Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dyer Family Foundation Helps Make 1983 Corvette Display a Reality

National Corvette Museum creates new spotlight for the only 1983 Corvette in existence

The 1983 Exhibit, as it looked in the Skydome January 2014.
All thanks to the generosity of the Dyer Family, the National Corvette Museum is proud to finally have a proper exhibit for the only 1983 Corvette in existence.  In memory of Calvin and Frances Dyer, both Corvette enthusiasts, the Dyer family presented the National Corvette Museum with a grant to be used towards a new 1983 Corvette display.

The 1983 Corvette exhibit, previously located in the Skydome of the Museum, was originally mixed in with other Corvettes, simply blending in with its surroundings. Just prior to the sinkhole, the Corvette was placed on one of the pedestals in the Skydome.  Today, while renovations in the Skydome are in progress, the 1983 is featured in the Gateway of the Museum, earning the attention it deserves.

“A truss surrounds the car holding informational, graphic panels that help tell the story,” said Bob Hellmann, Facilities & Display Manager.  “Thanks to Final Finish, Adam’s Polishes and Heartland Media who sent representatives to finalize the truss display as well as cleaning and revitalizing the car, we now have an eye-catching showcase for this historical American sports car.”

A video with former Corvette Chief Engineer, Dave McLellan, provides museum goers with a brief history of the 1983 Corvette on display.

The 1983 in its temporary home, the Gateway area of the Museum.
The 1983 Corvette is unique due to the fact that out of the 43 Corvettes manufactured for the 1983 model year, only one survived.  With new technology and new designs in mind, big changes were to come from the 1983 Corvette.

In the video at the exhibit, McLellan explains that the fourth generation of Corvette conceptually began back in 1979/1980. “We were trying to figure out how to bring the car back to date in all aspects,” said McLellan. “There was new technology that hadn’t been used in Chevrolet or in any automotive yet.”

However, due to production issues, General Motors could not justify going through the government certification process so late in the production year. This resulted in the Corvette missing its own 30th anniversary.

Instead, the new C4 generation would be introduced in 1984 with the 43 cars assembled for the 1983 model year being used to sort out production details, engineering evaluations and car crash testing. Forty-two of the cars assembled were later destroyed, except for number 23, which retired to the National Corvette Museum.

The Dyer Family Foundation made the special display possible, helping the Museum properly highlight and share the history of this unique car. Calvin and Frances Dyer had a special place in their hearts for Corvette and personally owned four: a 1986, 1989, 1991 ZR1 and 1997. “We are so appreciative of the Dyer Family Foundation’s gift to help further the Museum’s mission of celebrating, preserving and educating visitors about Corvette,” said Museum Executive Director, Wendell Strode.

The Museum is open daily, 8am-5pm CT and is located off I-65 exit 28 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Learn more at or call 800-538-3883.