Monday, December 9, 2013

Dick Coup Donates 1963 Grand Sport Replica

Dick Coup created a car - all hand built - that was inspired by the Chaparral of Jim Hall and all of his racing. Back in 1964 Dick saw that car lead the first lap of the Sebring race, and after learning more about what a Grand Sport was... he decided he wanted to build one.

He purchased and engine and a six-speed transmission from Chevrolet, and a body and frame from D&D Corvette in 1996.  After eight years of carefully putting the car together, it was on the race circuit for five years, at shows for a year and then retired to Dick's barn. "It was built as a show car. In a barn [people] could not appreciate it." Dick felt strongly that people needed to see the car, and there was no chance of that in his barn.

"Talking with Johnny Downs [NCM Board Member], he kind of triggered the idea that it would get an everlasting view from the public if it were at the Museum," said Dick. "And I gave thought to it, and I didn't have to think too hard. And it's my indeed honor to put this in this building and have the public exposed to it."

Dick’s Corvette has many unique features incorporated, including front fender louvers that were fabricated and are thought to be the only pressure relief in the front fenders of any Grand Sport replica.  The seats use dune buggy slugs with a support built up around them.

Dick says the most unintentional modification on the car is the split rear window.  Zora Arkus-Duntov, the creator of the Grand Sports, disliked the ’63 Split Window because it hampered rear vision, so the race version of the car had a vented one piece rear window.  Dick’s intention was to do the same, but after a series of unfortunate events Dick created what he calls the “Worf Module” because of its resemblance to the Star Trek character.

The car also incorporates some parts that are not your run-of-the-mill automotive nuts and bolts.  “For many years I worked with a company that manufactured a medical tool,” said Dick.  “Over those same years all kinds of obsolete or surplus medical materials were donated that were of no use to the company.  Rather than see the various screws and devices scrapped I acquired a varied selection of materials.  Much of this material is used throughout this car.”

Dick said many of the covers and enclosures are held together with stainless medical lag screws, the inside door handles are chrome cobalt artificial hip joint heads, the trunk door rod is a scoliosis spinal support fixation rod and the plugs in the Cross Ram Weber carburetor velocity stacks are spinal anchor fixtures.

“The Grand Sport project was a real education for me, and probably my last. It seems ironic that the racing life of the original Grand Sports lasted only about five years, and the Chaparral2 World Class racing program only a couple of years longer, yet those two programs are giants in road racing history,” said Dick.  And even yet, the technological legacy of the Chaparral racers still lives today in contemporary racing.”

Friday, December 6, 2013

Helmintollers Donate Track-Ready Z06

The NCM Motorsports Park continues to gain traction, and not just with regard to the construction, rentals and overall interest.  The Museum has now received a third track-worthy Corvette donation in just over a week.

“The track… wow.  This car is perfect for that.  It’s nearly a full blown race car,” said Kevin Helmintoller of Land O’ Lakes, Florida about his 2001Mallett Hammer Z06.  “I really wasn’t using this car very much… and if I were to sell it, someone would just tear it up.  If it were to run on the NCM track it would be all good.”
Kevin and wife Linda purchased the car from Kerbeck Chevrolet in June of 2001.  The Mallett Hammer conversion was completed in June 2002 – build number 009 of all ever built as this was the first year of the Z06.  Since the conversion, Greg Lovell, owner of AntiVenom LSX Performance in Seffner, FL, has added many performance mods, including a one of one AV436 conversion.  The car’s motor boasts approximately 700hp and 575 torque at the flywheel.
The car has a run best of 10.6 seconds at 128 mph in the quarter mile… and Kevin acknowledges that while it isn’t much by today’s standards it’s not bad for a Corvette that really isn’t set-up for drag racing, and lacks today’s sophisticated engine management and launch control systems.  The car participated in a one mile top speed event – where cars go from a dead stop to one mile using radar and GPS speed measurement.  It ran a 178 on radar, 181 on GPS (without the hood, which had buckled on a previous run, and in 120 degree track temp with 100% humidity) netting it the cover of GM High Tech magazine.  But Kevin is quick to add that this car is not just a track rat… it was a full participant in the 50th anniversary Caravan from Stamford, CT to Bowling Green, KY and Kevin and Linda drove it eight hours up to the Museum for the donation!
“We donated this car to the Museum to help with the continued growth, but also think she could be a good vehicle for training other drivers at the new Motorsports Park, and to give some 9/10ths passenger rides.”  Kevin added that donating her also makes him feel like the car will still be a part of him.
Kevin and Linda are Lifetime Members of the Museum and have participated in several R8C Museum Deliveries, including a 2008 delivery of a 2009 ZR1 – one of eight Corvettes they have owned.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chevrolet to Introduce 2015 Corvette Z06 at Detroit Show

Most-capable Corvette ever will lead industry’s broadest range of performance cars



Chevrolet will introduce the 2015 Corvette Z06 next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will be the most track-capable Corvette ever, designed to deliver supercar levels of performance through unique powertrain, chassis and aerodynamic features.

The Corvette Z06 will complete Chevrolet’s performance car lineup, which will also see the addition of the Corvette Stingray Convertible, Camaro Z/28 and SS sedan.

“Chevrolet is America’s favorite performance car brand, and for 2014 we are going to offer enthusiasts more choices than ever before,” said Alan Batey, senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “No other manufacturer will be able to match the breath of performance cars from Chevrolet.”

Chevrolet sells one out of four performance cars in 2013
For the first 11 months of 2013, Chevrolet has accounted for about 25 percent of all performance car sales in the U.S. as Corvette and Camaro continue to lead their respective segments.

Corvette outsold its closest competitor, the Porsche 911, for the first 11 months of 2013. This is all the more remarkable given Corvette production was halted for six months as the Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant prepared to build the 2014 Corvette Stingray. In November, Corvette sales jumped 229 percent year-over-year, as demand for the new Stingray continues to outstrip supply.

Camaro also outsold its closest competitor, the Ford Mustang, for the first 11 months of 2013. Camaro enters December with a 4,093-unit lead in total sales. More importantly, Camaro has an estimated 10,000-unit lead in retail sales. If that lead continues through the end of the year, 2013 will be the fourth consecutive year Camaro has been the best-selling sports car in the U.S.

Four new performance cars for 2014
The sales lead for Chevrolet is expected to accelerate as the brand adds four new performance cars to the lineup, including:
  • First full calendar year of sales of the 2014 Chevrolet SS sedan: The all-new SS, which went on sale in October, is based on a race-proven, global platform that underpins the Camaro, Caprice police vehicle and, in Australia, the high-performance Holden VF Commodore. Elements including lightweight aluminum hood and deck lid panels help give the SS a nearly 50/50 weight balance, while the performance of its 6.2L V-8 – rated at 415 horsepower – and six-speed automatic transmission enable 0-60 mph acceleration in five seconds flat.
  • First full year of sales of the 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible: The Stingray Convertible, which goes on sale this month, shares identical chassis tuning and performance technologies with the coupe, with structural changes limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts. As such, the Stingray Convertible requires no sacrifices for a drop-top driving experience, offering up to 460 horsepower /465 lb-ft with the available performance exhaust system; capable of more than 1 g in cornering; and sprinting from 0-60 in under 4 seconds.
  • Arrival of the 2014 Camaro Z/28: The Camaro Z/28, which arrives in dealerships in the second quarter of 2014, will be the most track-capable Camaro ever. Recently, the Z/28 logged a 7:37.40 lap on Germany’s legendary Nürburgring road course, a time comparable with some of the world’s most prestigious sports cars – and the Z/28 lap was completed in the rain.
  • Debut of the 2015 Corvette Z06: The all-new Corvette Z06 will make its public debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. Production is expected to begin in late 2014.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2014 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees Announced


The National Corvette Museum has announced the following inductees to be recognized as part of the 17th Annual Corvette Hall of Fame Ceremony in 2014:  Jerry Burton in the category of Corvette enthusiast/historian; John Heinricy in the category of GM/Chevrolet; and Dave MacDonald, in the category of racing will all be recognized with the highest honor bestowed by the Museum for their contributions to the past, present and future of Corvette.
 
The 2014 Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame during a ceremony and banquet on Thursday, August 28, 2014. Their induction will take place as part of the Museum’s 20th Anniversary Corvette Celebration and the Fifth National Corvette Caravan festivities August 28-30, 2014.
 
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Jerry Burton’s involvement with Corvette is immeasurable, serving as Founding Editor and Editorial Director of Corvette Quarterly magazine; Motorsports Editor for AutoWeek magazine; Managing Editor of Racecar magazine; and Editor of Haggerty Insurance Automotive magazine.  In addition to being an editor and contributor to numerous other automotive magazines, Burton is a Corvette historian, authoring “Zora Arkus-Duntov: The Legend Behind Corvette,” and “Corvette: America’s Sports Car: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”  While heavily immersed in the Corvette World, Burton met and became a trusted personal friend of the Duntovs, with full access to all of Zora’s papers and documents and is personally acquainted with many of Duntov’s associates.  In authoring the book he received full support of General Motors and the Chevrolet Motor Division.
 
Burton holds a journalism degree as well as a Master of Arts in telecommunications and film, and is the author of the award-winning “Heartbeat of America” themeline for Chevrolet.  He along with former Corvette Chief Engineer Dave McLellan were interviewed and featured on the Speed Channel’s documentary on the fifty year history of the Corvette.  Burton also served as a Member of the NCM’s Board of Directors.
 
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee John Heinricy’s influence on the car and hobby can be seen by visitors of the National Corvette Museum in the 1989 Corvette ZR-1 “Record Run” display featuring not only the car, but also the statues of those involved – a display that pays homage to the team that set 12 international world time / distance speed records in a ZR-1 and L98 Corvette, averaging as high as 175.885mph over a 24-hour period.  Heinricy has won 11 SCCA national championships driving a Corvette, was intimately involved in developing the Corvette showroom stock racing program that won 19 consecutive races between 1985 and 1987, and was a key member of the Corvette Racing C5R effort in 1999.
 
Heinricy worked for decades behind the scenes to create the kind of finely tuned driving dynamics that allowed modern Corvettes to compete with and beat the best sports cars in the world.  He has also logged more racing miles and hot laps in Corvettes than any other.  Heinricy served for many years as the manager of the Corvette Development Group at the GM Proving Grounds at Milford, Michigan and in 1990 was named Corvette Assistant Chief Engineer responsible for the C4 through 1996, including the 1995 Corvette Pace Car, 1996 Grand Sport and Collector’s Edition.  Most recently, “Heinrocket” set multiple lap records in a Cadillac CTS-V at tracks in China and the Middle East and continues to do engineering, consulting and automotive work as president of his own company.
 
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Dave MacDonald was recognized by Zora Duntov as one of the two best Corvette drivers in the world, sharing pilot duties with Dick Thompson in the 1963 Stingray being filmed by GM for “Biography of a Sports Car,” a national ad campaign for the car.  As a driver during the glory days of Corvette Racing, MacDonald had a better win percentage than any other Corvette racer with 47 victories and 69 top three finishes in 110 career starts.  In 1963 he achieved his dream of becoming a professional race car driver, driving the Ford Cobra for Carroll Shelby professionally – but continuing to drive his beloved 1963 Stingray Corvette personally – even to work each day at the Cobra speed shop!  It was Corvette that left MacDonald and not MacDonald who left Corvette, as General Motors pulled out of factory supported racing at that time.  He ran 33 races on the SCCA, USAC and USRRC circuits and won 15 times, including the LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside and the Monterey Pacific Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. 
 
By then end of 1963 MacDonald was considered one of America’s elite drivers, attracting the attention of team owners from all types of racing.  Dave managed to squeeze in two late season runs on the NASCAR circuit; a 2nd place finish at the Golden State 400 driving the Woods Brothers #21 car and 2nd again at the August 510 driving for Holman & Moody.  In 1964 MacDonald remained committed to Shelby America to run the major races in the US while also signing an Indy 500 contract with Mickey Thompson and a 21-race NASCAR contract with Bill Stroppe.  He scored three major wins on the USRRC circuit and finished 10th in the Daytona 500, but sadly his racing career and life were cut short in an accident at the Indy 500.
 
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: www.corvettemuseum.org or can be obtained by subscribing to our weekly eNewsletter “NCM eNews” at: www.corvettemuseum.org/ncmenews/.  Corporate tables are available for the dinner and can be reserved by contacting Karen Renfrow in the Events Department at 270-467-8804 or email karen@corvettemuseum.org.
 
The National Corvette Museum is a member-driven, non-profit foundation dedicated to educating the public through the preservation of the Corvette’s past, present and future 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.

Richard Anderson Donates Race Car

Richard Anderson's race car started life as a 1972 Corvette frame with many lightweight replica body panels supplied by Greenwood Enterprises, with many of the invoices for special Greenwood produced body parts like the firewall, dash board, inside door panels and floors.  This was the second Corvette race car to use the Greenwood designed 5-link rear end suspension components supplied by APEX Engineering.
The #33 car was built in Florida, earning bragging rights as the 1978 SCCA Southeast Regional Champion and was the track record holder at Palm Beach Raceway with a 1st Place finish at Nationals at PBNR, and Sebring in 1979.

In 1980 the car was sold to its second owner and brought to Chicago where the body was converted to the ’78-’82 style, utilizing American Custom Industries "Duntov" removable body panels weighing a total of 72 lbs.  It was only raced occasionally during the ‘80s in SCCA.  The car was idle until 2000 when it resumed its career in SCCA National races around the Midwest, eventually moving to the Vintage Racing Circuit.  More recently the car placed 3rd at Road America's Vintage Car Race (it’s last race) in celebration of Chevrolet's 100th Anniversary in 2011.  This car can also be found in the Registry of Corvette Race Cars.

While the car was once white with blue stripes, today it is red with blue stripes.  The 605bhp/355cid car features a V8 engine; Jerico 4-speed transmission; MDS electronic ignition; Butler Built racing seat; oil, temp and PSI gauges; tach; Fire suppression system; belly pans; roll cage; and two sets of tires and wheels (including new Goodyear Eagles mounted on BBS Racing wheels).

Anderson wanted to give the car a good home where it would be respected and people would be wowed. "You think about vehicles as you move on in life... how you're not going to be here forever. The more I thought about selling it - I asked myself, 'what's that going to do for me?' Sharing it with people and letting them see what it was like made more sense... there's so much history."

Another factor for Anderson was the construction of the NCM Motorsports Park and that this car is very drivable for parade laps, rides around the track, etc. "I gave Harlan Charles a ride at the NCM HPDE at Autobahn and he was like, 'Wow, how did you guys ever race these things?'" Anderson added that this is an ideal vehicle for the track and the timing was just right, "You should have some of these types of things around."

Anderson’s #33 Corvette racer can be seen at the National Corvette Museum, open daily from 8am-5pm CT.  Additionally, the Museum’s Motorsports Park is slated to open late August 2014 with visitors being given the opportunity to ride in the vintage racer around the track during special events.  Learn more at www.corvettemuseum.org.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Automobile Magazine Honors Tadge Juechter and 2014 Corvette Stingray


Tadge Juechter with his father, Mat Juechter at the Museum on November 20, 2013 for the R8C Museum Delivery of Mat's brand new C7

On a recent visit to the National Corvette Museum, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter took a moment to speak with us about his 2014 Man of the Year award from Automobile Magazine. It is no coincidence that this man’s creation, the 2014 Corvette Stingray, also earned top honors by being awarded the designation of Automobile Magazine’s 2014 Car of the Year.


On receiving this honor, Tadge was humble as always saying, “Well the man of the year recognition is really a symbol of what the team has accomplished. It’s a little embarrassing for me because it's totally a team sport and I'm just the lucky guy who happens to be in charge that gets to pick up this award.”

Born in Laredo, Texas, as part of an Air Force family who frequently moved, Tadge earned degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering and an MBA at Stanford. Working for GM for two summers in college convinced him of one thing: he didn't want to work at GM. Today, he considers the term "GM lifer" a badge of honor.
The introduction of the new 2014 Corvette Stingray was well received by most, bringing in various awards and accolades, but even so, the Automobile Magazine article states, "Corvette critics can be harsh, and those complaints are rarely unfounded. Some will contend that Chevy's engineers should not be applauded for simply fixing all the stuff that was wrong in previous versions. But Juechter's team did far more than finally bolt in decent seats..." The article also hails the car as being full of thoughtful engineering, innovative technology and awe-inspiring design.

“You know, we've been nearly a full year now of almost continuous media coverage, starting with the long lead media previews before we even introduced the car in Detroit,” says Tadge. “So basically last November all the way through now, we've been in the media spotlight, you know kind of feeding out bits of information, and basically showcasing what the car is and I think it really captures people's imagination. Not just the automotive press but also the popular press, the national and international press.”

Watch the interview with Tadge below or on the YouTube website here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NCM Motorsports Park Announces General Manager

Mitch Wright Hired as General Manager for Motorsports Park


The National Corvette Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Mitch Wright as General Manager of their new NCM Motorsports Park, currently under construction in Bowling Green, Ky.  Wright will be assisting with the construction of the Park and will be developing all plans for operations. Upon the facility’s completion and opening, Wright will manage and oversee all aspects of its operations.

In addition to years of experience at several successful motorsports parks, Wright is also a championship winning race car driver, a highly-respected race car builder and developer, and the architect of the SCCA World Challenge racing series’ rise to prominence.

“Mitch was our number one choice to run the NCM Motorsports Park,” said Wendell Strode, Executive Director of the National Corvette Museum. “His wealth of experience and involvement with the construction of other motorsports facilities will be extremely beneficial to this project. We are honored to have Mitch on board.”

With over 35 years of experience in the automotive industry under his belt, some of Wright’s previous positions include Director of Racing/Facility Operations at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, General Manager at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, President/General Manager at Pittsburgh International Race Complex and Vice-President of Sports Car Club of America Pro-Racing. He has been involved in developing programs and overseeing operations and events at all of these tracks. 

“I am really excited to be part of this fantastic facility and the NCM Motorsports Park team,” says Wright. “I am looking forward to being a part of making the NCM Motorsports Park and Bowling Green a destination for corporate activity, driver training and education, and recreational motorsports for car and motorcycle enthusiasts. A great buzz within the enthusiast groups is building and next fall is coming fast. I am looking forward to showing off this great venue to all that come to drive, ride or tour the place.”

Learn more about Wright on the NCM Motorsports Park website at www.motorsportspark.org.

Since 1953 the Corvette has been America's Sports Car. The National Corvette Museum was established as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit foundation with a mission of celebrating the invention of the Corvette; preserving its past, present and future; and educating the public about Corvette.

The National Corvette Museum is 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: www.corvettemuseum.org or call (800) 53-VETTE (83883).

The National Corvette Museum (NCM) Motorsports Park will offer a safe and challenging environment where drivers of all ages, interests and skill levels can become more proficient behind the wheel.  With over one mile of frontage on Interstate 65 and located across from the National Corvette Museum and the GM Corvette Assembly Plant, the Motorsports Park will be one of the most centrally located and easily accessible driving facilities in the country. Learn more at www.motorsportspark.org.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Celebrate Military Appreciation Month at the National Corvette Museum

National Corvette Museum Offers "Free Admission" to Recognize U.S. Military, Firemen and Police Officers During November's "Military Appreciation Month"
 

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 American branches including active, retired and reserve members will be honored with free admission when presenting a military or service ID.

The 115,000 square-foot Museum features over 80 rare and classic Corvettes from the past, present and future along with many interactive displays including the "Pit Crew Challenge," educational driving simulators, KidZone, hands-on trivia games and much more. The Museum also includes a Corvette Store featuring a wide selection of apparel and gift items, plus a Corvette Cafe, the perfect 'pit stop' for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack.

"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."

6th Annual Vets 'n Vettes Event
November 7-9, 2013


Registration has been extended until Monday, November 4 and on-site registration will be available for only $15 per person. This event features road tours, a poker run, pizza party, military history team trivia, participation in the Bowling Green, Kentucky Veteran's Day Parade and more.

On Thursday, November 7th the Museum is hosting their annual “Wounded Warrior Recognition Day.”  In addition to those in the wounded warrior program, the Museum is also inviting all Purple Heart recipients and their spouses to join in for a complementary luncheon at 11:30am in the Museum’s Conference Center.  Following the luncheon Brig. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Dan Cherry will be making his “My Enemy, My Friend” presentation at 3pm.  RSVP is required by contacting Karen at 270-467-8804 or Bryce at 270-777-4506.

The National Corvette Museum is a member-driven, non-profit foundation dedicated to continuing the mission of education, preservation and celebration of the Corvette’s past, present and future heritage. Regular updates and details on special promotions, events and important Corvette news announcements are sent weekly via our eNewsletter – "NCM eNews" available by subscribing at: http://www.corvettemuseum.com/ncmenews/.

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:
www.corvettemuseum.org or call 800-538-3883.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

National Corvette Museum Receives Largest Donation to Date

Corvette enthusiast Don Messner leaves his car collection to the Museum

Corvette enthusiasts are known world-wide for their passion towards America’s sports car and the lifestyle it inspires, but some people take their love for this car beyond the extra mile. Such a person was businessman and Montoursville, PA resident, Donald L. Messner, who made arrangements for his Corvette collection to be gifted to the National Corvette Museum upon his passing.

In business Don was known for his focus, determination and ability to make things happen. In his personal life, he was equally determined to make the most of it, enjoying a wide variety of activities including scuba diving, horses, racing, power boating, radio control airplanes, fishing, hunting and Corvettes.

Don’s love for Corvettes led him on a search to acquire low mileage, rare cars that were in excellent condition. Over the years, as his collection grew, he had a special climate-controlled garage built for them that he called The Toy Box.

In January of 2012 Don was diagnosed with melanoma. Knowing it was incurable; he continued to enjoy life as much as he was able. He joined the Museum for the exclusive unveiling of the 2014 Corvette Stingray at the Chevrolet Media Event in Detroit, and traveled to the National Corvette Museum to take delivery of his 2013 Corvette, as well as a visit to the Corvette Assembly Plant. While at the Museum, he decided that it was the best place to permanently display his Corvette collection.

For his wife Marlene, she is gratified to see Don’s collection going to the Museum to be enjoyed by the thousands of visitors who visit annually.

“He said he wanted to plant a seed. He wanted others in similar situations with rare Corvettes to see the Museum as a place for them. Most of all, he wanted to inspire future generations to work hard to buy their own Corvettes some day so that they, too, could enjoy the lifestyle that goes with owning them.”


The Corvettes in the Don Messner Collection include:
• 1965 grey coupe, custom race built Corvette
• 1967 427 convertible Corvette
• 1969 convertible/hard top Corvette
• 1989 coupe Corvette
• 1990 ZR-1 Corvette
• 1996 Collector’s Edition Corvette
• 1996 Grand Sport Corvette
• 2000 convertible Corvette
• 2008 Z06 Corvette
• 2013 60th Anniversary Corvette with R8C Museum Delivery

Don passed on May 22, 2013, but he has left behind a stunning collection of cars that will demonstrate his love of Corvette to others for years to come. “When people see these cars,” Marlene says, “I want them to remember Don Messner and his legacy. He was an amazing and very generous man.”

A special exhibit of these cars will be held in the Museum Exhibit Hall from May 10-September 12, 2014.

For more info on this or other upcoming exhibits at the museum, visit the website at www.corvettemuseum.org or contact the museum at 270-781-7973.

National Corvette Museum Goes Mobile

Museum releases new app for mobile devices

The increasing need to access websites via mobile devices and tablets has lead the National Corvette Museum to offer their own mobile app for smart phones. The free app can be downloaded by searching for “Corvette Museum” via Apple iTunes, Google Play or the Fast Appz site. Users of the app can easily access the Museum’s virtual tour with audio tour clips to accompany their visit to the Museum, as well as video clips, recent news and blog posts, general museum information, upcoming events and exhibits, the Corvette Café menu, sign up to receive Corvette raffle updates and much more.

Since the app was officially announced on Thursday, October 17, approximately 1,000 people have downloaded it and 42 photo submissions have already been submitted by users in hopes that theirs will be featured in the Museum’s mobile app gallery. Currently the most popular feature of the Museum’s new app is the Exhibits section, where users can quickly find out what exhibit is currently on display and what’s coming to the facility in the future.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Corvette Museum to Host Fourth Annual Museum Moster Mash

Boys and ghouls are invited to “do the mash” at the National Corvette Museum! On Saturday, October 26 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the museum is hosting their fourth annual Museum Monster Mash, a free event with loads of activities for children and their families, in the Museum Conference Center. A thrilling time for all, this event was established to provide a fun and affordable opportunity for children to celebrate Halloween at a national landmark right in their own back yard.

This year’s activities include:
  • Trunk-or-Treat through a display of collector cars
  • Free arts and crafts activities
  • Carnival games (25 cents a ticket, most games two tickets) with prizes
  • Face, hair and nail painting ($1.00 each/4 tickets)
  • Kids' Costume Contest at 10 a.m. with prizes for ages 0-2 years, 3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-12 years, Best Homemade Costume and "Best of Show"
  • Pumpkin decorating ($2.00)
  • DJ Tim Livingston spinning your favorite Halloween tunes

Museum tour admission is separate from the free activities; however those who come for the event in costume receive half price admission.

More information is available on our website at: http://www.corvettemuseum.com/registration/monster

Since 1953 the Corvette has been America's Sports Car. The National Corvette Museum was established as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit foundation with a mission of celebrating the invention of the Corvette; preserving its past, present and future; and educating the public about Corvette.

The National Corvette Museum is 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: www.corvettemuseum.org or call (800) 53-VETTE (83883).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Young Racing Enthusiasts Create Their Own Le Mans

At eight and eleven years old, Christopher and JP Noga of La Grange, Ill., prove that you are never too young to get into racing. Proud members of Cub Scout pack 83, JP and Christopher are both avid car and racing enthusiasts. Winter is their favorite time of the year, as this is when their Cub Scout pack’s annual “Pinewood Derby” event is held. Hundreds of Cub Scout packs around the country hold their annual Pinewood Derby races during this season to help with the onset of cabin fever, especially in the colder regions. 

Cub master Don Murphy of Pack 280c organized the first of these Pinewood Derby events on May 15, 1953, in Manhattan Beach, California. Murphy's son was too young to participate in the popular Soap Box Derby races, so he came up with the idea of racing miniature cars made of wood. The cars featured the same gravity-powered concept as the full-size Soap Box Derby cars, but were much smaller and easier to build.
Today, Cub Scouts build a special car made of wood for these races that usually come from kits containing a block of pine, plastic wheels and metal axles. Putting together these cars is a big part of the fun and a great way to involve family members and friends in the competition. For this year’s race, JP decided to build a Ferrari, and Christopher, an avid Corvette lover, built the Compuware C6R Corvette in homage to the Corvette Racing team--recent winners of the ALMS GT title. 

Excitement was building up as race day came, and the competitors rolled out their cars to the starting line. All the time spent building, testing and setting up their entries had led to this moment. With Ferrari and Corvette being rivals at the world’s most famous race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, all eyes were on the Noga boys as they prepared to defend their car’s honor. Christopher Noga, driving the C6R, took his place behind the wheel and put together a time of 9.224 in his combined runs of four heats. His brother in the Ferrari took his runs, driving for all he was worth to put together a four heat combination time of 9.245. In a performance reminiscent of the 2011 Le Mans race, Corvette came out on top.
JP and Christopher are eagerly looking forward to their pack’s 2014 Pinewood Derby race, and already have design ideas in mind. Just like the teams that have been facing off for years in Le Mans France, the Noga brothers are working on their cars for next year, hoping it will be their turn to claim victory. One can’t help but wonder if these Pinewood Derby racers will one day find themselves on the grid of the Circuit de la Sarthe, revving their engines and ready to chase the checkered flag again.

Friday, October 4, 2013

GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant Named 2013 KAM Manufacturer of the Year

GM's Bowling Green Assembly Plant was named Manufacturer of the Year by the Kentucky Association for Manufacturers (KAM) at the 2013 KAM Manufacturer and Employee of the Year Awards ceremony.



This award is presented annually to a manufacturer in the state that showcases exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, community leadership and policy contributions to enhance the overall prosperity of the Commonwealth.

Dave Tatman, Plant Manager, accepted the award on Friday at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

"We are honored to receive this award from KAM," Tatman stated. "General Motors has had a great partnership with our local community and the state of Kentucky. We are happy to be able to give back to this area that we have called home for over thirty years. "

The KAM awards ceremony is a celebration held each year to salute manufacturers across the state that have made significant contributions to their employees, customers and communities.

"We had a record number of entries this year for the Manufacturer of the Year award," said Greg Higdon, President & CEO of KAM. "GM personifies the criteria that we use to evaluate those nominated for this award and we couldn't be more pleased to honor them for all that they have accomplished."

The Bowling Green Assembly Plant began production of the Chevrolet Corvette in Bowling Green, Ky. in 1981 and has remained the exclusive home for over thirty years.

The plant currently employs more than 800 individuals and recently underwent a $131 million dollar renovation in 2012 and 2013 to prepare for the production of the Stingray.

Of that investment, $52 million alone went to renovations of the Body Shop that allowed for advancements in the design, technology and engineering of the car; including a $19.1 million pre-treatment system that is an exclusive addition to the Stingray production line.

"GM has redefined the business climate of South Central Kentucky and their continued confidence and investment in the region has served as a foundation for a thriving automotive industry," said Chamber Board of Directors Chairman Brad Howard. "We look forward to continuing our relationship with GM for many years to come."

Coupled with their investment in innovation and technology is their investment as a corporate citizen in the Bowling Green community.   In 2013 alone, GM has pledged more than $215,000 in charitable donations.

In January 2013, GM was recognized for their outstanding efforts in donating $100,698 to United Way of Southern Kentucky and increasing their pledges by $37,000. They received a total of four awards at the United Way's annual awards ceremony for their investment.

The facility is also gaining recognition for their outreach and responsibility for the environment. Significant efforts and improvements to the facility have been made to improve the function of the plant in a way that is conscious of the environment.

"The Bowling Green Assembly Plant continues to make significant contributions to our community; both to our economy and to improve the quality of life here in Bowling Green." said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. "We are grateful to have companies like GM that care about their community and help make Bowling Green, Kentucky a great place to be." 

"When people think of Bowling Green, they often associate it with production of the Corvette. When Bowling Green thinks of GM, we think of a corporate citizen that has given this city not only an identity, but a quality of life by their contribution to the community and environment here," stated Judge Executive Michael Buchanon. "There is a sense of pride in this region for GM and when they succeed, we succeed. Congratulations to the GM staff for this honor."

Both local and state officials were among those there to witness the Bowling Green Assembly Plant be awarded this honor.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Plant Tours Resume at Bowling Green Assembly

Personalized Corvette experiences include Museum Delivery

Chevrolet announced today that public plant tours at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant will resume on Monday, October 14, giving enthusiasts a personal look at the production of the all-new, seventh-generation sports car.

Additionally, popular customer programs coordinated with the National Corvette Museum, including Museum Delivery, Buyers Tour and the Corvette Photo Album, are available again, offering new owners a variety of ways to personalize their Corvette purchase experience.

The plant tour and customer programs were halted last fall while the plant underwent a $131-million upgrade for production of the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

“We are delighted to invite the public back into our facility, so we can continue our close-knit customer relationships and educate enthusiasts from around the world about the unique Corvette manufacturing process,” said Dave Tatman, plant manager.

Public tours include a one-mile walking tour of the Corvette production line. They are offered Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. CDT. Tours remain $7 per person and reservations are strongly recommended. Tour guidelines and reservations are available at www.corvetteassembly.com. 

GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant has been the exclusive home to Corvette production since June 1981 and has offered tours, in a variety of ways, since its opening. The tour program has evolved over more than 30 years, and through a partnership with Western Kentucky University, approximately 30 student interns serve as tour guides.

Chevrolet began shipping the new Corvette Stingray to dealers on Sept. 18. Pricing for the 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe starts at $51,995 including destination and the Convertible is priced at $56,995 including destination.

Customer experience programs

The popular Museum Delivery, the Buyers Tour and Corvette Photo Album programs enable new Corvette Stingray customers to watch their car travel down the assembly line, take delivery at the museum and receive a leather-bound album documenting the event.

Each program is coordinated by the National Corvette Museum, located across the road from the plant. It opened in 1994 and operates independently as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit foundation.

 “These are truly unique programs and opportunities for customers, because no other manufacturer allows such personal access to the assembly and delivery of their cars,” said Wendell Strode, the museum’s executive director. “They make the magic of Corvette ownership more special with memories that will last a lifetime.”

Museum Delivery: Available as a dealer option, the Museum Delivery program allows customers to take delivery of their Corvette at the museum. Museum schedulers notify customers when their car will be completed and help the customer pick their delivery date. On arrival, customers receive a private tour of the plant. They then take delivery of their new Corvette from the museum showroom, where their car is on display. A personalized demonstration of their Corvette’s features is included.
 
The Museum Delivery option is available under option code R8C and costs $990. The customer must make his or her own travel arrangements to Bowling Green. See corvettemuseum.org for more details.
Buyers Tour: The Corvette Buyers Tour allows customers to watch the assembly of their Corvette at the Bowling Green plant. Museum personnel use a vehicle’s order number to track the build schedule for a customer’s Corvette Stingray and contact him or her when the build date is scheduled. The customer and a guest receive a guided tour of the plant – including viewing areas not included in the general plant tour – often following his or her Corvette from the start of body assembly to the end of the line. Because of scheduling changes that occur day to day at the plant, customers are not guaranteed to see their car’s assembly.
The Corvette Buyers Tour is coordinated through the National Corvette Museum and costs $800. Customers must have a dealer order number from their dealer. See corvettemuseum.org for more details.

Corvette Photo Album: Whether they take delivery of their Corvette Stingray at the museum or at their local dealership, all Corvette customers can purchase a photo album that documents the assembly of their car. The leather-bound album includes more than 20 pages of text and photos devoted to capturing the build process, as well as a letter of authenticity from the National Corvette Museum.

The Corvette photo album is coordinated through the museum. It costs $700 and can be combined with the Buyers Tour for a single-package price of $1,300. See corvettemuseum.org for more details.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two-Wheel Speed at the National Corvette Museum

 
Museum presents exhibit featuring Motorcycles over the years
Corvettes may be the best thing on four wheels, but what about our two-wheel friends? Starting on Saturday, September 21, the National Corvette Museum presents a unique exhibit featuring over 40 amazing motorcycles of various makes, models and eras. The bikes on display range from the classic American Harley to foreign bikes such as Kawasakis and Yamahas.

Some of these two-wheel speedsters include:

1975 Harley Davidson Prototype MX 350 (on loan from Cody Tellis of Bultacowest)
In 1975 Harley Davidson was looking to get into the dirt bike market.  Some 200 250cc machines were produced but only one 350cc was made.  This is that bike.  Rediscovered in Waco, Texas where the factory used to test their machines, the prototype was said to ride like a hobby horse and the project was scrapped.  Bultacowest was called a number of years ago by an aging lady who wished to sell her Harley to the business to be restored; when informed that Bultacowest didn’t restore Harleys, she asked that the establishment allow an old lady to tell her story.  Understandably once this amazing story was shared, they bought the bike!


1966 Bridgestone Special Racer 175cc (on loan from Phil Wheeler)
This is the original motorcycle that won the 1966 Daytona Sportsman 200 Road Race, confirming Bridgestone as a threat to the BIG FOUR (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki). This motorcycle was ridden by Dwayne Williams who was victorious over at least 23 contenders of various manufacturers. The winner of this race gained bragging rights as having the best motorcycle built in speed and endurance. Most authorities agree that only 150 SR175 racers were ever produced and less than 10% of those remain today.


Pratt & Miller Motus MST-R, developed with Corvette ties (on loan from Motus Motorcycles)
The Motus MST series of comfortable sportbikes were developed with the help of Motus partners, Pratt & Miller Engineering, who support GM's successful Factory Corvette Racing, Cadillac Racing, Daytona Prototype, Camaro GT, NASCAR, and IndyCar efforts.  Drawing on this racing heritage, the MST's have chromoly space frames, extensive use of carbon fiber and real American muscle. 


This particular prototype has the world's first gasoline direct injected (GDI) 4 stroke motorcycle engine and the first V4 ever used on an American motorcycle. The 1650cc (100ci) V4 "Baby Block" engine is heavily inspired by LS small block design using a 90 degree V, cam-in-block, OHV with pushrods, and hydraulic lifters.

1967 Triumph Bonneville T120R, world land speed record holder in 1966 (on loan from Keith Bemerer)
Named the “World Landspeed Record Holder” in 1966 when two Triumph engines were strapped together and raced at Bonneville Salt Flats, UT.  Triumph started production on the “Bonneville,” bike in 1959. This particular motorcycle was purchased in 1968 and has been in the Bemerer family since.


1928 Indian 101 (on loan from Brent Askins)
The Scout 101 was one of the fastest and most popular bikes of its time.  Today it is one of the most collectible. A true barn find from the summer of 2011, the bike has never been painted or restored cosmetically, but is mechanically sound and is ridden regularly. The barn this prize was found in held a variety of bikes, mostly antique scooters. Another wooden building on the property held many cars, including four Corvettes - a ’63, ‘62, ‘58 and a prized ‘54.


 “At the National Corvette Museum, we strive to bring new and innovative exhibits to our facility. While our main focus is and will always be the Corvette, America’s Sports Car, we love shaking things up a bit and introducing something new to our visitors,” said NCM Executive Director, Wendell Strode.  “No two visits to the Museum are the same, and with exhibits like this featuring motorcycles, we hope to bring in folks who might not have otherwise visited.  This exposes them to the Corvette lifestyle and creates new enthusiasts,” Strode added.

The Museum will continue to welcome motorcycles in 2014 with the grand opening of the Motorsports Park.  The Park is currently under construction and plans to host events not only for Corvettes, but also motorcycles and other model cars. For more information on this project, please visit the
NCM Motorsports Park website.

This exhibit will run from Saturday, September 21, 2013 through Friday, January 3, 2014. For more information on this exhibit and a peak at a few of the bikes on display, please visit our website.

Chevrolet Begins Shipping 2014 Corvette Stingray

All-new Stingray Coupes rolling out of Bowling Green plant for dealers nationwide

Chevrolet today began shipping the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe to dealers.  

“It’s an amazing sight to see the transporters filled with Stingrays heading to customers in all corners of the country,” said Dave Tatman, plant manager of General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly plant. “The pride at Bowling Green is overwhelming and it shows in the tremendous quality and attention to detail going into each one of these new Corvettes.”

Bowling Green Assembly has produced approximately 1,000 Corvette Stingrays for customer deliveries. Most of these vehicles are expected to be delivered to dealers within the next few weeks. To make shipping faster, deliveries are being prioritized for logistics efficiency and may be shipped out of build sequence, which is normal for any new vehicle launch.

The Bowling Green facility underwent a $131-million upgrade to support production of the Corvette Stingray, including approximately $52 million for a new body shop to manufacture the car’s all-new aluminum frame in-house for the first time.  

The lightweight aluminum frame is the foundation for the most powerful standard Corvette ever, with an SAE-certified 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (624 Nm) – and 460 horsepower (343 kW) and 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) with the available performance exhaust system. It is also the most capable standard Corvette ever, with Z51-equipped models able to sprint from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds, run the quarter-mile in 12 seconds at 119 mph, achieve 1.03g in cornering grip and stop from 60 mph in 107 feet.

Complementing its performance capability with efficiency, the Corvette Stingray delivers the best fuel economy of any sports car on the market – an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in city driving and 29 mpg on the highway. No other car offers more than 455 horsepower and greater than 29 mpg on the highway.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the seventh generation of the sports car, which has been built exclusively at the Bowling Green plant since June 1981.

Pricing for the 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe starts at $51,995 including destination. The Convertible is priced at $56,995 including destination. Production of the Stingray Convertible will begin by the end of this year.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

National Corvette Museum Announces 20th Anniversary Corvette Celebration and Fifth National Corvette Caravan

The National Corvette Museum (NCM) opened in 1994, boasts over 26,000 members, has approximately 150,000 visitors annually and is one of the top five automotive museums in the country (top 10 in the world).  In celebration of the Museum’s 20th Anniversary, the NCM is proud to announce its fifth National Corvette Caravan in August of 2014.

Starting from various cities throughout America, thousands of Corvette enthusiasts will converge on the home of Corvette for three days of exciting Corvette lifestyle, including the grand opening of the NCM Motorsports Park. Details for the 20th Anniversary Corvette Celebration and grand opening of the NCM Motorsports Park are still in the planning stage, and will be made available via the Museum’s website at: www.corvettemuseum.org.
The Museum’s National Corvette Caravan is being coordinated by Paul Mariano, the National Chair of the 2014 NCM Caravan, in collaboration with Karen Renfrow, NCM Events Manager.  Information and details on caravan routes can be obtained by visiting the 2014 National Corvette Caravan website at www.nationalcorvettecaravan.com. Over 2000 Corvette enthusiasts have already registered for the event as of late July. 
“The Corvette Caravan is just half of the exciting events occurring in August 2014,” says Paul Mariano.  “The thousands of Corvettes coming from all over the United States and Canada will arrive in Bowling Green, KY to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the NCM and the grand opening of the new Motorsports Park.  New routes and exciting events along the way will offer a fresh perspective to the caravan participants and reach areas previously bypassed by the caravans.  “It is a spectacle not to be missed by any Corvette owner or someone wishing to be one,” added Paul. 
The 2014 National Corvette Caravan will be the fifth caravan hosted by the Museum.  Caravan registration is $5 per person.  Lifetime member registration for the 20th Anniversary Corvette Celebration is free, member registration is $15 per person and non-member registration is $25 per person.
“Excitement is in the air as plans become more finalized for both the caravan and the Museum’s 20th Anniversary Celebration,” said NCM Executive Director Wendell Strode.  “We are so thankful to the caravan volunteers and everybody involved in making this celebration a success, especially all Corvette enthusiasts.  Everyone’s support of the Museum and the Corvette is much appreciated and we hope all Corvette enthusiasts will be able to join us in celebrating this important milestone.”
As part of the celebration the Museum will be marking another important moment in history with the grand opening of the NCM Motorsports Park.  The Museum broke ground on the facility June 28, 2013 which will include a road course, autocross/skid pad area and more.  Progress of the park can be followed at www.motorsportspark.org and a special email list is available for updates regarding the project.
 Details and information on the 2014 National Corvette Caravan are available online at www.nationalcorvettecaravan.com or by calling (800) 53-VETTE. Information may also be obtained by signing up for the national caravan chat list, which offers regular e-mail updates on the caravan, also via the website.
The National Corvette Museum is a non-profit foundation dedicated to educating the public through the preservation of the Corvette’s past, present, and future 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.