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 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 CafĂ© 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:

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: 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 

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 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 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 for more details.