So after spending the night in a wigwam, we headed off to the National Corvette Museum. It’s the only museum in the world dedicated to only one model and not the whole manufacturers range. With a car as sexy as the Corvette, it made sense.
As we pulled up, you could see Corvettes scattered around everywhere. This is THE place to be if you like, love or have a weird fetish about the sports car. Apart from the museum, there is the factory next door that makes the beast. It’s the only place in the world that makes them and for a cool extra $1000, when you buy your brand new sparkling Corvette, you can have the staff wave goodbye to you as you drive it off the showroom floor. You can get the basic model for $50k, but for the full bells and whistles you can spend up to $100k! So what’s an extra $1000?
Before you enter the museum, there were brand new Corvette Stingrays scattered on the showroom floor. So tempting. Could our credit card handle the pressure? Stef said no, but she did allow me to buy two tickets for us to enter the museum so I could at least look at them. They run a raffle every two weeks where you can win a brand new Corvette. There are only a 1500 tickets available but at $150, Stef shook her head again. The 1500kg weight of the car would have put us well above our luggage allowance of 21kg so it’s a good job really.
As you walked around the museum, there were Corvettes everywhere, which was handy, as it was a Corvette museum. The cars were either donated to the museum by GM Motors (the manufactures) or by private owners. Some of the cars had only a few miles on the odometer and were made in 1972. Every model was in mint condition. It was good to see cars that had been cared for. Having driven the road here in America for a while, we have seen cars that I swear are held together by rust and dirt!
We were shown how the cars were designed, scaled models were made and how the prototypes and finished cars were built. It looked a bit more difficult than the Lego I had as a kid, but I’d give it a go.
One section I was looking forward to was the Skydome. It was a separate structure connected to the museum. It was a round room with a domed roof. Here were housed several one of a kind vehicles, including the 1,000,000thand 1,500,000th Corvette ever made, a mint condition 1962 model and a special edition NASCAR Pace Car. As we made it to section, something was not quite right.
At 5am on the morning of February the 12th, the museum was notified by security that some motion detectors had gone off in the Skydome. When workers arrived they were quite surprised and obviously upset as to what had happened. A very large sinkhole had appeared. The hole was about 40 foot across and 30 foot deep. It had swallowed up the eight special Corvettes that were housed there. How tragic.
The hole was still there.
The cars were carefully removed one by one. Some of the cars were in such a mess; they didn’t know where one started and one ended. The footage of the collapse was caught on the security cameras and has been posted on YouTube.
The last room of the day was dedicated to one man’s collection. In there stood about eleven Corvettes, dating back donkey’s years. All of them had very few miles on the clock. There I was wishing I had one, and this bloke had bought them, hardly driven them, and then donated them to the museum upon his death!