National Corvette Museum At Bowling Green, Kentucky

When people that have a passion for something bring their minds together, amazing things can turn out as a result! The founders of the National Corvette Museum had just that – pure passion for a popular two-seater sports car that would win over the hearts of many around the world!

It started out as a idea to preserve restoration material that we in jeopardy of vanishing. Terry McManmon wrote to the board of the National Corvette Restoration Society (NCRS) and urged them to consider a library and/or museum. McManmon would continue to make connections with the right people convincing them that this idea was very necessary. He was soon elected to the chairman of a special committee that would be called the Library/Archives and Museum Committee.

National Corvette Museum Is Born

Soon fundraising strategies began buzzing around the NCRS crowd and enthusiasm was growing. In 1988 an official 501c, non-profit organization, was filed. Now five board members would be named and McManmon was one of them. Interestingly, Zora Arkus-Duntov was also named as one of the original board members. Additional board members were added in 1989 and work began to find a location for this new museum. Nebraska, Michigan, Florida and Nevada were all locations being seriously considered.

The likelihood of building a new museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky was also being considered. In fact, the city of Bowling Green had a strong influence in the decision of where to locate the museum. After all, the only Corvette assembly plant was already in Bowling Green since 1981. So in January of 1990, a donation of almost 33 acres of land close to the assembly plant was provided at no cost. Now all they needed was capital.

Some Speed Bumps

1989 through 1991 were some tough years for Chevrolet. The head of Chevrolet at this time, Jim Perkins, reluctantly did not support this museum project. In face, he was known to say, “if we don’t start selling cars, we are going to be a museum”! There would be no donations from the mother ship. Another disappointment was a capital campaign that hired consultants in 1991 to raise 12 million and produced nothing! And to make matters worse, the expected corporate sponsorships did not materialize either. It was then decided that if this project was going to happen, it was the “museum men” that were going to have to make things happen!

Raising Support

The next creative idea was to build an Annex as a self-sustaining gift ship with exhibits to show the community that this museum was REAL and was on its way! The Annex officially opened in November 1990 and present at the grand ceremony was Zora Arkus-Duntov himself. He spoke of the absolute necessity that this museum is to the Corvette community and his words roared out like a battle cry! If you are interested in shopping on line at the National Corvette Museum’s online Corvette store, click here.

In 1992, through payroll deduction, workers at the Corvette assembly plant began contributing to the National Corvette Museum foundation. This effort would eventually raise $170,000 for the museum project. The head of Chevrolet, Jim Perkins got approval to donate the one millionth Corvette to the unbuilt museum as well as donating the 999,999th Corvette to be used as a raffle fund raiser.

Chevrolet would also provide media support and at a scheduled Corvette assembly plant press show on June 5, 1992, the official ground breaking ceremony would take place simultaneously. Two busloads of reporters were met by the elderly Duntov at the controls of a bulldozer with a hand-painted Corvette cutout on the side of the bulldozer who would graciously sign autographs.

Doors Officially Open

The National Corvette Museum would officially open for business on September 2, 1994 some ten years after the initial library was proposed by Terry McManmon. From a small group of supporters at the NCRS to a flood of Corvette enthusiasts, this is what became of the National Corvette Museum. Today, the museum hosts a wide variety of activities, services, and all around Corvette fun stuff.

You can make part of your day delicious at the Corvette Cafe. Serving all kinds of food including breakfast burritos, Grand Sport salads, Sports Car sandwiches, Loaded Chevy Burger, and right down to a Duntov desert! Click here for other menu choices.

Assembly Plant Tours

You can take a tour of the Corvette assembly plant after you have eaten your lunch. See first hand how this spectacular sports car is put together!

Tours are ongoing Monday through Friday and are a great bargain at $10 per adult and $5 per student. For more information on a plant tour click here.

Through out the Corvette museum you will find thousands of photos, movies and videos, advertisements, scale models and rare memorabilia with highlights on the people that have made Corvette the American icon that it is today!

You will also uncover a major milestone, the one millionth Corvette that was donated to the museum by Chevrolet.

On the National Corvette Museum’s events page you’ll find many events that will catch your interest. There are car shows, community and educational events, and a calendar for Corvette caravans.

Many Exhibits To See

There are also exhibits featuring the famous Callaway Corvettes which is a celebration of 40 years in the making. The next exhibit of interest is the Horsepower Heroes exhibit where speed and performance are first in class! Of course you will not want to miss the famous Corvette Cave-In, an exhibit to tell the story of the large sinkhole that opened up in the middle of the night on February 12, 2014.

This very large 30 foot sinkhole demolished eight special edition Corvettes in just seconds! This truly spectacular exhibit is one you will definitely not want to miss! Click here for more information on this major Corvette event!

Dream Big!

So, if you can imagine a place where you can learn about Corvettes all the way from the beginning in 1953 to the present, this is the place to be. If you can dream of being surrounded by hundreds of Corvettes, whether in full size, smaller scale, photo, video, or in the toy section of the Corvette store, you must visit the National Corvette Museum. This truly is the place where Corvette Dreamer’s dreams can really come true!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Speak Your Mind

*

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.