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50 States, Day 215

  50 States, Day 214  Elizabethtown to Bowling Green, 83 miles

"Freedom is never won.  It is exercised.  Freedom is who you are."
~Mark Krueger

We woke to frost on the adjacent field, but promises of mid fifty temps. We'll just start a bit later and soon Mr. Sun will do his thing. Because of yesterday's malady, the distance to our goal was a scant seventy-five miles. No sweat! We rode the freeway to Bowling Green (the trailer following us very nicely), checked in to the motel and walked across the street to the Corvette Museum. 

Ah, the Corvette Museum. Since I own a Corvette, a 2003 Z06 (a fiftieth birthday present to myself. I turned fifty and so did Corvette, so I figured it was a sign from God), the tour would be-hopefully-excellent. 

Oh, yeah. From '53 and '54s to music stars' cars to concept cars, the museum showed a bit of everything. For instance, biographical work on Zora Arkus Duntov, responsible for rescuing the hapless Corvette in the 50s and making it a thing of not just beauty, but speed. 

Interactive screens test your Corvette trivia mettle: When did they introduce the Z06? What year did they make the C5s? I like Corvettes, but I ain't no walking encyclopedia of trivia. Let's see the cars! 

Next we enjoyed a movie about how wonderful they are (the museum... okay, and the 'Vettes). Finally, we wandered through the museum, feasting our (well, mine- QG kept looking for quilts. No such luck.) eyes on Fuelies, Sting Rays, convertibles, coupes and fastbacks. Customs and bone stock collector cars parked near experimental exotics and Indianapolis 500 pace cars. 

They even brought in a crash test 'Vette. Brace yourself for the picture, it is hideous! Thirty-five miles an hour into a wall. 

Ouch. But the crash test dummies lived, thank God. We got to see how the fiberglass body creation has evolved over the decades, and how the frames get built. 

They had some weirdies too. A C5 that they put racks on, jacked it up (a measly 3/4"!) and took to Alaska for a Car and Driver Magazine article and shoot. That was the weirdest one, for sure. But it sure looked like fun. It may be the stupidest car in Alaska, but it's the fastest. Good luck hitting a caribou! 

The prototypes and concept cars were crazy. I remember seeing photos in magazines as a kid, and when attending the Seattle Auto Shows. Apparently they place microphones in the cars to listen to peoples' responses to them and take that information back to HQ and do design tweaks. They pointed out small things on the concept cars that made it to production. 

One disappointment was no hoopla on the Mako Shark. anybody remember that? In the late sixties after the Sting Ray buzz had worn off a bit, the magazines touted Chevy coming out with a radical new Corvette, the Mako Shark. My friend Steve and I were so excited to see this radical new 'Vette, but it never made production. Pity. I blame Obama. 

Another fun section was a video of a bone stock Z06 on the Nurburgring track in Germany. The course is 22 miles long with 157 turns, and the car reached speeds of 182 miles per hour. Jackie Stewart named it the 'Green Hell,' as it challenges the best of drivers. Sure looked cool to me. 

People love to fiddle with cars, and the Corvette is no different. One guy stuck a twelve cylinder engine, 600 plus horsepower, in a C4. Had to extend the nose eight inches to shoehorn in the engine. Another took a C4 and stuck the Z06 drivetrain, axles and brakes in it and updated the interior to look fresh. Nice. Because those old cars are cool, but the technology then? Sad. Fast cars that couldn't turn, stop or not overheat. Roofs that leaked. My brother had an awesome '62, but by summertime it smelled of mildew from six months of roof leaks. 

The Corvette Museum was a good value for the money ($8 each with a $2 off coupon) and provided a riveting and entertaining afternoon for us. Well, for me. QG hung in there well, acting interested at the good parts. 

Speaking of... Quilter Girl!

I enjoyed the Corvette Museum, though not as much as Kevin.  There will be a quilt museum soon.  We did have a fine lunch at the Corvette Cafe, wraps for both of us.  I had a Buffalo Chicken wrap and Kevin had a Turkey Wrap, we shared the cole slaw and potato chips.  It was very convenient.  

And when the tour ended, they dumped us in the gift shop. Weird, huh? Tomorrow not the Corvette Museum, but the Corvette Factory! Hopefully, like Rebecca Ruth Candies, we will get a sample. 

And a tip of the tire iron to Mark and the gang at Kentucky Tire and Exchange, who hooked us up with trailer tires. I had to be proactive and call a few days ahead before we would arrive so they could order it. P R O A C T I V E. Huh. Wonder what THAT means. 


Mel said...

You say you were PROACTIVE? Hey, who ARE you... and what have you done with our friend Kevin? LOL!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Right! After a month of wandering around, stopping at tire shops, I got Proactive. Right!

David Ruggieri said...

Glad to see you finally made it to the Corvette Museum..

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Wish we could make the factory tour too, but can't make it work.