Thursday, December 9, 2010

National Corvette Museum Announces 2011 Hall of Fame Inductees

The National Corvette Museum has announced the following inductees to be recognized as part of the 14th Annual Corvette Hall of Fame Ceremony in 2011. Ron Fellows, a champion driver for Corvette Racing, Clare “Mac” MacKichan, a key designer for the first and other early Corvettes, and Ray Quinlan, donor of a 1953 Corvette to the Museum taking the project from an archives facility to museum will be recognized with the highest honor bestowed by the Museum for their contributions to the past, present and future of Corvette.

The 2011 Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame during a ceremony and banquet on Friday, September 2, 2011. Their induction will take place as part of the Museum’s 17th Anniversary Corvette Celebration festivities September 1-3, 2011.

Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Ron Fellows’ impressive skill as a driver for the Corvette Racing Team has earned him the respect of Corvette fans everywhere. His 27 wins, three ALMS championships and two wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with his unprecedented four consecutive "Most Popular Driver" awards from ALMS fans, testify to his track record of success. Although he has not raced for the factory team since 2008, he remains one of the most recognizable, respected and popular personalities to ever represent Corvette's racing heritage. As evidence of his enormous popularity, GM paid tribute to Ron by creating the "Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06" in 2007.

While he still races in NASCAR events and is tied with Terry Labonte for the most road course wins in NASCAR history, Ron has served as an advisor for the GM/Pratt & Miller factory team and an ambassador for Corvette in general, showing up at races, Corvette Corrals, Corvette functions and charities, often auctioning off passes to the Ron Fellows Driving School for worthwhile causes.

Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Clare “Mac” MacKichan was instrumental to the design and success of all Chevrolets in the mid-twentieth century. In his position as Chief Designer of the Chevrolet Studio, General Motors Design Staff, he was directly responsible for the design of all of the Corvettes from number one, through the 1950s and early 1960s. It was under his guidance that the 1954 Waldorf Show Corvettes were designed. In addition to his position as Chief Designer for Chevrolet, Mac also served as Director of Design for GM's Adam Opel AG in Germany, and later as Executive in Charge of Advanced Design and Engineering for Design Staff.

While he didn't always work on the Corvette brand, he continued to own one and participate in many Corvette activities - appearing and speaking at car shows and event all over the country. He would even decorate his office with parts of Corvettes that had been thrown away. Mac bought Corvettes and truly loved having a role in the creation and evolution of America’s sports car, even though it was unrecognized due to Harley Earl’s policy of giving credit only to himself, and later to Bill Mitchell. Sadly, Mac passed away but his contributions to the Corvette live on.

Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Ray Quinlan is probably the first Museum enthusiast, and it's fair to say the Museum might not be where it is today without the support of this NCM Lifetime Member No. 001. When the idea of a Corvette Library & Archives first came about, it was Ray who came forward and said he would donate his 1953 Corvette if the plans would incorporate a Museum... a place to house not only historical documents but also artifacts and cars. Memberships were the sole means of raising money in the early days, and Ray was right there, joining at the beginning.

While Ray owned a number of collectible cars, Corvettes were his passion. He was a member of the Corvette Club of Illinois and active with the National Council of Corvette Clubs and National Corvette Restorers Society. Ray always loved the Museum and all it represented, talking to visitors that were looking at the 1953 on display and sharing with them the history. Today, every visitor passing through the halls of the Museum hears the story of Ray and how his donation started the Museum.

The National Corvette Museum established the Corvette Hall of Fame in 1998 to confer the highest honor and recognition upon the most influential individuals in the history of the Corvette. The award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to their respective fields, each having reached the highest level of accomplishment. Inductees must also reflect the highest standards of integrity and character to positively enhance the prestige of the Corvette and the National Corvette Museum.

Additional information on reserving a spot at the prestigious Corvette Hall of Fame banquet will be available in the coming months via our website at: or can be obtained by subscribing to our weekly eNewsletter “NCM eNews” at:

The National Corvette Museum is the ‘Gateway to All Things Corvette’ and a member-driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation. Weekly news on the latest Corvette developments, racing updates, event features and raffles are available by subscribing to “NCM eNews” at: Dedicated to the mission of celebration, education and preservation, the Museum is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT - located at Exit 28 on I-65 in Bowling Green, KY.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Corvette Museum Offers $1 Admission for Kentucky Residents

The National Corvette Museum has named the entire month of December “Dollar Days” for residents of Kentucky who visit the Museum. All month long, Kentucky residents can tour the Museum for a $1.00 admission per person, and will only need to show a Kentucky drivers license to take advantage of the special offer. Children will be admitted at the $1.00 price with adults presenting the Kentucky identification.

The Museum features over 70 Corvettes, from the 1953 - the first Corvette to capture the hearts of America, to one-of-a-kind prototypes, the only 1983 in existence and historic Corvettes normally unavailable to the general public. A special Camaro exhibit with more than a dozen examples of the model is on display throughout December as well. Visitors can sit behind the wheel of a new Corvette and Camaro, race against the clock with the interactive Pit Crew Challenge, and take a drive in the new educational Driving Simulators.

“Dollar Days” is the Museum’s way of giving back to Kentucky residents to thank them for their support and gives them an opportunity to see first-hand why the Corvette is one of the state’s greatest resources and now the official state sports car of Kentucky. “We are proud to be able to showcase our Museum dedicated to this extraordinary automobile and celebrate, educate and preserve Corvette’s legendary past and future,” states NCM Executive Director Wendell Strode. “Each visit to the Museum is different because things are ever changing, and guests visiting in December will be able to see our new Camaro display. We look forward to welcoming our Kentucky friends.” Visitors can also take a chance to win a 2011 Corvette or Camaro for only $10 and do some holiday shopping in the Corvette Store.

The National Corvette Museum is the ‘Gateway to All Things Corvette’ and a member-driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation. Weekly news on the latest Corvette developments, racing updates, event features and raffles are available by subscribing to “NCM eNews” at: Dedicated to the mission of celebration, education and preservation, the Museum is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT - located at Exit 28 on I-65 in Bowling Green, KY.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Corvette Museum to Offer Limited Edition Z06 Carbon Raffle

Car is one of only 500 to be built.

The automotive world received an exciting announcement this year when information was released on the new 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. The car represents the latest track-to-street technology transfer, and with only 500 to be produced it is sure to be on every Corvette lover’s holiday wish list this year.

“Designed to further incorporate technology developed through racing, the Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first race in the 24 Hours of LeMans,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet General Manager. “With a limited production of 500 units, this car is a must-have for the true Corvette collector and driving enthusiast.”

The National Corvette Museum is offering the chance for someone to win one of these cars through a fundraising raffle. The car, a Supersonic Blue Carbon Edition Z06, VIN #03 AND the FIRST production Carbon Edition in Supersonic Blue, will be raffled on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 2pm CT. Winner need not be present to win and as with most Museum raffles there are a limited number of tickets available. Chances to win this collector car are $300 each, with only 1,000 tickets available.

“For track use, the Z06 Carbon is the best balanced Corvette yet. It combines the lightweight and naturally-aspirated Z06 engine with the road-holding and braking of the ZR1,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer. “For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time.”

This limited edition Z06 boasts Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with specific dark gray metallic calipers and black 20-spoke 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels complementing the car’s Michelin PS2 tires. Other mechanical features include Magnetic Selective Ride Control for the first time on the Z06 and enhanced cooling. The car also features a special carbon pattern engine cover.

Exterior features include black headlamps and mirrors, a ZR1-style body color spoiler, body color door handles, carbon fiber raised hood and black carbon fiber rockers and splitter.

The Z06 Carbon’s ebony leather and suede interior is complemented by blue seat stitching to match the exterior. Other features include a unique steering wheel emblem, sill plate and logoed headrest. The car has all the options, and MSRP is $99,925.

Tickets are available online at or by phone during normal business hours at 800-538-3883. The winner will be contacted by phone following the drawing, and raffle winners are posted on the Museum’s website at “Our raffle fundraisers offer a chance to make someone a Corvette owner and truly benefit the Museum in many ways,” states NCM Executive Director, Wendell Strode. “We look forward to welcoming another raffle winner to the Museum to take delivery.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

GM Corvette Assembly Plant Begins Development of New Onsite Wildlife Habitat

Plant Manager Dave Tatman and UAW Chairman Shane Colvard Plant Tree Together

For 29 years, the General Motors Bowling Green Corvette Plant has been committed to actions that restore and preserve the environment while building America’s favorite sports car – the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette Plant continues to demonstrate its commitment to the environment through its development of a new 75-acre onsite Wildlife Habitat, which will be open to the public in the spring of 2011. At 9:00 am on Friday, November 12, 2010, Plant Manager Dave Tatman and UAW Local 2164 Chairman Shane Colvard will join together to plant the second tree on the habitat. The first tree was planted by WKU’s very own Big Red in conjunction with the plant’s WKU Red is Green partnership.

The Wildlife Habitat project will be broken up into three phases over the next three years:

Phase A began September 27, 2010 and is estimated for completion in spring 2011. Approximately 25 acres will be bush hogged and disked for the grasses and tree planting areas. The initial planting of 400 saplings will be utilized as buffer zones. A driveway and parking area with picnic tables will be placed at the entrance.

Phase B is estimated for completion in spring 2012. During this phase shelters will be placed over the picnic tables, a one-mile walking/running trail will be made, and old tank saddles will be removed. Endangered species will be transplanted into the habitat, and the construction for wetlands will be initiated.

Phase C is estimated for completion in spring 2013. During Phase C the wetland will be constructed, and an additional 12 acres will be planted with wildflower and grasses - bringing the total planted area to 37 acres. The parking lot will expand as needed, and solar technology enhancements will be made. There will be a sink hole path and viewing location for education and Geological purposes.

The Corvette Plant is open to allowing the community to use the Wildlife Habitat for projects and educational purposes. Plant Manager Dave Tatman has been a part of this type of important environmental venture before, although on a much smaller scale. Tatman says, “The Corvette Plant is excited to begin work on the habitat and to give back to the community by opening this natural environment to the public. The opportunities are endless with a habitat like this. We want area schools to bring their classes to the habitat for outdoor teaching sessions. We invite local groups, such as Boy and Girl Scouts, to use the habitat for tree planting projects, restoration of habitat and native wildflowers and grasses, construction of bird/bat houses and butterfly habitats, and more.”

According to Tim Bartee, District Conservationist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), “The diversity this project will provide will not only be an eye appealing wildlife habitat but will be an excellent resource for educational projects due to the karst geology and cave systems we have in central Kentucky. The project involves cultivating a wildlife habitat and public education - both important to our agency mission of Helping People Help the Land.”

If you have ideas or would like to help with the Wildlife Habitat, please contact Olin Desonier, GM Corvette Plant environmental engineer, at 392-6457.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

National Corvette Museum Offers "Free Admission" to Recognize U.S. Military, Fire Fighters and Police During "Military Appreciation Month"

The National Corvette Museum would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the many men and women who have served, and are serving our country.

November is "Military Appreciation Month" at the National Corvette Museum and all military personnel, firemen, police officers and their immediate families will receive "Free Admission" during the entire month of November. All branches including active, retired and reserve members will be honored with free admission when presenting a military or service ID or copy of their DD-214.

"We are truly a blessed nation and our military provide the safety we have to enjoy our American privileges," states NCM Executive Director, Wendell Strode. "Corvette is an American icon and we invite these special individuals and their family members to experience a tour of the Museum dedicated to America’s favorite sports car."

In addition to free admission, this year will be even more special as the Museum has added some displays and activities to enhance the experience.

3rd Annual Vets ‘n Vettes Event – November 4-6, 2010
Regular Registration $10
While many of the participants will have a Corvette, owning one is certainly not a requirement to participate! The event features road tours, a poker run, warrior session BBQ luncheon, military history team trivia, participation in the Bowling Green, Kentucky Veteran’s Day Parade, presentation of colors by WKU's ROTC, seminars and a banquet.

Special Displays and Activities

- Military vehicle displays provided by the Kentucky National Guard Nov. 4-6: himar, resupply vehicle,and rigid wall shelter. Representatives from the Kentucky National Guard will be on-site to tell visitors about the vehicles, answer questions and even let visitors sit in them They will also perform himar demonstrations at 10am, 11am, 1pm, and 2pm.

- Memorial circle on the Museum's front lawn. Purchase a flag for $1 to place in memory or in honor of someone. The names of those who the flags represent continuously scroll on the lobby television monitor.

- Aviation Heritage Park, a local group who acquire and restore military aircraft for display at Basil Griffin Park in Bowling Green, has display cases of memorabilia on Corvette Boulevard.

- Flag raising ceremonies available by reservation. Guests can reserve a day to bring a loved one’s American Flag and the Museum and National Guard will perform a ceremony, raising and flying their flag at the Corvette Museum. Reserve your spot by calling Pam at 270-467-8800 or email

- Holiday greeting cards are available for people to write messages for the troops. The cards will be sent overseas in late November. In addition, for only $5 you can purchase a family admission pass to the Museum to send to the troops overseas so that they can visit with their family upon their return.


Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, the Museum is located at Exit 28 on I-65 in Bowling Green, KY. For more information on the Museum visit us at: or call 800-538-3883.

Monday, October 4, 2010

National Corvette Museum and Historic Railpark & Train Museum Offer Free Child Admission with Kid-Friendly Food Donation

Promotion to Benefit Feeding America: Kentucky's Heartland Adopt-A-BackPacker Program

Have you ever had to go a day without food? Two days? Many school children in Kentucky do just that. Feeding America: Kentucky's Heartland, based in Elizabethtown, has what's known as 'Adopt a BackPacker'... a program where the organization prepare bags of food each week, with at least eight kid-friendly food items, that are discreetly placed in the child’s backpack each Friday by their teacher while the kids are at recess or lunch.

The mission of Kentucky’s Heartland is “to meet the needs of hungry children by providing them with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food to take home on weekends and school vacations when other resources are not available.”

The foods are all easy to prepare and nutritious, like pop-top soups, peanut butter crackers, cereal bars, pudding cups, juice boxes and other nutritious foods. Children who don’t get enough food do not perform well academically, display unacceptable behavior and have poor attendance due to illness or other reasons that are unexcused.

The National Corvette Museum and Historic Railpark and Train Museum in Bowling Green are helping to create awareness and support of this program by accepting donations of these items October 1 - 11. Visitors donating a food item will receive free child admission (or $2 off adult admission) to that museum.

The National Corvette Museum is located at I-65, exit 28 and is open daily, 8am to 5pm. Learn more at or call 270-781-7973. The Historic Railpark and Train Museum is located at I-65, exit 26 and is open Monday through Saturday, 9am to 5pm, and Sunday 1-4pm. Visit their website at or call 270-745-7317. Both the National Corvette Museum and Historic Railpark and Train Museum are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.

You can also learn more about the Adopt-a-BackPacker program at The program services 30 Kentucky counties.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

National Corvette Museum Offers Free Admission on Smithsonian Magazine's 6th Annual Museum Day

12 Museums in Kentucky Signed Up to Participate

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the National Corvette Museum will participate in the sixth annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day. The Corvette Museum will join participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide to open their doors free of charge to all visitors who download the Museum Day Ticket from A journey to celebrate our world’s dynamic heritage and cultural life, participating Museum Day venues emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities.

Museum Day 2010 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event. Over 300,000 museum-goers and 1,300 venues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participated in Museum Day 2009. Last year, two million visitors logged on to to learn more about the program.

“This year’s Museum day we are also the host facility for the final BiG Cruise of the year, so visitors will get to see not only over 80 unique Corvettes – but also some hot rods,” said Katie Frassinelli, Museum Marketing Manager.

Visitors will also enjoy new hands-on, interactive exhibits, the Corvette Café, Corvette Store, Conference Center, plus the chance to sit in a Corvette and even register to drive one home.

Other participating Kentucky museums include: Frazier International History Museum (Louisville), Headley-Whitney Museum (Lexington), Kentucky Gateway Museum Center (Maysville), Kentucky Historical Society (Frankfort), Liberty Hall Historic Site (Frankfort), Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (Louisville), McCreary County Museum (Stearns), McDowell House Museum and Apothecary (Danville), Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site Museum (Perryville), The Speed Art Museum (Louisville) and Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site (Wickliffe).

The Museum Day Ticket is available to download at Visitors who present the official pass will gain free admission for two people to participating museums and cultural venues. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. Listings and links to participating museums’ and sponsors’ sites can be found at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Camaro Exhibit Coming to Corvette Museum this Fall

Transformers 'star' Bumblebee scheduled to make an appearance

While you can see over 80 unique and rare Corvettes on display at the National Corvette Museum anytime, the Museum will also welcome some cool Camaros for your viewing pleasure this fall. October 1 through December 31 the Museum’s exhibit hall will include a dozen unique, fast and even rare examples of Corvette’s younger sibling.

Those who remember John Schnatter’s search for his long lost Camaro, (founder of Papa John’s Pizza) will enjoy seeing it on display as part of the exhibit. Schnatter had sold his beloved 1971 ½ Camaro Z28 in 1983 when his father’s tavern was on the verge of closing because of a bankruptcy. With the $2,800 he received for the car he was able to save their business and later launched the Papa John’s pizza empire. Schnatter says that for 26 years he wanted the car back, and in 2009 by offering a finder’s fee of $25,000 and $250,000 to purchase the car John was re-united with the Camaro.

Joining Papa John’s car is PGA golfer Kenny Perry’s 1969 Camaro, a 2001 Dale Earnhardt Camaro (1 of only 81 made), a 1987 1LE Prototype, a 2010 Indy 500 Pace Car, a 1968 Big Block plus several more head-turners.

Of course, the icing on the Camaro cake will come October 18-28 when the Museum welcomes “Bumblebee,” star of the Transformers films. The Camaro is one of the actual “autobots” used in the first and second Transformers movies (2007 and 2009), driven by actors Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. The third film is currently in production and is set to release July 1, 2011 in 3-D.

Camaro lovers will have the opportunity to not only sit behind the wheel of a new Camaro, but also register to take one home! The Museum will be holding a fundraising raffle for a 2011 Black Camaro SS/RS and chances are only $10 each. The car features black leather interior, LS3 – 6.2L V8 engine with 426 horsepower, 6-speed manual transmission, silver stripe package, Hurst short-throw shifter, 20” aluminum polished wheels and more. The prize also includes a voucher to participate in a Bondurant 3-Day Driving School, valued at over $4,000! The drawing will be held in February of 2011 at the National Corvette Museum.

For the full Camaro-experience, a one-day Camaro/Firebird Classic event is planned during the exhibit. Saturday, October 23 will be packed with autocross, drag racing, a car show, poker run, BBQ lunch and more. Participant registration is all-inclusive at just $50 per person. Spectators/guests can pay just $20 for the lunch and museum admission. Event credential pick-up begins at 8am.

For more information on the exhibit and event, visit our website at or call (800) 538-3883. The National Corvette Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Corvette’s past, present and future. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, the Museum is located at Exit 28 on I-65 in Bowling Green, KY.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Calling All Cars! Kentucky State Police Team Up With National Corvette Museum to Offer Scenic Road Tour

Kentucky is known for horses, bourbon and history… but October 12-16, 2010 participants of a first-ever scenic Kentucky road tour will get to experience more than just that. The National Corvette Museum has teamed up with the Kentucky State Police to lead a fundraising event like no other – taking participants to some of the most popular attractions and best dining the Bluegrass State has to offer. The proceeds from the event will benefit both the National Corvette Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation, and the Kentucky State Police’s Trooper Island Camp, a free of charge, weeklong experience designed to help underprivileged kids age 10-12 develop their self image, build healthy eating and exercise habits, provide spiritual growth and further mental capabilities.

“The ‘One Lap of Kentucky’ Event is a great way to spend some time seeing the many wonderful sites our state has to offer,” said Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer. “The Kentucky State Police are excited to be a part of the event and are honored that a portion of the registration will benefit Trooper Island. Since 1965, the island has been run entirely on donations. It is from the generous contributions of people across this great state and beyond that we are able to continue to operate this magical place,” he added.

The road tour begins on Wednesday, October 13, departing from the National Corvette Museum down US-68/KY-80 to the Shaker Museum at South Union, the Jefferson Davis Monument, Metalsa Factory (formerly Dana) in Hopkinsville to see how Corvette frames are made and on to lunch at the Pennyrile State Park. The day continues with a visit to the “Land Between the Lakes” with dinner at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement in Grand Rivers and overnight at Kentucky Dam State Park Lodge.

Thursday takes the group to Paducah with visits to the Dippin’ Dots factory and Quilt Museum, time to browse Lowertown ending with dinner at the famous Moonlite BBQ in Owensboro. Friday includes a tour of the International Bluegrass Museum, taking the Kentucky backroads to Rough River State Park for lunch and wrapping up with visits to Churchill Downs and the Derby Museum in Louisville.

The trip comes to a close on Saturday with visits to the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum, including a souvenir of your own custom bat, shopping and lunch at the Whistlestop Café in Glendale and finishing back at the National Corvette Museum. While caravanning is a signature Corvette activity, this road tour welcomes all makes and models of cars.

“Corvettes share a common passion for road tours, and we feel by hosting this tour with the Kentucky State Police this passion will rub off on others,” said Roc Linkov, Events Manager at the National Corvette Museum. “What better time to explore Kentucky than the fall!”

The tour fee is $625 for the driver, and $225 for their guest. The fee includes lodging for three nights, lunch on three days, admission to all attractions and dinner the first two nights. Registration closes October 4. For more information on the ‘One Lap of Kentucky’ Road Tour, visit our website at or call (800) 538-3883. The National Corvette Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Corvette’s past, present and future. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, the Museum is located at Exit 28 on I-65 in Bowling Green, KY.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

National Corvette Museum to Raffle Special Edition Corvette at 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY

While the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will bring a lot of horses to Kentucky, the National Corvette Museum in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Travel will bring a lot of horsepower to the games as well.

One lucky fan will get a high powered ‘souvenir’ to bring home from the games. On Sunday, October 10 a raffle drawing will be held at 12pm ET at the Kentucky Experience of the World Equestrian Games for a special edition 2010 Crystal Red Grand Sport Corvette Convertible. The car, VIN 14, has a strong Corvette show history and was used by Chevrolet to promote the new Grand Sport all over the country. In addition, Chevrolet's design team has made a few special, custom modifications to make it truly a collectible car, including special ‘one off’ centerstack and steering wheel finish, unique center console leather wrap, special detail on the steering wheel center and special rear badge and windshield decal.

“This is definitely a collectible Corvette with a rich history,” said Harlan Charles, Chevrolet Corvette Product Marketing Manager. “We’ve selected a special low VIN Corvette which has traveled the country with us at Chevrolet to promote the new Grand Sport model. Our designers have also made a few special modifications to the car, making it truly one-of-a-kind,” he added.

The Corvette will be on display by the Welcome Center of the Kentucky Experience during the 16 days of the event. In addition, a Corvette that visitors can try on for size will be located within the ‘Caves, Lakes, Corvettes’ section of the Kentucky Experience, making a perfect photo op for visitors.

“Bowling Green, Kentucky is the only place in the world Corvettes are manufactured,” said Mike Cooper, Commissioner of the Department of Travel. “It is only fitting that we offer one up for raffle so that an event attendee has the opportunity to bring a little piece of Kentucky back home with them.”

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear just this summer signed into law a bill designating Corvette as the official state sports car. "Sports car enthusiasts have been in love with the Corvette since it was first unveiled in the Motorama show in New York in 1953," said Gov. Beshear. "For nearly 30 years, Kentucky has been the exclusive home of this iconic sports car. We proudly honor this fine example of American ingenuity by designating the Corvette as Kentucky's official state sports car."

Both the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant and National Corvette Museum are located in Bowling Green, Kentucky at I-65, exit 28. “I can’t think of a better piece of Kentucky craftsmanship and engineering to showcase at the games,” said Wendell Strode, Executive Director at the National Corvette Museum. “Who doesn’t get revved up and ready for action when they see a Corvette?”

Tickets for this one-of-a-kind raffle are only $20 each, and an unlimited number of tickets are available. They can be purchased at the Welcome Center of the Kentucky Experience, the National Corvette Museum and online at Additional information about this exciting car is also available online at

The National Corvette Museum is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization which celebrates, educates and preserves the past, present and future of Corvette. The Museum is open daily from 8am to 5pm CT.

Friday, July 30, 2010

National Corvette Museum to Host Corvette Pace Car Reunion September 22-25, 2010

Without a doubt, this year’s Pace Car Reunion offers some of the most exciting activities in the history of the event. The National Corvette Museum’s Pace Car Reunion celebrates Corvette’s legendary showing as a ten-time pace car for the Indy 500. Owners of the highly valued 1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Indy Pace Corvettes will be in attendance, as well as Parade Corvettes, Brickyard 400 Pace Cars, Daytona 500 Pace Cars and a multitude of others.

Event participants will begin gathering on Wednesday, September 22, kicking off with a private group tour of the Corvette Assembly Plant and a visit with new BGAP Manager Dave Tatman, an update on the Motorsports Park and a guided tour of the Museum. Shortly afterward a lunch and a gathering of the cars will be staged along the front drive in preparation for the caravan to Indianapolis, the spiritual home of Corvette Pace Cars.

Thursday morning brings a full day of activities in Indianapolis starting with a tour of the Chip Ganassi /Target Racing team garage, a garage which normally does not provide tours. This is followed by a trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, and the Ray Skillman Car Collection - a large private collection of all kinds of cars and automobile memorabilia. The day closes out with a visit and dinner at Andy Wolf’s Car Collection.

Saturday morning the tour participants will depart for Troy, Michigan with a special stop in Auburn, Indiana at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum. The highlight of the trip is a caravan out to Milford, Michigan for a special access visit to General Motors’ top secret Milford Proving Ground to check out the famous high speed oval. Of course, a few laps and group photos will wrap up the visit.

Pratt & Miller welcomes the group for lunch and a tour of the engineering firm’s race facilities including the C6.R cars and the transporters. This is the heart and soul of Corvette Racing and participants will be able to meet some of the people critical to the team’s success. After Pratt & Miller is a trip to Sterling Heights and the opportunity to view a portion of GM’s Heritage Collection. The event draws to a close with a dinner in Troy joined by a number of VIP guests. The Tour bears the hallmark of NCM events… go where the public can’t go, do what the public can’t do and have fun doing it! The price for the entire package is $690 for the primary registrant and $290 for their guest.

“The Chevrolet Pace Car Registry is thrilled to have never-before features included in the Pace Care Reunion Tour,” said Pace Car Registry Public Relations Director Jim Egan. “The Registry members are excited that the Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Team shop and the very restricted GM Milford Proving Grounds are part of this year’s long awaited Tour which is held every other year.”

For more information on the Pace Car Reunion, visit our website at or call (800) 538-3883. The National Corvette Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Corvette’s past, present and future. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, the Museum is located at Exit 28 on I-65 in Bowling Green, KY.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

National Corvette Museum Displays Rare Pace Car

The National Corvette Museum’s Skydome is home to not only rare Corvettes, but also a mini “Gasoline Alley” with a representation of every Corvette that ever paced the Indy 500. 1986 marked the return of the convertible to the Corvette line-up, and the return of the Corvette to Indianapolis. As with the first Corvette Pace Car in 1978, the 1986 Corvette needed no mechanical modifications to pace the race. In fact it was the first street-legal car to pace Indy since the previous Corvette. Test pilot and retired Air Force General Chuck Yeager was selected to drive the Indy Pace Car.

As with all Indy 500 Pace Cars, one is kept by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, one is presented to the winner of the Indy 500 Race, and one is given to the driver of the Pace Car. Displayed in the National Corvette Museum Skydome is the very car driven by General Chuck Yeager.

Current owner Bart Riebe of Grass Valley, CA acquired this Corvette from General Yeager himself. Yeager’s daughter, Susie, worked for Bart, and at the time Yeager was presented the Corvette at the Indy race, he already had a Corvette. He told Bart if he would buy him two Chevy pickup trucks, they could trade. After some negotiation with GM, Bart was able to get the Pace Car. Due to some modifications the track made to the car, it is not street legal and has only been driven in parades. According to Bart, very few, if any, real Pace Cars are ever released for private individuals to own.

See Chuck Yeager’s Pace Car now through April 2011. The National Corvette Museum is located at I-65 exit 28 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is open daily, 8am until 5pm central time. Regular admission prices are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors, $5.00 for youth age 6-16 and children 5 and under are free. For information call 800-53-VETTE (83883) or visit the Museum online at

Monday, July 19, 2010

National Corvette Museum Offers Buy One, Get One Free Admission with School Supply Donation

The National Corvette Museum is offering Buy One, Get One Free Admission now through Sunday, July 25 to any visitor who brings a donation of school supplies to the Museum. A Corvette will be “crammed” with the donated supplies, and then caravanned to the Tony Rose / Sam 100.7 “Stuff the Bus” on Monday, July 26. Sam 100.7 distributes the donated items to the many schools in South Central Kentucky.

“Last year visitors to the Museum and Museum employees donated six large boxes of school supplies,” said Katie Frassinelli, Marketing and Communications Manager. “We hope to top that this year, and the Corvette caravan over to the bus is always a fun way to wrap up the Sam 100.7 Stuff the Bus campaign.”

Anyone with a Corvette is welcome to join the caravan to the bus on Monday, July 26. The caravan will depart the Museum around 8:15am.

The National Corvette Museum is open daily, 8am until 5pm. Regular admission prices are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for youth age 6-16 and children 5 and under are free. For information call 800-53-VETTE (83883) or visit the Museum online at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

National Corvette Museum's Anniversary Celebration to Showcase Corvette Racing's Past and Future

Display Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Le Mans Participation

This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans marked the 50th anniversary of Corvette's first participation in the world's most celebrated sports car race. And this year’s NCM Anniversary Celebration will re-unite Briggs Cunningham’s No. 3 Corvette with the 2011 Special Z06 created as a modern version of the 1960 racer.

"When you look at the Corvettes that raced at Le Mans 50 years ago, it's impossible not to be impressed by the passion, the immense courage, and the physical stamina that was required to race for 24 hours in those vehicles," said Corvette Racing program Doug Fehan. "It was an astounding feat, and the men who drove them have my respect. Regardless of what Corvette Racing may have accomplished in the past or what we may accomplish in the future, we will always work in the shadow of these racers."

Briggs Cunningham's No. 3 Corvette was purchased by the late Chip Miller who went through great lengths to restore the car. His son, Lance, has carried on the passion by shipping the car to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race… a race where it finished first in the large displacement GT category and eighth overall at Le Mans in 1960.

Driver Johnny O'Connell enjoyed the rare opportunity to drive the No. 3 1960 Corvette during a photo shoot at Le Mans. "The race cars and technology have changed greatly over the years, but Chevrolet's approach to racing has been consistent," O'Connell said. "The Corvettes that raced at Le Mans in 1960 were very nearly stock vehicles, and to this day, Corvette Racing is still a tool to improve the breed. The relationship that the race team has with the production engineers definitely benefits Chevrolet customers.”

Lance will travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky September 2-4 with the Cunningham Corvette, and conduct a seminar as part of the National Corvette Museum’s weekend activities. His Corvette will be displayed side-by-side with the 2011 Special Z06.

The 2011 Special Z06 was created by Chevrolet as a one-off production Corvette Z06, the first 2011 Corvette manufactured with VIN 001. GM Design Center created a modern version of the famous white and blue stripe 1960 Le Mans winner, adding many special features. Event attendees will get the chance to photograph both cars together at the Museum.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

KY Gov. Ceremonially Signs Bill Naming Corvette Official State Sports Car

Governor Steve Beshear today visited the Corvette Plant in Bowling Green, Ky. to ceremonially sign House Bill 104, which designates the Corvette as the official state sports car of Kentucky.

"Sports car enthusiasts have been in love with the Corvette since it was first unveiled in the Motorama show in New York in 1953," said Gov. Beshear. "For nearly 30 years, Kentucky has been the exclusive home of this iconic sports car. Today, we proudly honor this fine example of American ingenuity by designating the Corvette as Kentucky's official state sports car."

In 1981, General Motors moved production of the Chevrolet Corvette from St. Louis, Mo. to Bowling Green, Ky., where currently 471 employees build the distinctive high-performance vehicles. Approximately 50,000 people visit each year to watch the manufacturing process at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, which has a tourism economic impact of more than $205 million. This figure does not include the nearly 150,000 who visit the National Corvette Museum, located directly across the street from the Plant, which attracts Corvette enthusiasts from all over the world.

"This is an exciting day for Bowling Green and the entire state of Kentucky as we celebrate the Corvette as the state's official sports car," said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. "This passage of this legislation during the legislative session and the ceremonial bill signing that is being held today highlights the importance of the Corvette Assembly Plant to the Commonwealth and especially to the south central region of our state."

"I am pleased that we were able to move legislation through the lawmaking process during the 2010 session to highlight the importance of the Corvette Plant to Kentucky's economy," said Sen. Mike Reynolds, of Bowling Green. "Bowling Green continues to become more of a tourist destination. Therefore, drawing attention to our community and the Corvette's unique role in our American heritage can only boost economic development in our area. The Corvette has become a tangible symbol of our Commonwealth and I am grateful that Governor Beshear has taken the time to come to Bowling Green to make that symbolism official."

Kentucky ranks third in total light vehicle production, placing it at the hub of "auto alley," the strip of middle America that stretches from Michigan into the deep south. In fact, 9.8 percent of all cars and trucks produced in the United States are manufactured in Kentucky. As of early June 2010, more than 64,600 people work in Kentucky's 418 auto-related industries.

Governor Steve Beshear signs House Bill 104 with witnesses GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager Bob Parcell, Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon, Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker, Representative Martha Jane King, Representative Jody Richards, UAW Local 2164 Chairman Shane Colvard, Senator Mike Reynolds and Representative C. B. Embry.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

2014 Corvette Caravan - Letter from the Chair

Many thanks to all of you who have already sent your best wishes and offers of help. All support is greatly appreciated. I most certainly will be soliciting your assistance, advice, and action in the days and months to come.

Although the next caravan is four years away, the time will pass so rapidly we will wonder why all the planning didn’t start in 2009. With that certainty in mind, I have set the following goals for completion by the end of this year. I want to have all the caravan segments identified and the captains for each assigned.

So, how do we get there by Christmas? First, I am soliciting inputs from all those who would like to captain a caravan segment in 2014, both past and future captains. If you felt like your area of the country was not served by an authorized caravan and you think an added segment is warranted, let me know. If you are a past captain and wish to assume the task again, let me know. If you weren’t a captain on the last caravan, but would like to lead a group this time, let me know. In other words, to paraphrase the rum commercial, “calling all caravan captains”. Please let me know your telephone number when responding. Once the captains have been installed, we can begin to massage the routes. Not down to the rest stops, but the overall plan to ensure we have optimized all the routes.

The traffic pattern from the past caravan will be the basis for the one in 2014. Some additions, deletions, and modifications may occur, but in general, not much will differ from that successful event. I do want to review all the past routes so I am familiar with how the segments were connected.

Having been involved in the organizing and funding of two caravans, I know all the hard work is done by the caravan captains and their local teams. My job will be to help make that task as trouble free as possible and keep everyone informed, on a timely basis, of the caravan status. In addition, the NCM will be streamlining the registration process and further reducing the workload of the captains. I solicit all participants to join in and help support your captain. It is a huge task to raise funds, book venues, publish route books, time daily routes, etc. Please volunteer and become part of the caravan process. You won’t be sorry.

This caravan will mark the twentieth anniversary of the opening of the museum and the silver anniversary of its conception. We have the opportunity to make it the largest and best caravan ever. All we need is an abundance of new ideas and a ton of hard work.

You can contact me at I promise to get back to you within a 24 hour period. One exception, I will be out of the country from June 8 until June 27. If I can reach a computer, I’ll get back to you during this time.

Paul Mariano
National Chair
2014 NCM Caravan

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kentucky Teen Loans Stingray Skateboard Artwork to National Corvette Museum

Artwork is on display in front window of Museum's Library & Archives

The National Corvette Museum received a unique and interesting piece of art for display on Thursday, June 10. Harrison County High School Senior, Tyler Hardin presented the museum with a skateboard bearing artwork of a 2011 Stingray Concept Corvette in multiple perspectives.

Tyler was first given the skateboard by members of the Harrison County High School “Skaters with a Purpose” club (S.W.A.P.). The club gave out 13 boards to multiple artists around the county and some to other states. “I am a diehard Corvette fan, so I figured that this was one way to show it,” Tyler said. “Beneath the center image is the reflection, which is that of a 1965 model and the top right hand corner is a 1969 model, but it’s all about the 2011 model,” he added.

Tyler just graduated from Harrison County and is from Sadieville, Kentucky. He will be entering Spencerian College this summer, majoring in Graphic Design. Tyler currently has no formal training in the area of drawing and design, and learned his technique from his grandfather at an early age. Tyler said everything on the skateboard was hand sketched, and amazingly – it only took four hours of drawing and two hours of finishing to produce this one-of-a-kind skateboard.

Tyler’s Stingray Skateboard will be on display in the front display window of the Library and Archives at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky for a period of 6-9 months.

The National Corvette Museum is located at I-65 exit 28 in South Central Kentucky. It is open daily from 8am until 5pm Central Time. More information is available online at or by calling 800-53 VETTE (53553).

Pictured: Tyler Hardin presents National Corvette Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode with the Stingray Skateboard for display.

Photos of the skateboard can be downloaded at:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Horses to Meet Horsepower This Friday at the National Corvette Museum

Alltech and the First Lady of Kentucky to hold formal press conference on the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

The First Lady of Kentucky, Jane Beshear, is partnering with Alltech’s president and founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, to travel the Commonwealth and states surrounding Kentucky to promote the largest sporting event to come to the United States since the 2002 Winter Olympics – the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

On Friday, May 28 the National Corvette Museum will host a press conference for the event, allowing area media to interact with the First Lady, an accomplished equestrian herself, and Dr. Lyons in regards to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. In just over 100 days the world’s finest athletes will gallop into the Bluegrass to compete in eight world championships over 16 days at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

The press conference begins at 8am Central Time in the National Corvette Museum Conference Center and will last approximately one hour, including a short video about the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Media and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

National Corvette Museum Announces 2014 Caravan National Chair

They come from miles around… lines of colorful Corvettes, all generations represented, traveling from every continental United State and even a few foreign countries to gather in the Home of the Corvette. 2014 will bring the 5th National Corvette Caravan and will mark the 20th Anniversary of the National Corvette Museum. Leading the spectacle is Paul Mariano of Huntersville, NC, a 20-year Museum member who is not only a lifetime member of the Museum but also a founding member.

Paul is currently the ambassador to the Museum for the Queen City Corvette Club in Charlotte, NC, and previously was the ambassador for the Corvette Club of Santa Barbara, CA. He is a member of the NCRS and was a participant of the Southern California caravan in 1999, co-captain of the Southern California caravan in 2003, and sponsorship/advertising chairman for the 2009 North Carolina / South Carolina / Virginia caravan.

“When Roc Linkov, NCM Events Manager, asked if I would do it, I did have a little trepidation,” said Paul. “But as when I agreed to take the Southern California caravan at the last minute, I thought if not me then who? I have such a deep love affair with the museum that I want to contribute as much as I can, wherever I can. Without the great help that my wife Barbara provides, I could not manage to take on any of these caravan tasks. I just hope I can provide the service that everyone has entrusted to me.”

Paul is an avid supporter of the National Corvette Museum, the Corvette Race Team and the Corvette lifestyle. He currently owns a 1967 big block coupe Corvette and a 2007 Z06.

The 5th National Corvette Caravan will take place the first week of September, 2014. Regional caravans will form and join other caravans as they travel across the United States to gather in Bowling Green, Kentucky for four days of festivities at the National Corvette Museum. “A national caravan such as this requires years of planning and coordinating and the Museum is fortunate to have a volunteer like Paul to take on this monumental task,” stated National Corvette Museum Executive Director, Wendell Strode.

The Museum is located at I-65, exit 28 in South Central Kentucky and is open daily, 8am to 5pm Central Time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

National Corvette Museum Helps Stamp Out Hunger

The National Corvette Museum is offering two dollars off admission now through Saturday, May 8 to any visitor who brings a donation of nonperishable items to the Museum. The National Corvette Museum is participating in ‘Stamp out Hunger Day’ by collecting canned food items for local food banks.

Visitors will be sure to enjoy hands-on, interactive exhibits, a new Corvette Café, expanded Store, Conference Center, the chance to sit in a Corvette and even register to drive one home. Not only will visitors enjoy an afternoon within the ‘Gateway to all things Corvette’ but they will be helping stamp out hunger in South Central Kentucky.

‘Stamp Out Hunger’ is an annual drive by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Items collected by the National Corvette Museum will be picked up on Saturday, May 8 by the local postal service.

The National Corvette Museum is open daily, 8am until 5pm. Regular admission prices are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for youth age 6-16 and children 5 and under are free. For information call 800-53-VETTE (83883) or visit the Museum online at

For more information on the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Act Designating Corvette as the Official State Sports Car of Kentucky Signed by Governor

Kentucky can now add one more item to its list of state “symbols”… the Corvette. April 26, 2010 Governor Steve Beshear signed House Bill 104 - an act designating the Corvette as the official state sports car of Kentucky.

“Since 1953, the Corvette has been considered America’s sports car. As home to the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentuckians have long considered the Corvette to be Kentucky’s sports car and a great symbol of Kentucky pride and craftsmanship. House Bill 104, which was passed during the 2010 General Assembly, now makes that designation official. It was with great pleasure that I signed HB 104 into law,” said Governor Beshear.

A companion bill (Senate Bill 111) was first introduced by State Senator Mike Reynolds, D-Bowling Green in January. “Bowling Green is becoming more of a tourist destination. The National Corvette Museum is a major part of that and is a definite drawing card for the traveling public. Drawing attention to our community and the Corvette’s unique role in our American heritage can only boost economic development for our area,” said Reynolds.

Representative Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, is the primary sponsor of HB 104. “I am pleased that we were able to move this legislation during the late hours of the session,” Senator Reynolds said. “I want to commend my colleague, Rep. Jody Richards, for his hard work on pushing this bill in the House.”

Bowling Green, Kentucky is home to both the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant (the only place in the world Corvettes have been manufactured since 1981) and the National Corvette Museum, a non-profit foundation with a mission of celebrating the invention of the Corvette and preserving its past, present and future since 1994.
"With the Chevrolet Corvette being one of the most recognizable symbols of Kentucky, it only makes sense for the car to be designated as the state's official sports car.

Many people who think of Kentucky, think of Corvette. Our workforce is proud to have been building the Corvette in Bowling Green for almost 29 years," said GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager Bob Parcell.

The act reads as follows:
AN ACT designating the Corvette as the official state sports car of Kentucky.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
The Corvette is named and designated the official state sports car of Kentucky.

A ceremonial signing of the act is planned to take place this summer in Bowling Green.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Race Fans Can Register to Win a Corvette Through June 30

Grand Prize: 2011 Chevrolet Corvette, Trip to Le Mans

To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first appearance at the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans, race fans can enter for a chance to win a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport by entering the “Race To Win Corvette” promotion at now through June 30, 2010.

One Grand Prize Winner will receive a 2011 Corvette Grand Sport, and a trip to Le Mans, France, for the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette made its Le Mans debut in 1960, finishing first in the large displacement GT class and eighth overall.

“This is an exciting opportunity for race fans to win one of the most iconic sports cars ever produced, and watch Corvette compete in the oldest and most famous endurance race in the world,” said Terry Dolan, Manager Chevy Racing. “Team Chevy is proud to team up with our Corvette Racing partners – American Le Mans Series, AutoWeek, Compuware, Michelin, Mobil 1 and PRS Guitars – to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first appearance at Le Mans.”

No purchase necessary. See official rules for details at

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tom Wallace Joins the Corvette Museum Motorsports Park Team

The dream of an educational and recreational track at the National Corvette Museum shifts into high gear

Tom Wallace knows Corvettes. As a former Vehicle Line Executive for General Motors and Corvette Chief Engineer, he was at the wheel when the ZR1 Corvette was born, giving the world a 638 horsepower, 200+ mph, American-made super-car. Today, he's working on a new chapter of motorsports history and teaming up with the National Corvette Museum to promote and develop a 400-acre Motorsports Park.

The proposed Motorsports Park (not just for Corvettes) is being designed with the help of Pratt/Miller Engineering who is the company behind the ALMS Championship winning Corvette Racing team. Once their conceptual design is fine-tuned by a professional track designer, this track will be the only one in the world where professional and amateur drivers of all makes of cars and motorcycles can experience many of the signature features of the LeMans road course. Along with the track, (which can be reconfigured into four different courses) there will be an autocross/skid pad area, a drag strip and a karting track, allowing for everything from teen driver safety training to a wide variety of motorsports applications and events.

“What makes Tom an ideal member of the team,” says Wendell Strode, Executive Director of the Museum, “is that he is also a race car driver. Because of that, he knows what makes a track challenging for drivers and he understands what features would make it useful as a testing facility for race teams and manufacturers. In addition to that, Tom is a driving instructor so he understands the track’s importance as an educational facility for people of all skill levels. We are thrilled to have him on board with us.”

Tom's experience in racing goes back to his college days and includes drag racing, autocross, IMSA, Sebring 12 hour, Daytona 24 hour, SCCA Road Racing in GT1 (including several trips to the SCCA National Championship Runoffs) and Waterford Hills Road Racing. Today he is still very active in motorsports, along with his two sons.

Tom is enthusiastic about the project and looking forward to being involved. His first focus will be on fundraising, corporate sponsorships and planning for track operation.
“Since before my retirement in 2009, I have thought that a Motorsports Park at the Museum would raise the whole Corvette community to another level,” Tom said. “Initially, I’ll be working with Tom Blair in pursuing sponsors for the project. Tom (Blair) is an outstanding businessman and researcher and a good strategist of visionary business models.”

“What I’ll bring is my perspective as a racer. I know what makes a track great. I understand wheel to wheel, autocrossing, drag racing and karting. My background has given me insight into how different market segments will want to use this complex for competitive events, practice and educational purposes. I know a lot about driving and what drives people to want to get on a track. This will be the ideal facility for all kinds of applications, and a great place to showcase America’s sports car.”

For more information on the National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park project, visit

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rare and Prototype 4th Generation Corvettes to Be Displayed at Upcoming Event

Rare cars, good times and fast fun are expected at the National Corvette Museum's C4/ZR-1 Gathering

May 13-15 will bring a rare opportunity to see some of the best fourth generation Corvettes around. The National Corvette Museum will host the annual C4/ZR-1 Gathering and on site will be several ground-breaking and record-shattering Corvettes that were responsible for taking the marque back to supercar status. Among them are four prototypes that escaped GM’s destruction orders for test vehicles, including a 1988 (known as Queenie), the 1989 DRM ZR-1, and the 1989 ZR-1 prototype that was recently sold at Barrett-Jackson. Two 1990 Lingenfelters in the 600 hp range will be present, as well as one of only two Aerobody Lingenfelters in existence. Also making an appearance will be the car that broke the 24-hour World Speed Record in 1990 and the members of the team responsible for this historic achievement, including Tommy Morrison, John Heinricy and Jim Minneker.

This collection of C4 Corvettes will be one of the most impressive exhibited in one place. Included in the 24 car special-exhibit will be the Corvette that introduced the ZR-1 to the world as well as the last ZR-1 to roll off of the assembly line and many significant models in between.

Along with the Fourth-Generation ZR-1 Corvettes, a very rare 1970 ZR-1 will be on display, too. One of only 25 made, this track-inspired C3 is another example of Corvette’s early connection to racing.

Seminars and clinics during the three-day event will cover drag racing fundamentals, detailing, diagnosing and maintenance tips along with informative presentations from C4 Corvette Chief Engineer Dave McLellan and some of the others responsible for creating this car.

While the event focuses on the C4 Corvette, the 2011 Z06 Carbon Corvette will also be on site for fans to look over during a “walk around” with GM staff.

Former Corvette Test Engineer and 2010 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Jim Ingles will lead participants on a road tour to nearby Hopkinsville, Kentucky for a tour of a Dana Corporation Plant. The facility manufactures Corvette frame rails and the Z06 frame. Included with the tour are guides explaining the various production steps and lunch will be served at the plant. Additional event activities include drag racing, a car show, auction, autocross, scavenger hunt and road trips that will take drivers over the same routes the GM uses to test the handling of Corvettes. For a more detailed agenda and registration information, visit

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Governor Beshear Attends Opening of Educational Driving Simulator Theatre

National Corvette Museum visitors to experience realistic driving scenarios virtually

Gov. Steve Beshear today joined local and National Corvette Museum officials to open the educational driving simulator theater—a learning tool designed to instruct visitors on realistic driving situations.

“We cannot stress the importance of responsible driving enough,” Gov. Beshear said. “These simulators can teach drivers how to correct mistakes virtually, within a safe environment without the potential consequences of actual crashes. I applaud the Corvette Museum for taking the lead on this safety priority.”

The one-of-a-kind theatre features numerous widescreen televisions and two driving simulators within stationary automobiles, to give the driver lifelike effects of the road. The simulators also feature the highest quality graphics and surround sound.

“The simulators will not only enhance a visitor’s experience at the National Corvette Museum, but also result in having better educated drivers on Kentucky’s roads, making them safer for everyone,” said Wendell Strode, executive director of the National Corvette Museum.

Realistic driving scenarios play out on simulated highways in urban and rural settings and in different weather conditions. As drivers maneuver the simulator, they will feel tension on the steering wheel; feel the car react to the road surface; and hear highway and vehicle sounds. The experience will include a variety of common driving tasks, taking drivers through situations involving some of the most prevalent factors in highway crashes. Visitors 16 or older to the museum in Bowling Green can participate in this educational experience.

“The National Corvette Museum continues to be a great tourist attraction for the Bowling Green area,” Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Sparrow said. “The addition of the driving simulator theater makes this museum an even better attraction.”

“The National Corvette Museum has been a mainstay of our community for years, and we’re proud to support its growth and its announcement today. We congratulate and thank the Museum for bringing two simulators, which will promote safe driving, to South Central Kentucky,” said Warren County Judge Executive Michael Buchanon.

The Corvette museum received a $198,000 Transportation Enhancement award in 2007 to fund the project.

"This celebration today represents the forward-thinking nature of our community, the "Home of the Corvette." We're proud to be the home to two driving simulators at the National Corvette Museum, and we congratulate the Museum on their additions to their facility," said Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker.

“The simulator theater is an excellent educational addition to the National Corvette Museum as it offers a hands-on driver safety program to families and groups in a fun environment. With this being the only one of its kind in the area, it has the opportunity to make a difference in the safety of our highways as visitors and locals experience the consequences of their behavior under various driving conditions,” said Vicki Fitch, executive director of the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

About the National Corvette Museum: The National Corvette Museum was established in 1994 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation with a mission of celebrating the invention of the Corvette and preserving its past, present and future. The 115,000 sq. ft. facility is a popular tourist destination in Bowling Green, Kentucky with an ever-changing collection of historic Corvettes, interactive displays, rotating exhibits, a café, conference center and store. While located near the GM Assembly Plant, the National Corvette Museum is not supported by, or affiliated with the General Motors Corporation. For more information on the National Corvette Museum, please visit

About the Grant: Transportation Enhancements are transportation-related activities designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, historic and environmental aspects of Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure. Federal funding is available to government agencies to provide support for transportation and community improvement projects. TE funding is administered by the Transportation Cabinet. Information about TE is available at

Lance Miller of Corvettes at Carlisle to Give Seminar at the National Corvette Museum's C5/C6 Bash

Seminar celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the first Corvette Le Mans win

Attendees to the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash will get a special treat on May 1 as Lance Miller of Corvettes at Carlisle shares the story of the discovery and restoration of the first Corvette to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, 50 years ago.

The 1960 Briggs Cunningham Corvette was driven to that first victory by the legendary duo of John Fitch and Bob Grossman, but despite its historical win, the Corvette was later converted into a street car and driven off into obscurity sometime in the 1960s. The car resurfaced just a few years ago, and when Chip Miller, founder of Corvettes at Carlisle, heard about it he acquired the car and began the process of restoring it. His dream was to bring it back to Le Mans, France in 2010 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its historic win there.

Sadly, Chip passed away before his dream could be realized, but his son Lance took on the project where his dad left off. “The plan is to have the 1960 Cunningham Corvette and one of the drivers, Mr. John Fitch, attend the 2010 Le Mans race in June,” said Lance. “My father wanted to make sure the car would be at the race for its 50th Reunion. Needless to say I'm going to make sure it happens with the help of a lot of great friends!”

General Motors is also honoring that win with the new Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition which will be at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash. A tribute to the anniversary of this great race, each car comes with race number graphics that reference the famous victory.

For Lance though, taking part in the 50th anniversary of the win is just one more thing he can do to honor his father and to bring attention to the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation. The foundation was formed to help spread awareness of amyloidosis and raise money for education and research.

There will be several other exciting and informative seminars at this year’s Bash event, including one featuring members of the Corvette Racing team. Program Manager Doug Fehan and championship driver Johnny O’Connell will be on hand to talk about the triumphs and challenges of GT racing during a special lunch for a limited number of participants.

For registered event attendees, GM will also be conducting “Ride and Drives” from Thursday through Saturday, (4/49-5/1) giving visitors a chance to get behind the wheel of a new Corvette, Camaro, Traverse, Equinox, Malibu and other vehicles from their product line. This will be a fun chance to get to know more about these cars from the people who make them.

In addition, scenic road tours are offered to see some of Kentucky and Tennessee’s other wonderful attractions, as well as digital scavenger hunts, autograph sessions, a Celebrity Car Show, silent auction, autocross, drag racing, dyno pulls, vendors and clinics that cover just about every aspect of the Corvette experience.

Attendees can find up-to-date event agendas and register online at:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wil Cooksey to Receive Prestigious Lee Iacocca Award

Wil Cooksey, former manager of the world's only Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Corvette Museum will receive the prestigious Lee Iacocca Award August 21, 2010 at the "Cool Cars, Cool Mountains" Car Show in Gunnison, Colorado. Only 20 car clubs in the United States are designated annually by Mr. Iacocca to select recipients for the award that bears his name. 2010 marks the third year he has chosen the Gunnison Car Club, host of the nation's first carbon neutral car show.

The Iacocca Award was created in 2006 by automobile industry legend and best selling author Lee Iacocca to honor, in his words, "some of the world's most committed classic-car collectors and their passion for maintaining an American tradition."

Mike Callihan, president of the Gunnison Car Club, says the choice of Wil Cooksey for the Iacocca Award was a natural one. "Wil is simply an incredible individual. Whether in the car business, on the boards of non-profit community organizations or on the race track he never gives less than his all out best. It doesn't hurt that he's a car nut from head to toe, either."

A Distinguised Graduate of the Officer's Training School, Cooksey served as an executive officer in the U.S. Army Artillery, 1st Lieutenant. His last assignment was a year in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Cookey's General Motors career is the epitome of achievement beginning with his first job as an assistant professor in industrial engineering at GMI in Flint, MI. In 1976 he transferred to the St. Louis plant where he held several positions before being transferred to the Doraville plant in Atlanta. After working at various superintendent positions at Doraville, he was named the production manager at the Fairfax plant.

Cooksey takes an active role in the community. He currently serves on the boards of the United Way of Bowling Green, First American Bank, Greenview Hospital, the Kentucky Museum, Western Kentucky University School of Business Advisory Board, Drug Abuse Resistance Education Advisory Council and Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering Executive Advisory Board.

In 1997 Cooksey received the "Black Engineer of the Year President's Award." Also in 1997, Austin Peay University named him "Achiever of the Year" in their Focus Program. This year Cooksey received a Presidential Citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in HIgher Education in recognition of exemplary experience that honors Tennessee State University. Dollars & Sense Magazine honored COoksey in their 1998 "Salute to America's Best & Brightest Business and Professional Men and Women." Cooksey is featured on the cover of African Americans on Wheels magazine as they named the Corvette the "Best Urban Car of the Year." He has been honored as Outstanding Graduate of Tennessee State and named a "Black Achiever in the Industry" by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Wil Cooksey will receive his Lee Iacocca Award at the Gunnison, Colorado Car Club's 23rd Annual "Cool Cars, Cool Mountains Open Car Show" which runs August 20-22.

National Corvette Museum Offering New Grand Sport Raffles

Most Popular Corvette Model Offered as Part of Raffle Program

Summer will be a little bit sweeter for some lucky Corvette raffle participants as the National Corvette Museum is now offering more Grand Sports to their line-up of available raffle cars. "NCM Board Member and Corvette Assembly Plant Manager Bob Parcell shared with us that Grand Sports have become the most popular model of Corvette, and overall Corvette sales are up this year," said Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode. "We thought we'd follow the trend and offer more of what customers are wanting."

The first of several Grand Sport raffles is a 2010 Black Coupe. The coupe features a manual transmission, which includes the dry sump oil system. Something many people who love to experience the high performance of Corvette enjoy having. The coupe also includes ebony leather interior, dual-mode performance exhaust, Grand Sport chrome aluminum wheels and is equipped with the 3LT package which includes options like the Bose Premium 7-speaker system, 1-year Satellite XM radio, head-up display, power telescoping steering wheel, heated seats, memory package, adjustable sport bucket seats and 6-way passenger power seat adjustment. Tickets for this raffle are $400 each, and the raffle is limited to 500 tickets. The drawing will be held on Thursday, May 20 at 2pm Central Time regardless of the number of tickets remaining.

Just two weeks later the Museum will offer yet another Grand Sport - this time Arctic White with red hash marks, black convertible top and two-tone red and black leather interior. The car is equipped with the Grand Sport Heritage Package which features Grand Sport logo in the seat headrest, iPod connectivity and racing-style pedals. The car features an automatic transmission and tickets are $100 with 1,994 tickets available. "Our $100 raffles offer a lower price point, but you are still getting really good odds," said Strode. The drawing will be held on Thursday, June 3 at 2pm Central Time.

National Corvette Museum raffle winners also receive the exciting R8C Museum Delivery Program option benefits when picking up their new Corvette. The program is a memorable experience for new Corvette owners and offers a VIP tour of the Museum and Corvette Assembly Plant, one-year individual membership to the Museum, hands-on training by a delivery team member, program decal and plaque.

The National Corvette Museum is the "gateway to all things Corvette" and a member-driven, non-profit foundation. Dedicated to the mission of celebration, education and preservation, the Museum is open seven days a week from 8am to 5pm CT and is located at Exit 28 on I-65 in Bowling Green, KY.

Monday, March 1, 2010

National Corvette Museum Welcomes Two New Driving Simulators

Simulators are the first of their kind in the United States

Created by some of the same engineers that developed the flight simulators for the aeronautics industry, Virage Simulation Inc. has taken the danger out of learning to drive with two new, state-of-the-art driving simulators located in the National Corvette Museum. The simulators are designed to present a limitless number of scenarios that drivers can face… challenging situations on city streets and freeways and in all kinds of weather conditions. The National Corvette Museum purchased and installed the simulators as a permanent addition to the Museum, furthering the Museum’s mission of educating the public and making a positive impact in the community.

Based in Montreal, Canada, Virage creates simulators that are so realistic that student drivers in Canada can earn drivers education hours by training with them. When the seatbelt is secured and the key is turned, the dashboard lights up and drivers can feel and hear the virtual engine running. The driving experience is so authentic that drivers will feel the vibration of the pavement under their virtual tires, and the weight of the car shift as the wheel is turned.

“A realistic cockpit was essential,” says Danny Grenier, Chief Software Architect for the system. “We wanted to duplicate the driving experience as closely as possible for students so that they could really get a feel for what it is like to be on the road.”The simulators are so real, in fact, that warnings of motion sickness are posted, and all drivers must have at least a learner’s permit to operate the equipment. Five educational programs are offered on the simulators, including Emergency Driving Situations; Driving Under the Influence; Speed, Road Conditions and Stopping Distances; Hazard Perception and Fuel Efficient Driving.

“We can do things with this system that you just cannot duplicate in real life. We can simulate a car coming into your lane, or a blow out, or brake failure and teach students how to react properly in a way that minimizes the risk of injury,” said Dr. Pierro Hirsch, Road Safety Research and Driver Training Program Development Manager for Virage. “We can replay these events if we need to and practice them, allowing students to face the situations without the consequences. We can rehearse them until the proper response comes naturally.”

Not only are the simulators a powerful training tool for student drivers, but it also has classroom applications as well. With a few clicks, the panoramic view of the road switches into a PowerPoint presentation on the effects of driving while intoxicated.

Drivers can wear a special set of goggles that skews their vision similarly to the way that alcohol does. “People are amazed when they do this exercise and get to see for themselves what the effects of alcohol are on the system. What really makes the point is when we set the simulator to duplicate the impaired driving experience.” The simulator adjusts itself to mimic impaired reaction time of an intoxicated driver, over-compensating, and over braking, delaying and speeding up the actions of the driver.

Another useful function of the simulator is the “Eco-Driver” training feature. With this program, drivers are challenged to change their driving styles in such a way that promotes good fuel economy by learning how to accelerate properly and time their stops more precisely. “What is interesting,” Dr. Hirsch notes, “is that often students will get to their destinations just as quickly as another will while saving fuel at the same time.”

The simulators will serve as an important tool to help educate drivers of all ages on safe driving and ultimately make our roads safer by helping to prevent accidents, reduce injuries and ultimately save lives. Statistics indicate that nearly 5,000 young people die in car crashes every year and another 300,000 teens are injured in car crashes annually. New methods of teaching driver safety is imperative to ensure teens are given the best chance to survive their early, and most risky, driving experiences.

“We are extremely fortunate to have the only simulators of this kind in the U.S.,” said Chris Sweeney, Tours and Admissions Supervisor for the Museum. “They will give us the opportunity to educate drivers of all ages and experience levels – providing useful knowledge and a safe learning environment for students to develop their driving skills.” The simulators are open to Museum visitors from 8am until 4:30pm daily at no additional charge. Visitors can reserve a 15-minute slot at admissions. Simulators are also available for private rental for a fee during or after hours and anyone interested can contact the Admissions team to schedule a time.

The National Corvette Museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 6-16, $8 for seniors and $25 for a family. 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).For more information about the Driving Simulators visit:

For images of the driving simulators, please visit: res versions can be obtained by contacting Katie Frassinelli.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Get Up Close and Personal with Corvette Racing April 29, 2010

Everyone knew that ALMS racing was going to get a lot more interesting when Corvette Racing entered the GT2 picture but few expected it to come to blows the way it did in the last race of the year at Laguna Seca on October 10, 2009. A collision between the No. 45 Porsche and the No. 3 Corvette C6.R sent the Corvette and driver Jan Magnussen head on into a concrete barrier at nearly 200 mph. In the end, Corvette Racing earned their fifth podium finish in five races since moving to the GT2 category.

This April, race fans will get the unique opportunity to lunch with Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan and C6.R No. 3 driver Johnny O’Connell, hearing “behind the scenes” stories and getting a preview of what to expect this season.

Fehan recently shared details with the National Corvette Museum about how Corvette Racing works with the Corvette Design team to develop a better race car, and how that technology is transferred into Corvettes built for consumers.

“Our guys do the driving at the test tracks and have input into the cars, looking at shock balance on the car, over-all handling and performance. GM takes what we learn in racing and they put it into play for you,” said Fehan.

As part of the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash April 29 through May 1, 2010, Fehan and O’Connell will share information about why they made the move to the GT2 race program, and provide insight to the all new car for 2010.

“For GT2, we obviously wanted to come out strong and prove that we could be competitive, but only looked at the five-race schedule [in 2009] as a testing program for the car and the team,” said Fehan. 2010 will be the first time the team has competed in GT2 at Le Mans. “If you come out you won’t be disappointed as we wave the Corvette flag, taking on BMW, Porsche and Ferrari. We won’t let you down,” he added.

The luncheon and private autograph session is on Thursday, April 29 from 11am to 1pm. The fee is $18 for National Corvette Museum members and $25 for non-members. More information and an online registration form are available at An autograph session is also scheduled to be held in the Corvette Store immediately following the luncheon and is open to all event participants.

High res Corvette Racing images can be obtained from Richard Prince Photography at The Museum also has a small selection of images available for media use.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Senator Reynolds files bill naming the Corvette as the official state sports car

State Senator Mike Reynolds, D-Bowling Green, has filed legislation (Senate Bill 111) designating the Corvette as the official state sports car of Kentucky.
The Corvette’s role in Kentucky’s manufacturing and tourism industries make it a natural choice for “official sports car of Kentucky.” Warren County is the home of the General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant and the National Corvette Museum.

“Bowling Green is becoming more of a tourist destination. The National Corvette Museum is a major part of that and is a definite drawing card for the traveling public. Drawing attention to our community and the Corvette’s unique role in our American heritage can only boost economic development for our area,” Senator Reynolds said.

The first 300 Corvettes were built by hand in 1953 in Flint, Michigan, just after General Motors unveiled the Corvette as a “dream car” in the Motorama show in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The next year, the production was moved to St. Louis and in June of 1981, the Corvette production was transferred to Bowling Green. Today, the Bowling Green plant employs more than 500 Kentuckians and is known throughout the world for its famous high-quality product.
On July 2, 1992, the one millionth Corvette was manufactured. The 50th anniversary was marked in June of 2003 with a special 50th anniversary Corvette package. The Corvette plant received a number of awards in 2009 including the J.D. Power’s Top GM Model, Best in Segment and the Bronze Plant Award.

Each year, approximately 50,000 tourists from around the world visit the Corvette plant to watch the manufacturing process. The plant has partnered with the National Corvette Museum to enable Corvette enthusiasts the opportunity to watch their own dream car being built and to take a personalized tour of the facility. The museum has around 150,000 visitors a year.

Senate Bill 111 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor. “The Corvette has become a tangible symbol of our Commonwealth, and I’m excited to make that symbolism official,” Senator Reynolds said.Senator Reynolds represents the 32nd district, which includes Butler and Warren counties.