Thursday, September 5, 2019

6th National Corvette Caravan and 25th-Anniversary of the National Corvette Museum - Now that's a lot of Corvettes!

If you were anywhere near Bowling Green over the weekend, you know there was something big happening with Corvettes. You could not pass a gas station, restaurant, parking lot, or hotel without seeing dozens of them. That’s because the National Corvette Museum was hosting the National Corvette Caravan for the 6th time. Corvette enthusiasts from all over the United States, and some from other countries even, traveled in huge groups to meet-up at this event. Some reports estimated that as many as 10,000 Corvettes made the trip. When they got there, the museum was celebrating its 25th anniversary, so there were lots of cool displays and activities to keep everyone well entertained. I was able to drive my ’93 Corvette up there on Friday. I’m sure that wasn’t the biggest day of the weekend, but I walked a million miles, and I think I saw more Corvettes in one place than I’ve ever seen in my life.

The stars of the show had to be the new 2020 C8 Corvettes. This was the first time most of these people had ever seen one. They had display cars, cutaways, test cars, and GM company cars scattered around everywhere. As you’ve probably read, this is a huge departure from the traditional Corvette formula, because this car now has a mid-engine design. And it is a much different car, no doubt. The nose is short and the wheelbase is long, and it completely gets away from what people have come to expect with this car. Still, when you get it in among the C7 Corvettes, which made up most of this event, they seem to assimilate pretty well. For as radical as the change is, they don’t seem that radical in person. I don’t think it will take long for people to just accept them as the current Corvette and regard them in the same way as every new Corvette generation.

This was a traveling car show, so as you would expect, most of the cars were of the more reliable and comfortable later-model variety. That’s not to say there weren’t some cool oldies in the house. Here’s a fantastic ’66 roadster that was just hanging out in the field with the general population. This baby was Marlboro Maroon with black leather, side pipes, wood steering wheel, and those all-important 427-c.i. big block callouts on the front fenders. It had Illinois license plates, so I’m guessing that someone drove it to Kentucky. That would have been a pretty hot trip this time of year with a black interior and no air conditioning. But it would have been worth it to hear that 427 breathing out of those side pipes.

The Bloomington Gold display featured this spectacular 1969 coupe. The owner claims it’s the only ’69 Corvette that was done up in Tuxedo Black with this Bright Blue interior. Naturally, it has a 435-hp 427-c.i. big block under its scooped and sculptured hood. This thing is too nice and too valuable to drive anymore. It’s maybe the ultimate ’69 Corvette, and it’s irreplaceable. But as a work of art, or a living documentation of history, it still serves a purpose. Still, if you were lucky enough to own this, it would sure be tempting to nestle in behind the wheel and rip off down the road for a weekend. If wouldn’t be good for the car, but it might be good for you.

This ’58 Corvette was no slouch in its own right. It’s two-toned with Regal Turquoise and Snowcrest White, with Charcoal hides inside. ‘58s were the most 1950s of the ‘50s Corvettes, because they featured all those little extras like the fake louvers on the hood and the chrome suspenders on the trunk lid. This Iowa-based entry certainly was a driver, and featured a few dead bugs and dirty whitewalls. ‘58s typically have silver-painted wheels, which is the most obvious deviation from stock here. With so many beautiful late model Corvettes everywhere, it’s amazing how much something like this stands out from the crowd. You just couldn’t help but gravitate toward it.

I took 356 pictures. For a show with this many cars, that’s not one of my larger albums. The thing is, as much as a like and appreciate late-model Corvettes, if I took a picture of every one of them, the album would seem pretty redundant. Also, my clickin’ finger would probably stop working. So I tried to hone in on things I thought were particularly interesting. There are quite a few photos of the C8 Corvettes, if you’re into that. See all the pictures by clicking this link.

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