Museum Hawk: National Corvette Museum Page 3

March 18, 2006
National Corvette Museum

National Corvette Museum

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Plaques on these display cars impart that 69,015 Corvette C1 convertibles were produced from 1953 to 1962; 45,546 coupes and 109,462 convertibles of the C2 from 1963 to 1967; 472,275 C3 coupes and 70,586 C3 convertibles from 1968 to 1982; 283,529 C4 coupes and 74,651 C4 convertibles from 1984 to 1996; 124, 441 C5 coupes, 85,244 C5 convertibles and 34,617 C5 hardtops from 1997 through 2004; and 26,728 C6 coupes and 10,644 C6 convertibles last year.


Chevrolet’s position of having the world’s most popular sports car is ironclad on the basis of the 1,406,738 Corvettes produced from its introduction in mid-1953 through 2005.


Besides the lineup of each model series and the obligatory Museum gift shop, other features of the NCM include one-of-a-kind concept cars, race cars, dealership displays, nostalgic street scenes, a cutaway ’Vette, statues of famous men in the marque’s history, and even a barrier-crashed car from the GM Proving Grounds. Altogether, about 75 cars generally are on exhibit at any one time.


One of the unique aspects of the Museum is the possibility of buying a copy of the original build sheet of any Corvette assembled at Bowling Green since 1981 and a generic reproduction window price sticker for the series ’Vette involved.


And despite it being a just one-make museum, and of a contemporary vehicle at that, the NCM is well worth any car lover swinging off Exit 28 of I-65 in southern Kentucky. With careful planning you can make a day of it, taking in Mammoth Cave National Park a few miles to the northwest, the assembly plant and the Museum.


Bowling Green is 110 miles southwest of Louisville and 60 north of Nashville. Note that the Central Time Zone border crosses I-65 north of Bowling Green. The NationalCorvetteMuseum toll-free telephone number is, cleverly, 800-53-VETTE and the Web site, There is a link to the assembly plant’s tour site information.


The Museum is open 8-5 Central Time every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, with admission charges of $8 adult, $6 over 55, $4.50 children 6-16, or families $20. The assembly plant’s tours run twice daily, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., but it is wise to check the Website or call them beforehand (270-745-8019) because of unpredictable plant operating schedules.


For Corvette fans enthused by their visit to the National Corvette Museum but unable to cough up $45,000 for a new one, there’s also Art’s Corvette used ’Vette lot on the road off the Interstate into the Museum. I noted Art displayed a single Mustang as well.

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