A Tour of the Corvette Museum

ncm-exhibit-1.jpgThe National Corvette Museum celebrates America’s embrace of the Corvette as its ?Sports Car?. The museum is home to tons of amazing corvettes and informative exhibits. And it’s right across the street from the Corvette Factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, so you can even go watch your Corvette being made. Every thing about the National Corvette Museum is a celebration of Americas sports car.

The first Corvette hit the streets in 1953. Americans were fascinated with muscle cars whose powerful engines allowed these cars to outperform just about any American built car on the road at the time. In fact, these massive vehicles often weighing thousands of pounds, were getting so powerful, accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 6 seconds, that the government began regulating engine performance in the name of safety.

ncm-exhibit-2.jpgHistory

It was in this atmosphere that the Corvette was born in the Chevrolet division of General Motors, ultimately producing six generations of Corvettes of various styles and engine capacities. Originating as a concept car in 1953, the car was named after a small, maneuverable warship. Originally built in St. Louis, Missouri, and Flint, Michigan, the car is currently manufactured in Bowling Green, Kentucky, just 60 miles north of Nashille and 100 miles south of Louisville, off I-65, exit 28. It is the official sports car of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Corvette Museum

Built across the street from the Corvette assembly plant, the Corvette Museum is a repository of literature, history and memorabilia relating to the Corvette, providing information to collectors and the public. It is open seven days a week, year-round, from 8am to 5pm except Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve day, Christmas day and New Year’s Day. Reservations for tours at the assembly plant are available from Monday through Thursday. Lodging is also available as well as the museum’s caf?, where visitors eat in a 1950s style diner.

ncm-ex-3.jpgFeatures

Over 80 Corvettes are housed in the 115,000 square foot museum built on 52 acres. There’s also an amphitheatre, outdoor picnic area, gift store,cafe and a large parking lot surrounding it. Video displays and a film, which are shown on a 16 by 28 foot screen, mark the changes that the Corvette has gone through over the course of time. The Nostagia area shows the lifestyle of the time in the 1950s when the Corvette began and became a part of the scenery of that era. There is even a display of the old manufacturing plant. The Performance area of the museum features Corvette’s place in racing history, complete with audience participation in a ?pit crew experience? and a cut-away engine display. The Design and Development section demostrates how Corvettes go from drawing board to working clay prototypes to actual production models. There is also a crowd stopping exhibit of a Corvette crash test complete with an actual wrecked Corvette.

The Enthusiast’s area features interactive touch-screen trivia challenges as well as listings of Corvette events. Special and rare Corvettes are featured in the Skydome and Hall of Fame section. Cars are constantly being rotated into this 140 foot in diameter yellow cone-shaped skydome with nearly a 100-foot high glass ceiling. The Exhibit area displays not only Corvettes, but other cars as well, with a special area where children can learn via hands-on displays. The Library and Archives maintain information on all Corvettes so that visitors can access informational history regarding Corvettes. Finally, new Corvette owners can take delivery of their new ?baby? at the Car Prep and Delivery area where they will learn about their new car before taking it home.

The Corvette museum is a ?live? museum where visitors can interact with various displays featuring Corvettes as well as view every type of Corvette ever made. For more information, go to www.corvettemuseum.com/.

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