1959 with the engineering help of Zora Arkus-Duntov. Accomplished SCCA driver Dick Thompson raced the Stingray and piloted it to two consecutive class championships. At the end of the 1960 season, Mitchell retired the Stingray from competition, detuned it, added a full windshield and passenger seat, drove it on the street and exhibited it as an experimental show car.

Shortest Caravan Departs Tonight

Local Residents will have their chance to see a caravan of Corvettes

They come from all across the U.S… the miles of Corvettes traveling the country’s highways and byways to convene in Bowling Green. But what about those fiberglass beauties that already call South Central Kentucky home? Area residents can join in what has been deemed the “shortest caravan”, departing tonight, Tuesday, September 1 at 6:00 p.m. from the WKU Ag Expo Center on Elrod Road.

The caravan will travel a whopping 12.5 miles, up the Natcher Parkway and I-65 North to the National Corvette Museum. Dozens of Corvettes are already pre-registered to attend and spectators are welcome! There’s no cost to participate, and the Corvette Café will be open at the Museum upon arrival so participants can enjoy refreshments.