Home Is Where We Park It: Bailey’s Point COE, Glasgow, Kentucky
June 22, 2019
Temperature 82 degrees
National Corvette Museum
What a night we had last night. I had the patio awning out and as they say the best time to bring it in is when you think you should. Glad I brought it in when I did because we got slammed last night. For a good two hours even with the jacks down we were rocking. We were anxiously watching the trees around bend and sway. Thankfully, only a lot of small branches came down but no trees. We learned later that a tornado touched down just 30 miles southeast of us. If you ask me that was too close for comfort. Once the storm moved through things calmed down and we were able to get some sleep.
When we awoke this morning it was raining again but there was just minimal wind. We wanted to go out but decided to just relax until things cleared which in time they did. That was our cue, time for sight-seeing. As I stated earlier our goal for coming here was to tour the National Corvette Museum.
Before we get to that, thought, here is a picture of our new home. We’ll be here through tomorrow then moving north on Monday to Lexington, KY.
Now for the Museum. It was just a thirty minute ride and we were there.
The museum opened on Labor Day Weekend, 1994 and before it’s opening there was a Corvette Caravan across the country leading to it on opening day.
The entrance lobby. The cars you see belong to customers who will pick them up shortly. More about that later.
Even a trip to the bathroom reminds you of where you are!
Perhaps the biggest news regarding the Museum occurred on
The roof of a large cave had collapsed causing a huge sinkhole. The cave was thousands of years old and made it’s presence known in the form of a 60 foot by 45 foot by 30 foot void.
How could something like this happen? When the Museum and the Skydome were built soil tests were taken down to a depth of 15 feet. All tests showed that the soil was suitable for building upon. No one at that time was aware of the cave that was 30 foot down. Heavy rains in the days preceding the collapse and the weakening of the roof of the cave because of the structure above eventually caused its collapse.
A bit of humor amid the tragedy.
A total of eight cars fell into the sinkhole. Some were immediately visible, others took days of probing to find. Five could never be restored.
This is the display that shows where everything was that day.
This is the Skydome today. Yup, that’s Barbara checking the cars out.
Here is a look into the sinkhole itself. This is a man hole cover that allows for periodic inspection of the repair work that was done to prevent anything like this happening in the future.
An extensive repair process took place to ensure nothing like this could ever occur again.
Here are the cars that could never be restored. All of the cars are in the same position today as they were on the day of the collapse.
2001 Mallet Hammer Conversion. This was one of two cars that could not be immediately found. It took days of probing to discover it.
This is the 1.5 million 2019 Corvette, the other car that they had to probe for in order to discover where it was.
This 1984 Corvette was on display the day the museum opened its doors. It was chopped in half by a large piece of concrete that fell into the hole. It was a one of kind purpose built car and in order to restore it all of its parts would have to be replaced thus it would no longer be an original. So the decision was made to leave it as is.
This is a ZR-1 Spyder which was the first concept car ever assembled on a production line.
This is the boulder that was discovered in the cabin of the car.
This one called Rubby was a 1993 40th Anniversary edition Corvette. It was on a lift like this that day. It was found on the top of the pile but because it was on the lift it fell the furthest. The car’s damage far exceeded its value so the decision was made not to restore it.
This is the recovery of one of the cars.
Here are the cars that were restored.
Let’s move on because there is more to see and to do here. Such as
The closest I’ll ever come to actually driving a Corvette!
How did the Corvette come to be? It all began with this man. This is a cut-away of the one of the first Corvettes. We were told that, yes, this one actually runs. In fact they had it out just a few days ago.
Would you believe it was once known as an Opel? Then a Cougar. Finally, a Corvette.
This is the first Corvette to roll off the assembly line on June 30, 1953. All of the first cars were built completely by hand. Only 300 were built that first year. All were Polo White with a Red interior. All had 6 cylinder engines coupled with a Powerglide automatic transmission.
The Corvette almost met its end before it ever really got started. The car was to be cut from production at the end of 1954. Sales were slumping. What saved it? The 1955 Ford T Bird. In response to the T-Bird the green light was given to continue producing the car but with a V-8 engine. The 1955 Corvette shown below has undergone a frame off restoration and has won numerous awards.
1957 was a milestone year for Corvette. That year it was offered with fuel injection and an optional 4 speed manual transmission.
There was a section devoted to design and development.
Two concept cars featuring a mid-engine, one from 1973 and the other from 1986.
The 1973 concept car was built in steel with two Wankel Rotary engines.
The next concept car was from 1986. This car was also mid-engine and had 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steering. This is a fully functional car that can be driven at any time today.
Look close, you can see the mid engine in this 1986 concept car. The big news in the Corvette world is that, finally, beginning next year a mid engine car will be offered.
There was a section devoted to Corvette racing.
This is John Greenwood’s Star Spangled Corvette. It was given the number 76 to honor America’s Bicentennial.
This is the first of only 12 wide bodied Corvettes made. It was once owned and raced by actor Paul Newman.
This is the preservation garage.
Remember those cars lined up in the lobby? The museum also acts as a dealership. Buyers can order a new Corvette at any dealership and have it delivered to the Museum where they pick up their car among all kinds of fanfare.
Looking at what is waiting to be delivered both in the lobby and here in the garage sales don’t appear to be lacking.
Speaking of sales, 1983 was probably a year that Chevy would like to forget. They pushed through a number of technical firsts with the Corvette but quality control problems plagued them from the beginning. Hence, production of all Corvettes was stopped until the following year. Of the 43 cars that were produced this is the only 1983 Corvette yet in existence, the rest were destroyed.
That, in brief, is a snapshot of the National Corvette Museum. If you haven’t been here yet and you love cars put it on your bucket list. You will not regret the time taken for a tour.
Our day on The Road of Retirement has come to a close. It was a great day all around. Once again we got to cross off another item from our bucket list. As always we did it the best way, together.
Hope you enjoyed your time with us. We’ll catch you again tomorrow.
These are the voyages of Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before
See you on down the road!