The Corvette faithful flock to Bowling Green to see what’s new for 2015 – and to see the sinkhole
Barry Kluczyk - April 29, 2014 12:11 PM
More than 1,200 enthusiasts registered for the 2014 National Corvette Museum Bash. That’s about a third more than only two years ago – although it doesn’t match the more than 1,500 who showed up in 2013 to get their first glimpse of the C7 Corvette.Barry Kluczyk
The eight cars swallowed by the sinkhole are on display at the museum. In the foreground is the remnants of the 1.5-millionth Corvette built. Most of the cars can’t and won’t be restored.Barry Kluczyk
Participants roll onto the grounds of the National Corvette Museum for the annual Bash event, kicking off the museum’s season of events, which stretches into the fall. Go to corvettemuseum.org for a list of upcoming events.Barry Kluczyk
It’s human nature to be interested in spectacles and, in recent memory, nothing has been as spectacular as the enormous sinkhole that opened up under the National Corvette Museum (NCM) on Feb. 12. It swallowed eight cars, most damaged beyond repair, but they’re on display at the museum – along with guarded access to the sinkhole itself – and they’ve been drawing steady attention. Indeed, most of the attendees at the recent NCM Bash, the museum’s unofficial kickoff of the event season, made a beeline for the sinkhole and the cars it literally shredded.
Business at the museum increased more than 50 percent since the sinkhole, drawing more paying customers to the museum, its gift shop and café. More people have donated to the museum through direct contributions and raffles, proving that every dark cloud – make that dark hole – has a silver lining.
The NCM Bash is also the traditional venue for Chevrolet to show off what’s new for the next model year and they did it again, unveiling the production versions of the Atlantic luxury convertible and Pacific performance coupe Design Concept vehicles that were first shown as SEMA show cars last fall. They go on sale later this year, with the rest of the 2015 Corvette Stingray lineup.
“One of the design goals for the Corvette Stingray was to provide customers with the flexibility to tailor the car to their personality,” said Kirk Bennion, Corvette exterior design manager. “The Atlantic and Pacific Design Packages were originally designed to showcase how the Stingray could be configured as a luxury sport GT car or as a high-performance motorsport car.”
Works for us. The cars were gorgeous and definitely cast an aura of exclusivity. Chevrolet also said the Atlantic and Pacific specials signal the brand’s intention to introduce special models just about with every model year to keep things spicy in the lineup.
Other new features offered on the 2015 Corvette lineup include an all-new, GM-developed eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission and the Performance Data Recorder, which is essentially the industry’s first factory-installed video and telemetry recording system – an option that should really ratchet up the fun factor on one of the most engaging sports cars to hit the street or track in a long time.