TOUR AMERICA 2019: KENTUCKY, THE BLUEGRASS STATE

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.

IMG_7992

Now for the Museum.  It was just a thirty minute ride and we were there.

IMG_7999

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.

IMG_8166

The entrance lobby.  The cars you see belong to customers who will pick them up shortly.  More about that later.

IMG_8004

Even a trip to the bathroom reminds you of where you are!

IMG_8168

Perhaps the biggest news regarding the Museum occurred on

IMG_8012

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.

IMG_8016

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.

IMG_8027

A bit of humor amid the tragedy.

IMG_8017

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.

IMG_8020

This is the display that shows where everything was that day.

IMG_8077

This is the Skydome today.  Yup, that’s Barbara checking the cars out.

IMG_8058

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.

IMG_8039

IMG_8038

An extensive repair process took place to ensure nothing like this could ever occur again.

IMG_8031

IMG_8036

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.

IMG_8041

2001 Mallet Hammer Conversion. This was one of two cars that could not be immediately found.   It took days of probing to discover it.

IMG_8064

Its recovery.

IMG_8022

This is the 1.5 million 2019 Corvette, the other car that they had to probe for in order to  discover where it was.

IMG_8066

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.

IMG_8068

This is a ZR-1 Spyder which was the first concept car ever assembled on a production line.

IMG_8062

This is the boulder that was discovered in the cabin of the car.

IMG_8001

 

 

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.IMG_8044

This is the recovery of one of the cars.

IMG_8019

Here are the cars that were restored.

IMG_8045

IMG_8074

Let’s move on because there is more to see and to do here.  Such as

IMG_8003

The closest I’ll ever come to actually driving a Corvette!

IMG_8005

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.

 

IMG_8081

IMG_8083

 

IMG_8084

Would you believe it was once known as an Opel?  Then a Cougar.  Finally, a Corvette.

IMG_8090

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.

IMG_8102

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.

IMG_8107

1957 was a milestone year for Corvette.  That year it was offered with fuel injection and an optional 4 speed manual transmission.

IMG_8110

There was a section devoted to design and development.

IMG_8126

Technical milestones.

IMG_8134

Two concept cars featuring a mid-engine, one from 1973 and the other from 1986.

IMG_8120

The 1973 concept car was built in steel with two Wankel Rotary engines.

IMG_8122

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.

IMG_8124

 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.

IMG_8125

There was a section devoted to Corvette racing.

IMG_8139

This is John Greenwood’s Star Spangled Corvette.  It was given the number 76 to honor America’s Bicentennial.

IMG_8146

This is the first of only 12 wide bodied Corvettes made.  It was once owned and raced by actor Paul Newman.

IMG_8148

This is the preservation garage.

IMG_8153

IMG_8154.JPG

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.

IMG_8164

Looking at what is waiting to be delivered both in the lobby and here in the garage sales don’t appear to be lacking.

IMG_8165

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.

IMG_8157

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!

 

 

One thought on “TOUR AMERICA 2019: KENTUCKY, THE BLUEGRASS STATE

  1. Now that is a place we would enjoy. I’ve always been strictly a Ford person, but I do love the older Corvettes. My first car was a ’57 Tbird. Great blog!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s