NCM Anniversary Celebration Marked by Return of Millionth Corvette
The National Corvette Museum (NCM) celebrated its 21st Anniversary with the reopening of its Skydome and a number of high profile appearances. But one of the biggest stars was the return of the restored one-millionth Corvette to the facility.
The white 1992 convertible, one of eight rare Corvettes damaged in the 2014 sinkhole at the NCM, has taken its place back at the museum as part of the permanent exhibit.
Restored at GM’s Michigan Tech Center, the millionth-milestone Corvette has become an even more prominent symbol of the longstanding passion for the Chevy sports car in the aftermath of the sinkhole catastrophe, an event which garnered national attention. But getting the car back to its original state wasn’t easy.
“When we disassembled it, we found that each employee involved in building it had signed a part of the car, which was fantastic and moving to see. It brought the history to life, and reinforced the importance of the project,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, in the official press release for the unveiling.
The entire process took more than 1,200 man hours and involved roughly 30 craftspeople and technicians from GM Design’s Mechanical Assembly group, along with the company’s service operations team.
“As the one and only one-millionth Corvette, its preservation was important to us as the designers of the vehicle – and as Corvette enthusiasts,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, as highlighted in the release. “The damage was significant in many ways; however we have one of the most highly skilled specialty shops and teams of people in the industry, so they were fully prepared to take on the challenge.”
Chevy even worked with the NCM to secure a new signature from a Bowling Green Assembly employee by the name of Angela Lamb for a replacement part that helped ensure the millionth Corvette was restored to its original state as much as possible.
“We went to great lengths to preserve every autograph,” said David Bolognino, director of GM Global Design Fabrication Operations, in the GM release. “In the end, we saved every one of them, which was an unexpected and important element to the restoration.”
Other events for the NCM’s 21st Anniversary, which runs through September 5, include the induction of the museum’s Hall of Fame inductees and a whole lot of Corvettes, as captured in this Corvette Forum thread started by member Jagamajajaran.
Still, the one-millionth Corvette was definitely the star of the show.
Katie Frassinelli, a spokesperson for NCM, told Corvette Forum that while the museum is excited about having all eight of the sinkhole Corvettes back at the museum, there’s something very special about the return of the millionth Corvette.
”The millionth was one of the very first cars donated to the Museum when it opened in 1994, and has been on display ever since. The car represents not only a milestone in Chevrolet’s history, but also the Museum’s,” Frassinelli said.