As far as I know, the only other American automotive assembly plant providing such a tour opportunity is the new Ford Rouge facility in Dearborn where F-150s are built, opened to the public not quite two years ago and certainly the only such plant tour in Michigan. There also is a charge for the Ford tour. As with so many things in life, what was once free, no longer is.
Before I become deluged with emails from fans of upscale European imports — yes, I am aware that such factory-delivery VIP programs are old-hat across the pond.
New Corvette OwnersEnlarge Photo
There were five other new ’Vettes awaiting their owners to arrive, including silver, red, black, maroon, and red coupes and a red convertible. A couple were Z06 models with the distinctive air intake just below the front hood opening.
In addition to the special R8C delivery arrangement, the Museum also marks the parking lot spaces closest to the facility — excepting handicapped — as reserved for Corvettes only. Of 20 vehicles in the first two rows of the parking lot the January morning I visited, 14 were GM products.
NCM membership dues range from $20 for children (!) to $50 for individuals, $100 for families, $250 for business, $1500 for lifetime, and $2500 for business lifetime.
It’s unclear whether any General Motors Foundation money went into the original fund-raising, but in any event GM does not directly financially support the institution on an annual basis. GM however has provided numerous exhibit materials including significant cars, as well as some technical expertise and naturally uses the Museum facility for specific promotional activities.
Six generations of speed
As a volunteer enterprise, then, most all the Corvettes on display actually are on loan from private individuals or General Motors. The first car exhibit you see upon entering the Museum is a row of Corvettes representing each of the six distinct models over the 53-year history of the marque.