When I was about 12 years old my dad bought a used Chevrolet as the family’s second car. Little did he know that over forty years later it would still be in the family. And he could have never guessed how much it would affect my life!
This “work car” just happened to be a Corvette Stingray. He drove it almost seven days a week to his job at Kennedy Space Center until a heart attack and open heart surgery put an end to his ability to use a race car-style clutch. Now, after all these years, it sits, restored, in my garage.
In my early twenties, I followed in his footsteps. I was working nearly seven days a week at Kennedy Space Center when I bought my first used Chevrolet, a 1975 Corvette. Unlike my father’s car, I went for the convertible. As the years went by, four other Corvettes would grace my driveway. The only one I kept, however, was dear old Dad’s
When our last road trip had us near Bowling Green, Kentucky, the home of several beautiful caves and the National Corvette Museum, we had to visit. After spending the morning exploring Diamond Cave, it was off to the museum on a Sunday afternoon.
This museum isn’t the typical “car” museum. Sure, there are a lot of rare Corvettes that look like the just left the showroom floor. But there are also very low mileage original cars, custom, and one-off Corvettes.
On display are old factory photos, signed copies of letters from some of the people who helped conceive and improve the Corvette, factory brochures, and dealers’ models, of course.
But what makes this museum different is the dedication of 60 years of Corvette owners. As we pulled into the parking lot, Corvette Club banners hung from every light pole, including one for my old club, the Cape Kennedy Corvette Club. Inside, we saw a display of astronaut photos and their Corvettes. It included a patch from my old club, a patch that had flown on one of the last Space Shuttle missions. Did I mention that way back when, Dad used to race the astronauts in his old Corvette? That’s another story.
If you are truly a Corvette fan, the museum is worth a visit. As we were walking out, I watched a new Corvette owner picking up his car. If you check off the right block on the order form when you order a new Corvette, you can pick it up from the museum floor – after a one-on-one check out with a Chevrolet service person. The factory adjoins the museum and offers tours.
Learn more about the National Corvette Museum
Nice work John, I can remember when your Dad used to drive the Vet. to work. Frank